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Food Food Story

BUILD YOUR FOOD STARTUP: EMPLOY A SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Granny’s food is what legends are made of. Unlabelled containers stuffed with snacks and masalas like mystery boxes. Made in house. Daily staples such as milk and cheese, common. But no meat. On any ceremonious occasion, tradition explicitly forbade the consumption of meat or eggs, because the killing of animals was inauspicious. The food was served on pattal leaves to guests, or steel plates which were in the homes.

Food is not something that resonates with everyone magically. It has evolved by leaps and only those who are in sync with this evolution are paving the way into the future. Perhaps you are already someone who has a deep connection with food. Isn’t it time to introduce your passion for it to your city folks?

Indian food scene is distressingly out of sync with our roots because restauranteurs have tried to make the janta happy by offering mediocre versions of local dishes. But many food chains have also made their mark by following their brand vision. How did they manage?

Show a readily-identifiable sign that the food you serve is a wonderful choice in everybody’s opinion.

True, marketing and promotions help. But if you have skill, passion and a dream, that counts for a lot more. Let’s talk more.

Let’s take an example. Rajesh is a passionate foodie in the city with a mission – of introducing the public to the plant-rich dishes. If Rajesh had turned his focus to vegetarian food – and by extension, plant-rich, then that niche opens a window into the gastronomical delights of Indian cuisine that he would have to master. But he wanted the focus on being ‘plant-rich’. Your next question is:

How will the number of sales increase?

When it comes to starting a new venture, it is all in a name. By that, I mean that people should learn about you. Otherwise, having no publicity can be injurious to your brand. Very few brands are actually able to create something that resonate with the public, inspite of lack of publicity. But even if they don’t have publicity, there are other factors such as financial support and funding that aid them.

However as I mentioned, others need it.

If you look at some brands that started from scratch without any funding, their success story is deeply entwined with having a successful social media marketing strategy.

Should you have a lot of vigour to stay ahead, get more publicity as it can be very important for your business – it can actually complement your growth.

Remember, there are still rules when it comes to social media. The strategy needs skill.

If you are looking for a social media marketing consultant for a food startup, let’s connect.

Currently a food and travel writer + social media marketing consultant for food startups, Aishwarya Khanna found reading about food and beverage, inventing new recipes in the kitchen and overall trying to learn the ropes of food consulting very exciting. So she decided to be in this field and worked a short while in a cafe and hotel for practical experience. She doesn’t have a background in hospitality. But she loves every two cents’ of advice she can get to thrive in this industry.

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food

SOYA CHAAP Ⓥ

Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Yield: 3-4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1CHOPPED ONION
1CHOPPED TOMATO
2CHOPPED GREEN CHILLIS
250 GRAMSSOYA CHAAP PIECES
1/2 TSPPEPPERCORNS
1/2 TSPFENNEL SEEDS
1/2 TSPCUMIN SEEDS
1 TSPCHILLI FLAKES
1-2 TSPCHILLI POWDER
1 TSPCUMIN POWDER
1/2 TSPTURMERIC
1 TSPCORIANDER POWDER
1 TSPSALT
2-3 TBSPLEMON JUICE
1/2 TSPPEPPER
1/2 TSPMANGO POWDER

STEPS:

Step One: Prepare the Marinade

There are three parts.

Heat oil in a pan. Add half of the chopped onion and tomato along with a few chopped green chillis. Mix properly while pan is on low-flame. Remove when slightly brown.

In a pestle, grind fennel seeds, cumin seeds, chilli flakes, peppercorns (not too smoothly). Add 1/2 tsp(s) of chilli, coriander, cumin and mango powders respectively. Heat oil in a pan and dry-roast the masala on low-flame, till it turns fragrant.

Mix the masala with caramelised onion-tomato and blend together on high-speed.

Step Two: Marinate the Soya Pieces

In a bowl, combine soya with 1/2 tsp(s) of coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and pepper respectively. Transfer the marinade to the bowl. Rub it gently on the soya pieces.

Step Three: Sauté the Soya

Finally, heat oil on medium flame. Add the remaining onions, tomatoes and chilli. Slide them to one side. Next, combine the marinated soya pieces and mix thoroughly for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat immediately, then sprinkle the remaining chilli powder, salt and lemon juice.

Suggested Pairing

Top the soya chaap with coriander sprigs and serve as it is, or with roti.

by Aishwarya Khanna

Currently a food and travel writer in India, Aishwarya Khanna pursued her bachelor’s from The University of Edinburgh. She loves enjoying the magic of Indian cuisine. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya. Follow her food journey on Instagram.

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 10.

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 Servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS:

1 CUP COOKED WHITE/BROWN RICE, 1 CUP CAULIFLOWER FLORETS, 1 CUP GRATED CABBAGE, 150 GRAMS COTTAGE CHEESE, 1 CUP TOMATO PUREE, 1 BAY LEAF, 1 KASMIRI CHILLI, 1 TSP MUSTARD SEEDS, 1 TBSP PAV BHAJI MASALA, 1 TSP GARAM MASALA, 3/4 TBSP CHILLI, 1/2 TBSP TURMERIC, 1/4 TBSP CORIANDER POWDER, 1 TBSP SALT.

STEPS:

Step One: Make the tomato base.

Heat oil in a cooking utensil on medium flame. Add the bay leaf and Kashmiri chilli. Pour the tomato puree and add these spices to the puree: chilli, turmeric, coriander and pav bhaji masala.

Step Two: Add the veggies and protein.

When the tomato puree starts sizzling, add the cauliflower florets, grated cabbage and cubes of cottage cheese. Mix thoroughly. Add rice to the mix. Top it with garam masala and salt. Stir thoroughly.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Food Fusion

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 11.

Active Time: 1 Hour

Total Time: 2 Hours

Yield: Makes 5 Servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PUFF PASTRY:

2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, 1 1/4 CUPS FROZEN BUTTER, 1 TSP SALT, 2 CUPS WATER, 1 1/4 CUP SUGAR

INGREDIENTS FOR THE LENTIL FILLING:

350 GRAMS SOAKED GREEN LENTILS, 2 CUPS WATER, 1 CHOPPED ONION, 1 TSP GARLIC-CHILLI PASTE, 2 TSP CHILLI, 1 TSP CORIANDER POWDER, 1 TSP CUMIN POWDER, 1 TSP SALT (AS PER TASTE), 2 TBSP LEMON JUICE, 1 TBSP OIL

STEPS:

Step One: Make the puff pastry.

This step has two parts.

Mix all the dry ingredients with water so that it forms a loose dough. Transfer it on a baking sheet, wrap, and put in the fridge to chill for one hour.

Remove the dough from the baking sheet and put it on a flat surface. Laminate the dough by folding and repeating many times using a spatula or your fist, so that you get at least two to three layers of butter and dough. This is a very important step because when the frozen butter comes in contact with the heat, it will make the dough flaky. Ensure that the butter spreads evenly by folding the dough. Freeze for an extra hour.

To read more about laminating: click here.

Step Two: Make the lentil mix.

Fill water in a pot and put the lentils in. Cook lentils on medium flame till they turn mushy. Drain the water out. Mix all the spices with the lentils.

Step Three: Make the lentil filling.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan on medium flake. Caramelise the onions with the garlic-chilli paste. Add the lentils and mix thoroughly. Squeeze lemon juice. When the mixture looks dry, grind it in a blender.

Step Four: Stuff the filling in the puff pastry.

Remove the dough from the baking sheet. Stretch it out as long as possible. Since this is a homemade pastry, you have to use a rolling pin to make a rectangle. You can divide your pastry into mini rectangles but I used the long rectangle as it is. Spread the lentil filling on it and fold from the sides.

Pro Tip: Make one giant puff on the long rectangle. 🙂

Step Five: Bake.

Pre-heat the oven at 120 C. Transfer the puff pastry on the baking tray. Bake at 200 C for 20 minutes.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Food

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 8. Ⓥ

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 Servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SCRAMBLE:

5-6 CUBED SAUTEED OR DEEP-FRIED TOFU, 1/4 BOWL OF CHOPPED ONIONS, 1/4 BOWL OF TOMATOES, 1 KASHMIRI CHILLI

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MASALA:

1/2 TSP CHILLI FLAKES, 1/2 TSP CORIANDER POWDER, 1/2 TSP CUMIN POWDER, 1/2 TSP SALT, 1/2 TSP TURMERIC, 1/2 TSP PEPPERCORNS, 1 TSP GINGER-GARLIC PASTE, 1/4 CINNAMON STICK, 2 CLOVES, 1/2 LEMON

STEPS:

Step One: Deep-fry tofu.

In a mixing bowl, rub the tofu with ginger-garlic paste. Heat oil in a cooking vessel. Start adding the tofu pieces. Flip them on all sides till they turn golden. Do not let the pieces stick to the bottom of the vessel or they can burn.

Learn how to make homemade tofu.

Step Two: Ground the spices.

Grind all the spices and half of the ginger-garlic paste in a pestle. Heat a pan on low-flame. Put the masala in the pan and shake it so that large debris breaks down; remove after twenty seconds.

Step Three: Grind tomatoes and onions.

In a blender, mix onions, tomatoes, kashmiri chilli flake and leftover garlic-ginger paste.

Step Four: Sauté everything.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the deep-fried tofu, the grounded paste, onions and tomatoes. Squeeze lemon juice.

Suggested Pairing:

In India, a common breakfast is egg or cottage cheese scramble with paratha. Try tofu scramble with a flaky homemade paratha.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food Gourmet

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 7. Ⓥ

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 3 servings

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS FOR PANISSE:

2 CUPS CHICKPEA FLOUR, 1 CUP WATER, PINCH OF TURMERIC, PINCH OF SALT, HERBS OF YOUR CHOICE, SESAME SEEDS FOR GARNISH

INGREDIENTS FOR ONION CHUTNEY:

1/4 CUP CHOPPED ONIONS, 1 TSP OLIVE OIL, 1 TSP LEMON SQUEEZE, 1 TSP CHILLI FLAKES, 1 TSP SRIRACHA

STEPS:

Step One: Make Your Own Tofu From Scratch.

In a mixing bowl, put all the ingredients for panisse (burmese tofu). Whisk the mixture and transfer it to a pot on low-flame. Using a spatula, keep stirring it till the mixture becomes thicker. Transfer into a glass dish. Refrigerate for 40-50 minutes.

Step Two: Make Your Own Onion Chutney.

Put pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil. Sauté the onions till they turn brown. Add the rest of the ingredients; stir constantly till the chutney begins to thicken.

Suggested Use

Toast sourdough slices. Spread peanut butter, onion chutney and tofu on each slice for a gourmet experience!

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Food

QUARANTINE EXPERIMENT 6. Ⓥ

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes 1 Bowl

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS FOR STIR-FRY:

2 CUPS WATER, 1 CUP VERMICELLI NOODLES, 1/2 CUP BELL PEPPERS, 2-3 GREEN CHILLIES, 1 TSP OLIVE OIL, 1TSP GINGER-GARLIC PASTE, 2-3 TSP COCONUT MILK

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COCONUT-CARAMEL PASTE:

1/2 TSP CHILLI FLAKES, 1/2 TSP PEPPERCORNS, 1 TSP GARLIC-GINGER PASTE, 1 TSP SALT, 1 TSP SRIRACHA SAUCE, 1 TBSP COCONUT SUGAR, 1 TBSP SOY SAUCE

STEPS:

Step One: Make the sweet paste.

Combine coconut sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl; microwave for 20 seconds till the sugar dissolves; remove. Add chilli flakes, garlic-ginger paste, salt and sriracha sauce. Mix well.

Step Two: Boil the rice noodles.

Heat water in a steel pot over low flame. Add salt. Throw in the rice noodles. Let them rest. Remove the rice noodles when they turn soft.

Step Three: Sauté the veggies.

Heat oil in a pan. Once it begins to splutter, add the ginger-garlic paste along with the veggies. Stir it all in the pan till they look slightly charred.

Step Four: Mix everything.

Add the rice noodles and the coconut-caramel paste. Pour the coconut milk in the pan and mix thoroughly.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Food

QUARANTINE COOKING EXPERIMENT 3. Ⓥ

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 bowl

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS: 1 CARROT, 1 BEETROOT, 5-6 GREEN BEAN, 1 POTATO, 200 GRAMS, 1 TSP OLIVE OIL, TSP SRIRACHA, 1 TSP CASHEW CHEESE, 1 TSP SESAME SEEDS, 1 TSP OREGANO, 1 TSP PARSLEY, 1 TSP HONEY

Step One: Pre-heat oven to 120C.

Step Two: Line a baking tray with butter paper. Line up all your veggies on the tray horizontally. Season with herbs. Sprinkle olive oil. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

Step Three: Cut tofu in pieces. Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Place tofu pieces on the pan and sauté gently for 2-3 minutes to harden it. Do not overcook it.

Step Four: Place the tofu in the baking tray along with the rest of the veggies till it dries up.

Step Five: Remove the veggies from the baking tray if they change colour. Carrots should turn light orange, beetroot should turn light pink, green beans should be darker green. Potatoes and tofu should be light brown and crunchy.

Step Six: Place all the baked items in a bowl. Top with sesame seeds, sriracha and a tiny dollop of cashew cheese.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Food Fusion

QUARANTINE COOKING EXPERIMENT 2. Ⓥ

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 7 balls

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS: 1/2 CUP SEMOLINA, 2 POTATOES, 1/2 CUP WATER, 11-12 CASHEWS (SOAKED OVERNIGHT), TSP OLIVE OIL, PINCH OF SALT, PINCH OF PEPPER, 1/2 CUP SOYA GRANULES

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA

Step One: In a mixing bowl, combine semolina and 1/4 cup water till no lumps remain. Set it aside.

Step Two: Put potatoes in boiling water till the outer skin becomes soft.

Step Three: Meanwhile, for the cashew cheese, blend 1/4 cup water, soaked cashews, salt, pepper, olive oil and herbs (if you prefer).

Step Four: Pour the cashew cheese in the mixing bowl. Stir all the ingredients thoroughly with the semolina batter.

Step Five: Heat oil in a pan and put on medium flame. Add the semolina-cashew cheese mixture on pan. Using a spatula, try to fluff it up. The mixture will become dry as it starts to lose moisture.

Step Six: Meanwhile, peel the boiled potatoes.

Step Seven: Once it is completely dry, remove the mixture from the pan and combine it with boiled potatoes.

Step Seven: Divide the mixture into seven arancini balls. Roll them in soya granules.

Step Eight: Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Gently place the arancini balls in it. Fry till they turn golden-brown. Serve immediately with coriander chutney.

Suggested Pairing:

Pair arancini balls with macaroni-peanut salad – it’s a wonderful combination!

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.

Categories
Cook Flavour-Bomb Food

QUARANTINE COOKING EXPERIMENT 4. Ⓥ

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings.

RECIPE BY AISHWARYA KHANNA. FOLLOW HER FOOD JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM.

INGREDIENTS: 15 CHERRIES, 1 GULKAND PAAN, 7-8 ALMONDS, 7-8 CASHEWS, 1 PIECE OF DARK CHOCOLATE

Step One: Separate the betel leaf and silver coating from the gulkand extract. Keep it aside.

Step Two: Use a small blender or knife to chop almonds and cashews.

Step Three: In a mortar, put all the cherries and pestle them into a gooey liquid paste for 3-5 minutes. Add chopped almonds and cashews. Continue grinding the paste.

Step Four: Heat a pan on medium-flame. Pour the paste into it with dark chocolate and stir occasionally for 5 minutes until it melts.

Step Five: Finally switch off the heat. Let the jam cool and transfer into a dipping bowl. Serve with toast or cookies and rice cakes.

Currently a food and travel writer, Aishwarya Khanna is also a graduate from The University of Edinburgh. She is currently in India. Please see this section to know more about Aishwarya.