Whether it’s being a pharmacist, a food blogger, a culinary photographer or a mother – Mrs. Aparna Mudiganti Parinam dons many hats. And I daresay, she does justice to them all. She is also a Hunger Hero from Goa who has recently authored the book “Chutneys Adding Spice To Your Life”. But that’s not all. She has generously decided to donate all of the proceeds from the book’s sales to Feeding India. The extent of her philanthropy is truly laudable. So, this post is a homage to her altruism and culinary brilliance whose sweetness intends to spice up the lives of many people edging on penury. I’m sure that your heart is drooling to know more about her, as mine did during the following interview –
How did you fall in love with food and food photography?– from your blog I can tell that you carry forth recipes handed down from generation to generation. Who has been your biggest food influence? – the food/dish that takes you back to your childhood?
Aparna: When my daughter started growing up and wanted to taste varied dishes – that is the time I fell in love with food. And I try to make healthy dishes for her and my family. Later, since last year, I developed a keen interest in food photography – and it is become my foremost passion. Dibbarotti – stout Indian bread and kobbaripacchadi (red coconut chutney), these two dishes are very memorable to me and bring back nostalgic memories of my childhood days.
How did you get to know about FI and for how long have you been a hunger hero? Are you still in FI?
Aparna: I came across it as I was searching the internet for ways to eradicate hunger. In my view, nobody in this world should remain hungry and am very passionate about the noble cause for which Feeding India is working for. I have been with FI for the past six months. Yes, I am a member of the Goa chapter.
What made you join FI? How do you think FI is revolutionizing the way the issue of hunger is handed in India?
Aparna: Since childhood, I was disturbed by the problem of hunger faced by so many people in this world. I try to share food with the needy, whenever I can, as I always carry some biscuits or candy with me in my bag. So when I came across a sincere and dedicated NGO like FI, I immediately joined it. FI is working towards a very noble cause armed with its sincere and selfless volunteers. Their work is truly commendable and I hope more of our Indian citizens contribute to this cause of eradicating hunger in India and the world.
What did you learn from your time in FI?
Aparna: That sharing and partaking food to the needy and hungry is the highest form of service to mankind and it is a very humbling gesture.
What was the chief inspiration for your book “Chutneys – Adding Spice to Life”?
Aparna: My mother has played an important role inspiring me to write this book. Also, mother in laws tasty chutneys had an influence on me. It has been my endeavour to preserve the rich culinary legacy of chutneys of Andhra through this book.
Is it also available as an e-book? Where can one order it (the official link to buy your book online)?
Aparna: The e-book will be available shortly. And on various online bookstores, eg. Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/dp/1948372371
Also, on Shopclues and Infibeam!
(By then, you can quench your appetite by reading her delectable recipes on her blog – www.tangytales.com)
Can you reveal any juicy details?
Aparna: Sure. The common souring agent to make these chutneys is tamarind. However, only some chutneys use lime juice like carrot chutney. Also, I have listed the recipes for dry chutneys – podis or spicy lentil powders which have a long shelf life and are versatile. One can sprinkle these on idlis, or serve as a dip for dosas, as a spread on bread or rotis too! Did you know – a chutney can be made with besan (chickpea flour) too and it is made exclusively as a dip of idlis!
How did the process make you feel, in an entirety (From growing up in Andhra – working as a hunger hero in Goa – having a book come out, the proceeds of which you have generously determined to donate to FI)? Doesn’t it feel like life has come a full circle?
Aparna: Yes, indeed. Life is wonderful and I am happy that my book has been published. It is highly satisfying that I could record my mothers and mother-in-law’s traditional chutneys and some other Andhra dishes via this book. I was born in Andhra Pradesh and grew up in Goa. Growing up in Goa, I have had a very peaceful and satisfying life, all the while savouring Andhra food prepared lovingly by my mother. And I lived in Hyderabad for a couple of years, after getting married and relished my mother in law’s traditional dishes. Later, I moved back to Goa and continued to make these traditional dishes including chutneys. Indeed I have been lucky to have the best of both the worlds! I feel honoured and blessed to donate the proceeds of my book to FI. I will do my best to contribute towards the noble cause of eradicating hunger in India through FI.
It was surely a pleasure to get to know this rooted humanitarian whose big-hearted donation is on track to change the lives of many-a people for the better.
– Guntaas Chugh