Coming to you from Malé, Maldives, Nazeeha shares a taste of culture and country through her love of cooking on her blog, Chillies and Limes.
Although she considers herself a “closet blogger,” Nazeeha is a wonderful addition to The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network of food bloggers. Nazeeha — who often goes by Nammi — is a stay-at-home mom of two boys and a perfectionist cook who takes pride in her mastery of a recipe before she shares it with the world. Her blog, Chillies and Limes, is not only a resource for people looking to cook and understand her cuisine, but it is also a place for Maldivians living abroad to stay connected to home through food.
Check out Nazeeha’s interview with The Daily Meal below!
The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
Nammi: To introduce Maldivian cuisine to all and also to have a place to store my recipes — I have a nice little collection of local recipes I hope to publish someday.
How’d you get started?
I started by posting on Jamie Oliver’s forum under the name of “peanutts,” but in 2009, I made my own blog.
What are some foods you can’t live without?
Pasta, rice, tuna (both fresh and canned), and spices.
Are there any foods you can’t stand?
So far I haven’t come across any, but I don’t think I would be able to stomach bizarre foods like frog or fried cockroaches. Also, I don’t eat pork, but that is a religious thing.
What is your proudest post?
I would say it would be my Passionfruit and White Chocolate Eclairs recipe. They were something I had experimented with and they made me realize I can make a decent choux pastry.
What is your biggest blog blunder?
Not following everyone who visits me and not promoting my blog as much as I want to.
Do you have a memorable comment from a reader?
I recently had one very sweet comment from a Lithuanian. She had visited Maldives and discovered my blog while she was looking for Maldivian recipes for a Maldivian-themed party inspired by her trip. She left me a comment saying that she had tried and shared certain recipes and her guests enjoyed it. To know that someone had made my recipes and enjoyed the cuisine from my country really made my day.
What’s on your cooking playlist?
On weekdays I am in such a rush that don’t have the luxury to listen to music and cook. Plus, it’s easier to concentrate and relax without the music when cooking. But I like to listen to music sometimes when writing my blog posts.
What are some other blogs you love?
What are some food apps you love?
I like the Betty Crocker app and Pinterest.
What is the best thing about blogging?
Meeting bloggers from all over the world, making friends, and discovering different cultures and cuisines. It has made me a better, more confident cook, and there is always someone to lend a hand or give advice when I want to know something.
The worst thing?
Sometimes I get writer’s block; days can go by without a post. Keeping readers on their toes is the hardest for me to do.
Is there a recipe you’re currently obsessed with?
Bread! I am trying to learn bread-baking so it’s all about homemade bread!
What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I am a tiny, 4-foot-9-inch, hijab-clad Muslim. I am not as confident when it comes to exposing myself as a food blogger so I am more of a closet blogger. Nevertheless, I love cooking for my family and consider myself a perfectionist when it comes to cooking. I make recipes over and over until I am confident with it before I post it on the blog. My goal is to actually go to culinary school or take a few classes in cooking someday so I can finally say that I am an accomplished cook.
What are five of your all-time favorite posts?
A Visit to the Most Historical Island of Maldives. It’s not food related, but I got the chance to show a bit of the history of my country.
All of my Maldivian recipes, especially the curries! If I were to pick one, I would say the Tuna Mussamum; it’s a recipe that would really surprise the reader!
My Mum’s Potato Pie. This is my son’s favorite dish and one of my earliest posts so the photo is pretty bad, but it’s one the easiest and economical recipes that my mum used to whip up very often.