Born in New Delhi but living in Santa Monica for most of her life, Neelam’s style weaves the two traditions in ways that emphasize food that is both delicious and healthy. She stocks her pantry with grains and flour, her freezer with basics she pre-prepares, and a kitchen drawer with spices – many of which she grows in her yard, dries out, and pulverizes into powder. These staples are mixed with whatever produce inspires her each week at the local Farmer’s Market; in southern California, there are no end to the possibilities.
To produce the pilot, V&V filmed Neelam two days ago walking around the market as she examined and chose the produce that enticed her palate this week. Yesterday we videotaped her cooking the dishes that she envisioned as she worked with the ingredients. She shared some of her philosophies and recipes in interviews, and two cameras captured her beautiful works of art at their various stages of unfolding.
When the cameras shut down, our mouths opened up to a scrumptious delight: parantha bread with rosemary and cheese, charred purple cauliflower and sushito peppers with cha’at masala, stove-roasted heirloom tomatoes, and baby potatoes covered in an array of delicious spices. There are many reasons we hope the pilot that now goes into post-production editing will be successful, not the least of which is the anticipation of the next set of Neelam’s California Indian delights!