Posted on 09/21/2021 at 10:20 AM by Madhu Gadia
September 21, 2021
Jolie Cooks with Madhu Column:
Anyone can Cook Authentic Indian Food - I DID IT!
I Did it. Before, During, and After
For the past four months I’ve enjoyed the adventure of Cooking with Madhu. With her help I’ve planned, shopped for, cooked, shared, and reviewed twenty of her Indian recipes.
For years before our project, I loved Indian restaurants and wanted to cook Indian meals myself but was overwhelmed by all the spices, got lost in Indian grocery stores, and just didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t.
This April, I impulsively contacted Madhu after my success with Lipte Aloo, a potato recipe I found in her Indian Vegan Cooking, and our adventure together started. Our plan: Once a week I would cook a recipe from The Indian Vegan Kitchen or her New Indian Home Cooking and write about my experience here on her website. Then she would respond to my column with her own thoughts and suggestions.
One Recipe at a Time
Every week since then, I’ve cooked one easy-to-follow recipe at a time, sometimes with the help of others. The dishes included grains and beans, an array of vegetables, chicken, desserts, breads, homemade cheese, and drinks. Along the way, I became a more disciplined and careful cook and learned new techniques. My enjoyment expanded as I shared every dish with family or friends and noted tasters’ comments and ratings.
"I soon learned that even die-hard spice sceptics love Indian food!"
Recipe by recipe, Cooking with Madhu has given me confidence in preparing a complete Indian meal of dal, vegetable, bread, and dessert. I have learned about the cuisine of all the areas of India. I can navigate the aisles of Indian grocery stores with ease—even through the produce department.
This is Just the Beginning
And my love for Indian food continues to grow. I’ve finished my columns, but day by day I continue to cook with Madhu. There are over 250 of her recipes I haven’t tried yet. My goal is to cook them all.
Thank you, Madhu, for writing your cookbooks and for your complete support in this amazing JolieCooksWithMadhu project. - Jolie Zimmer
YEH - I want to shout from the top of the roof. She did it!
Jolie has truly mastered the art of Indian cooking! Sure, she is still learning, but once you know the basics of a cuisine, you feel comfortable venturing into other recipes. This totally reminds me of when I started cooking Mexican dishes or even pasta. It took a while before I could just whip it up.
I have no doubt Jolie will continue to cook new and exciting Indian dishes. As Jolie said, “the first 20 recipes were just the beginning.” As we chatted during the FB live - Chai & Chat - I could see and hear her enthusiasm and persistence.
Jolie and I did not know each other. Jolie reached out via email because she fell in love with the first recipe she tried, Lipte Aloo (Potato Stew).
Jolie was so excited that she wanted to cook through all the recipes in The Indian Vegan Kitchen - inspired by the movie Julie and Julia - See Jolie’s first column.
"Did you see the movie Julie & Julia?” writes Jolie.
“I'm thinking about cooking all the recipes in your vegan cookbook and seeing what happens!!"
Be Careful What You Wish For!
This project has been a super validating project for me. I wrote the books to teach Indian cooking, I wanted to teach people that Indian cooking is quick and easy and that anyone can cook great tasting, nutritious and delicious food at home. Thank you Jolie for showing the world that the recipes work and confirming that anyone can cook authentic Indian food (if they want to). All they need is well-written, easy-to-follow recipes.
Thank you all for reading these columns. Jolie and I would love to hear your thoughts, comments on this project.
Happy Healthy Cooking
Disclaimer: "Jolie Cooks with Madhu" is an independent column. The views expressed are Jolie Zimmers's personal cooking experiences and do not represent any product or company. They are not paid or reimbursed by any third party for their viewpoints.