Authentic Indian Dishes To Cook At Home
The title of my post “Authentic Indian Dishes To Cook At Home” may seem a little off piste, but please bear with me, it will all become clear…
I’ve been studying the progress of a Social Media savvy Chef on YouTube for some time now by the name of Chef John. This guy is hugely successful at what he does, he has really worked out how to to get his messages out there, and how to engage with his audience. Every week Chef John videos a new recipe which he uploads onto YouTube, it is accompanied with a post on his blog with supporting information, and he outputs a flurry of Twitter activity about what he’s just done. However, there’s a new kid on the block now, a new rival has recently appeared on the scene called Bhajiman and I shall be watching him with interest.
Make It Easy – With Passion
When people visit any of Chef John’s sites he makes it really easy for everyone to connect, spread his message, and become an involved member of his fast growing community. You may think that’s the main of the reason for his success but you ‘d be wrong – It’s because he’s found a niche, he is producing the content that his followers are hungry for (no pun intended!) and most importantly, he’s passionate about what he does, he has lots of fun doing it, and it shows.
When you look at Chef John’s work, he makes it looks so easy, and I’ve been watching him evolve and develop over over last few years. He has a formula – and it’s a magic one – Give people exactly what they are looking for, make is easy for them to spread his message through social networking, and have fun while you’re doing it.
Although in comparison Bhajiman has only just started his social media journey he’s selling products that make cooking Indian dishes in the home easier for people. He comes across as having a very shy and gentle persona, but whether that’s a deliberate part of his online persona or not time will tell.
Here’s what I’ve learned…
Chef John is authentic in everything he does within his niche. He produces a 3-4 minute video recipe that anyone can watch to learn how to cook great looking, and awesome tasting food. He makes it fun, he makes it sound easy, and it’s genuine. He doesn’t have any hidden agenda, he’s not selling anything. He’s passionate about what he does, and simply enjoys helping everyone in his own inimitable and friendly way. His cookery videos are well thought out, they follow a simple pattern – You watch one, and all the other videos work in the the same way. Because he’s authentic you trust him.
Bhajimans videos are about using the products he’s selling. His products are specifically designed make Indian cookery easy for the general public, and his market is very niche. I’m sure we’ll find in time that as he learns how to use the tools that will enable him to engage with his audience we’ll see him move from this traditional sales approach to a more intimate one with his audience. He does have a Twitter account @bhajiman, and a great looking website at www.recipeinabox.bhajiman.co.uk but sadly there isn’t even a Twitter or YouTube button to be seen anywhere on his homepage – and he doesn’t even have his own YouTube channel yet.
There’s only one Indian dish I could find on Chef John’s site, and that was for Tandoori Chicken – an American version! He lists many different foods from all over the world, but there are no authentic Indian dishes. So why hasn’t Chef John produced any videos for recipes of authentic Indian Dishes? Because his visitors aren’t talking about them, they’re not asking him for Indian dishes, so he isn’t making videos of them.
Conversely Bhajiman cooks only Indian dishes on this site, but only dishes that use his products. Bhajiman doesn’t yet have a proper Social Media platform in place yet where he can engage with his fans or give them a voice. As a result he’s almost deaf to their words, he cant ‘t listen to what his audience are saying, he can’t find out what they’re looking for, or what he needs to do to meet their needs and satisfy their hunger. I hope that Bhajiman starts opening up his social media channels soon as I want to see him sharing more authentic Indian recipes that we can cook ourselves with our own ingredients.
Cooking at Home
Finally, Chef John makes it easy for everyone to cook what he’s cooking in their own homes. He’s not trying to introduce specialised cookware, or using overcomplicated cookery processes, or trying to baffle us with “Cheffery Gobble-De-Gook” He’s making it simple for us. He’s ripped away all of the barriers to make sure that anyone can cook his recipes, just like he cooks them, but in their own homes. He uses simple ingredients that most people will already have in their homes, and uses a basic selection of cooking utensils that everyone should have in their cupboards at home as well.
Bhajimans products are designed to make cooking Indian food easy for us, but I fear that if he doesn’t start engaging with his audience soon he’ll just become one of the million other shops that are lost in the crowd on the internet.
We could all learn a lot from Chef John, I admire what he’s doing, the way he’s doing it, and the fun he’s having. It will be interesting to see if Bhajiman adopts Chef John’s tactics and becomes more passionate about what he’s doing and puts the social media tools in place that enable him to engage with his audience.
Are you Authentic? Are you cooking Indian Dishes? Are you helping people to Cook At Home? Are you Passionate about what you do and and Having Fun doing it? No? Then if you want to be as happy and successful as Chef John, then maybe it’s time that you re-examined your own Social Media strategy!
Authentic Indian Dish To Cook At Home – Pilau Rice
So as not to disappoint any readers who may have stumbled across this article expecting an authentic Indian dish that they could cook at home, here’s how to cook my recipe for Pilau Rice. This would be a perfect accompaniment to one of Bhajiman’s dishes or to Chef John’s Tandoori Chicken, so maybe we could persuade them both to create a video of this amazingly authentic Indian dish for us too!
Preparation takes 10 minutes, plus time needed to soak the rice, cooking takes 25-30 minutes.
- 275g/10oz/1 3/3 cups basmati rice
- 50g/2oz ghee or unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 8 whole cloves
- 8 green cardamoms, split open the top of each pod
- 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 inches long each, broken up
- 8 whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 570ml/20fl oz water
- 1 1/4 tsps salt, or to taste
- 1 heaped tsp butter
- 15g/1oz seedless sultanas
- 25g/1oz flaked almonds / or sliced hard-boiled egg (see step 9)
- Wash the rice and soak in cold water for half an hour. Drain well.
- In a heavy-based pan melt the ghee or butter over medium heat and fry the onions until they are soft but not brown (about five minutes).
- Add the garlic, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns. Stir and fry until the onions are golden brown (3-4 minutes).
- Add the rice and turmeric, stir and fry for 1-2 minutes. Adjust heat to low, stir fried rice for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water and salt, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.
- Remove the pan from the heat and keep it undisturbed for a further 10-12 minutes.
- Melt the 1tsp butter over a gentle heat and fry saltanas until they change colour and swell up (one minute). Transfer the saltanas onto some kitchen roll on a plate, and in the same fat fry the almonds until they are lightly browned. Remove and drain the almonds on the kitchen roll with the sultanas.
- Put the pliau rice into a serving dish and, using a fork, gently mix in the fried saltanas and almonds.
- For a more savoury version, omit the almonds and use a hard-boiled sliced egg to garnish.
Have your say
What are your observations of successful social media activities, is there something that really caught your eye on someone’s social media site lately? If so, please tell me about it in the comments below – Thanks.
If you would like help with your social media strategy, social media policy development, or social media training for your staff and management teams on how to use social media effectively while protecting your brand and reputation, or would like to book Ian to speak at your next event then:Call Ian on: 07979 593 970 or CLICK HERE>