25 April 2014


We bought the recipe management app Paprika a few months ago. It's mainly for my wife, but we both think it’s great.

We have it on all our devices: our two Macs, our iPad and our two iPhones. So we have easy access to all of our recipes from anywhere. We use the iPad on a stand as a recipe book in the kitchen, and editing recipes is best done on the Mac. Theoretically, the iPhone version could be useful when out shopping, but we have a different app for that.

Nina had amassed a small collection of favourite recipes, and she had each one stored as an individual Pages document. I hacked together a Python script to extract the contents from the Pages documents – luckily she had a fairly regular format – and translated it into the YAML import format supported by Paprika. After importing those YAML files into Paprika, we almost instantly had access to over 150 recipes on all of our devices.

These are the things we like about Paprika:

  • Simple, intuitive and easy to use interface. Its easy to find the recipes you are after, and the recipes are presented in a clean, easy to follow manner.
  • Fast and reliable sync across devices. We haven’t had a sync issue yet. Paprika uses a custom sync mechanism – not iCloud or Dropbox – which makes it easy to share recipes across multiple devices and users.
  • Scaling ingredients based on how many serves you need prepared. Very handy!
  • Running multiple timers concurrently, and timers are automatically detected in your recipe directions. For example, if you have the text “2 minutes” in your directions, you can click on that to start a 2 minute timer.
  • Assigning Categories (which are basically tags) to recipes, making it easy to browse your recipes for ideas, based on the type or style of meal you need to prepare. Here are some of the categories we use: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Biscuits and Soups. A recipe can be assigned to any number of categories.
  • Import recipes from web-sites. This works great! Nina has used it with taste.com.au a few times, and it has worked perfectly every time.

Other features include a meal planner and a grocery list manager, neither of which we have used yet. We’d need to put some effort in to come up with a “work flow” that incorporates those features; maybe one day. But anyway, I consider those peripheral features for us.

Highly recommended!