Hi there,

Welcome to My Flavour Factory. I am Arch and I live in Canberra, Australia.

My goal for this blog is simple: to share all things food that inspire me, recipes that are simple, delicious and nutritious and stories about food that I eat and love and hopefully inspire you too.

Moving to Aus from Singapore and going crazy in farmer markets with way too many veggies!
A bit about me..because this is supposed to be the About page too.

I am not a natural cook who started out in the kitchen as a kid. It is quite the opposite. Food found me when I was away from home, alone and hungry. Having grown up strongly on home cooked food, my exposure (and appetite) to restaurant food was incredibly limited.

I learnt to cook my way to cure myself of homesickness with a bowl of rasam rice I made when I was studying in Singapore, or by cooking decent paneer curries for roommates, and sometimes by cooking proper south indian meals together with my husband and eat/sleep on weekends and best of all, to give myself happiness when I baked a chocolate cake after a work day.

So many sad and dull days were made happier because I could bake!
I have many to thank..

In this journey ( it really is one, i started cooking in 2011), I have benefitted from the collective generosity and knowledge of several wonderful people. I have had the sheer luck and privilege of being friends to wonderful cooks who have strongly influenced my knowledge in food.

My foray into the kitchen would have been very different if I had not met and become friends with Chitvish. We met on the internet in 2009 and I went to her kitchen to learn how to bake cakes and it has blossomed into a beautiful friendship. I have learnt and still learn a lot from her fantastic library of work at AskChitvish Premium.

A few months after I moved out of home, I called Amma to ask how to make rasam. I remember those days when she shared the most ‘complicated’ of recipes in the simplest way teaching me slowly how ingredients work and what needs to be added to balance flavours. Till date the taste of my food is inspired by how I have eaten as a child, amma cooked food.

I have also been a huge ‘consumer’ of food content on FB groups, various blogs, owned and borrowed cook books and recently, youtube channels.

Oh, and in the last decade, I’ve travelled so much and always explore to eat local vegetarian food wherever I am. I research heavily on the best places, scout and spend a lot of effort picking the dishes and exploring new places. I even plan hikes/outdoor activities based on what is there to eat afterwards in a new place.

All of these little nuggets have contributed to my approach to cook today.

What can you expect here..

My approach to food has changed over the years. My exposure, travels and access to ingredients ( or not – still cannot find fresh kovakkai in canberra) , produce have influenced my food. In the recent years, I have also taken a keen interest in eating balanced meals, including more plant based sources, increasing my protein intake and having a diverse food platter. This has led me to explore several dietary changes, key being reducing my consumption of dairy products and gluten.

I am not an expert, do not know a lot of things and I am constantly learning. But, I found and continue to discover joy in the kitchen. I started sharing my food pictures on Instagram with no intentions to share recipes ( who will even ask me!) and no idea to expand to a web presence because it was still social media and a place to meet and know people.

One of the thousand things I have to learn – make good ulundhu vadai

That started changing (years later after 2015 or so) when I realized I was more than someone who picked recipes to cook. In the years, I had learnt how ingredients work, what techniques do, why cooking time and temperatures matter, how to cook healthier and even created so many of my own recipes.

Contrary to what one may think, I do not like spending a lot of time in the kitchen everyday so my recipes are usually quick, not too complicated and are full of flavour. I rarely follow a single source for recipes, question everything, pick bits and pieces and form an idea of what the recipe is before I cook a dish. I truly believe there is NO single way, source for any recipe and have a healthy dislike for ‘authentic’ recipes. Who is to define my authentic except my tastebuds?!

All recipes are heavily tested multiple times (at least twice) before I share here. I may share experiments on my Instagram, but this space would be limited to what truly works for me and can be made by you.

If you are looking for delicious, simple meals that are mostly nutritious, easy desserts that don’t take much effort and generally like the idea of being smart in the kitchen, you are in the right place.

I hope you like it here.

Thank you for dropping by.