We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton Writer
Updated on May 2nd, 2024
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The Colors of Indian Cooking 2024: Cooking, Color & Flair

DeliveryRank chats with Kathy Gori from The Colors of Indian Cooking. As a Hollywood screenwriter, Bollywood kitchen enthusiast, and multi-talented individual, Kathy brings a unique blend of creativity and passion to her newsletter.

Kathy, what inspired you to start your newsletter, and how has it evolved since its inception?

I launched my website in 2009 after participating in an Internet broadcast for a project called "Million Cooks." They had asked me to discuss Indian food, but the time slot was too short to cover a complex recipe. To address this, someone suggested I start a website where I could provide detailed recipes. I took the advice and began my site. While I'm not sure what happened to "Million Cooks," my website gained attention and was featured in publications like the New York Times and various Indian newspapers and magazines.

I have been cooking Indian food since 1990, and my website became a passion project alongside my profession as a screenwriter. My husband and I, both writers, have the flexibility to work from anywhere, so we have split our time between Los Angeles and Northern California. While I have never actively sought advertising for my website, I have started to consider it. Currently, some people pay for full access to the site, which includes over 800 recipes that are constantly being updated.

Your recipes often feature a blend of cultural influences and flavors. How do you ensure that these combinations are respectful and authentic while still offering a unique twist?

I am not Indian; I am of Italian and French Creole descent, with a blend of various other backgrounds, predominantly French and Italian. However, my family has strong connections to India. My sister-in-law is an indologist working on a book for Oxford Press, specializing in Indian art history. My late brother-in-law, an archaeologist, also spent years in India working at the Met.

I initially started cooking Indian food as a suggestion, which I can delve into later. Despite not being Indian, I have extensively researched Indian cuisine. I have consulted with Indian food writers, cooks, and experts to ensure authenticity in my recipes. I strive to respect and honor Indian cooking traditions, and while I provide substitutes for spices that may not be readily available to all, I aim to maintain the essence of the dishes.

One of my mentors in cooking was Paula Wolfert, a renowned advocate for North African and Mediterranean cuisine. Paula's approach to recipes was almost anthropological, focusing not just on the what, but also the why, how, and historical context of a dish. This resonated with me, as I have seen similar variations in Italian cuisine. Different regions within Italy have their own unique versions of dishes, each influenced by local ingredients, history, and culture. India, too, is incredibly diverse in its culinary traditions, much like Europe. The country's vastness, varied climates, historical influences, and colonization have all contributed to a rich tapestry of regional cuisines. My approach to Indian cooking is one of curiosity and respect—I am eager to learn and understand the nuances of this diverse culinary landscape.

How do you approach incorporating seasonal ingredients into your recipes, and what role do you believe seasonality plays in creating flavorful and sustainable dishes?

I am currently based in Los Angeles, where I am fortunate to have access to a diverse range of international ingredients. The city boasts a vibrant market scene, offering a plethora of fresh produce from around the world. While I reside in a rural and agricultural area, I also grow a significant portion of my own produce, including fruit trees and vegetables.

I make an effort to cook with seasonal ingredients, aligning my recipes with what is locally available. During the summer months, I have access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, making it easier to draw inspiration from Southern Indian cuisine, which often features these abundant ingredients. In contrast, the winter months present a different array of produce, leading me to explore dishes from Northern India, where these seasonal items are more plentiful.

While there are not many Indian markets in my area, I do have access to a Cambodian market about 25 miles away. This market allows me to procure implements and ingredients that are essential for certain recipes. Additionally, I occasionally venture further afield to source unique items, such as banana plants, or jackfruit, which has become more widely available and is a versatile ingredient in Indian cuisine.

My goal is to create recipes that are accessible to most people, using ingredients that are readily available or can be substituted with more common alternatives. By cooking with seasonal and local produce, I aim to showcase the diversity and richness of Indian cuisine, while also promoting sustainability and a connection to the land.

How do you decide on the content and topics to cover in each edition of your newsletter, and what factors influence these decisions?

I'm quite active on social media, where I share my daily cooking adventures. Alongside this, I'm collaborating with my husband, who is a screenwriter, on a film project, which currently involves rewriting a script. Since the pandemic, we've significantly reduced our restaurant visits, prompting me to take on more cooking responsibilities at home. I've taken to baking our bread and making yogurt regularly, among other culinary pursuits.

I often experiment with new dishes and techniques, sharing my creations on Twitter. I enjoy engaging with my audience, seeking their feedback and suggestions. For instance, if I try a new Indian or Nepalese recipe, I'll share it and observe the response. Sometimes, I'll share non-Indian dishes, like when I made pretzel rolls, which unexpectedly garnered a lot of interest and requests for the recipe. Similarly, when I made Sicilian brioche recently and received positive feedback, I decided to share that too.

I recently hosted a large garden party and used my party-sized steamers to make momo, a type of dumpling popular in Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine, which was a hit. Following the enthusiastic response, I've decided to share the momo recipe so others can enjoy it, especially during the summer entertaining season.

My cooking and recipe sharing are often influenced by the season and popular demand. Whether it's for Christmas, Easter, or brunch gatherings, I aim to cater to what my audience is interested in seeing and cooking. So, if there's something you'd like to see me prepare, just let me know, and I'll happily share the recipe!

What do you hope subscribers gain from being part of your newsletter community, and how do you foster engagement and interaction among your readers?

I'm constantly engaged with people, even while working in my office. When I'm not focused on writing dialogue or script pages, I'm often immersed in online interactions, scrolling through various platforms and staying updated on what everyone is doing. It's a dynamic process where I'm simultaneously working and interacting with the online community.

I actively seek input from my audience, often asking them directly what they want to see or hear. My newsletter, which goes out weekly and sometimes bi-weekly, serves as a platform for this interaction. I regularly ask my readers what content they're interested in and what they'd like to see more of. This dialogue with my audience informs the content I create, as I often receive requests for specific recipes or topics.

I'm committed to engaging with my audience and being accessible to them. If anyone wants to talk or ask me a question, I'm always here and ready to engage in conversation.

Looking ahead, what are your plans or goals for the future of your newsletter, and how do you envision it growing or evolving over time?

I initially started the newsletter along with my website, and it gradually gained traction, attracting around 50,000 visitors per month or possibly more. However, when Elon Musk took over Twitter, there was a period of uncertainty and disruption. He made changes that affected the visibility and accessibility of certain content, causing concern among those of us running food websites. Fortunately, the situation seems to have stabilized since then.

To safeguard my content, I decided to create a presence on Medium and also considered utilizing Substack. I set up an alarm system for the website, so if someone tried to tamper with it, I would be alerted. This was a precautionary measure to protect the platform that I had worked hard to build.

I'm now contemplating the idea of publishing a book. I've been encouraged by many, including the late Paula Wolfert, to document my experiences and recipes. There aren't many Western women who have been cooking Indian food as long as I have without having Indian heritage, so there seems to be a unique perspective that I can offer. I'm considering starting with an ebook, perhaps a limited edition with a few select recipes. My husband, who is also my screenwriting partner, takes all the photos for the website and would likely be involved in the book project as well.

If you would like to find out more about Kathy Gori, please visit https://kathygori.substack.com/

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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