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I have always been curious about food: Sahini Banerjee

The digital content creator and the brain behind ‘Feashts’, spoke about her favourite dishes, life as a ‘Probashi Bangali’ and more

Pooja Mitra | Published 04.03.24, 03:58 PM
Sahini Banerjee, the popular food content creator behind ‘Feashts’

Sahini Banerjee, the popular food content creator behind ‘Feashts’

@Feashts/ Instagram

If you play any video on Feashts, the first thing that will win you over is Sahini Banerjee’s simplicity — and her smile. Every time she starts the video saying, “Ei Sunny…”, a smile naturally appears on your face. Her devotion to culinary art is evident from the way she navigates through any recipe. And her recipes win hearts (and fill tummies) — at least the young digital content creator’s 473K followers on Instagram and 362 subscribers on YouTube can vouch for that.

My Kolkata recently got in touch with Sahini to learn about her journey so far, moving from the USA to India, her life as a probashi Bangali, the motivation behind creating Feashts and more. Edited excerpts from the interview:


The bio on your website mentions you started cooking at the age of five. What is your earliest cooking memory and what sparked your interest in cooking at such a young age?

My first memory of cooking was when I was five. My parents were down with chicken pox and I really wanted to help. So, I asked my mom for directions to make toast and I added so much butter that it was more butter than bread.

I have always been curious about food. I remember, even when I was very young, I would wonder why the same ingredients would taste so different in different dishes. My grandmother also influenced me a lot. She is the best cook I know, making use of minimal ingredients. But as I grew older, the drive to keep cooking came from defying my mother. She didn’t want me to cook or go into the kitchen, and as a teenager, I just had to defy her (laughs).

From academia to becoming a food influencer and a digital content creator, how would you describe your journey?

Risky. That’s the first word that comes to mind. I always wanted to make videos and write, but I had never felt brave enough, nor financially free enough to pursue it. Last year, armed with 120K followers, when I actually took the plunge to go full-time with Feashts, I was scared. But I think the risk I took paid off.

How did you come up with the idea for ‘Feashts’? Why this name?

Feashts is just feasts with an “h” in between. The username Feasts wasn’t available, so I went with Feashts.

As a ‘probashi Bangali’ living in the US, and now in Delhi, how do you see the different cultures and demographics shaping your food habits?

I’d say I am more accepting of newer things. Even if I don’t like the taste of something, I understand that there’s always a reason why something is made a certain way. I think we are very similar, despite the differences in skin colour, languages and religious beliefs. We all have the same basic needs — food, shelter, love and acceptance. So it’s easier to connect to other cultures. I understand that no culture is necessarily superior or inferior, no matter how much people push that belief. We simply exist and that’s pretty awesome!

Are there any heirloom recipes that you cook often? If yes, can you share the names and, if possible, at least one recipe?

There aren’t any that I can recall at the moment. But I would say my grandmother’s style of cooking is very different from others. She has been a constant source of inspiration for me. I feel that holds true for many chefs and homecooks on the internet.

So, who cooks at home? What’s the daily menu like?

Since I cook in the studio, and it doesn’t match our eating time, my mother-in-law cooks sometimes. The leftovers are then either eaten at dinner time or the next day. Sometimes dinners are a joint effort between me and Sunny (her husband). We have also hired a cook for a few days of the week. She generally comes when we call her and makes wonderful north Indian dishes.

Daily menu goes from Bengali to north Indian, and then whatever cuisine I am cooking that week, along with lots of salads.

Tell us about building your own kitchen studio.

It was a really enjoyable experience for me, because my husband built it exactly how I had envisioned. And we spent about Rs 30,000 to get everything done, including buying new equipment. We bought most of our furniture second-hand, and I really love how it has all come together.

A Sahini-approved easy winter recipe would be…

Two recipes that I love eating during winters are Koraishutir Kochuri and the other is my own recipe — Zero-Oil Fried Chicken. It’s essentially baked chicken that tastes like fried chicken, but without oil. We have it with winter vegetable salads, and it’s the best part of our Sundays.

Sunny, your husband, is also an indispensable part of your videos. How do you describe his presence and contribution? What’s the best part about him that makes him an integral part of Feashts?

Like you said, he is indispensable. While he may not be as adept with social media, he is my pillar of strength. Whenever I doubt myself, or feel anxious about my current state, he never fails to show me the brighter side of things.

I often ask him, what will happen if social media and the creator’s life don’t work out, because it can be a little unstable. He reassures me that we will find stability in something else. I am someone who gets anxious easily. But he keeps me calm.

What are your upcoming plans? Is a cafe, bistro or a restaurant in the making?

I feel that opening a cafe or an eatery requires a lot of experience and time, which I currently lack. So, no plans for cafes or restaurants at the moment. Right now, I want to keep making videos, talk about Indian food and try to learn filmography. My husband and I would love to venture into business, as many creators do, but it’s something I want to do with a lot of care — something that fits our philosophy, and something that I can be proud of — supporting local craftsmen and farmers. But that’s for the future.

Any word of advice for someone who is trying to step into food content creation?

Be yourself. Social media can be a rewarding space, but it also comes with a lot of competition and negativity. So, the best way to stand out is to be yourself unapologetically. Other than that, it’s always good to learn new things, stay consistent and engage with your audience, as in listen to their requests, answer their queries, and just be as honest as possible. There’s always an audience for every kind of storytelling.

Quick bites with Sahini:

Building her own Kitchen Studio was a really enjoyable experience for Sahini Banerjee

Building her own Kitchen Studio was a really enjoyable experience for Sahini Banerjee

Sahini Banerjee

A. When we say food, what’s the first word that comes to your mind?


B. Five essential ingredients in Sahini’s pantry are…

Sugar, mustard oil, cumin seeds, paanch phoron and kalo jeere

C. Five ingredients/food items that Sahini does not like?

Potol (pointed gourd) is the only thing I don’t like

D. What is your comfort food?

Phyan bhaath and fried chicken — Nashville style!

E. What made you name your dog Paneer?

He loves paneer. He often steals them. So, when we adopted him, it seemed fitting enough

F. Define Kolkata in one word

Bhalobasha (love)

Last updated on 04.03.24, 03:59 PM

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