20 April, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(Updated on 31/01/2013)

With many queries/comments pouring in to my mail box everyday, I thought its time Monsoon Spice had separate FAQs page. So here we go…

A: Hello… It’s me… Here… No, not there… Look here… Right here… Yeah! I am Sia and read About page to know more.

A: Please read the Recipe Index page which explains different ways to find the recipe you want.

A: Please leave your recipe request at Ask Sia page. Most of the Recipes blogged in Monsoon Spice are the one’s which we cook regularly at home or whatever we fancy eating. If it is simple Rasam/Dal Rice one day then other day it is something I learned from my Amma, relatives, friends, websites, food blogs, cookbooks or some cookery shows on telly. There is no particular rule I follow while posting these recipes. 

The recipes blogged are something which we ate, loved and want to replicate the same in future. Monsoon Spice is our treasure box of recipes which satisfies both our tummy and soul which I am sharing with you now. There are few recipes which I am not too fond of or haven’t got the right ingredients or just forgot about it all together or just don’t have enough time to cook. So if you are looking for a particular vegetarian recipe in Monsoon Spice please mail me a request, or even better, just drop a line at Ask Sia page.

A: I grew up eating fantastic and finger licking delicious vegetarian and mostly vegan recipes, cooked by my grandmother, mother and aunts. I never found them bland or boring and I always felt them to be extremely versatile. I choose to post only vegetarian and vegan recipes as I am a vegetarian by choice. But you will not find me preaching or vegetarianism or lessons on importance of following strict vegetarian or vegan diet as food one eats is our personal choice and I respect it.

I have found it easy to follow vegetarian or vegan diet when you open your mind and be creative with them as all it needs is a sprinkle of herbs and a dash of spices along with a dollop of love to make the vegetables appeal to your palette and satisfy your heart and soul! I always make a conscious effort to use fresh, local, seasonal and organic produce and I source them from local farmers market. For me, the seasonal fruits and vegetables are the star ingredients on my plate rather than playing mere cameo roles. It is easy to fall in love with such a wonderful array of vegetables, herbs and fruits that make even the choosiest eater go for second serving!

A: That depends on my mood! Kidding… But on serious note, I post the recipes that I cook at home for my husband, toddler and bunch of friends and family. I can post only the recipes that have been cooked in my kitchen, by me and I am satisfied and happy with the outcome. Most of our meals are simple with no frills. I like to cook food which I think are nutritious and wholesome with few indulgences thrown occasionally. I keep adding new recipes to the blog and I have labelled the recipes which are kid friendly, vegan, gluten-free and/or bachelor friendly for your benefit. We are not vegans or allergic to gluten and hence please check the ingredient list again to make sure it suits your dietary needs. I hope you find them useful and for your liking.

A: Of course! I am very particular about (to the point of obsession) giving due credit to the original source and I feel I can expect the same from you if you try any recipes from my blog! You can post the recipe provided you link back to the original recipe on Monsoon Spice. And please do leave a comment or send me an email so that I can check it too. There is no greater pleasure than the one to know that some one not only tried one of my recipes but also found it worthy to blog about it. It's good for my ego ;)

A: Errr… I have no idea! It could be the type of ingredients, freshness of the ingredients, the amount of ingredients used, and the method of cooking. Most of the times it just may be the fact that your dish looks different on your table from my over exposed/under exposed photos on my blog! I am happy as long as what you cooked from MS doesn’t end up in bin but tastes good enough to be liked or loved by you and your loved ones :)

 A: Oh dear! I swear I didn’t steal it from ABC’s website/magazine/cookbook, and I didn’t know that they had a similar recipe. If I do cook or adapt a recipe from particular cookbook/TV shows/magazines/website/blog, I make sure that I link back to the original source and/or make a notation under the recipe title to tell you where I adapted it from.

I have a grand total of two dozen cookbooks in my house which serve as an all important accessory or eye candy in my kitchen. Once in every blue moon they are taken down from shelf, dusted, lovingly caressed, flipped through and put back on the kitchen shelf to show my guests how serious I am about cooking! And whenever I tried any recipes from these cookbooks (with many ingredients added, subtracted and substituted to suit our taste), I make it a point to give due credit.

A: Errr… No! I am not a food nutritionist by profession and I don’t measure every single ingredient for counting the calories. I cook with my instinct and I am conscious of the food I cook for my loved ones. All I do is to cook wholesome, nutritious and well balanced food that will keep my loved ones healthy and happy! Most of our meals are well balanced to suit our taste as well as the body and we do indulge once in a while to keep our taste buds happy. If you still want my advice, all I want to say is not to count the calories but listen to your instinct and your body. 

But I do know how you can burn most of the calories though! Just have a kid or baby sit one super active kid!!! Kidding (not!) ;)

A: You do? Really? Gee, thanks! About page has the answer :)

A: Yes! I use Adobe Photoshop to brighten the photo (due to lack of natural light for most part of the year in my neck of woods) and to add copy right watermark. Also, sometimes I use it to resize or/and crop the images for few blog events I participate to fit the requirements of the host/hostess.

A: Yes, of course! I am most active at my Facebook page where people from every corner of the world share our love for food through discussions and exchange ideas. I do twitter around in Twitter world once in a while and these days I am hooked to Pinterest where I share anything and everything that I love and things that inspire me. You can also find me at Google+ and see my food photographs at Flickr. Currently I am seen clicking like a mad woman with my mobile phone trying to capture little happiness in photographs and share them with the world though Instagram. And oh, I am also involved in Project 365 where I post a photo a day for all of 2013 at my photo blog Pratibimba. Please do come by and say hello at any or all of these spaces :)

A: 1. On any page, click the Twitter icon located on the side bar.
2. Click “Follow” button! That is it, assuming you already have a Twitter account!

A: 1. On any page, click the Facebook icon located on the side bar.
2. Click “Like” or simply go to Monsoon Spice Facebook Page and click on the Like button on top.

A: 1. Scroll down to the bottom of the blog entry, just before the comments.
2. Click the Facebook icon. You will be prompted with a window from Facebook that includes the link to individual blog post/recipe. Just click “share/submit!” button and that’s it!

A: 1. Scroll down to the bottom of any entry, just before the comments.
2. Click the Twitter icon. You will be prompted with a premade tweet that includes Monsoon Spice’s blog link, just click the “Tweet” button.

A: 1. On any page, locate the “Subscribe” box in the sidebar.
2. Enter your email address, and then click the “Subscribe” button.
3. On click, a window will pop up asking you to verify your request. You will then receive an email to confirm! That is it!

A: I moderate all comments posted in Monsoon Spice and approve 99% of them. At day time when I’m at work, I usually moderate comments during designated breaks. If I am busy or didn’t get a chance or time to check the comments, I usually moderate comments during my commute to home, or once I cook, feed, clean and settle my two boys for good night sleep. Please bear in mind that any comments that I consider a spam, abusive, obscene, offensive, written with an intent to advertise or/and simply doesn’t add any value will be deleted without second thoughts.

I do not accept comments that are written with the sole intention of promoting your blog or website. I know it is tough getting traffic, especially if you’re just starting and you may think leaving a comment with bold and underlined link to your website/blog is the best way to draw traffic. But sadly, this is not the case as I rarely publish such comments with an intention of advertising or promoting your blog/website/organisation/company or the blog events. If you want me to check your blog or website, please include the link in the appropriate field and I will check it out at leisure. I always make a point to take time and visit every one of your blog/website, sometimes on the same day and other times in couple of days!

A: I come across so many brilliant and inspiring blogs/websites every day! I've found few of them to be really inspiring and visit them whenever I can… Some for wonderful recipes, some for soul touching narrations, some for good humour and laugh, some for brilliant food photography, some for larger than life photography and other for just being themselves without any frills and pretence!!! This is a work-in-progress list and I will update it as and when I come across the websites that touch my heart, make me think, makes me speak out, inspires me and make me weak at knees :D

A: Sorry, but I don’t! The pressure and obligation of exchanging links with the thought of boosting blog or website’s traffic is too much for me. After blogging for 5 and half plus years, I have reached a stage where I no longer feel the need or desire to run in a rat race for gaining popularity or improving my blog’s traffic by link-backs or link exchange. I blog because I enjoy blogging for few faithful readers and I am more than happy with the way it is working. If I love your blog, I’ll add yours to my blogroll and if you love my blog, add mine to yours. There is no pressure, no obligation!

P.S. You don’t have to ask my permission to add my blog to your blogroll. If you like what you see and read and think that you want to visit my blog again, then please go ahead and add me to your blogroll. Thank you! I work same way :)

A: I love my blog being considered for guest posts. However, currently I am not accepting guest posts from anyone at this time. I generally do not allow big business or organisations and freelance writers to guest post on my blog as their posts are generic with full of links to their website. These posts are quite irrelevant to the readers of MS and usually isn’t in keeping with the blog topic and aesthetic. However, from time to time, I do feature guest posts from other bloggers whom I admire at my own discretion and I will contact you and request or beg or even threaten (kidding;) you to do guest posts for MS.

A: First of all I am honoured and delighted for considering me for writing guest post for your blog. You can write to me at siakrishna[at]gmail.com and tell me what, which and when you need me to send you a guest post. I will work on writing a guest post for you depending on the free time available on my hand as I am a full-time working mother to a very active toddler and wife to a hyperactive boy :)

A: Best way to reach me is to leave a comment in this page. I always moderate all the comments I receive and will not publish your comment if you want it that way. But if you are still uncomfortable with the idea of leaving a comment in public blog, simply email me at siakrishna[at]gmail[dot]com, I will get back to you as soon as possible!

A: I read through every single comment and appreciate all the emails I receive from readers. Unfortunately, due to volume of email I receive as well as the time constraint I cannot always respond quickly to emails/comments. Please bear in mind that I am full-time working mom to “very” active toddler and I find 24 hours a day is not enough to fulfil everyone’s request/demand :)

Wow!!! That’s LOT of question and answers! More than I answered in my bachelors and post graduate exams!!! I hope I have answered to all your questions/queries. What? You still have more questions? Just drop a line here or email me and I’ll add them to this list :)  

Warm regards,


  1. Wow, I rarely get that many questions! Great answers.



  2. Hi Sia,
    Congratulations on your blog! Superb recipes, sharp photography and what I particularly enjoy reading about are the stories behind the food.

    My name is Laura Packham from UK recipe-sharing website, Gourmandize.co.uk and I would like to arrange a short interview with you - by email or by phone - so that our readers can learn more about your blog.

    Would you be free this week?

    My best contact is at laura@gourmandize.co.uk

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Laura Packham
    Gourmandize.co.uk features food bloggers from the United Kingdom and Ireland, along with monthly recipe competitions, and is an open community for all people to share their love of food and cooking.
    We are also currently looking for foodies to add their favourite recipes to our site to create a free personalised cookbook, like this: http://goo.gl/y0Go1Y

    This is a no-cost gift that we offer so we can share your recipes with other bloggers and visitors to our site - and rest assured there are no shipping costs either.
    I will leave you with a link to our site, http://www.gourmandize.co.uk/

  3. It's impossible to use the site as the Facebook "like" box pops up every minute.

    1. Hello John, The FB like box should pop-up only once whenever the page is refreshed/loaded. I will check the code and see why it pops up every time for you. Apologies for the inconvenience it caused.

  4. Lovely blog!! I am definitely going to follow your recipes and post about my journey to you :)

    Just a small thing I found annoying: Every minute or so, there is a popup asking me to subscribe to you on Facebook Twitter G+ etc. Can you get rid of that somehow? I think you are popular enough and we will certainly follow you. When we try to read your recipe, with wet cooking hands and focus on the stove... this popup keeps bothering :)

    Thanks a tonne!


Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and feedback. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

I hope that you will stop by again to read my rants, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!