NDTV Convergence has relaunched its gastronomy focused website, NDTV Cooks, and has also rolled out NDTV Weather, to offer weather updates, with sharing across social networks, integrated.

NDTV Cooks

With a number of cooking shows across its news channel network, and a dedicated lifestyle channel, NDTV can leverage the same content for use on its digital properties. One should also keep in mind the Zee Group and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor have already launched their food focused television channels, Zee Khana Khazana and Food Food, and appear to be in the process of setting up their websites.

The NDTV Cooks site features video snippets and TV clips from NDTV Good Times shows. Although it also features a number of recipes by cook book writer Niru Gupta, there is not much in terms of fresh content, that the site offers at the time of writing this post. It is divided into five sections:

Recipes: The recipes section offers three ways to browse recipes: Category wise, which feature recipes based on food type, on the basis of Cuisine, and on the basis of Occasion.

Each recipe features the name of the chef and difficulty level along with the required ingredients, complete cooking procedure, and rating. Recipes also include social sharing buttons for sharing them on social networks and via e-mail. We found that the instructions detailing the cooking procedure lack detail, and are insufficient for an amateur cook.

The section also offers a keyword based search and a recipe finder that helps in a quick search. We appreciate that the site offers multiple ways to browse and filter recipes. However, it could have offered more ways of browsing and classifying recipes. Tarla Dalal‘s website offers recipe search on the basis of ingredients, equipment and cooking method, in addition to cuisine, course, and occasion, among others.

My CookBook: Essentially a bookmark feature that lets users save and add their favourite recipes to a personal cookbook, for future reference. Users can login with their Facebook or Twitter accounts to use this feature. Recipes are saved under different tags. The CookBook is designed like a personalized spiral notepad with color-coded tags, to jump to a particular tag for browsing recipes.

Videos: The segment offers video recipes and snippets of TV shows that are aired on NDTV network channels.

Articles & Health: The Articles and Health sections feature news articles and reviews. Some are sourced from news agencies and publications, while others are written by NDTV’s Food Editor,  Seema Chandra. The two sections could have been clubbed together. Also the list of articles is not that long.

Restaurant: This allows users to search restaurants, get more info on pricing, location and timings. It also offers a brief editorial review. This section is powered by Times Group’s TimesCity.com. Again, it just collates and sources info rather than offering fresh content. Why not partner someone like Zomato or Burrp, which also offer restaurant menus?

Although, the revamped site offers a better layout, the site needs more fresh content. Presently, it’s more or less aggregating content from within and outside the NDTV network. It could also add additional features like the ability to make a dinner reservation or a better ‘Health’ section featuring customized diet charts, food suggestions for people with disorders and other related content.

NDTV Weather:

The website offers information on weather conditions across major metro and non-metro cities in India, and uses satellite imagery powered by TerraMetrics. The site offers users the ability to pin one or more cities on the map and compare weather forecast, wind conditions and humidity levels.

NDTV Weather also offers social media integration with Facebook Recommend and Share plugin, a Tweet plug and a Google +1 plug in.

By Anupam Saxena and Saptarishi Dutta