Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Vah Reh Vah !!

We Indians of today cannot thank Sanjeev Kapoor enough for Khana Khazana, his cookery show on Zee TV; he proved that cooking good food in our own homes is possible.

Though we had amazing and celebrated chefs like Tarla Dalal from a long time, Mr. Kapoor brought out well kept secrets from the chef's kitchen's and presented it to us for our own good. I guess the show enjoyed patronage rivaling that of our legendary TV shows, Ramayan and Mahabharat.

"Kadhai mein tel garam kijiye, ussmein zeera daalkar thoda saute kar lijiye..." I need not write more, as I am sure you will be able to continue the recipe description and finish almost any vegetarian or non vegetarian dish that you would like to make and eat. Mr. Kapoor helped us cook better by teaching a lot of amazing recipes, and also the terms and phrases like saute, swaad anusaar, garma garam parosiye. He presented the chef's vocab to the aam janta, and we were able to note down recipes, share them verbally with our friends and family. Such a wonderful revolution...:)

I fondly remember the days when we learnt new recipes every sunday. My dad used to lovingly note down the recipes in his book and we used to look forward to preparing and relishing them soon. A non-veg recipe was always a treat, and vegetarian dishes were treated with equal gusto. I remember how much the atmosphere was charged when we had decided to prepare Dum Aloo one sunday, and Chicken Biryani the other. My siblings and I hadn't tasted these two delicacies ever, hence were super excited. Each recipe demanded a lot of family effort, but the resulting aromas and tastes were heavenly!

Chicken Biryani
Dum Aloo
Mr. Kapoor's advent marked the beginning of some other amazing cookery shows on every channel on Cable Television. Today, it is mandatory for each new channel to have its signature cooking show to be in place.

I am a foodie and I wont say anything more. And thanks to chefs like Mr. Kapoor whose shows were regularly enjoyed at my place, I started becoming a lover of tasty food. But alas! My mom, sensible as she is, prepared the healthy (read not so exciting) fare each day. I used to crave good food and this is what prompted me to learn the art of cooking.

Starting from cutting vegetables, doing dishes, cleaning chicken, shelling prawns, making poori's, sauteeing (most favorite activity), I moved on to become a specialist for various cooking styles like Chinese, Mughlai, South Indian, Goan etc. , obviously in a limited but a very good way. Then with a lot of iterations came a revelation that cooking in itself is an amalgamation of science, arts and most importantly love...:) Today, thanks to me staying away from family, and having met a real awesome room mate who taught me how to cook home food, I can prepare a tasty meal for a good group of 5 people (that's an achievement!)

With me improving as a chef, unfortunately the same cannot be said about Mr. Kapoor's shows. Though he has a full fledged channel today, his shows are no longer amazing and innovative as they used to be. Nowadays we enjoy shows like Highway on my plate, where the show anchors roam India and show us delicacies from everywhere. 

Rocky and Mayur, you guys simply rock!!
It does make us realise that there are so many tastes and smells to explore and experience in our own Motherland!

I believe that while having a meal, if one watches an amazing dish being prepared or relished on TV, the quality of the whole experience of eating gets automatically enhanced. With this in mind, I used to search videos online and one fine day, I luckily stumbled upon the youtube channel of this amazingly talented south Indian chef - Sanjay Thumma.

Sanjay Thumma - The VahChef

His Facebook page says: "Chef at Won the prestigious Gold Medal All-India chef's competition for culinary arts for his Recipes. Smile is his weapon.

His smile surely is a weapon, but this gentleman has many more weapons under his sleeve...:P

On his Youtube Channel, you will find some real amazing recipes, which will definitely make your mouth water. 

What stands out is this guy's innovative approach to the whole idea of having a show. He says "Vah Reh Vah is all about inspiring others to cook fresh food." Such an amazing thought! Though we all are doing things to earn a name and some good money, a well meaning job statement like this one sounds really good and warms the heart. I presume his intentions are to make the average westerner, or the working class Indian to understand how easy and simple it is to cook good Indian food and enjoy it. 

Better see his antics in live action, you will come back for more!
And how amazingly does this chef enjoy his creations! Some of his expressions while enjoying food almost sound orgasmic; kind of embarrassing at times, but at the end, you see that this man has a heart. He cracks his own silly jokes and laughs at them like a child. Writes outrageous disclaimers like "This is a show for adults who can appreciate a stupid sense of humor!". Plays tunes from movies like Don etc. at the opening of his shows. Has a very heavy south Indian accent. And is a damn confident fellow who loves what he does.

A man with a heart warming smile, funny antics and an amazingly human approach to the art of cooking, presenting a show with no hint of any staged drama and most importantly, superb recipes presented in a superb way! That is the VahChef for you...:)

Official site:

Note: You should see the comments on his recipes on Youtube. People really love him...:)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big fan of your culinary skills bro :) you have been an inspiration always!! Great article.. something new to explore.