11Hello, Namaste! Suswaagatha..

I’m Radhika , the writer, cook, photographer and all other roles behind the scenes of Just Homemade, based out of Houston, Texas Namma Bengaluru, India.

Raised in the quaint South Indian city of palaces – Mysore and a true blue Bangalorean, I’m a dreamer, hobbyist, prop collector, container gardener, cookbook convert, movie buff, sporadic baker, former data warehouse consultant and a full-time mom of two.

Why Just Homemade?

For the love of a pure vegetarian home cooked meal. 

I have been a life long vegetarian by choice. I heart Vegetarianism and to me, eating all home-made feels like the best way to eat and stay vegetarian. No unpronounceable ingredients, no cross contamination of food, no guessing games, hence “Just Homemade”.

Just Homemade the blog happened on a lazy afternoon in the fall of 2010 in Houston, TX in a desperate attempt to keep my sanity in check, having moved far away from homeland while bidding adieu to an almost decade long career in the financial software industry to care for my then first born toddler.

What started as a journal of good food and fond memories that reminded me of home, that transported me to distant moments of childhood or shared happy times with loved ones, friends and family is now more of a journey, a reflection of me, my roots; who I was, I am and will be as I evolve with the foods I discover, embrace and make them my own.

Food Philosophy

It is important for me to know what I am eating, where the food comes from, where the ingredients were grown, shopped and how food is prepared. I try my best to eat and feed my family, foods that are seasonal, natural, wholesome, local, fresh, unprocessed, organic and non-gmo. I believe in the Ayurvedic way of eating according to body type.

MY DREAM is to one day, self sufficiently live life without a refrigerator, eating the freshest foods grown in our own backyard or garden.

I am passionate about cooking in traditional cookware – bronze and stoneware, cast iron ware, wood, porcelain and glass preferably avoiding non-stick ware and plastic as much as practically possible. When freely cooking (not for blog), I rely mostly on approximation and eyeballing the ingredients or ratios and proportions for measurements which is how my grand mom did and my mom and mom-in-law do till date, like in any other Indian home.

What you can expect – 100% vegetarian, naturally vegan, egg-less, made from scratch recipes, native or regional, traditional or contemporary, simple or fancy, festive and elaborate or just for the everyday!

If ingredients inspire you to cook, I’m sure you might find something that resonates with you here.

And given my cultural background, you’ll find a mix of home style South Indian recipes from Mysore-Bangalore regions of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra or anything from a different cuisine that fancies me at the moment as well as egg-less bakes {Recipes}

About Iyengar Cuisine

It is a pure vegetarian cuisine, an ancient and traditional way of cooking of the sub sect of Tamil Brahmins in South India and also my heritage. Aimed for nurturing the spiritual self along with the body, mind and soul, it is strongly rooted in Ayurveda and revolves around a holistic saathvic lacto-vegetarian diet where onion and garlic are strictly excluded. A typical daily meal always starts with steamed rice and a drizzle of ghee. Puliyogare is one of the most popular of the lip smacking dishes Iyengar cuisine has to offer.

Photography gear

Much of my photography is self-taught. I shoot hand-held with my Nikon D90 and 50mm/1.4f prime lens under natural light.

About using my photos or content

Unlike a website or a magazine, as a blogger I juggle all the roles, from cooking, recipe testing, props selection/collection, food styling, photography, writing, editing, publishing, marketing, site upkeep, administration, maintenance, theme customization. That takes a serious amount of my time and effort in shaping this blog.

All photographs and content on this blog unless otherwise mentioned are my copyrighted work and may not be used or reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. If you would like to use or feature any of my images or recipes on your blog or website, ask me first. Do not re-blog posts.

166 thoughts on “About

  1. salona says:

    Hi Radhika, I have been following your work-of-art website for a few years now and I finally decided to drop in and say hi. Clean freshness flows from it every time I read it. Love your style. Keep it going girl !

  2. Roy says:

    Hello Radhika,

    Thank you for visiting my space. I write anecdotal and try to be as honest as I cook. As I came to your space and I am truly amazed by the beautifully composed photographs. You have an eye for details. I really appreciate that.

    Best regards,

  3. Megha Agrawal says:

    I’m glad I found your blog. Amazing collection of recipes accompanied by brilliant photographs. Read your “Heart to Heart Interview Series” Simply loved it. I have noted some of the tips mentioned there hope I will get some better photos now. Learned a lot form here Will be a regular visitor now.
    Thanks Megha

  4. Su says:

    Radhika, Wow!! This blog is the first one that I have come across whose philosophy matches so much (that I’m amazed) with mine! I try to follow every rule that you mention above in my own cooking, see everything from an Ayurvedic perspective and feel a strong urge to preserve traditional cuisines. I have Tamilian-Andhra roots and spent three years of my life in Bangalore. And I too live in Texas now. Some connection there! I can so well relate to what you write that I suspect your blog will soon be one of my favourite go-to cooking blogs!

  5. Vandana says:

    A blog which I can connect with what I was looking for. Appreciate the work done by you the website has a life in it. Would love to read your posts as I’m a foodie and love the Iyengar Thaligai!!!


  6. tinywhitecottage says:

    Wow, I think you have just become my favorite blog. I love your food philosophy and now I’m very curious as to why onions and garlic are strictly excluded in Iyengar cuisine. You have my attention and I am very interested.

    • Radhika @ Just Homemade says:

      Thank you TinyWhiteCottage.

      According to Ayurveda, food is categorized three ways – satva, rajas and tamas based on the energy they create standing for goodness, passion/pleasure seeking and ignorace or evil qualities. Foods we eat influence the kind of energy created in the body and manipulate the state of mind. For example, alcohol, meat, garlic and onion fall into the category that creates more rajas and tamas. To keep the mind pure and calm, avoidance of these foods is indicated.

      Iyengar cuisine is rooted in Ayurveda as well as spiritual well being. For spiritual pursuit, state of mind is given utmost importance which also begins with purity in diet.

      Hope this helps..

      • tinywhitecottage says:

        Radhika, thank you so much for your response. I am very interested in learning more. I’m sure there are many books with available and I will start researching, as well as continue to read your blog. I have always been intrigued with Ayurveda traditions. Thanks again for your nice response.

  7. Hari says:

    Radhika, Just came across your blog. Very impressive pictures. Loved how you present all the ingredients in pictures. Will try the recipes.

  8. millyb says:

    So excited to have found recipes that I can eat (I’m egg intolerant) and my vegetarian Indian friends can too who always put up with my lousy veggie lasagne every time they come over for dinner!

  9. K.Wani says:

    Radhika, those photographs are beautiful! Haven’t tried any of the recipes but the photographs caught my eye and just loved them! Will definitely have to try those south Indian recipes. I love authetic south indian recipes, so thank you for bringing them! Please visit my blog and have a look at it if possible:

  10. Radhika says:

    Hi Radhika,

    Looking through your blog is like seeing a reflection of myself. First off, my name is the same as yours, Radhika! I am also a staunch vegetarian living abroad and your recipes are much the same as what is cooked in my mum’s kitchen, which incidentally is in Mysore but I’m also a Bangalorean like you! Haha!

    Great job! Keep it going! Your blog inspires me tremendously!

  11. celestedimilla says:

    Hey there Radhika! I just discovered your blog and I love it! I really connect with your food philosophy. I also like to know the in’s and out’s of where my food comes from. I’m not familiar with the sattvic diet, but it sounds intriguing. I’m curious about why onion and garlic are not used as I use both regularly. Anyway, I’m happy I discovered your blog and look forward to getting to know you better. Celeste 🙂

  12. mjh333 says:

    Amazing blog! since my travel around india I have been recreating my our style cooking. Sometimes good sometimes not, some have been tested and have gone down well. Not quite as good as indian home cooking but passable. I like to mix things ups and create new styles of dish. Some of your recipes look amazing and veggie to, never easy to find good veggie dishes.
    I struggle with stocking the right things I a weekly shopper other the spice and herbs. Good to see some ideas and stuff to regularly stock, I can make a list from your site, i look forward to cooking them up Thanks!

  13. carriebelongs says:

    I can’t wait to try your wonderful recipes! I have converted to a healthier, mostly vegan diet after a cancer diagnosis. It’s the best cancer “treatment” out there and my health has become better than ever.

  14. Life On My Plate says:

    This is a lovely Blog you have here Radhika.

    I have just begun my Blogging journey myself, and if one day my pictures come out half as beautiful as yours, I would consider myself lucky. 🙂

    Wish you all the very best!
    As I have married into a vegetarian family, I look forward to trying out some of your recipes… 🙂

  15. Kish says:

    Hey there hwz it gng?? Im still waiting for ur Raagi Mudde/ Sankati.. Im in Houston now.. Kindaa missing ma home food.. Any help frm u will be appreciated.. Kish

  16. Rashmi says:

    I just made a small jar full of it..I must say. Its just like how my mom makes it! Super delicious..! who says vegetarians cant have awesome food! Thank you again for sharing the recipe.

  17. Rashmi says:

    My struggle to find a good Haagalakai gojju recipe ends here.. (literally holding bitter gourd right now).As if finding the recipe wasn’t exciting enough i am also from namma very own bengalooru and living in Houston ;D.

    Thank you for the recipe!!

    • Radhika @ Just Homemade says:

      Rashmi, So glad to know you are a fellow Bangalorean and a Houstonian! Doesn’t happen too often..

      Many people who even dislike Bitter Gourd have become converts after tasting this Gojju.

      Let me know how you like it!

  18. Priya Kedlaya says:

    Dear Radhika,
    You have a gorgeous blog! I love your philosophy of using traditional cookware, and your photography and styling are amazing and awesome. I’m just starting out with blogging (www.sugarfreesweetheart.com) and I’m sure your posts will inspire!
    Love, Priya

  19. simplysophiebea says:

    Your blog is wonderful! I love Indian food and it’s great to see recipes I can make at home. I just became a part of the blog community, and I’m only 14 years-old. I’d love for you to check it out @simplysophiebea !

  20. Hash says:

    Hey, I found your Iyengari Recipes a great reminder of my home cooking back in India. Also I found the use of Bengali ingredients interesting. What brings the Bengali influence in your cooking – friends, spouse? I am married to a Bengali hence the Q.

    • Radhika @ Just Homemade says:

      So glad you are reminded of your home cooking!
      None of those 🙂
      Had heard praises of Paanch phoron daal from a friend long back and when I stumbled upon those spices in the grocery store, brought them home, tried and fell in love instantly. Rest, as they say is history!

  21. AnithaNayak says:

    Hey Radhika.. Just stumbled upon you site/blog.. it’s lovely.. Loved your photography, unfortunately for me I have limited sunlight here in Glasgow, hence using natural light for food photography is a challenge..

    I’m going to visit here more often & try out some of your recipes.. Will leave comments when I try out something.. Do drop my blog when you find time.. Will be nice to connect & exchange idea.. !


  22. Shubha says:

    Hi Radhika,
    I am a first timer to your site.. and I just love your blog!
    The photos and recipes are just awesome.. though I am yet to try something from yours in my kitchen.
    Warm regards,

  23. thyme (sarah) says:

    Hello! I just read that you are in Houston. We’ve been here 3 years and I write the blog “thyme”. I, too, enjoy V.K. Rees photography so I followed a link here and discovered you. Nice to “meet” another Houston blogger. (I’m in the SugarLand area)

  24. Club Dine In! says:

    Hi Radhika, I just discovered your blog when I was searching for interesting Indian desserts. I am an Ayurvedic practitioner and was born and raised in California. I am also a sustainable food advocate and studying Holistic Nutrition. I mostly only cook with food from the farmers market. I married a Bangalorean and want to get into more South Indian cooking. I have a feeling I will refer to your blog more!

    • Radhika @ Just Homemade says:

      Thanks for stopping by to say Hello. That is fantastic.
      You are most welcome to browse around and have a look at the recipes. There’s a lot that South Indian cooking has to offer..
      Got any favorites yet?
      Give me a shout out if you need help with anything..

  25. Archana Kumar says:

    Hey Radhika, you look extremely familiar. Are you from Cluny Convent, Malleswaram ? Or maybe we have worked together…Can’t remember but you do look very very familiar. You have a beautiful blog, came here thru Aparna’s Diverse kitchen…

  26. Kish says:

    Hey! My mom is outta town for a few weeks.. Me and dad stay home.. I wanted to know how to make some dishes… N i happen to see ur blog.. It helped me so much that ma dad is in luv wid ma cookin!! I am a mad about hw ppl in older days use to eat and stay healthy.. Can you please show me how to make Original Ragi Sankati? Please!! I wanna cook it soon! Il wait for your reply! Thnx for your blog.. And please let me know what cam u use so that I can make humans as gud looking as food in ur blog!! 🙂


  27. Rekha says:

    I was looking for Mysore food and visiting your blog first time. I got so impressed with your photos I wanted to read about you. Your photography skills are beautiful. I couldn’t just read your recipe and walk into kitchen without appreciating your photos 🙂

  28. Charul says:

    Even though I don’t want to, I can’t help repeating something that 79 people have already said…..Amazing blog. Very beautiful picture. I have been following you and your blog for a while now. It’s been very inspirational.

  29. thegentlehome says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I love your photography too! (Not to mention we live in the same city which is pretty cool!) I decided to become vegan about 7 months ago, but have since gone back and forth a little bit, but am inspired by your blog!

  30. mydeliciousmistakes says:

    I must say… this is a lovely blog radhika… i can see myself coming up here looking for recipes! I am a kannadiga too, so just too happy to stumble upon lots of karnataka recipes 🙂 thanks!

  31. Subashini says:

    Hi Radhika. Your blog really inspiring me with wonderful pictures and well written text. Would like to add you in my google readers list and my blog.

  32. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand says:

    What a beautiful and impressive blog you have. Very easy to read and provides great inspiration for vegetarian recipes. I found your blog by way of WordPress email and just wanted to say hello 🙂
    Hope to read more of your posts in the future 🙂

  33. smallmeasuresbigpleasures says:

    Hi Radhika. Your blog is very impressive and well written. Though I come from a Delhi based Punjabi family, our house always served south Indian food at least twice a week, reason being that my mother spent most of her childhood in south India. Having a love for south Indian food, i would surely be visiting your blog very frequently.

  34. bluebutterfliesandme says:

    Amazing blog. So inspirational.Beautiful pictures! I love Indian Food but have never cooked it myself.
    I really look forward to trying your recipes. I have shared your blog with friends on facebook.
    Congratulations for make the 7 Best Summer Food Blogs list.

  35. shabs says:

    Hi Radhika, Reached ur blog Via DMBLGiT. Happy I reached here. ou have a wonderful space in here and ur pivd are great!Do visit my space when time permits.

  36. Trisha says:

    Hi again, Radhika! Your blog is beautiful! I love the style, photography and the recipes sound so delish. Can’t wait to keep checking back on it.

  37. peppercornsinmypocket says:

    wow. i love the blog’s new look, radhika. and your photograph – with that gorgeous smile, and kind eyes.

  38. Bhuvana says:

    Hi Radhika,
    I’ve found your site through fellow bloggers and what a treasure it is! The stories and photos makes your recipes come alive – I’m settling down with a cup of masala tea and clicking madly away at the bookmark button! 🙂

  39. Shubha says:

    Hi Radhika,

    I came across ur blog thru twitter. Nice to know you are a Mysorean too. I was born and brought up in Mysore, but now in Chennai after marriage.

    I am working towards the prromotion of some rare arts and crafts of India. I am now into promoting Black pottery made by Manipuri artisans.

    These black pots are chemical free products that can be used in microwave too. I guess using them is much better than using plastics in the mocrowave oven. Apart from cooking pots we also have other interesting items like coffee mugs, sugar pots, kettles etc.

    Kindly go through my blog http://www.sanaathani.blogspot.com to view the products and their prices. If you are interested in any of them, please do let me know. I will be happy to help you.

    My parents stay in Mysore, and I have kept the products there too. If you happen to visit mysore, you can surely go to my place and have a look at the products. My address is in the blog.

    • dassana says:

      i had got these pots and pans made by manipuri artisans a few months back. i have used them in the microwave oven as well as on gas stove. even baked with them. they are very good for cooking as well as serving.

  40. Leena JD says:

    Hi Radhika, stumbled upon your blog while browsing through some food bloggers pages. I totally agree with your thoughts of Just Home made and will keep coming back for sure! Delighted to know that you are also from Mysore. I was born and brought up in Mysore too. I am total newbee in food blogging. pls do visit my page!

  41. Sangee says:

    Omg! Loved the website. And photography ….fabulous!! I’ll surely try the the Sakkare Acchu- Kheeloan ( that’s what we call it in N.India) . Keep up the good work!

  42. Shwetha says:

    I got introduced to your site through veggie belly.com. I soo love everything about your site.. especially the pictures.. What kind of lens do you use to photograph these pics?
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  43. Amanda says:

    Love your blog! My boyfriend and I have recently been eating a more vegetarian diet and love cooking with curries. I will be looking over your blog for some great ideas!

    I am also featuring your blog this Friday on my ‘feature friday’ and I think it is one my readers would really enjoy as well!

    All the best,


  44. GourmayMasala says:

    Radhika, You have got a lovely space here. Will check back often for latest updates on the delicious ( and beautifully photographed) food you have been cooking up. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog.

  45. Swathi says:

    Hey Radhika,

    You are an inspiration to all food bloggers and amateurs ones like me. I added you to my blog roll…looking forward to more recipes and tips from you!

  46. Darshan says:

    Hey Radhika,

    A very very nice blog and wonderful pictures..

    Have been following it from quite sometime and its awesome and has been in my RSS feed for any new updates posted by you..

    Wishing you the very best !!!


  47. iliketocookthings says:

    Wow, you blow me away with your layouts and great lighting. I use my iPhone a lot, because it is easy to upload, but I hate how yellow everything ends up being. I really need to bust out my real camera and just stop being lazy about it. You give me some inspiration to step it up a bit and really think abou the way my photos look.

  48. Smitha says:

    I came across your blog in Eatomaniac and loved it.Very good photography.Do you use any special camera?Will be visiting your blog often for the typical Iyengar dishes.Good luck!

  49. taste diary owner says:

    Hi Radhika,

    Landed on your blog while surfing through Foodgawker. Awesome food photography and presentation. Your recipes look simple to make yet delicious in taste. Keep up the good work 🙂

  50. shalini says:

    Hey Radhika,

    Loved your pictorial presentation of food… and also the rich handpicked delicacies of south indian fare…Keep up the good work 🙂

  51. Manju says:

    Found your blog through Michael Natkins’s (Herbivoracious) facebook status and am I glad to be here or what. Spent a lot of time going through most of your posts and love the absolute simplicity of homemade food captured here. And thanks a lot for reminding me of some things that I had forgotten how to make 🙂 I don’t do much blog hopping these days but try to come here often enough for you to get the alert “WordPress..please moderate” once in a while 🙂

  52. Vijay says:

    This is just impeccable. I literally tried to pick on your postings, but it just rocks…. in formatting, picture quality, presentation of food (makes my taste buds go wild), description of the procedure (helps a great lot) and how you came up with the recipes, the “tiny tips”, variety of items all categorized so neatly….. I could go on listing them, but lets just say in short – nothing short of a professional webpage.

    Your blog seems perfect for cooks from all backgrounds, but could be priceless for part-time cooks like myself. Step-by-step detailed instructions make it so much easier to try them all. I have started trying them already (tried nutrilicious aloo paratha) and it tasted awesome (way better than my style).

    Finally I can tell my meat loving friends that Vegetarian food is so much more delicious than they could ever imagine and has so much variety, then shove your blog on their face to prove it. Great Work

  53. Spacey says:

    Excellent writeup Di, finally I managed to read all your posts! In my humble opinion, I think your blog can be renamed “Handbook of South Indian Delicacies” (Remember this title if you ever plan on writing a book 😉 )…it’s clearly so much more than Just Home Made food…and I loved how you’ve provided a touch of traditional titbit to each of the posts and the pictures you have here are spectacular, I can see the D90 has been serving you very well.


  54. DM says:

    Felicitation Mademoiselle!!
    Very impressive site, and style of writing.
    Loved the layout and pics too.
    Kudos to U CM!!

    Best wishes.

    • Radhika @ Just Homemade says:

      Mercy baku!
      I am so excited that you liked what you saw here.
      Have a lot more interesting posts lined up in my kitty, so keep reading…

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