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Jolie Cooks with Madhu Project

Posted on June 2, 2021 at 11:11 AM by Madhu Gadia

June 2, 2021  

Jolie Cooks with Madhu Project



Dear Friends, 

When Jolie Zimmer from Milwaukee first emailed me her plan, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. She wanted to master the art of Indian cooking—and, inspired by the hit film Julie and Julia; she wanted to do it by cooking her way through my cookbooks. I simply closed my eyes to soak in the information. Was this the sign of my dream coming true? Julia Child, author and TV personality, made French cuisine accessible to the American audience. My primary goal has always been to teach - novice to seasoned cooks - how to cook Indian cuisine easily and effortlessly. 

It all started about a month ago when I received an email that made my day. I was so excited that I immediately shared it with my husband, who simply smiled. 

Jolie: Potato Needs Your Recipe! 

"Hi Madhu, I literally stopped mid-bite just now after tasting Potato Stew (Lipte Aloo) from your Indian Vegan Kitchen.  We are not vegans but love Indian food.  I have attempted cooking Indian dishes in the past, but the recipes never tasted ‘real.’ This is the first Indian recipe that I cooked and swooned over. I am not exaggerating:  the potato needs this recipe!!

I used your book to re-stock my Indian supplies to get back into your great cuisine. Thanking you for your book – Jolie Zimmer, Milwaukee.”

I thanked her and asked if I could share her feedback on my site. She said yes and then asked me a question that took me by surprise.  



"Did you see the movie Julie & Julia?” she wrote. “It's about a young woman who cooks all of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking [by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck] and was based on her blog about the experience. I'm thinking about cooking all the recipes in your vegan cookbook and seeing what happens!!"  

I had seen the 2009 movie, based on a book by the blogger, Julie Powell; I had never even thought that someone would cook their way through my cookbooks. The concept was so validating that my head was spinning with ideas. 
"I'm not going to do a blog, but maybe we could keep in touch as I do this,” her email continued. “I'm excited about it. I love writing and talking and Indian food and learning. Is there a kernel of something here??"


"Jolie Cooks with Madhu" Project is born

Together, Jolie and I decided to share her journey on my website — Cooking with Madhu — as a weekly column called “Jolie Cooks with Madhu.” 

After a few more emails and a couple of Zoom meetings, we have decided to make it a reality. In addition to The Indian Vegan Kitchen, Jolie also purchased the New Indian Home Cooking. To start, she will cook about 20 recipes and post her experience every week.

Follow the Adventure

How will she do? What recipes will be a hit? What challenges will she encounter? Follow along, and we’ll find out together. 

I'll post the weekly Jolie Cooks with Madhu Column starting next Tuesday, June 7th. 

What is your favorite recipe from The Indian Vegan Kitchen or New Indian Home Cooking? Please share your recipe experience in the comments or social media using hashtags: #CookingWithMadhu, and #MasteringTheArtOfIndianCooking

To help you navigate the recipes, I recently added a Recipe Tab under Blog (hover over the blog in the main navigation). Both Recipes and Blog tabs have a search option to help you find the recipes? I hope you will join in Jolie's adventure. 

Jolie and I look forward to cooking and connecting with all of you.

Happy and Healthy Cooking! 


Madhu Gadia


Categories: Blog Articles

Thank you, Katherine. You are making a variety of everyday to complicated dishes such as stuffed cauliflower. -- Madhu
Katherine | 9/16/21 at 3:18 PM
Madhu, I can relate to Jolie because authentic Indian curry was out of reach for me until I started making your recipes. My husband and I love the variety of recipes and that they are low in fat. I have both of your cookbooks! I make toor dal for lunch almost every day, adding spinach for extra greens. I never get tired of it. Stuffed cauliflower is amazing as well as the mango soup. Lately I have been making your cabbage-peanut salad. If I don't have peanuts, I substitute whatever nuts are in my pantry. Thank you Madhu!
Katherine | 6/3/21 at 6:26 AM
Inspiring ...Madhu ..
Sharda Arora | 6/2/21 at 7:43 PM
What a cool idea Jolie. Go for it! This experiment could lead to new adventures.
Rema Nilakanta | 6/2/21 at 4:47 PM
Great idea! I like all of the dals, but am interested in all of the vegan/ vegetarian recipes. Not the meat recipes.
JoAnne Wagner | 6/2/21 at 1:39 PM
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