In 2015 after sending a picture of piping hot Rajma Chawal on a yellow plate to a client, Himanshu Sehgal decided to eat everything on this plate from then onwards. He started his page 'My Yellow Plate' out of his love for food, but little did he know that this plate was going to make him popular!
Born in a Punjabi family Himanshu Sehgal is a Computer Engineer by degree, which he says was forced on him. That is why he changed his field, shifted to Digital media, and started working as a content writer. He chose Food and travel as his genre and wrote for 2-3 years. In 2014 he came up with his own social media agency and continued working for food brands and eateries. Everything was going fine until 2015 when he created 'My Yellow Plate' with an actual yellow plate with nothing but food on it, and that changed his life!
Before taking up food blogging as a full-time career, Himanshu was working on the SEO, and content on social media for different food brands and eateries in Delhi. " I was very happy that I was doing something in food and travel.", he says. The journey of this yellow plate did not start from a fancy hotel or a high-end eatery, but it began in Himanshu's very own kitchen in 2015.
"I had a foreign client and he wanted to try something Indian. I suggested him the Rajma Chawal. The next day my mom actually cooked it and served it on a yellow plate from our kitchen. Usually, we have our food on steel plates, but that day she used this yellow one particularly. I shared the image of the rajma chawal and sent it to the client. He loved it and wanted to know everything about Rajma Chawal. That's when I realize how a picture can make people crave food. From there on I got the idea and to share the pictures.". After this incident, he made a social media page with the name 'My Yellow Plate', and since then his is working as a full-time food blogger.
In 2016, a picture that made My Yellow Plate even more popular was the picture of Bhelpuri with The India Gate as its backdrop. " After Scoop Whoop featured me, I had got 10 K followers in a single day, and in the next 6 days, I was on 30 different publications.", he adds.
It's a delight to scroll through Himanshu's feed. It's colorful and the shots are just perfect. But, when he had started the page, he did not have any photography skills. " The initial pictures are very different from now. I still don't use DSLR, and it's always my phone. But, with time I had to learn DSLR photography.", he says.
Many of the initial pictures have been clicked from the top angle, but in March 2016, a Pav Bhaji picture captured at Juhu Beach changed Himanshu's feed completely. " I was in Juhu beach in Mumbai, and for the first time, I clicked something with the DSLR. We didn't pay attention earlier, but that pav bhaji picture turned out to be great. Now the pictures I take are from the same technique and I like to call it as the hand shot", Says Himanshu.
Changing your career path at the age of 27 is no joke. It can go wrong. So, when Himanshu chose what he loved, he had a fear in his mind. But, he promised himself that in the next 3 to 6 months he is going to make it big. "The biggest challenge in India is the family. They want to see you with a 9 to 5 job, with a proper salary. So, when I left my job I kept on hearing that I have done a mistake. But, the universe helped me. I believe if you take a bold step and your intentions are right, then it does come and help you. Also, when Western Union had sponsored my trip to London, my family finally realized that I am doing something good.", he laughs.
Himanshu has explored many cities in India and abroad, but when he saw this one restaurant in Rishikesh he was speechless. " I visited Rishikesh in 2016 and took a picture of this one particular restaurant and posted it on my Instagram. Now, when I went to the same place again in February I was in a shock to see my picture on its front and they had the name of the restaurant printed on it.", he smiles.
Talking about how does he keeps himself fit and fab, Himanshu says, " When you are a food explorer you sometimes have to eat that you don't want to eat. So, you have to take care of yourself. I generally prefer walking and I follow the teachings of Sadhguru and the art of living. Before the pandemic, I was into yoga, but now I have stopped it. So, it's just walking for me.", he says.
Quick Bites feat. My Yellow Plate:
1) Street food to try in Delhi:
Lotan Ke Chole Kulche in Chandni chowk. Dolma aunty k momos, Chole Bhature from Chache di Hatti in Kamla Nagar, Sunil uncle ki bhelpuri in Miranda house hostel, and the last would be Pappu Ki fish in Pul Bangash. It's a small shop and he has served people like Abdulkalam Azad.
2) One thing you love about Indian street food:
The options! I was in Europe for 30 days, and I could hardly find much street food. But here, we have variety. It's just going on and on. There's a shop named Giri Momos that has more than 200 types of momos.
3) Most unique things you have eaten:
It's in North East India, and it's called Fried Puthi Fish. They don't even remove the eyes, because the fishes are very small. It was like KFC, it was super crunchy and I ate it in one of the restaurants in Assam. Another one would be the Palak Paneer momos. It's in Poland, People love palak paneer, and it is deep-fried. It was bursting out of flavors, and I ate around 3 plates.
4) Best Local Food:
It'll be a tie between Mumbai and Bangalore. But, I think Chennai has great food too. Also, in Tawang, we ate momos with spicy chicken and it was just too good.
5) Favourite restaurant in Delhi:
Aama Café in Majnu ka Tilla to chill. For authentic Chinese, it has to be Taste of China in CP. The third would be the Hamoni- Cafe by the green, it has a gold course too.
6) If you could eat only one thing your entire life what that would be?
I'll pick the North Indian cuisine. Also, I'd pick something like Subway!