Thahmina Haseen - Golden Tiffin
This month, we have have the pleasure of featuring Thahmina Haseen aka Golden Tiffin.
An English teacher by day, and fervent food blogger anytime she's not marking homework, Thahmina's culinary curating is generously served with a side helping of mouth-watering food porn skills; guaranteed to leave us both with a satisfied food orgy. Aside from dishing-up delicious delights (any marks for alliteration, Miss?!) in her kitchen, Thahmina can be found tantalising her own tastebuds in town as she explores the London food scene, and sharing those recipes and restaurants with the world on her visually stunning blog, Golden Tiffin.
Tell us about Thahmina, and the story behind the Golden Tiffin
Golden Tiffin came about almost three years ago when I decided to share my foodie obsessions online. It took a lot of coaxing from my beau to get it started. but once I began I felt like I took to it like a duck to water. I loved sharing parts of my Bengali heritage through food. Since then, it’s gone beyond just food and extended to lifestyle. I feel like the blog has grown to reflect my diverse interests.
What makes you feel good?
The Golden Tiffin playlist on, friends that make me laugh, the smell of something cooking in the oven, wearing heels to a museum (I am that overdressed friend!)
What challenges do you face in your day-to-day work?
I suppose one of the biggest challenges as a food blogger as well as a teacher, is how to keep others constantly interested. Sometimes it’s a safe option to stick with what you know works, rather than stepping out of your comfort zone. With teaching and blogging, I feel like great things have happened when I’ve taken advice on board, and accepted that I needed to change something.
How do you stay motivated?
I think you need to see results to stay motivated. I am quite a goal-oriented person, and when I reach certain targets which I initially felt were impossible to reach, it spurs me on to go even further!
What’s been your greatest struggle, and how do you generally overcome negative emotions?
I am my own biggest critic and optimism is not my forte. I’m slowly learning to let go of small anxieties that aren’t important in the big picture.
Where do you draw inspiration from, in life and your field of work?
I definitely draw inspiration from my Grandmother, OG Golden Tiffin Girl. In Post-Partition East Pakistan, my Grandmother would make tiffins for my Dada to take to work on the other side of the Jaflong River- India. The tiffin now serves the greater purpose for me as a symbol of love connecting beyond borders through food, a message I think is quite poignant considering the current political climate.
How have your family and friends encouraged you to pursue what you are doing?
My friends are always complaining that I’m a useless food blogger because I never feed them! In all honesty, I face the same struggles as everybody else when it comes to juggling work, life and passion projects. My parents are just waiting for me to drop a cookbook so they can benefit from these six hour long photoshoots…
You are having a dinner party – as you are a food blogger, there are two parts to this question:
a) which three people would you invite, and why?
Madhur Jaffrey, because who doesn’t want to meet the woman lauded for making curry as common as East End chips?
Louis Armstrong, for his timeless voice
Omari Hardwick, obviously for his talent, not merely his looks.
b) what would you cook?!
I would stick to my guns and make what I’m comfortable cooking. I don’t make Michelin rated blancmange with micro-herbs; I make food that’s homely, nourishing and familiar.
What’s your motto?
Proceed with caution. Why are we always in a rush to accomplish great things? In an age that is all about instant success, we need to acknowledge (for the sake of our wellbeing) that there’s nothing wrong with listening to the voice in your head that says, ''...you need to take your time.''
What are your favourite and least favourite ingredients to cook with?
My favourite is pomegranates. I will put pomegranate in anything I can get my hands on. The worst? Bitter guord, or karela as we call it. What is the point of a vegetable when you can only digest its crocodile looking skin?
So far, what’s been your favourite place to dine at...
b) in the world - Le Shmuck, Paris, France
Tell us an interesting fact you would like to share!
If I could do anything in the world, I would love to film a food documentary in Bangladesh and capture traditional (and what sometimes feels like) dying methods of cooking. I would love to see what happens when people forego convenience, and take time to create food consciously because they care about what they put into their bodies!
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