I have always believed that necessity is the mother of invention. For me, it’s hunger for good food that makes me always experiment and come up with something new every other time. Usually, every breakfast that I make is never repeated so my husband is always ever eager to try something new every morning.
Well, that’s my story and just like me, there are millions of you who love experimenting with food and the idea of cooking for their family and friends.
The Lifestyle Portal chanced upon this awesome video blog run by two 40-year-olds stay at home mums who started cooking once their children started school and they had enough time to dabble in the art of cooking.
We chatted with Anuja Balasubramanian and Hetal Jannu from Frisco, Texas who are already into their sixth year of video-blogging called ShowMeTheCurry.com about their love for culinary delights.
At the Lifestyle Portal, we’re in a look out for exactly these kind of inspirational ladies who have taken the step to use their time in spreading the goodness and cheer through their culinary videos that bring the world together for their common love for food.
How did it all begin?
“Once our younger kids started school and faced with so much free time on our hands, we were on the lookout for something fun to do. The idea of ShowMeTheCurry.com came about in January 2007 and we launched our website and the first video on 7th May 2007,” recalls Anuja.
They started on their own and picked up tips and tricks along the way; so a regular digital home camcorders Hetal and Anuja gradually upgraded to HD cameras to shoot their food videos.
She further adds, “Both of us have had experience with unexpected results and food in the trash following recipes that had beautiful pictures. We know first hand how much can be lost in translation and realised how important the visual medium is in today’s world. We wanted to stand out in the crowd of cookbooks and blogs. Fortunately, we each had our own video cameras, which would have been a big expense to start this video blog. Other than that, we opened our business bank account with USD 2,000.”
Anuja and Hetal went back and forth with a lot of names and ShowMeTheCurry.com just hit the mark as they “show” their viewers how to cook the dishes through videos and “Curry” is synonymous with Indian food.
“We wanted the name to say it all. It’s a cute name that is not overly stiff and formal and best of all, easy to remember,” smiles Anuja.
Hetal adds, “We think the biggest challenge is that we have a varied set of viewers – some that just love short-cuts and some who are the purist who would not consider anything but the authentic way to doing things.”
So they try to include both styles in their videos. If there is a shortcut to a process with no compromise on flavour, Anuja and Hetal share it with their viewers. However, when there is a certain process that defines a recipe, they have to oblige and make the dish the traditional way.
If you’re wondering about any of their previous formal training in the culinary stream, pat comes the reply, “No, we have no formal training, but we do consider our many years of cooking experience to be equivalent to training. Being foodies, we are always on the lookout for new and different cuisines and techniques. It is a matter of taking what we see and recreating dishes catered to our taste buds,” says Hetal.
Anuja recalls her favourite memories of food, “I used to sit on the kitchen window ledge and watch my grandmother cook wonderfully delicious food for us and eat it right out of her hand. What a wonderful memory. And now, the convenience of pre-packaged food has made cooking from scratch virtually obsolete. If time permits, cooking from scratch will always give you the best flavour.”
There are a million videos showing a million different recipes but what really sets ShowMeTheCurry.com above everyone else is the level of professionalism and quality of videos and the preciseness of their recipes.
“The format of our show is not that of a teacher/student. We are more like the next-door neighbour or friend showing a recipe,” adds Anuja.
Tips from ShowMeTheCurry.com
Here are the top five tips that Hetal and Anuja share with our readers.
Follow these simple yet very important tips to enhance your cooking technique and flavour:
- Avoid oversalting or undersalting – ‘taste as you go’, is the best tip.
- Never overcook – When we overcook food, especially vegetables, we lose out on the texture and the flavour.
- Avoid stirring too much or flipping too often – avoid this and allow the food to cook properly.
- Never use pots and pans that are too small – Avoid overcrowding food and allow it to have ample space to ensure even cooking.
- Avoid adding seasonings to cold oil – Allow the oil to heat up before adding seasonings like mustard seeds, cumin seeds, etc.
While the ladies have conducted a couple of cooking classes and have really enjoyed the personal interaction with the folks, but at this point, they have no plans on a catering service or a restaurant.
Hetal mentions, “One of the reasons we started ShowMeTheCurry.com was to be able to have the flexibility to take care of our children and yet have a career for ourselves – we want to be able to have our cake and eat it too.”
Anuja adds, “We classify “ShowMeTheCurry.com” as a career because we treat it so. We have set hours which we work as well as a filming schedule which we follow. We have set goals and expectations for us and for the business. Since we started, our revenue has been on a steady climb and we are very happy with the way things are headed.”
Feedback so far
“Our family and friends are our biggest fans and are very proud of us and our achievements. We also get a lot of emails from people who share their stories about how ShowMeTheCurry.com has changed their lives. This kind of feedback encourages us to carry on and without it ShowMeTheCurry.com would not be where it is today,” beams Anuja.
With more than 16,000 Facebook followers, it just goes to show how loved ShowMeTheCurry.com is the world over.
In their case, both Anuja and Hetal have demystified cooking in their personal way that has given several viewers the encouragement and courage to try to start cooking for themselves and their families.
Cooking is not only a matter of survival. For many, it is an art, while for some it’s like therapy. Whatever it is for you, do make it a point to drop by at ShowMeTheCurry.com to learn some new recipes or even brush up on the old ones and discover the chef within you.
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