Hyderabad: Brown prawn pakodas sizzle in hot oil. Curry leaves and green chillies are sprinkled over it before it is transferred into a paper plate. A half-cut lemon sits in the middle of the dish, winking at you, making your mouth water.
Scrolling down the page, you will be unable to keep your temptations in check. From the usual Hyderabadi biryani to panipuri to the typical Telugu raggi mudda and fish curry to Mumbai street-style grilled cheese sandwiches to the south Indian idly-vada-sambar, you name it and you will find it on hyderabadfoodtrip, an Instagram page run by Srushty Ladegaam, a Hyderabadi food vlogger.
"I have a different craving every day," says Srusty. It's the same passion to explore more food that encouraged her to quit MBBS and become a full-time professional food vlogger. In four years, she has gained a whopping 88.5k followers on Instagram, reassuring her that her decision was not wrong. "But I am still not sure if my parents have been convinced," she says.
Even before starting vlogging, Srushty used to go out and try out different foods. "My friends used to come to me for restaurant suggestions. One day they asked me, why not start a vlog instead so that I can take it to more people. Hyderabad Food Trip was born then," says Srushty.
The bitter experiences
The initial days of vlogging were not easy for Srushty. "There is a lot to figure out. There were lesser opportunities and few technologies available," says Srusthy. She explains how reels never existed on Instagram when she began the page and how it has become a normal thing now.
From an amateur photographer, HFT has taken Srushty a long way in becoming a professional. Now, she is a professional photographer for different food brands. "I try taking many photos from different angles and compositions. I can take photos on a professional camera and also professionally edit it," says Srushty.
Apart from photography and videography, Srushty has started trying out a variety of recipes at home. "Earlier, I could make my own meals and was self-sufficient. But now, I am cooking more. I try out the recipes I get to see on my vlogging journeys," she says.
A tasty delight
Srushty fondly recalls a happy experience she encountered when she went to feature a street food vendor in Raniganj. "Can I shoot a video?" Srushty asked the vendor. To her surprise, he instantly recognized her and even recalled the Hyderabad Food Trip page. He still checks out her videos and even gives feedback.
Among the more than 1,600 pages, what makes hyderabadfoodtrip unique? "What, where, and how much? All the details are compact on my page," says Srushty. Moreover, there is also a guide section which will answer questions like 'Top 5 biryani corners in the city', 'Top 5 chaat shops to try'.
"The number of followers has only increased my responsibility," says Srushty. She visits a restaurant twice or thrice as a vlogger and also as an ordinary customer to ensure that not only is the food tasty but also the whole experience is warm.
Check out her Instagram page here