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Spice Goddess on Cooking Channel

j
jujuthomas Aug 3, 2010 05:52 AM

did anyone else watch? I can't decide how I feel about her yet. what were your impressions?

  1. The Dairy Queen Aug 3, 2010 06:17 AM

    I've only watched the last 10 minutes or so of one of her shows. She seems very self-conscious on camera right now. It was during the portion of the show where she was finishing up a dish (a potato salad of some kind) and tasting it. She was just oohing and ahhing over it saying it tasted good. I'm hoping she settles down a little (who wouldn't be nervous at first?), and gets to the point where she can be more descriptive about the foods she's tasting in terms of heat, texture, aroma, etc. Also, as she's adding the spices, I would love for her to say things such as adds a "nutty flavor" or a "floral aroma," etc. I notice she said she was adding turmeric "for color", which is good, but it would be nice if she said what color. I happen to know, but to be honest, I am not 100% familiar with the individual contributions of the various typical Indian spices in part because I'm so familiar seeing them together.

    I would like to see a full episode or two. I think it has promise.

    ~TDQ

    1. s
      saffron10 Aug 5, 2010 11:47 AM

      So far, I really like her show. She does do a little too much oohing and ahhing when she tries the food, and I agree a little more explanation of some of the spices would be welcome, but overall it's informative and she's so pleasant to watch and listen to. Food looks absolutely lovely, like the salmon and sweet potato cakes she made last week.

      1. s
        sagestrat Aug 6, 2010 03:22 AM

        I agree. A little too much oohing and ahhing when tasting, but I think her recipes sound terrific and I have her show set to record on my DVR.

        Boy is that kitchen pristine! I wish she'd spill a little turmeric.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sagestrat
          j
          jujuthomas Aug 6, 2010 07:45 AM

          yes, a little TOO much 'MMMMMMM" describe the taste! :)

        2. p
          pamelal Aug 14, 2010 08:41 AM

          While I have never been a big fan of Indian food, watching her makes me want to try more dishes. I really enjoy her show and her backstory is amazing. I have actually bought the ingredients to try out her Spicy City Cake.

          6 Replies
          1. re: pamelal
            The Dairy Queen Aug 14, 2010 09:10 AM

            What is her backstory? I'm intrigued!

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              s
              SmartCookie Sep 4, 2010 11:31 AM

              Here's her bio:

              http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/bal-a...

            2. re: pamelal
              j
              jujuthomas Aug 15, 2010 07:14 PM

              that cake looked really good.
              I'm frustrated with the program because I am allergic to dairy, and it seems most of her dishes have yogurt in them. maybe this is why I have no experience with indian food.

              1. re: jujuthomas
                kleine mocha Sep 4, 2010 08:52 AM

                Can you not use soy yogurt? (I'm assuming there is such a thing!)

                1. re: kleine mocha
                  j
                  jujuthomas Sep 7, 2010 11:13 AM

                  there is such a thing. and yes, in some cases I'm sure I could sub it out. but I don't know, for example, the goal of marinating protein in regular yogurt. would the effect be the same if I used a soy yogurt or do i just skip entirely.

                  1. re: jujuthomas
                    kleine mocha Sep 8, 2010 07:46 AM

                    Well, if it was just a marinade I imagine you could substitute anything kind of tangy/sour. The effect of the flavor on the dish would probably be minimal. Anyway, I'm sure your are used to making substitutions/omissions like that for other things--the recipe is likely to still taste good, if not exactly like the original. Now if you had to omit half the spices, that would be another kettle of fish! ;-)

            3. h
              hueyishere Aug 15, 2010 07:30 PM

              I find the show a little boring, maybe I haven't watched it more than a couple of times but it just doesn't hold my interest.

              1. r
                runwestierun Aug 15, 2010 08:00 PM

                I really like it. I made her paratha recipe, and they turned out great. I would have no idea how to make them if I hadn't seen her show.
                I also like how she readily and often suggests substitutions. " I am using sweet potato but you can add cucumber. " "I am using full fat yogurt but any plain yogurt will work, low fat or non fat."
                "If you don't have this, don't worry, just add a tablespoon of lemon juice."

                I understand that she gushes alot, but I am watching her show for information, and she gives good information. She can giggle incessantly for all I care if she's teaching me something.

                1 Reply
                1. re: runwestierun
                  s
                  Sunnysidecook Oct 19, 2010 03:18 PM

                  I've also had good luck preparing her food, and I totally agree with you - I love how she provides options for ingredients for each recipe. She has opened up a whole new avenue of cooking for me. She makes cooking very accessible - clear but flexible directions. I think she will go far (I hope so!) I actually like her enthusiasm - it feels genuine to me. I think cooking is a real space of freedom and self-nurture for her.

                2. s
                  SumiCooks Sep 4, 2010 08:48 AM

                  I watched her a few times and overall I have to say nothing she makes is authentic, she uses the same spices repeatedly without explaining what they do. The garam masala mix is like no other used anywhere in India. I certainly will not try any recipe of hers. She also keeps mentioning healthy options and techniques while she is frying cheese! adding wine and using 4+ tbs of oil for sauteing. Just because you mix lentils with a stick of butter doesn't mean its healthy!
                  For most people who crave familiar Indian flavors that are popular in America and Europe her recipes will not satisfy. I don't think its pleasant to mix whole seeds into food. If you call yourself the spice goddess you gotta bring more to the table.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SumiCooks
                    s
                    sagestrat Sep 8, 2010 05:19 AM

                    I guess it's not your cup of tea, but boy that's a lot of hate. I don't think she's positioned herself as offering classic Indian cooking but rather a more modern twist on everyday cooking for family and friends with Indian flavors. (There's another Indian cooking show that tends to focus on regional Indian cuisine.) I think in general many of her recipes are far healthier than many popular Indian recipes and other shows on the Food Network/Cooking Channel. I've tried several of her recipes and will continue to do so. I think she brings some good flavors to simple, quickly prepared fresh food. If I want the food of Indian restaurants in the US and Europe, I'll go to them. If I want to spice up my everyday cooking, I'll look to her guidance. Again, we all have our viewpoints.

                    1. re: sagestrat
                      h
                      HillJ Sep 18, 2010 06:31 PM

                      I've enjoyed her show because her spice go tos aren't typically seen on food programs. Knowing the diff btw powders and whole seed usage, combining certain spices together for a specific result, taking traditionally long prep foods and making them quick and family friendly. I like it.

                      1. re: sagestrat
                        s
                        Sunnysidecook Oct 19, 2010 03:19 PM

                        I totally agree with you, sagestrat. She is sharing what she likes and the recipes I've tried have provided me and my family with healthy food that tastes great. I love her cookbook also.

                    2. s
                      Sunnysidecook Oct 19, 2010 03:14 PM

                      I have watched all her shows aired on American TV so far.

                      My Canadian friends who cook tell me she has a long-standing good reputation in Canada as a smart and talented recipe writer and teacher.

                      I really like her personality on the show, as well as her dishes. So far I have cooked about a dozen dishes from the show (and/or from her first cookbook - the second is due out in February and I have already ordered it). So for all the recipes I have tested have turned out really well. Her dishes are fast and simple, but delicious. I often let the stew type dishes sit a day in the fridge to blend the spices more, but she provides recipes for quick easy meals that are full of great nutrition. But unlike many healthy recipes I've tried, in her recipes I never miss the fat she leaves out because of how she uses spices.

                      In terms of her manner, I think she is a genuinely warm, smart person and I don't find her enthusiasm over the top. In fact, I find her joy and freedom in sharing her recipes contagious and inspiring. I also love how colorful her show is - the set, her dresses, the music - all make it a pleasure to watch. To me so many shows feel like a "shtick." I never feel that with her show. I've definitely become a fan!

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