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YouTube - Manjula's Indian Kitchen

Searching for a good veggie korma recipe today, I came across this lovely Indian lady who is cookin' up Indian staples on YouTube. I am a bit intimidated by Indian cooking and disappointed in the lack of PBS and Food Network Indian cook shows (that's another thread...).

But, Manjula teaches you when to add the spices, how to "fry" the spices. Very interesting and I look forward to trying out her recipes.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=M...

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  1. compare the complexity of similar dishes, e.g., spinach with cheese
    (palak paneer) between manjula and this guy

    http://www.vahrehvah.com/videos.php

    i think he is more authentic and just as informative re technique.

    enjoy! indian food just takes time.

    24 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      I LOVE this guy! Thanks for the link. He is very enthusiastic and informative. Gotta got to the spice shop and load up!

        1. re: alkapal

          thanks! I am going to try to make my own paneer. The one from the store was okay, but it would be way cheaper to make at home. So, next time, I'll know!

          1. re: stellamystar

            let us know how your paneer works out. i haven't been satisfied with the store-bought, either.....

            maybe this will be useful to you. i have not made it before.
            http://www.nandyala.org/mahanandi/arc...

            1. re: alkapal

              Someone told me that making paneer takes a TON of milk and produces only a small amount...is that true?

              1. re: Val

                don't know, val. haven't made it. stella, look at the comments #18, 30, 32, 43, 53.

                i notice the blogger never answers when people inquire about the volume of paneer that should result.

                1. re: Val

                  When I make paneer, I get a little over 11 oz of cheese (after pressing) from 2 quarts of 2% milk. That is with using buttermilk to curdle it, which is the only time I've actually weighed it. If you use vinegar/lemon, I'd guess you would get a little less. The whey is not a total loss, however. I make bread with mine. Or you could use it in matar paneer as the liquid.

                2. re: alkapal

                  Thanks for the paneer link. I read somewhere you need 1 gallon of milk. It makes a lot, but I think it keeps okay. I am going to give it a whirl maybe tomorrow.

                  1. re: stellamystar

                    one comment said it only lasts a couple of days in the fridge -- maybe you can cook it all up in maybe three different dishes.

          2. re: alkapal

            Thanks for the vahrehvah link, he's too cute! I HAVE to forward this to my relatives in Madras, er Chennai:-) All his enthusiasm reminds me of Martin Yan's Yan Can Cook show from years ago. Yikes, I am showing my age!

            BTW, in that Manjula video, I felt she added way too much water to the spices before putting in hot oil (I am notorious for kitchen accidents). I usually don't add water but I understand what she was doing. One should add just enough water to make a paste.

            1. re: ceekskat

              ceekskat, i couldn't believe manjula added a flour slurry to thickenn her saag paneer! nor did she use any onion. ;-(

              1. re: alkapal

                Manjula does not use onion and garlic in her cooking b/c she follows Jain religion.
                Onions make the body of the curry , basically
                She substitutes a thin flour-batter for egg wash in a recipie for veggie cutlets too. Some of her substitutions are pretty clever, IMO.

            2. re: alkapal

              Thank you so much for posting the Vahrevah link! I just started to experiment with cooking Indian cuisine, and this is GREAT. It's exactly what I need to see + he gives you the recipes too. There isn't any really great Indian food where I live so I decided to try making it on my own. Recently, our Indian neighbors invited us over for a special dinner. It was an epiphany for me. All these years I've eaten Indian out, never having a home made meal, and it was like, what was I eating all this time? My neighbor’s food so far surpassed what's served in the typical Indian restaurants, I had come to enjoy. I still enjoy these places, but there was NO comparison as far as the flavor and quality of the meals cooked by my neighbor. I decided then I really need to learn more and cook my own Indian cuisine.

              1. re: alkapal

                ummm... You think a guy who makes some of his samosas with spring roll wrappers and tortillas is more "authentic?" Haven't watched his other videos, but on the samosas, he's a real klutz when it comes to forming them compared to her. Also, she uses no water in her filling, he does, then he ends up with original recipe soggy samosas and prefers those in spring rolls because they're crispier. Well, make a soggy filling and you'll get a soggy original recipe samosa! But he does have a lot more recipes available. Personally, I just didn't find him nearly as authentic. You gotta trust a mom who cooks on-line in her own kitchen! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  well gee caroline, i didn't watch his entire library -- nor manjula's. i was talking about the saag paneer. and i've never seen a flour slurry used, like manjula, in indian cookery. you watched one dish prepared by both. see if you agree with the difference between the two in complexity on other dishes. i'm not his cheerleader. i was just comparing them on a dish i know well....

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Well, first off, this is my THIRD time trying to talk to you! Let's see if the third time is a charm. '-)

                    Okay, I just went ot his website again and watched him make palak paneer. Understand that I tend to be a bit on the hyper-critical side when it comes to TV "coking teachers." I have taught cooking (classes for guys who were also newly divorced or widowed and suddenly had to cook for themselve and didn't know boil from fy. Fun!). Also I'm just not very "fusion" friendly when it comes to food. So, with that said, and a BIG portion of grains of salt in front of you, I will say this:

                    I think he is a strange cook! WHOLE garam masala, and he never removes the cinnamon stick or other whole spices? Yet when he stirs the sauce AFTER he has changed from a non-stick dark frying pan to a stainless steel frying pan, purportedly so that the viewing audience can better see the lovely color of his spinach, there are no longer any whole spices visible.

                    In the beginning of his demonstration recipe, he removes the spinach from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and puts it in a blender jar, but you never see him blend it, and when he adds the spinach to the recipe, there is a LOT of liquid with the spinach and no information how it got there Now, he did give out good information about not covering a pot of spinach if you want to keep the spinach bright green. But for a new cook, or someone unfamiliar with Indian cooking, he just left waaaaay too much information and steps out of this recipe if anyone expects to get the same result he did. And the missing steps are not covered in the recipe in the side-bar window.

                    He does have a charming personality, but is he a good cooking teacher? Not in my book! Oh, and by the way, in your first post you talk about his palak paneer (which is why I watched it) and in this one you say saag paneer.

                    Mileage may vary. '-)

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      palak is spinach. saag is greens.

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        TV production is still in its infancy in India; therefore, we shouldn't compare Sanjay's shows to the professionally produced fares in the U.S. Add to that, this is a You Tube broadcast, not even network TV. Kinda brings us back to, "why aren't there more ethnic cuisine shows on Foodtv?", another thread. Okay, so this guy is not the most polished chef, but his enthusiasm & general instructions should get people to try to cook Indian food. Martin Yan was the first to get me to try Chinese at home. Unless one is a complete novice, one knows enough about cooking in general to at least compare a few recipes before trying something new.

                        "Also, she uses no water in her filling, he does, then he ends up with original recipe soggy samosas and prefers those in spring rolls because they're crispier." - I just saw this video after reading your post. He is just using water/egg wash to hold the wrapper together (no more than one would for puff pastry). I don't think his flour based samosa was soggy, just not as crispy as the spring roll. Even the best made traditional samosas won't be that crisp. As far as spring roll wrappers not being authentic...you don't think home chefs/restaurants in India, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. are fiddling with traditional recipes & serving updated cuisines? He did present both. I'll be the first to admit that I almost gagged when I went back home & found out that some trendy places are serving dosas with cheese & other fillings! Make mine plain please.

                        One of my favorite appetizers to serve is the Deep brand frozen mini cocktail samosas (w/ potato filling) available in any Indian grocery store. Light tasting & perfect size to go with drinks as opposed to a big traditional one which will surely kill your appetite for dinner. If they get soggy or you freeze them, just stick it under the broiler for a few minutes. There's also the Deep spinach & paneer samosa which are not bad & those can be baked:-)

                        1. re: ceekskat

                          ceekskat wrote:

                          TV production is still in its infancy in India; therefore, we shouldn't compare Sanjay's shows to the professionally produced fares in the U.S. Add to that, this is a You Tube broadcast, not even network TV. Kinda brings us back to, "why aren't there more ethnic cuisine shows on Foodtv?", another thread. Okay, so this guy is not the most polished chef, but his enthusiasm & general instructions should get people to try to cook Indian food. Martin Yan was the first to get me to try Chinese at home. Unless one is a complete novice, one knows enough about cooking in general to at least compare a few recipes before trying something new.

                          ------------------------------------------------
                          Caroline1 responds:

                          Actually, no. First off, Sanjay is not on You Tube; Manjula is. Secondly, TV production in India is at least 50 or 60 years old. I have no idea why you assume I am comparing Sanjay's show to a professionally produced U.S. TV food show. ____________________________
                          ceekskat wrote:

                          "Also, she uses no water in her filling, he does, then he ends up with original recipe soggy samosas and prefers those in spring rolls because they're crispier." - I just saw this video after reading your post. He is just using water/egg wash to hold the wrapper together (no more than one would for puff pastry). I don't think his flour based samosa was soggy, just not as crispy as the spring roll. Even the best made traditional samosas won't be that crisp. As far as spring roll wrappers not being authentic...you don't think home chefs/restaurants in India, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. are fiddling with traditional recipes & serving updated cuisines? He did present both. I'll be the first to admit that I almost gagged when I went back home & found out that some trendy places are serving dosas with cheese & other fillings! Make mine plain please.
                          _________________________________
                          Caroline1 responds:

                          You know, Sanjay DOES use water (by making a "slurry" of his spices) in his samosa filling. You seem to have missed that. In addition, I suspect that if he was as accomplished at making his samosa dough as she, and didn't use water with his spices in his filling to produce extra steam in the samosa interiors during cooking, he might not find using egg roll wrappers or flour tortillas to make crispier samosas all that appealing.

                          Indian cooking is not standardized in the way that a western recipe for, say, macaronni and cheese is. Check out 50 recipes for mac and cheese and chances are the vast majority of them will call for macaronni, a bechamel sauce, and cheese. Check out 50 recipes for any given Indian dish, and chances are they won't have nearly as much in common. It's the nature of Indian cooking.. .

                          But speaking of out of context, BOTH of my posts were in response to alkapal's original comment when he gave the website for Sanjay Thumma in which he said, "i think he is more authentic and just as informative re technique." (his words, read back if you don't believe me) Turns out he is not more authentic, nor is he as informative on technique, at least not on the recipe that alkapal pointed to, or those I viewed on my own.. I stand by my opinion.

                          ------------------------------------------------------------
                          ceekskat wrote:

                          One of my favorite appetizers to serve is the Deep brand frozen mini cocktail samosas (w/ potato filling) available in any Indian grocery store. Light tasting & perfect size to go with drinks as opposed to a big traditional one which will surely kill your appetite for dinner. If they get soggy or you freeze them, just stick it under the broiler for a few minutes. There's also the Deep spinach & paneer samosa which are not bad & those can be baked:-)
                          ---------------------------------------------
                          Caroline1 responds:

                          This specific conversation was NOT about what one finds in the frozen food section of a super market. I am never surprised by the weird innovations found there. This conversation was about Sanjay Thumma's "authenticity" on VahRehVah.com in comparison with Manjula's Indian Kitchen on youtube.com.

                          Frankly, I was concerned that someone newly coming to this thread might accept alkapal's assessment of Sanjay's superiority and not bother checking out Manjula. She may not have the same TV production values as Sanjay, and her "set" is obviously her very own home kitchen, but when it comes to Indian cooking, I personally find her the more accomplished of the two. By far.

                          If I sound crabby, it's only because being taken out of context and then talked down to does that to me. However, I do recognize your good intentions. It's just better to read and understand all of the pertinent posts in a given conversation before jumping in. But thanks for the thought. :-)

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            I appreciate you recognizing my good intentions as that's just what it was. I guess it's a given when not communicating live. For example, my rec for the frozen samosas was purely an fyi for those who may be interested and that is why I wrote it in a separate paragraph.

                            I was intrigued by your comment about the age of TV production in India because I didn't think TVs existed in India when I left in '73. I posed this question to my husband as soon as he walked through the door this evening. His reply, "When I was in college". He studied from '76-'81. I said are you sure? He said, "Well, we didn't have TVs before then". I know this doesn't mean nobody else had TVs but really, he did have almost everything one could ask for in India at the time. In addition, the first several years of tv programming was government run with basic news shows, movies, & such. Soon after came sports, old shows from the U.S., BBC, etc., and eventually home grown shows. Perhaps you were referring to the Bollywood film industry, the source for major motion pictures? Now that's a different story!

                            1. re: ceekskat

                              Oh, god. You're just determined to squeeze my age out of me, aren't you! '-)

                              Welllll... When I was in college in the fifties (San Diego State), my best friend was an exchange student from New Delhi, a brilliant and amazing girl. A grad student at 19! A graduate of University of New Delhi. Or is it just "University of Delhi? Anyway, her undergrad major was Eastern Philosophies, but in this country she was taking communications classes for the year she was here as a Rotary Club exchange student. We met the first day of our television directing class.

                              She had some student experience with TV in India, as I recall, but I don't remember (if I ever knew) whether it was closed circuit TV on campus, or just what it was. But I do remember her talking frequently about TV in India back then. She spoke something like 19 Indian dialects and languages, plus "The Queen's English", and one of the things she waxed about was the great potential of television to reach the entire country in all of its languages.

                              She was Sikh, and married the Indian Army captain she had been betrothed to since age 5 soon after she returned to India. We were both moving around the world a lot back then and subsequently lost touch. Something I've regretted for half a century!

                              You don't mention where, in India, you or your husband are from, but as we both know, it is a HUGE contry! I do know that waaaay back then, Amteshwar had hopes of pioneering TV broadcast in some of the "isolated" regions of India, using some of her many languages. Don't know if she ever got to do that. Back then wives (Indian AND American) made their career hopes and aspirations secondary to their husband's. We were kind of like Yalies, with their Wiffenpoof Song... "We're little lost sheep who have gone astray... baaah, baaah, baaah...."

                              1. re: Caroline1

                                How about we call it even? I am already afraid the CH police jumping on this.

                                http://www.indiantelevision.com/india...

                                1. re: ceekskat

                                  Ah yes. Chow police! '-) Looks like Amteshwar may have been talking about an on-campus closed circuit TV system. Thanks for the link!

                    2. re: Caroline1

                      Samosas made with spring rolls is pretty common in the Indian supermarkets. Haven't seen them made with tortillas though. That doesn't sound right.

                  2. OKay - I made a Manjula's Veggie Korma AND Vahrehvah's Tandoori Chicken.

                    My paneer fell apart in the korma, but it was still good - I didn't deep fry it like Manjula suggested - just pan fried...so, that was probably part of it.

                    Vahrehvah's tandoori chicken was SOOOOO good. Next time, I will cut back the chili powder a bit (I'm a weenie!). Incredibly easy and really good.

                    1. Thanks for the link. I made Manjula's vegetable korma for dinner tonight, and it was awesome.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Jackpot

                        Happy Korma! I made the paleek paneer tonight and it turned out great. I added some garam masala - I just love that stuff.

                        1. re: stellamystar

                          i found manjula's samosa video a couple of months ago and am in love with her..i wish she had her own site so i could show my students it, as youtube gets blocked by the school i work at.

                          1. re: sixelagogo

                            Manjula does have a website now - www.manjulaskitchen.com. I would choose manjula over vahrehvah or showmethecurry any day. Cheers.

                      2. another nice indian food blog with lots of recipes.
                        here is that blog's palak paneer:
                        http://www.sailusfood.com/2006/08/02/...

                        do explore!

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: alkapal

                          How DO you find these websites:-)? I would love to find some for Chinese too.

                          1. re: ceekskat

                            ceekskat, it was a link from the food blogs on this link (which hannaone supplied re a carrot greens inquiry over in home cooking!)
                            http://www.somethinginseason.com/2005...

                            which led me to "naughty curry"
                            http://www.naughtycurry.com/home/

                            which led me to the link on indian food i list.

                            on that "naughty curry" site, there are several "blogs they dig" that are indian food -- and so much more. whee!

                            i just have a little look when food blogs have links to others. sometimes the path is quite a fascinating hopscotch! real gems, some duds. a vast foodie universe on the web, indeed.

                            some chinese i have bookmarked:
                            http://www.chinesefood-recipes.com/co...
                            http://asiarecipe.com/chimenu.html

                            and these beautiful sites:
                            http://www.creampuffsinvenice.ca/
                            http://cupcakeblog.com/
                            http://community.livejournal.com/bake...
                            http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe...
                            http://www.stephencooks.com/
                            http://dineanddish.squarespace.com/
                            http://www.forkandbottle.com/
                            http://chocolateandzucchini.com/
                            http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/fo...

                            and mega food blog portal (SAFE to go to....despite the name):
                            http://foodpornwatch.arrr.net/

                            now that should keep you going for a little bit!
                            ;-)

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Alkapal - Thanks for the great links!!! Who needs to clean the house when I can read all afternoon!!??

                                I am making paneer today, people!! Please pray for me.

                                1. re: stellamystar

                                  hey stellamystar, just back. you are most welcome for the links. how did the paneer go? pics?

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    Hi Alka - sorry! I just read your post. The Paneer was a bust. I don't think I added enough of an acid. I ended up buying some. I think my heat was too high, as my pot was scorched, too.

                          2. another excellent indian food link; explains regional differences, and has recipes:
                            http://newkerala.com/recipes/

                            one more! http://foodindian.com/