Creative Profiles

my rituals: puja and steve of indiaphile, an indian cooking blog

July 5, 2013

You know when they say that a person’s reputation precedes him/her? In the case of Puja and Steve Thomas-Patel, their recipes precede them. I haven’t even met the San Diego husband and wife bloggers in person yet, but their recipes are proof enough that we’ll get along mighty nicely. My first introduction to their food was in May at the San Diego food blogger bake sale, where the couple sold their chai-spiced sticky buns. I was sold. I then checked out their website, Indiaphile, a blog where the couple shares original recipes for Indian food and the occasional musing on Indian culture. Remember my post on baked tandoori wings? That was all Puja and Steve.

Today the culinary pair gives us a look at what day-to-day life looks like for the foodies/techies/dog lovers/beer drinkers. Take a look:

Puja Thomas-Patel
Age: 30
Hometown: Don’t really have one. I grew up back and forth between Bombay and Southern California.
Current City: San Diego
Professional Title: Blogger at

Steve Thomas-Patel
Age: 32
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Current City: San Diego
Professional Title: WordPress Developer

Baking Desserts
I have a major sweet tooth! I often get dessert cravings at night, especially after a stressful day. Steve doesn’t like to have desserts around the house because he will eat them all, so when I get that craving I have to make myself something sweet to eat. Sometimes it’s just something as simple as a microwave chocolate chip mug cookie or sometimes I’ll make elaborate custards or cakes. Even though I blog about Indian food, I don’t often crave Indian desserts. I don’t really like most Indian desserts, I prefer cookies and cakes. I often make a batch of cookies and then try to find friends to give them to so that I don’t end up eating them all.

We lived in Washington D.C. for a few years a while ago. It was hard to find a good beer. But over time the craft brews crept into our grocery stores. It was always hard to find a west coast beer out there with the exception of the line of Stone beers. Stone was always a nice little reminder of home. We love to end a long day with a nice cold beer. Beer is a signal that the day is over. That you can finally put all of your daily responsibilities behind you. We have the best conversations over beer, when we’ve finally had a chance to relax and can talk about the things that aren’t right in front of us at the moment. These moments can easily turn into deep discussions about the world and politics that can go on for hours. Ballast Point, AleSmith and Greenflash (and of course Stone) are some of our favorite local breweries.

On weekends when we have the time we go hiking with our dog Xaria. She loves to hike. We try to explore a new trail whenever we go out. We most often hike one of the trails at Mission Trails Regional Park because it is closest to us, but we go out further when we can. We love to explore the mountains in San Diego. When you go into the mountains, even though you’ve only driven maybe an hour it can feel like you’ve really gotten away from things.

Morning Coffee
Puja and I have always fought the merest suggestion of routine. If we start to fall into a pattern here or there, we quickly change it. The lone exception to this the morning coffee. Every morning I get up about an hour before she does, I go on the computer and catch up on news until the craving for coffee and breakfast catches up to me. Then I heat the water in the microwave and she wakes up. Every morning, like magic, the far away beep of the microwave gets her out of bed, unlike the multiple alarms she has set for herself. Then I scramble to find us something to eat because breakfast has over time become my responsibility. I usually make us smoothies or toast. But lets be honest, mornings are really about the coffee.

You can also find Indiaphile on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook!

Photos by Puja and Steve Thomas-Patel

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