Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being on the NBC midday news in Washington D.C. for a cooking demonstration on what else but chicken curry, one of my favorite Sri Lankan dishes. Thanks to my long-running cooking show on Youtube, Pan Asian , I’m very comfortable with cooking in front of a camera. No matter that I had to bring in everything that was necessary for the dish’s preparation (including a portable butane burner) or work on a very low table, but the one thing that totally threw me for a loop was the time limit. When they originally told me that the whole segment would last four minutes, I thought that was plenty of time to at least get the chicken started before finally pulling out the already prepared dish for the host to taste. But four minutes in TV time, might as well have been four seconds! The host, Barbara Harrison, chewed up much of that time reading the recipe’s ingredients, so when it cut back to me, I had to work quickly. In addition, there was just the slightest bit of pressure as she kept on asking me if it was time to add the chicken in the pot. When I finally did, I forgot to put in the curry leaves (not to mention the water, coconut milk, salt, and tomato paste, which come later anway)! No big deal in the end, however, as she liked the dish, and gave my book a nice plug. But it’s amazing how a good day’s worth of prep went into making that four minutes of TV happen.
I should also add that it was a great experience simply to see the newscast and weather report from inside the studio. The atmosphere was remarkably calm with surprisingly hardly any people around. Even the three huge cameras were remote controlled. No wonder unemployment is so high at the moment.
You can check out my cooking demo at the following link:
But to see how this recipe is really made, please use this: