Stay-at-home Moms Attract Thousands of Viewers to Their YouTube Cooking Show

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 By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar

Ok, I don’t know about some of you moms out there, but I’m a mess in the kitchen! There, I said it.  I grew up in a South Asian home with traditional Indian dishes, but sometimes I find making Indian food very time consuming.  I recently came across a wonderful channel called showmethecurry.com. ShowMeTheCurry is not just for the amateur cook or newbie to Indian cooking.  You can actually find an  extensive collection of Indian cooking videos to select from a variety of North Indian Recipes, Punjabi Recipes, South Indian Recipes, Gujarati Recipes, Bengali Recipes, Rajasthani Recipes, Thai Recipes, Indo Chinese Recipes, Kerala Recipes.   The site and show is the brainchild of Hetal  Jannu and Anuja Balasubramanian.  They’re friends, neighbours and busy moms that have taken simple recipies like Mung Daal and provided a new fresh way to look at tried, tested and liked versions of different South Asian recipes.   As two busy moms with barely enough time to breathe just like the rest of us, these two women have learned some quick and handy techniques to save time and energy in the kitchen.  “Show Me the Curry,” has  29,000 subscribers and 25 million views since its insception on YouTube.  Masalamommas.com had the chance to interview them about their site, inspiration and who wears the pants on their show!

Where did you two meet?

We met in Dallas about 18 years ago.  Anuja’s husband, my husband and I were friends at Southern Methodist University.

 What inspired you to start  ShowMeTheCurry.com?

We both share a passion for cooking and eating! We both had friends and family that could use a step-by-step guide to cooking Indian food.  These were talented, well educated people who just didn’t have the time to learn to cook while living at home with parents.  Once they had families of their own, they were lost in the kitchen.

 What’s so unique about this show?

ShowMeTheCurry.com is unique because we provide exact measurements for Indian recipes.  Most written recipes will have vague or approximate amounts and for a new cook, it is impossible to gauge the quantity. We also try to point out little tips and tricks along the way…problems that could come up while making the recipe.  We maintain a professional quality to the show so it does not look like someone holding a video camera over their stove.

Can you share the progression of the show from the small start you had to where it is today?

We started ShowMeTheCurry.com with very little investment.  We had a home video camera, some shop lights and our husbands did the filming.  We have come a long way since then.  Whatever earnings we got from the website, we reinvested into the business.  We got better quality equipment along the way so you can see a steady improvement in the quality of our shows.  Besides the equipment, we ourselves have improved.  We started with no experience being in front of the camera.  If you’ve never done it, it is really hard talking to a camera!

 How do you  pick recipes?

We started filming recipes that were staples in our own homes.  After a while, our viewers started sending us their special recipes.  We try the recipe and if we like it, we will film it (crediting the viewer).  We also get tons of requests from our viewers.

 How do you both juggle motherhood and being entrepreneurs?

Luckily for us, we have a flexible schedule that allows us to work while the kids are in school.  Our workday starts the minute they leave in the morning.  Once they are home, we switch back to being the moms that taxi the kids to their various after school activities and help with homework.  It’s not an easy job.  Sometimes, we are up late nights editing a video or answering the hundreds of questions we get on a daily basis.

 Do you have any mentors that have inspired you along the way?

We are inspired by two people who are not necessarily our mentors -Martha Stewart for her savvyness as a business woman (Hetal) and Martin Yan for his light hearted approach to cooking (Anuja). They are our favorites among so many.

You’ve just been named as top 20 partners by YouTube, how does that  make you feel?

It is quite an honor and we cannot believe it!  We are so proud of our accomplishments and feel humbled by it at the same time.  It’s a great feeling to be noticed amongst so many others.

Who wears the “pants” in your show’s kitchen?

From the beginning, our partnership has thrived on being equal.  We make all decisions jointly.  If we disagree, we work it out and come to a “friendly” decision.

What makes your relationship work?

The sheer proximity helps a lot.  We are neighbors so getting together everyday to work is easy.  We have been friends for a long time so there was not a “getting to know one another” phase. We both have very different personalities so we get the best of both worlds when it comes to making decisions for our business.  We get to see all angles.

 

For more on Show me the Curry, visit www.showmethecurry.com

Recipe from Showmethecurry.com: Quinoa Pulao

Quinoa is the wonder food that is often referred to as “a complete protein” amongst plant-based foods. A grain-like seed originally from Peru, Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids needed for human health. It cooks in the same way as rice and can often be substituted in rice dishes. Try this Quinoa Pulao recipe and enjoy the health benefits and wonderful taste of Quinoa!

Watch Showmethecurry.com’s episode with Hetal and Anuja making this recipe here.

Prep Time: 30 mins soaking time
Cook Rime: 40 – 45 mins
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

Quinoa – 2 cups
Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Cinnamon Stick – 1″ piece
Black Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom – 2
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper – 4 or to taste, roughly crushed
Cloves – 4, roughly crushed
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Onions – 1/2 medium, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tbsp, minced
Garlic – 1 tbsp, minced
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Corn – 1 cup
Green Peas – 1 cup
Carrots – 1 cup
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Water – 3 cups
Lemon/Lime Juice – to taste

Method:

1. Wash Quinoa and soak in ample water for 30 minutes.
2. Drain all water and set aside.
3. In a pan, heat Oil on medium heat.
4. Drop in Whole Spices – Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Black and Green Cardamom. Cook for 30 seconds.
5. Add in Black Pepper, Cloves and Cumin Seeds. Let them sizzle.
6. Add Turmeric Powder and Onions. Cook for 1 minute.
7. Add Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies, mix and cook till Onions get translucent.
8. Add Quinoa and roast 5 minutes.
9. Add Vegetables, Garam Masala, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder and Salt. Mix
10. Pour in Water and add Lemon Juice.
11. Mix and let the water come to boil.
12. Reduce flame to low, cover with tight lid and cook for 30 minutes.
13. Remove lid, fluff Quinoa gently, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
14. Garnish with Cilantro and serve.

 


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