Youtube has helped me make many discoveries in the past, some of my favourite songs as ones that I just happened to chance upon when looking for something else. Recently, I was looking for some NE recipes on Youtube and it was disheartening to see that there weren’t many quality videos. But just when I was about to give up, I happened to click on a video by Eat Your Kappa and in the first few minutes, I realized that I had, in fact, chanced upon another gem.
A Vlog by Nambie Jessica Marak, Eat Your Kappa is the perfect channel to look up when you want to learn some new Northeastern recipes. What you will love about this channel, apart from the delicious recipes, is the charming host. She makes the recipes sound so easy that you are tempted to attempt to make the same in your home kitchen.
Read our exclusive interview with Nambie as we learn more about how her Vlog started, how the response has been so far and more
Tell us little bit about yourself and how Eat Your Kappa started.
I was born and brought up in Shillong. After completing my higher secondary education, I had to move out to Chennai for higher studies. When the excitement of the new city wore off and no matter how much I loved the biryani and masala dosa, I longed for home food. I searched online for Northeastern recipes and there were very few quality videos, moreover they were catering to a specific community or tribe.
I grew up in Shillong – a melting pot of different cultures from NE and had the opportunity to taste many different cuisines from many different tribes. In our own extended family, I have sister in laws who are Khasi, Mizo and Bodo, and I have friends from almost every tribe and community of NE. I thought it would be nice to have a YouTube channel that features Northeastern home cooking and that’s how Eat Your Kappa was conceptualized.
What do you think makes your Vlog different from others?
Like I said, it does not cater to one particular tribe or community of the Northeast. It is pan NE and features mostly family recipes which are actually cooked at home and not in restaurants. Some dishes don’t even have names.
How many videos have you uploaded so far and which has got the best response?
I have published around 25 videos and have 20 more which will be released. Whenever I travel back to my village in the West Khasi Hills, I shoot the videos and when I get back to Chennai, I edit and upload them. I plan to publish about 100 recipes this year, let’s hope I make it.
The best response I got was for ‘Naga Style Pork Fry With Bamboo Shoot’. I received more than 6000 views on it. There is something about Northeast and our love for pork, pork recipes always do well.
The recipes that you feature on your channel, are they family recipes?
Yes, they are family recipes. I get them from my friends and family members. To be honest, there are so many variations how each household cooks each particular recipe, that they stir up quite a controversy in the comments section, which is quite entertaining but sometimes there are also quite harsh, especially from those who don’t agree to the difference in the recipe.
What are some of your favourite dishes?
I already professed us Northeasterner’s love for pork. I enjoy most of the pork dishes. My favourite would be ‘Aloor Logot Gahori’ (pork cooked with grilled tomatoes and potatoes), Naga Style Pork with Bamboo Shoots and Kappa, of course.
Do you think that food vlogs like yours can help people understand our cuisine better as well as our culture?
Yes, I believe that Vlogs like this will help people understand our cuisine and culture better. Since, the Vlogs are in English and are on a global platform like YouTube, a wide range of people can access it.
My Vlog which has just about 500 subscribers is pretty nascent, but it has viewers from almost 120 countries. I actually had viewers from Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and Australia sending me private messages and clarifying doubts on the recipes and culture.
I believe online food and culture Vlogs and blogs help take our food and culture to the rest of India and the world.
Apart from cooking what are some of your other hobbies?
Cooking was never my hobby. This Vlog was born out of necessity and my craving for Northeastern food and the need to connect with my roots, it has become a full time obsession now. I really enjoy travelling, trekking and being with nature. After following Sarah Kay’s spoken word poetry, I sometimes try my hands on spoken word poetry but I am not really good at it. Perhaps I will get better and post some of my own spoken word poetry in the future.
In coming months, what can people expect from ‘Eat Your Kappa’?
Though ‘Eat Your Kappa’ is primarily about food and cuisine, I have lined up some videos on travel, living and culture and I am also planning to introduce videos on Northeastern tribal brewing.
Watch her videos here.
By Meeta Borah