An ace when it comes to cooking, a skill honed after years of dedication and passion, with over 10 million subscribers lauding her for her easy-to-follow demonstrations and tips and tricks of the trade, Kabita Singh is a household name. From quick-fix recipes to a variety of traditional and authentic dishes, there is not a stone unturned by Singh in her hustle to make her YouTube channel, Kabita's Kitchen, relevant, viewer-friendly and downright fascinating to watch. What started as a journey to explore the nuances of her passion for cooking over eight years ago, is a full-fledged and popular name in the content space and food industry today. And now Kabita has also set foot in the D2C space with her new range of spice mixes, Kabita's Kitchen Masala Mix that simply work like magic when it comes to seasoning your food. Available in three variants currently—Sabzi Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala and Chicken Masala—you can buy your own set on Amazon. And to know everything about the mastermind behind this idea, you can scroll down and read our interview with her. From the beginning of this journey back in 2014 right up till now, we talk with Kabita about her inspirations, her mantra to deliver evergreen content and any new projects under the way.
Edited excerpts from the interview.
1. You started Kabita's Kitchen all the way back in 2014 and since then you've gained a massive 1.27 crore following and are one of the very few people to receive a Diamond Play Button by YouTube India. How has this journey been for you? When I started my channel my only aim was to reignite my passion for cooking which had taken a back seat because of my job. So to speak, this journey has been nothing less than a dream come true. I am very grateful for all the love and support my audience and viewers have given me. I have achieved milestones—my channel was one among the first 15 to gain a million subscribers—and faced challenges, but my husband has been very supportive throughout these eight years. All in all, it has been and is still an exciting journey.
2. Your YouTube channel is a popular favourite in many households given that your content is for people from all walks of life. What prompted you, or rather inspired you to start Kabita's Kitchen? I was always passionate about cooking but it had taken a back seat owing to my education and then my job. I got married in 2009 and shifted to the UK and that is when I decided to take a break from my job, giving me the room to focus more on my passion. In early 2014 I shifted back to India. By then I was a mother to a three year old toddler, so I decided to give time to my son rather than going back to work. When my son started going to school, I once again had free time, even if it was for a few hours, and decided to give my passion a name. That is how 'Kabita's Kitchen' was born.
3. You have recently launched your own range of spice mixes. How did this idea come to be and how long did it take to make it come true? A lot of my viewers are either new to cooking or bachelors and it is this crowd that led me to Kabita's Kitchen Masala Mix. I'd receive a lot of comments or feedback on my videos, especially during the pandemic that certain spices were not available or what could they use alternatively and I'd help them out by suggesting the closest substitute. This got me thinking about an 'all in one masala', and how it could simplify shopping and cooking. Our masala mixes are self-sufficient and don't require any other spices or supplements. We started the research and development for this in 2020 and cut to November 2022, this vision has become a reality, thanks to our collaboration with India Food Network.
4. Now that you have launched a range of spice mixes in the market, can we expect newer products to be added to this range soon? We are working on a few newer and innovative cooking and some ready-to-eat products. And we are definitely in the process of conceptualising it. The aim is always to simplify cooking so that everyone can partake in the process. In the coming months, you can expect to see new spice mixes in addition to what we already have and a few more exciting products be it ready-to-eat, a kitchen related product or another cooking solution. If things go according to plan, you will definitely see novel and fresh, cooking and kitchen commodities in the market.
5. What is your comfort dish, a dish that you make no matter if you are stressed, happy or just looking to munch? Since I was born and brought up in Kolkata, I have always found solace in the Bengali cuisine, which is why I'd have to say that maach bhaat (fish curry and rice) is my go-to comfort dish.
6. What is your one golden advice to all those budding vloggers or entrepreneurs trying to make it big in the food industry? Always stay true to your passion, consider viewer feedback and aim to strike a balance between demand, trends and your love for cooking something new. Also, it is extremely important to diversify your presence on various social media platforms. Along the journey, if the opportunity presents itself, do try your hand at D2C.
7. Can you let us in on how you come up with such fresh and creative content for your viewers? What is your ideation process to stay relevant in these ever-changing times of the internet? When one is passionate about something, ideas keep flowing. I try to balance these ideas keeping in mind what my viewers wish to see and what is the ongoing trend during that particular time. As I said, it is important to find common ground between demand, trends and your own liking to stay relevant in the digital world.
8. Did you always know that cooking is where your passion was, or has this walk been a series of trials and errors? I always loved cooking but a passion for it grew only when I was in the UK. I had a lot of free time on my hands and decided to explore the hobby. Even though I worked in the banking and finance sector for over six years, I still loved cooking but couldn't devote myself to it.
9. If you had the choice between cooking and trying new dishes everyday or having your favourite dish everyday for a month, which one would you pick and why? I would definitely choose to cook a new dish everyday!
10. Could you share with us a recipe from your treasure trove that uses Kabita's Kitchen Masala Mix? Of course! I think you'll definitely love the bharwa bhindi masala recipe.
Ingredients: 250 gms okra 50 gms gram flour (besan) 1 tbsp Kabita's Kitchen Sabzi Masala Mix ½ tsp aamchur powder ½ tsp red chilli powder (optional) 2 tbsp cooking oil Salt to taste
Method: 1. Dry roast the besan (gram flour ) for a minute 2. Take it out and let it cool down 3. Add Kabita's Kitchen Mix Sabzi masala, amchur, and red chilli powder in roasted gram flour and mix it well. This will ensure the stuffing is prepared 4. Wash and dry the bhindi, and apply cuts to the bhindi for the stuffing 5. Fill the bhindi with the prepared stuffing properly 6. Heat oil in a flat pan, and place the stuffed bhindi one by one 7. Cover the pan and cook it for 3-4 minutes 8. Flip it and cook it from other sides for 3-4 minutes 9. Turn off the flame 10. Serve it hot with roti or paratha
Kabita's Kitchen Masala is a brand of Happy Eating LLP (a joint venture of Kabita's Kitchen Pvt. Ltd. and Ping Digital Broadcast Pvt. Ltd.).
Natasha Kittur is an aspiring writer. Her love for anything with cheese and spice is profound, but a white sauce pasta always tops her list. In her free time you will catch her reading or watching crime books and shows or go on and on about psychological experiments and theories. She aims to write a book in the fictional genre someday.