Friday, February 5, 2010

About Me

It's probably one of  the hardest thing I have done. To write about me Ill give it my best shot.  I am Maitreyi, also go by Simi to many of my friends. As a young preschooler, my friends had a hard time pronouncing my name. I came home one day and told my parents, I am Simi”, I have no idea where I got that from. After a few weeks of negotiation, everyone started calling me Simi at home. With a coffee cup as a profile picture and Simi as the author, I began my journey. I am surprised, how blogging has changed me, I love sharing my life and my food with you. Am not shy anymore to tell you who I am or how goofy I can be. 

It was summer break and I must have been five or thereabouts... my mother was working on an oil painting. I remember her mixing colors. What followed thereafter really interested me…. scoping the colors on her brush into meaningful strokes on the canvas. I was enchanted and wanted to dip my fingers in the colors, and she let me. During the weeks that followed, I made my first art doodle. There were mountains, flowers and me feeding some chicks.   Excited that her daughter had created something, she even sent the doodle to an art and craft magazine and it was published. I am really glad that I have a copy. That is probably where my love affair with weaving visual stories started.

School and University brought me a career into the world of data and numbers: media planning and advertising. I liked working with data but something was missing. Motherhood... changed my life, I did not want to miss a moment, translate that to 'stay-at-home' mom. I began to enjoy cooking. It brought me more pleasure than sitting in SWOT meetings all day. I fell in love with my kitchen, my spice rack, my collection of assorted bottles, all the colorful daals (lentils). The colors, textures and aroma seemed to engage all my senses and quench my creative thirst to some extent. Mixing ingredients to create a meal that not only fills you but feeds your soul, has something mystical about it.  It's just not a meal you serve to satiate your hunger, it's more than that. It is not something you can quantify or put into words, it can only be felt. As I look back, my fondest memories, have been around people and food. (thanks to my mother, who is an amazing cook)

Some mornings, I would find myself doodling in my art-pad, some that went nowhere and some that satiated the artist in me.I would study painting for hours and wonder why I wouldn’t be able to create something that touched the depth of my inner self. The artist in me was still unfulfilled.

It was a weekend when I started my blog, just on a whim, to describe my successes and failures in the kitchen. It was more like a list of recipes. Soon I realised the images that showcased the food and the recipes were poles apart. Even though my recipes had been tested multiple times in the kitchen, the images did not do them any justice. We eat with our eyes first but I was having difficulty expressing it visually. I had thought that I was an artistic person and it broke something in me to see my dum aloo (stuffed potato) images. I had spent four hours cooking an exotic silky curry that tasted real nice, but the images had a different story to narrate. I started learning about photograph. It was like learning a new language. The more I learnt, the more I enjoyed the journey. Somewhere, it fulfilled the artistic urge in me. There was color, depth, light, shade, everything that I loved about painting and most importantly it tied so beautifully with my ardor for cooking. I love the visual aspect of food. Imagine a cold autumn day: the cool cloudy sun streaming through a window and a warm bowl of Thai curry soup on the table by the kitchen window.  It’s such a comforting feeling and to transform this emotion into a photograph is very gratifying. I call my art ‘Culinary Optics’ because it ties together both my passion for cooking and photography.

As my creative vision developed, I started painting my own surfaces/backdrops for food, it probably fulfilled my penchant for dipping my hands in paint (literally). Even though a lot of times they are not a prominent element in the photograph, they create mood or add just the pop of color required. But the process of painting these boards almost evokes a childlike excitement in me. I have blues paired with greens and purples with reds and pink and grays - the combinations are limitless. The best part, you don’t need to be a fine art specialist and if you don’t like the outcome, just repaint.

From blogging came growing my own herbs in summer. I have always had a fondness for gardening and that extended into my small patch of herbs, they can add life to any dull meal and are great subjects for photography.

It’s strange how every aspect of blogging has become a part of my life or one can think of it the other way! It all came together, bought congruence to my being. I don’t have to take time out to be able to blog, it not a task for me to complete. I have never made a schedule. From growing my herbs, cooking, painting surfaces, photography or shopping for props, everything gets done on time, that is what they probably call ‘finding your calling’.

This is my little home where I share who I am and what I do best - bringing fresh food to the table - capturing food through my lens. Hope you enjoy my space as much as I enjoy sharing it with you. Thank you for the support ! This is me and my blog is a true reflection of who I am.

I am a member of Culinary Content Network (The Daily Meal).
I write a column on food photography at The Daily Meal called Culinary Optics

Why turmeric n' spice ?

I know turmeric is a spice. So, what's with turmeric n'spice ? Growing up in India, whenever I asked my mother for a recipe or she gave me and my sister ( more my sister than me) instructions to make a curry, she would always say, "haldi aur masala". Even today, when I ask her on the phone she will say, "haldi aur masala" haldi meaning turmeric is to enhance the color of the curry and masala aka spices is for the flavor. So, there was nothing more fitting for my blog than turmeric n’ spice, after all it’s my memories woven around food. 

You can view my portfolio - Simi Jois 

Contact me 

Mobile : 011-  847 893 9138 


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  1. Hi from Sowmya. I am a fairly recent blogger and love reading blogs.Your space looks fabulous Simi. Loved the clicks. I ve added yours to my reading list.


  2. Hi,
    We’ve recently launched the website It’s a search engine that aims to gather all the best recipes from US websites and blogs in one place. is part of the world’s second largest family of recipe sites, with sites in 37 countries and hundreds of thousands of visitors every week. We’ve noticed that you have a lot of great looking recipes on your blog that we would love to feature on our site. To read more about how it all works and to sign up with your blog, please visit: or send us an email on We look forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,

  3. You have a great blog, stumbled here via Pinterest. The Haldi/masala reference brings back memories! I learned cooking 11 years ago (after I moved to USA, 'managing my own household' )- and I have memories of desperate phone calls to my mom resulting in instructions about 'Haldi and Masala"!!
    Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    Style-Delights Blog

  4. You posted a picture of a soup....Curry Leaf Soup with Sweet Potato, Lentils and Kale but no recipe. I would really like to make this soup so is there any way to find it on your website? I tried doing a search in Foodgawker under Soups and Stews but no luck there. Most Pinterest recipes show a recipe or a decent link to the recipe.

    1. Kelly, here is the link :

      Let me know if this is what you are looking for, am going to repine this on the soup board.

  5. Hi Simi , I came across your blog through pinterest , I like your snaps , unlike many others the focus is on the food on dispaly rather than expensive props , something which I would like to do myself some day . Its nice to know you and my journey to food blogging is almost like yours , just that I didn't spend a day in an office .You must be a happy person because cooking and then blogging gives immense pleasure. Do visit my blog , I would be visiting your's often. This is where I derive my happiness from......

  6. Hi Simi,

    I stumbled across the Macarons with Nutella via BlogHer and fell in love. You make it sound so simple. I am going to be a regular visitor her.
    - Monica

  7. Wow! Such amazingly gorgeous photos and I am loving reading your posts. What is the best way to navigate through your blog? I don't want to miss anything and I feel like I am missing the obvious, easy way. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Gayla, you can subscribe thru email. Type your email in follow by email tag or follow me on google plus. Thanks again! looking forward to hearing from you.

  8. Hello!

    I saw Your blog and I thought it had great recipes and awesome pictures! I therefore would like to invite You to our new culinary website which has just started.

    This is how it works in short. is a website for food bloggers and their fans allowing them to automatically collect recipes from Your food blog. It's a large database of links to recipes on food blogs. Everyone can join us for free.

    For more please visit: is an English version of our main website called "Mikser Kulinarny", founded in Poland. "Mikser Kulinarny" has a large audience (over 2 mln unique visitors monthly) and with we want to repeat that success and drive thousands of new visitors to your food blog.

    In case of any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards!

  9. Hi Simi ,

    You have a great blog, stumbled here via Pinterest. Such an amazing photos and loved your 365 photography. Keep up you good work. Your posts on photography are useful. May I ask you what camera and lens you are using for all your landscape and food pictures. Do share your editing part of your photos as well, Love to learn and it will be very useful for readers like me. Thanks Simi you are doing amazing job.


    1. Laura,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. Will love to do more tutorials - my post processing skills are not got enough to do a tutorial but I can ask one of my photographer friends to go a guest post.
      I use sony nex 6 a mirror less camera . And 50 mm lens for food. Thanks again.

  10. Simi, Your blog is beautiful. Came across your blog you through food styling critique. And your writing is inspiring. It was like actually "talking to you". So happy that I found your blog. - Sreelatha


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to browse. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. Hope you enjoy your stay :))


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