Cook's Hideout: About Me

About Me

Hi there, Welcome to my Hideout..

The Author: My name is Pavani and I’m “the Cook” in this hideout. I’m from Hyderabad, a bustling city in South India that is famous for its Pearls, Information Technology (thanks to ex CM Chandrababu Naidu) and of course the delicious Hyderabadi cuisine.
I’ve lived in North East United States for the past 10 11 12 13 14 years and my hideout currently is in New Jersey where I live with my husband and my 4 year 7 year old son and my 2 year old daughter.

The Blog: This blog is my recipe journal where I write about the new (and old) recipes that I have tried in my kitchen.

What’s with the blog’s name: When I decided to start a food blog way back in 2006 and was thinking of a name for the blog, I remembered my husband telling about his favorite food joint called “Hideout” in Davangere, Karnataka (also in Southern India). I thought that was an apt name for the kitchen where I love to hide and cook, so that’s how the name “Cook’s Hideout” came into being.

What really happens in Cook’s Hideout: As I said, I’m “the cook” in this hideout and I cook vegetarian food in my kitchen which includes eggs and dairy. I love cooking and baking. I also love to read and collect cookbooks. My philosophy is to try everything at least once, so I make it a point to try new ingredients/ dishes (meeting my dietary restrictions, of course) and if the family likes them, they become a part of our menu rotations. All of the recipes featured here have been tasted and tried by my family and only the ones that are liked are posted.

Where do I get the recipes for my dishes: Most of the Andhra recipes that I post are from my mom and my MIL, both of them are extremely talented cooks, but with completely different styles of cooking. My mom’s style of cooking puts more emphasis on the vegetable itself and less on the seasonings and other supporting ingredients which only have a secondary role –vegetable is the hero in her kitchen. Whereas my MIL cooks more with spices and makes delicious gravies – entire dish is a hero here. I like both the styles and I think I try to take a middle ground with the vegetable still taking the center stage and enhanced with the addition of spices but not completely overpowered by them.

I love to read cookbooks and thanks to my local library system, I get to borrow the books before I decide to buy them. So there will be some recipes from cookbooks, and some from the very talented food blogging world.

What kind of dishes do I make: Most of the dishes here are Indian, focusing more on South Indian cuisine. But I also like to try international cuisines, my 2 favorites being Mexican and Italian. I make Chinese & Thai dishes at least once a week. So basically if my family likes it, you will find it on the blog no matter which part of the world it is from.

Food photography: It is only recently that I started taking more interest and spending time on food photography. My posts from 5 years ago make me go “what was I thinking??”. But it is a work in progress and I hope to get better at it. Prior to October 2010, all the pictures were taken with Olympus C755 Ultra Zoom point & shoot. Now I have an entry level DSLR: Nikon D3100.

That is in a nutshell about me and my blog. Thank you for spending some time here and hope to see you soon. Please leave a comment or send me an email @ with any questions, queries or concerns.


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