Niddhi Amonkar On How Her Passion For Food, Especially Mom’s Kheer, Made Her A Blogger
- IWB Post
- March 12, 2018
“All of us always love to pursue our passion and dream and fly higher to be successful. But then again, a little appreciation and praise from people motivate to do better than yesterday,” says our interviewee. She is a food blogger and quite a celebrity on Instagram.
The Havrat Jodi is a page started by Niddhi Amonkar and Yash Dabhole. They started this as a hobby and something they absolutely loved doing. It intrigued and interested them to a level that they decided to turn this passion into something productive. Going and exploring newer places was always on their agenda and they already had photography skills and excellent writing capability.
Checking out the page will give you some serious cravings, so don’t blame me later. In this interview, Nidhi discusses her childhood food memories and what it takes to become an Instagramer. Excerpts:
How did you come up with this name, The Havrat Jodi?
Havrat defines our love for food and Jodi – our bond with each other. It was a random and instant thought that came to our head while speaking, as it is a name that truly portrays us in character and nature. Also, we wanted to think of something which was a little different and unique from the other handles we come across.
Tell us more about your bond and why you decided to team up?
It wasn’t really teaming up. We’ve known each other since school, as we were in the same class and have been best of friends since then. Being there through everything and always supporting each other for everything we’ve done. For once, we thought, ’Why not have something that defines us and something that gives us our own unique identity?’ By that something, we meant doing something by which people would recognize us apart from our professional careers. Since then it has always been on our To-Do list to do something together and have our own unique identity which people reckon with.
Do you cover restaurants only in Mumbai?
We cover restaurants and review them in Mumbai as well as Pune. We started with our blogging from Mumbai itself. That’s where we got our first invite when we got hosted by a restaurant there. Then eventually, I had to move to Pune for further studies. Thus, it happened that we were distanced. But as The Havrat Jodi had always been our dream and on our wish list, we decided that something must be done, and we had to make our dream come true. Hence, from Mumbai, we expanded to Pune and are now reviewing restaurants in Pune as well. So, Yash reviews restaurants in Mumbai, and I review restaurants from Pune. Thus, working on expanding the horizons that The Havrat Jodi can reach.
Blogging has become a viable career option today. A lot of people wonder if it’s a stable career option though. What’s your take on it?
Blogging has, of course, become a new career option for many people. But, as you know, in any career, to become successful, you need to put in your 110% and not give up. Because at the end of the day, everything takes efforts and nothing comes easy. If you choose the easy way out you’re sure to fail. But if you go the right way and put in more than the required amount of effort, then your work is sure to be recognized. It takes some deep inspiration and motivation to fulfill this dream and come out fruitful and be successful.
To make a career out of blogging takes a lot of patience, hard work, and consistency. There are going to be bad days, and you need to have the patience to deal with it. And more importantly, your content has to be good. You must keep in mind that, as long as you keep your audience and colleagues entertained and interested in your work, you can sail because people will reckon with your work and appreciation will come alongside it.
Since you mentioned the bad days, tell me about the challenges you went through while starting out as a food blogger.
We had our own Zomato page and eventually started off our Instagram page as well. Finally, because of a few misunderstandings, we faced some jealousy from a fellow mate. We suffered a lot of defamation and negative marketing from that person. It was a tough time for us. We were completely shattered, and moreover, we thought of giving up blogging and were demotivated. But, to be honest, we would owe everything that we are today to that one person and that one phase because that’s what actually made us stronger. Because after that, we decided to do our work in silence and not pay any heed to such naysayers.
We solely focused on our work and making our content better. Making this our sole focus and aim helped us tremendously in gaining more response from the audience as they absolutely loved our content. What we can say about this one incident is that it made us do better and then our work spoke above all and silenced them.
Instagram blogging looks like all glamour and no work to the people who follow bloggers on various platforms. How accurate is this perception?
This is something I hear quite often, but honestly, this is the biggest misconception that every non-blogger has. I won’t blame them as such, before starting our own page even we had similar views. It was when we actually got down to doing the work that we realized it’s a good load of hard work that requires effort and dedication. Of course, it seems all good when it is put up as a final element for the audience to see, but the efforts and the hard work that goes on in the background go entirely unnoticed. Because what goes on behind the scenes isn’t revealed to the masses.
Now, whatever you do and wherever you go, the final product is bound to be fancy and good looking. The buyer will only praise the beauty of the final product that appeals to them. Similarly, even here in blogging, just the final image or last element is revealed to the audience, but the process of making takes a whole lot of effort. We are sure that most bloggers will agree with this, then be it a food blog, or a fashion blog or a travel blog. This is another thing we often hear people saying, “Hey you get to have free food and your lives are so happening.”. But that’s probably not the case. Food blogging is absolutely not about free food.
How about some authentic Maratha Jevan for lunch today? Craving for some chunky pieces of meat in spicy hot gravy?. . . Then this is the perfect place for you! Head out to Mararha Samrath, Baner and try out their Thali. You can have fish, chicken, mutton or vegetarian Thali. But their most popular and most preferred Thali is their mutton and chicken Thali. With tambda and pandhra rassa by the side, and solkadhi for accompaniment, this Thali gets you finger licking. . . . Featuring in the picture above, is the Mutton Thali, with Mutton preparations in Kheema, sukkaaa Mutton and mutton gravy! A must try and a must visit.. . . . Follow @thehavratjodi Use #maibhihavrat . . #ig_lovers #indianfood #thingstodoinmumbai #mumbai_ig #mumbaifoodscenes #foodloversmumbai #foodisbae #goodfood #indianfoodies #mumbaikar #thehoggingbhatt #huungryengineer #thanebhukkad #goafoodparadise #foodisbae #mumbaikarfoodie #foodtalkindia #letsblogsomefood #f52gram #mumbaifoodscenes #foodbeultragood #thechubbyfoodie36 #kissmyspatulaa #meet_the_foood #foodiebaniya #foodiesengage #foodbeultragood
1,102 Likes, 55 Comments – The Havrat Jodi (@thehavratjodi) on Instagram: “How about some authentic Maratha Jevan for lunch today? Craving for some chunky pieces of meat in…”
Tell us about one heart-touching experience in your blogging career that has made you love your work even more.
I can’t say that our blogging career had just any ‘one’ heart touching incident. But it was a collection of such incidents that inspired us even more, and that made us love our work even more. Loving messages and honest feedback that we receive from our audience makes us extremely happy and satisfied with the fact that they love our work. Not letting the airs get to our heads, we never became overconfident in what we were doing. We always knew that we had to continue working by keeping our feet grounded. I was delighted when people came to us with feedback after reading our reviews and our content and give us suggestions as to what we can do or add to make our content better. That tells us that our audience is actually taking the efforts to go throughout work and read carefully to critically analyze the content and think of what can make this better.
What are some of your favorite childhood memories of food?
My mom’s one favorite dish that I have to mention is Rice Kheer. I’m an absolute sweet lover to the extent that I get bouts of sweet cravings. She’s the best cook I know of, and she cooks excellent food, of course. But her Kheer is to die for. I have shifted to Pune and rarely get to have homemade food. So, whenever I come back home now, mom’s food seems to taste even tastier and better. One favorite memory from childhood about food and my most favorite dish that my mom cooks, is her making the Rice Kheer every year on my birthday. Of course, she makes it even otherwise, but being my birthday, this Kheer has a special kind of sweetness to it.
Do you know how to cook? What’s the 3am snack that you love, or you always make for yourself?
As such, I can’t say that yes I can cook, or I cook well, but I sure do try to cook food at home for myself. As I mentioned before; having shifted to Pune, I have learned to stay alone. And with that, learning to feed yourself becomes a mandate. Because you can’t always order food or depend on your dabbawala. So even if it’s nothing great, I’ve eventually learned to cook for myself.
As for my 3am snack which I love to make for myself, it would be a sandwich. Two slices of bread with any stuffing you love in between with a little cheese to top everything is always my favorite choice. Studying to be a physiotherapist, I know the importance of being and eating healthy and staying fit. Thus, a sandwich would top the list, being the yummiest and the healthiest and quick and easy to make option at 3 in the night. It’s always filling as well.
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863 Likes, 30 Comments – The Havrat Jodi (@thehavratjodi) on Instagram: “A Women’s Day Special Post! To state it in simple words – She’s a badass with a good heart, Soft…”
What are some of the essential skills and interests needed to become a blogger?
To begin with, firstly you need to have the drive and the passion for your blogging genre. You cannot not love food and start a food blog. Your interest and your passion should fit in into the kind of blogging you want to start. You need to love food and understand it. You need to be able to judge the tastes and be able to suggest what would go well with a dish if you dislike what you’re having. By this, you’re not just looking forward to growing yourself, but also helping the restaurant in their growth, by giving them honest feedback about your genuine opinion. If taken positively, they too can improve and become better.
Secondly, you need to have the ability to judge what your audience needs from you. It is essential to know what they exactly are looking for so you can provide them with information which in turn will make them like you. Many times even simple language also can make a hit because of the right subject and the right context. The feedback from your audience is something you must take very seriously and must try working on it to become better. Along with this sincerity, consistency and dedication are the most needed.
What does the future of entire blogging industry look like? What are some trends likely to change the face of social media influencer industry?
We can’t really comment on this because the current industry looks very shaky. People are giving more importance to numbers and figures which make them buy followers, and this is not good. Buying followers only leads to increasing your number of followers. You’re not really reaching out to a larger audience to spread your work. Many times a person with less experience and knowledge is preferred over a good content creator just because of these fake numbers. As mentioned earlier, people see the glory of blogging but have absolutely no idea about the hard work going behind it. They want to quickly climb up the ladder with some fake numbers and some counterfeit figures. With this, the social media influencer industry looks really at stake.
Finally, what are your future goals as a blogger?
We had started this together to follow it as our passion and to have an identity of our own. This being said, we will continue this as an extracurricular hobby. We don’t intend to create a career out of blogging. We are thrilled with our professional lives and wish to stick to that. However, our drive to run this blog for the love of food and our passion for doing something together will always remain the same.