Edlyn restarted her blog when she moved from Goa, India, to the U.S. in 2012. She is greatly influenced by the way her family approaches food and the way they cook. And though she is not a professional cook, she likes believing that she is.
I am so psyched to have Edlyn D’Souza of Egeedee with me on the show today.
(*All photos below are Edlyn’s.)
On Her Blog:
It was about so many random things. I was really young. So picture that, picture like a young person’s journal with, “Oh, look. Look what I did today.” So it was kind of like Instagram but on a blog.
I think the fact that I had that space, not doing anything with it, when I moved here, I couldn’t work for, I think, a year almost, because I was getting my paperwork done and everything. So I was spending so much time at home, and I was getting kind of depressed even. I just needed to channel that energy into something creative, because that’s what I knew how to do.
Also, I was really hungry a lot, so first, I have to make breakfast. Now, what do I do? Okay. Then I make lunch. I used to go online and look for more American things, because I was afraid I wouldn’t find ingredients that I was used to back home. So I started reading The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I really enjoyed her writing style. My eating habits have changed a lot, so I don’t really cook from her blog, but I still really enjoy reading her writing. And then I figured it out from there.
If you read my blog, I try not to write too much about food when I do the writing part of it. I try to keep that still as a journal. That helps me keep in touch with my family back home, because I’m not really an open person. I find it hard to express myself just talking to people. So writing is that outlet for me and that’s the way I get to communicate with people like, “This is how I’m feeling right now. Leave me alone.”
On Growing Up in Goa, India and the Role of Food:
Oh, it played a huge role. I was listening to a podcast, I think your podcast, and the lady was saying how food was something people cooked every day, and eating out is like a luxury almost, it’s like for special occasions. That’s exactly how it was. I don’t think we really missed eating out as much. It was a huge task for my parents to do, cook every day. But now that I’m grown up, I kind of understand how much work it took and it makes me appreciate that. So, yeah, food is huge there.
On Her Curiosity Around Cooking:
My dad is the primary cook in our family. My mother likes cooking, but my dad is much quicker and I think he enjoys the process more than she does. For her, it’s like, “Oh, it’s a chore sometimes,” but he loves it. But he also doesn’t like having other people interrupt. He’d always yell at us, “Go away.” So we watched. We would just watch and try and help but.
I wasn’t really interested because of that. I always thought it was something negative maybe. But I also enjoy watching, smelling everything. But I only started doing it myself once I moved here.
On Learning How to Cook:
I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything with their direction, but just watching them and kind of seeing how things looked. As a kid, I’m just watching the onions brown and exactly when you add the tomatoes after and all those spices that you add one after the other. I kind of put those smells together more than anything else, I guess.
Like I was saying, I only started once I moved here. So it was just me feeding myself and my husband, that’s why I moved here. He’s a good cook too, but a lot of his dishes are pretty standard. He likes making a good steak or a good burger and I can’t eat like that. I need different elements on my plate sometimes. So, I encourage myself to add more flavors to our meals. That’s basically what motivates me.
On the Food Culture in Goa:
Things changed once the Indian economy opened up and more foreign products and packaged foods started coming in. So things kind of changed a bit, it became easier to cook at home. And people also wanted to experiment more with other cuisines and that’s where restaurants came in.
So growing up, yes. I don’t think we used to go out. Maybe one birthday or just for fun. But it’s changed a lot now. People go out more as, “Oh, we’re bored. Let’s do something.” And that would mean going out.
On a Traditional Goan Meal:
The staple in Goa is fish curry and rice. That’s one of the staples that you have to try. So the first thing you would need is coconut, because that’s what most of our curries are based, kind of like Thai cooking. But we use fresh coconut and other spices that have a very orange color. So turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, tamarind, and just whatever fish is fresh that day.
I would say fish curry or shrimp curry. They basically use whatever fish or seafood is fresh or whatever they want to add to it. But, yeah, that would be the first thing I would recommend, fish curry rice.
On Some Good Resources for learning about Goan Cuisine:
I don’t know if you’ve heard of A Brown Table, Nik. He does a lot of Goan-influenced food. It’s really delicious. So if you do want to learn a little bit more about Goan food, because I think he’s half-Goan and half-North Indian, I think, but he makes really good recipes with Goan food. And other more traditional recipes, there are a lot of home cooks and food bloggers that aren’t as popular as bloggers that we read every day, and they may not have the best photography, but they still have really good recipes. So if you just type “Goan food,” (in Google) the top three websites will always pop up.
On How Her Cooking Has Changed Since Moving to the US:
I think it has changed more so because in the beginning, I used to get really swayed by, “Oh, look at these healthy food bloggers, they eat so well.” And I kind of got pulled in that direction, like that was the only way to do things. But over the past few years since I’ve moved here, I realized that that’s an unhealthy way sometimes to cook if you don’t lead that lifestyle.
So over time, I started cooking more food that makes me happy and nourishes me as well. So I won’t shy away from making mac and cheese just because I like it. So what’s wrong with eating it? So my thinking has changed in that way and I’m happy about that.
On Goan Food in the US:
Pretty much everything is not the same, but Goan food is really hard to find in this part of the country, I think. I never get to eat anything from home unless I make it myself. But the North Indian foods and the South Indian foods, the dosa and the chicken tandoori, that’s really popular here. And I think the restaurants do a good job, but I can’t say for sure, because I don’t live in those parts, so.
The Pressure Cooker:
Which food shows or cooking shows do you watch?
Lately, I’ve been watching, it’s a PBS show called, Mind Of A Chef, and it’s all on my Netflix that I have.
What are some food blogs or food websites we have to know about?
If I had to pick a few, my first one would be Hungry and Excited and she needs to get her blog back up. Hi, Revati, do it. Okay. And my other favorites are, which I do enjoy for the writing, is Orangette. Also, I like Oh, Ladycakes, just because she swears a lot and she writes really good recipes. I like that, I like her honesty. And a blog that I can always immediately cook from is Sprouted Kitchen. She always uses ingredients that I know I always have. Those are my basics that I like a lot.
Who do you follow on Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook or Snapchat that make you happy?
Instagram I like following Cats of Instagram. I like looking at cat pictures. They’re so funny. I do follow a lot of food people on Instagram too, but I enjoy looking more at animals — cats, dogs. Another one is, I think it’s called This Wild Idea, where he takes his dog and he puts her on random surfaces. I don’t know if you’ve seen that one.
What is the most unusual or treasured item in your kitchen?
My most treasured item would be my tea strainer. I’ve been wanting to own a tea strainer for the longest time, because when I make tea, I like to make it of loose leaf tea. So, yes, that is my most treasured item. And unusual would be a coconut scraper that it’s not a traditional scraper and sometimes I feel like I’m gonna scrape my palm off when I use it, but yeah, maybe that.
Name one ingredient you used to dislike but now you love.
I used to really hate cardamom a lot, because whenever we would eat it in food in India, it would always be in a rice dish and it would be the whole cardamom. So when you’re eating it, you bite into it and it used to be a very unsavory taste. But now, I know that you can grind it into dust and use it in baking dishes. I like it a lot more now.
What are a few cookbooks that make your life better?
I don’t really read a lot of cookbooks, sadly. I do have a few that I own that I go back to every now and then. I like The Baking Bible, and the new Sprouted Kitchen cookbook is one of my favorites that I keep going back to every time I need to look up something or just look at beautiful photographs. Her husband takes really beautiful photographs.
What song or album just makes you want to cook?
Lately I’ve been listening to M.I.A. I thinks it’s her Kala album.
On Keeping Posted with Edlyn: