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Namaste! Welcome to my kitchen!
December 7, 2008 10:18 PM   Subscribe

Never had an Indian mom? You poor, deprived wretch! Meet Manjula.
She'll be happy to teach you to make Naan, Rotis, Pani Puri, Vegetable Pakoras, Paneer, Raita, Navattran Korma, Palak Paneer, Pulav, Malai Kofta, Aloo Gobi, Chana Masala, Hari Chutney, Ras Malai, Gajar ka Halwa and much more! I can... almost... smell her kitchen. *sigh*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur (50 comments total) 550 users marked this as a favorite

 
omg.
posted by Tehanu at 10:24 PM on December 7, 2008


I use these recipes all the time!
Everything is soooo tasty and simpler than it looks.
I heart you, Manjula.
posted by Acari at 10:25 PM on December 7, 2008


Resolution for 2009: live on fabulously tasty, nutritious and very inexpensive Indian food. Everyone wins!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 PM on December 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mmm ... mint julep.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:36 PM on December 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Naan.

When I was there Samrat in Tokyo had the best lunch special with all-you-can-eat fresh naan out of the oven curry lunch specials.


I've got a crock pot that makes awesome Chicken curry but the nan at Trader Joe's rather sucks so I'm all over this . . .

✓Yogurt
✓Butter
✓Yeast
✓Pizza stone

frack, need a rolling pin!
posted by troy at 10:42 PM on December 7, 2008


Do you know that Pillsbury makes Naan? Do you know why? Did I do something wrong?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:49 PM on December 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I miss my mummy and my aunties :(
posted by divabat at 10:59 PM on December 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good post. I have spent a lot of hours watching her videos. For those interested, they're all vegetarian and most are vegan.
posted by Science! at 11:04 PM on December 7, 2008


Oh, and I recommend browsing through YouTube because her site tends to take a long time to load, though it does have good photos and recipe info.
posted by Science! at 11:06 PM on December 7, 2008


Mmmm...Naan.
posted by ericb at 11:09 PM on December 7, 2008


omg.


Concurrence.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:18 PM on December 7, 2008


I had not seen this; thanks for posting it!
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:25 PM on December 7, 2008


Manjula's lessons are among those things that make me think, yes, this is why the internet is so great.
posted by invitapriore at 11:27 PM on December 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have an Indian mom! And in my younger, brasher days I used to pester her all the time while she was in the kitchen.

One day she finally agreed to let me help her make chappattis as long as I didn't interfere much and kept my self under control. I was delighted. She brought out her large container of dough rolls she had previously made and I set to work with a rolling pin. By the time I had one down flat, she had four already cooked and two more on the pan =O.

Fun times.
posted by shoebox at 11:36 PM on December 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Aw, I love Manjula! She's helped me improve so much over the past several months. My favorites are probably her dal makhani, and the potato curry with yogurt gravy, but everything is delicious.
posted by notquitemaryann at 11:46 PM on December 7, 2008


Oh wow! I'm just in an Indian cooking phase right now too!

*dabs some powdered cardamom behind her ears to get in the mood*
posted by gomichild at 11:55 PM on December 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't have an Indian mom, but I did learn how to cook some Indian dishes on my own. On the other hand, I was allowed to date in high school and choose my own major in college, so I still say advantage: me.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:40 AM on December 8, 2008 [9 favorites]


Imagine the outrage if this had been about a western mom.
posted by mattholomew at 4:07 AM on December 8, 2008


Imagine the outrage if this had been about a western mom.

Stouffer's doesn't really require video instruction.
posted by gman at 4:16 AM on December 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


I thought this was going to be a joke site (like rent-a-negro), where you could rent an Indian mother to browbeat you and do all the things Indian mothers are notorious for doing to their children (which is honestly not that different from most cultures, no matter what Russell Peters says).

Still, this is way cool. Someone tell me when she teaches you how to make baingan bharta. That's my girlfriend's favorite.
posted by Eideteker at 4:41 AM on December 8, 2008


Western mom? Like Arizona? You fixing up some rattlesnacks? Save the skin, I'm making boots.
posted by Eideteker at 4:42 AM on December 8, 2008


I'll need yeast, yogurt, pizza stone, and rolling pin.
To start.
posted by nomisxid at 5:27 AM on December 8, 2008


I would gladly drown myself in Raita for the chance to eat myway out.


ahhhahahaaahhh.
posted by The Whelk at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2008


I love this.
posted by sveskemus at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2008


omg.

Concurrence.


Strong re-emphasis via not-very-amusing fake anecdote about vigorous favoriting that resulted in mouse damage.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:45 AM on December 8, 2008


This is strangely serendiptious, given that I had _just_ discovered some heavenly Bengali/ Bangladeshi food at the now-extremely-colourful Lembu Road, just off the perennially fascinating Little India district in Singapore. I'm thinking of it as a Bangladeshi enclave within a bigger, south-Indian-oriented Little India.

There's haleem, a Bangladeshi-version of the kichidi but with meat, mashed dal made out of sweet potato and lots lots more. Something to die for. _drooooools_
posted by the cydonian at 7:25 AM on December 8, 2008


This is fantastic. Better than fantastic.
posted by blixco at 7:59 AM on December 8, 2008


I've got a crock pot that makes awesome Chicken curry but the nan at Trader Joe's rather sucks so I'm all over this . . .

The frozen naan at Trader Joe's is excellent. Melt some butter and you're in heaven.
posted by euphorb at 8:03 AM on December 8, 2008


judging by the number of favorites, i feel confident in saying you've done a nice job with this post.
posted by ms.jones at 8:18 AM on December 8, 2008


Already after watching just a few of these, they look to be the gold of internet video content, which speaks to both the absolute awesomeness of Indian food and the frustrating difficulty of learning to cook it for yourself if you didn't grow up cooking in an Indian kitchen. There are just all these things the cookbooks are not telling me, and at my best I seem limited to producing tasty food made with the same ingredients that is not entirely unlike Indian food. These videos may change that, because I already noticed some things she does to make palak paneer that I didn't know to do, and I've been trying for about 4 years now. Her end result looks more like the restaurant versions I've enjoyed the most. What I can make nowadays actually is similar to what I've had at a few places but didn't like nearly as much as other versions.

If there is also a Chinese series like this somewhere, I may owe the internet my first-born child.
posted by Tehanu at 9:08 AM on December 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm with you, Tehanu. I started out about 15 years ago by staining most of the pages in my copy of Yamuna Devi's phone-book sized _Lord Krishna's Cuisine_, and even I'm learning from these videos. Like Devi's recipes, the lack of onion and garlic is sort of a bummer, but I know where they go and can add them. Great post, AV!
posted by jocelmeow at 9:27 AM on December 8, 2008


nice find!
posted by Foosnark at 10:06 AM on December 8, 2008


mmmmmmm...naan.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2008


For anyone curious about why she doesn't use ANY onions or garlic. From her FAQ, and an expanded explanation of rajasic and tamasic foods.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:35 AM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Very interesting, Ambrosia.

It should be pointed out that Garlic and onion are avoided by spiritual adherents because they stimulate the central nervous system, and can disturb vows of celibacy. Garlic is a natural aphrodisiac.

*adds garlic to shopping list*
posted by exhilaration at 10:51 AM on December 8, 2008


I heart Manjula! And how about that, cooking shows that are entertaining and informative without gratuitous soft-porn closeups of the cook's buzzies.
posted by HotToddy at 12:04 PM on December 8, 2008


omg.

Concurrence.

Strong re-emphasis via not-very-amusing fake anecdote about vigorous favoriting that resulted in mouse damage.


Yes.

Although I will be adding garlic and onions.
posted by rtha at 12:14 PM on December 8, 2008


I heart Manjula! And how about that, cooking shows that are entertaining and informative without gratuitous soft-porn closeups of the cook's buzzies.

Bears repeating.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:43 PM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love things like this, where the cook is using department-store pots and pans, an electric stove, generic brand chickpeas, etc. Mark Bittman does this too, a bit -- his "studio kitchen" for the NY Times videos is nice, certainly, but he doesn't have a fancy gas stove or expensive knives.

There needs to be more stuff like this on the Food Network. Not that I don't love Mario Batali or (even) Rachael Ray, but people need to realize that you don't need to drop $150 on a Le Crueset dutch oven (much as I love mine) to make a soup, for instance.

I've never been a big fan of Indian food, but I will certainly give some of these a try! Thanks!
posted by rossination at 1:08 PM on December 8, 2008


the best part of traveling the world is coming home. mom's in the kitchen cooking dinner. stir fry chilli chicken boneless and parathas

*quits whining about her mother, realizes she's the envy of the interwebs ;p*
posted by infini at 2:25 PM on December 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I love things like this, where the cook is using department-store pots and pans, an electric stove, generic brand chickpeas, etc.

My favorite cooking show as a kid was the Cajun guy who cooked stuff that was pretty no-nonsense, all while telling you some story or other.
posted by Tehanu at 2:32 PM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks a ton for this post! We made the potato yogurt curry tonight and it was really delicious. I think I might try some of the dessert recipes for a little bit of something new during the holiday season.
posted by selfnoise at 4:44 PM on December 8, 2008


I often say that everyone should have an Indian granny. My daughter has a close friend who has an Indian granny at home and she spends a lot of time over there after school, allegedly doing homework, but also eating lots of awesome Indian food and being fussed over by Indian granny. My daughter doesn't have any grandparents, so she gets to bask in a little bit of grandparental nurturing from Lal's Indian granny. I wish I had an Indian granny.

I should ask Lal's Indian granny to give my daughter cooking lessons!
posted by goshling at 4:47 PM on December 8, 2008


I've been a Manjula fan for a while. You can tell the woman really cooks with love. Whenever I'm feeling stressed out or annoyed, I settle back and watch some Manjula and everything in the world seems OK again.
posted by contessa at 6:33 AM on December 9, 2008


Om nom nom nom
posted by hardboiled at 7:12 AM on December 9, 2008


do I know you hardboiled?
posted by infini at 8:48 AM on December 9, 2008


Wow. Manjula is the internet's aunt.

Can I say that? It all looks so deliciously loving and lovingly delicious!

I need a pizza stone, too.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:17 PM on December 9, 2008


Aloo Gobi

...from the DVD extras from Bend It Like Beckham

SERVES 8 (change servings and units)


* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, peeled and cut into small pieces
* 1 bunch fresh coriander, separated into stalks and leaves and roughly chopped
* 1 small green chilies, chopped into small pieces (or one teaspoon chili powder)
* 1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and cut evenly into eighths
* 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces
* 2 cans diced tomatoes
* fresh ginger, peeled and grated
* fresh garlic, chopped
* 1 teaspoon cumin seed
* 2 teaspoons turmeric
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons garam masala

Directions

1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add the chopped onion and one teaspoon of cumin seeds to the oil.
3. Stir together and cook until onions become creamy, golden, and translucent.
4. Add chopped coriander stalks, two teaspoons of turmeric, and one teaspoon of salt.
5. Add chopped chillis (according to taste) Stir tomatoes into onion mixture.
6. Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly.
7. Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce plus a few tablespoons of water (ensuring that the mixture doesn't stick to the saucepan).
8. Ensure that the potatoes and cauliflower are coated with the curry sauce.
9. Cover and allow to simmer for twenty minutes (or until potatoes are cooked).
10. Add two teaspoons of Garam Masala and stir.
11. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry.
12. Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for as long as possible before serving.

(if it's runny, leave it on the heat)
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:26 AM on December 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Found this because of the podcast. These are really great. I wish there was a South Indian equivalent of Manjula. I think I'm going to film my mom cooking sometime and put those up on YouTube.
posted by bluefly at 2:02 PM on January 5, 2009


http://www.mahadevanramesh.com/Articles/ramesh40.html

http://www.south-indian-recipes.com/index.html
posted by infini at 9:32 AM on January 6, 2009


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