Kriya Gangiah and Nicholas Goliath resort to cooking therapy during lockdown
Creativity and innovation have been the words currently bandied around during the lockdown.
With South Africans staying safe at home, keeping sane has inspired many people to manifest these words in our new way of life. Some have started doing so through webinars and by using different social media platforms and apps like TikTok as an outlet to entertain and be entertained.
Most influencers and celebrities have used the platforms available to connect with fans, earn and income and, in some instances, raise funds for those in need.
Of course, some of them have completely surprised us like Kriya Gangiah and Nicholas Goliath. Never have I imagined that I would be writing about them as talented cooks. But that is the skill set the lockdown has got them fine-tuning.
Below is a recent Q&A with them using cooking as a form of therapy at this time.
Clearly, the lockdown has got you spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Tell us more about this side of you and also what you've been cooking?
Kriya Gangiah (KG): I absolutely love to cook, I think being able to create a dish that people love and enjoy is a thrill for me. I have actually been trying a lot of Indian dishes, they can be slightly more complicated than most recipes and I don’t often have the time to spend on them. So far we have perfected, mutton curry, mutton biryani, naan, roti, mung dhal and so much more.
NG: I have always been a fan of the kitchen when it comes to cooking. My parents taught me to cook from a young age and I just loved the creativity of it. It started out with simple meals and has just progressed over the years. I've never been one to follow a recipe because I felt it limited my creativity in the kitchen, but I was sorely mistaken. I've learnt so much more during this lockdown and have even started following recipes.
How much time do you spend in the kitchen these days?
KG: I feel like the kitchen is my stress-free area, so I actually spend a few hours a day in it.
NG: Depending on what I'm in the mood to cook, I could be in the kitchen for around four or five hours. That includes cleaning up before and after because there are always dishes when you have two kids at home.
Tell us about some of the dishes and/ or baked goodies that you've created or adapted and how it turned out?
KG: I actually make profiteroles a few days ago with choux pastry and creme patisserie, I made them a little bigger than usual and didn’t make the creme as sweet.
NG: The dishes that immediately come to mind are the butter chicken and beef lasagna I made. Both dishes are something I had never tried making because I hated a recipe. The butter chicken was especially good because my wife made some garlic naan bread to go with it. The lasagna surprised me because I'm not the biggest lasagna fan but my kids love it and, more importantly, they loved mine. 100 dad points for me.
Have there been any kitchen disasters along the way?
KG: Every now and again things do go wrong. I left my falafel mixture in the blender for too long once and when I was frying them the little balls started exploding. Of course, this happening while they were in oil is not fun.
NG: I can't say there have been any disasters, but I did make a slow-cooked mutton curry that had the hardest potatoes. I still don't know why. They cooked for over an hour. The flavour was great but the potatoes were like little patches of sadness on the plate.
Obviously, your professional life has taken a bit of a backseat with the Covid-19 lockdown regulations in place. Tell us about how this has impacted on your career?
KG: Not being able to film and have a creative outlet is hard. You get very frustrated very quickly. I have spent a lot of time building puzzles. It one of the things that really calms me and keeps my brain busy at the same time.
NG: Wow, I don't know where to start. It's really hit hard since all public gathering have been stopped and comedy relies on exactly that. All performances have been cancelled and we have no idea when we will get back to the stage. I really miss the stage and hanging out with comedians and just laughing. It has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and start exploring new sides of me.
I started a daily show on Skyroomlive with my partner, Jason and Donovan Goliath, which has been lots of fun and helps us keep the positivity up and spread some good news. That's actually how Kriya and I started chatting about the cooking and since then have been sharing our cooking journeys with each other. She's way better at cooking than I am but I'm not bad at all. I'm also just enjoying being able to spend so much time with my wife and kids. For real, it's been great...
What's the one thing you are looking forward to most as the lockdown levels ease?
KG: I think I am looking forward to the gym the most… I need to start working off all the kilograms that are piling on.
NG: To be honest. I'm just looking forward to being back on stage and having a beer with friends. I've had enough of my house.