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How My Mother And I Built Tingle Your Taste Buds To Share Her Traditional Recipes!

For my mother and me, Tingle Your Taste Buds is our way of preserving and passing on Indian culinary art to food connoisseurs around the world. 

A woman with nerves of steel and a heart of gold — this is my favourite line to describe my mother, with whom I run Tingle Your Taste Buds.

Every parent-child relationship has its own unique dynamics, but this gets more interesting when professional partnerships get into the equation. For the uninitiated, Mom and I run a cookery website called ‘Tingle Your Taste Buds’ which believes in making cooking simple for everyone without compromising on taste and flavour. This brand, which recently completed eleven years, took the shape of a venture over the years through collaborations, recipe books, and advertisements.

As I reminisce about how it all started, I feel proud of my mother (not that I was not before) for taking to entrepreneurship at the age of 58 at a time when she had zilch idea about social media and the digital world. It takes immense courage to delve into an unknown space, but she trusted my faith in her, and we both took the plunge in March 2012.

Let’s rewind to August 2011

It was a defining day in my life. I decided to quit my lucrative corporate job to pursue my passions in the creative fields. Why and how I did this is a story that has been told and retold, but one learning from mom that gave me the confidence to keep walking the path was – “If you focus on someone else’s journey, you will lose multiple opportunities to enrich yourself. Keep walking with love and honesty, and always focus on your growth.”

Three generations in one frame

When I began to explore new territories for myself, I increasingly started thinking about my mom. It is true that sometimes it takes being in our mom’s shoes to understand her better as a woman. I wondered – here was a woman who had begun her career in teaching and left it soon after to prioritize me after my birth; here was a woman who could create magic in a jiffy with her exceptional culinary skills but suppressed her personal aspirations to give her all to her family; here was a woman who stood by her children to ensure they could live the life of their dreams even if that meant putting her own on the back burner.

I remembered again and again how Mom would often talk about owning her own restaurant someday. Could I do something to take her closer to her dream? This question kept nagging me until my husband and I came up with the idea of starting a cookery page to bring her recipes out to the world. Opening a restaurant at that point in time was not feasible due to logistical and other issues. But this idea seemed doable and also fruitful in the long run because of the avenues it could open up for her.

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But we were posed with a challenge. While Mom is no less than a masterchef, we needed someone to handle all the technical and marketing aspects of the initiative. That is where I came into the picture.

And we began the Tingle Your Taste Buds journey

I assured her that together we could rock the food blogging space, and rock we did! The initial days were difficult and borderline hilarious even as my father became sort of a mediator between us. We lived in different cities, so she would explain the recipe to my father, who would then type it in a word document for me and then I would go back with doubts which would lead to some laugh-out-loud moments between my parents. But I strongly believe that what kept us going was the bond between us and the will to do the best we could to make this partnership a beautiful story of legacy.

When the Facebook cookery page became popular, we created a website for greater reach and a wider scope, which led to us winning an Orange Flower Award in 2017. Along the way, we won quite a few accolades and also got featured on multiple media platforms.

While our story was always projected as the ‘mother-daughter entrepreneurial story’, to me, Tingle Your Taste Buds has always been HER story. She is the soul of this venture, and while many people commend me for ‘doing something for my mother’, I do not look at it that way. Her story was always meant to be written, and I am glad I just became a path to make this happen.

4 things I learn along this way

All my life, I have imbibed numerous learnings from my mother, but working with her made me grow in my own professional journey too. Listing out some of the key things that she embodies as an entrepreneur –

Always be open to learning – For someone who was not at all tech-savvy, she spent time learning the nitty-gritty of social media and the digital language. Today, she handles all her social media accounts independently and also understands the right presentation of content in our books and website.

Give your all to what you do – Mom never bothers about what any project/collaboration is going to give her. If she has agreed to something, she gives her all to it, irrespective of the monetary benefits. The quality of her work never depends on external factors. I still remember once she had to try a new recipe for a collaboration with a popular platform, and she did it within an hour of me informing her about it. This is something I replicate in my professional life too.

Let achievements never get to your head – During my growing years, I always observed Mom to be someone who had her head over her shoulders. Humility was always her strength, and I realised it is because this is how we can grow. If I had let all my achievements get into my head, making me feel superior, it would have been a terrible thing to do for myself and my career. Knowing that there is always so much more to do and learn is what keeps me grounded in my professional life – again a quality that comes naturally to me, and I have my mother to credit for this.

Do not regret or fret over decisions – A few years ago, we were offered to be a part of Master Chef India and they were quite keen on having us onboard, bypassing the audition round due to the mother-daughter story of the enterprise. There were several reasons owing to which we had to turn down the proposition, but not once did she lament the missed opportunity. She moved on to what lay ahead, and this attitude trickled down to me too. This is the reason why I do not know FOMO or JOMO when it comes to work because the thought of ‘missing out’ does not even come into my head.

Mom often felt that over the generations, the knowledge of the exotic as well as traditional recipes might dissipate. But thanks to the internet, we now have a medium to retain and share this knowledge with food lovers across the globe. ‘Tingle Your Taste Buds’ is our way of preserving and passing on Indian culinary art to food connoisseurs around the world.

While we never aimed to do so, we have received a few emails in the past from women who shared that our endeavour inspired them to do something with their mothers. There could be nothing more beautiful and satisfying than this for us. As for me, all I would say is that I feel privileged to have been able to co-own an enterprise with Mom and be a part of her journey of awesomeness.

Editor’s Note:  Join us this Mother’s Day by using the hashtag #LegacyOfStrength and sharing your story, of how your mother (or mother in law!) has influenced your career or how you have made an impact as a woman in business, inspired by her strength and resilience. Perhaps your mother started a business inspired by you or vice versa? Whatever your story is, we want to celebrate the powerful bond between mothers and daughters and the legacy of strength that you share.. Let’s inspire and uplift each other as we honour the incredible women who have shaped our lives.

Read all the #LegacyOfStrength stories here.

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About the Author

Anupama Dalmia

Multiple award winning blogger, influencer, author, multi-faceted entrepreneur, creative writing mentor, choreographer, social activist and a wanderer at heart read more...

106 Posts | 714,607 Views

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