“Fan Favorite was probably even more rewarding than winning the competition in certain ways because it’s coming from the audience,” Aarti says. “There is something very democratic about the fans being able to vote you in as well, to have their voice heard. I’m really thankful.”
For her four-video series, Aarti chose topics that give viewers new insights into the Indian cuisine she’s cooking up on Aarti Party, which just debuted its second season. For example: The ever-mysterious curry. “The number one question I get is definitely ‘how do I make a curry?’” Aarti says. “I am so glad to finally have the chance to explain what it is, what it isn’t, and that it’s actually not all that hard to prepare.”
After many questions from fans about all the seemingly exotic ingredients she uses in her kitchen, Aarti devoted a video to the Indian pantry. “It only takes a few key ingredients to make your kitchen look like mine and equip yourself to incorporate some unexpected Indian flavor into your food. So, finally — here’s my list.”
In another webisode, Aarti spices up side dishes. She takes a simple ingredient—carrots—and prepares it three different ways, using Thai and Moroccan influences as well as Indian. “Side dishes can often feel really boring,” Aarti says. “If you think about them as a way to expand your cooking repertoire, they can actually be quite exciting. It’s a great place to practice new flavors, just like I have done here with carrots.”
Aarti has heard from many fans who are still a bit intimidated by Indian cuisine, so her fourth video is all about adding easy Indian flavors into everyday foods. “Indian food can often be laborious,” she admits. “But you can still sneak some Indian flavor into your weeknight dinners with just a few easy tricks.” Even something as simple as sprinkling a bit of garam masala over hot cocoa brings a new, slightly exotic burst of flavor.