Mindy Kaling is a mother, an Emmy-nominated writer, producer, director, actor, comedian, and, at times, a not-so-good chef when it comes to making masala dosas. Speaking with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, Kaling told a story about how she ended up making some “really bad” food with Vice President Kamala Harris as part of a 2019 YouTube video. At the time it was filmed, Harris was still running for president and the video saw the duo try their hand at making dosas, a traditional South Indian dish.
Kaling likened the cuisine to “an Indian-like crepe” and then revealed that the end product of their culinary adventure wasn’t nearly as tasty as she had initially hoped it would be. “We made the food and it was really bad,” she confessed. “It tasted bad.”
It was also the moment that Kaling realized that Harris was definitely “a little politician-y” due to her generous reaction to the food’s poor taste. “On camera she was like, ‘Oh, this is delicious. You’re an amazing chef,’” Kaling said. “And I was like, ‘Oh, she is a politician. She has to be.’” Colbert then showed a clip to allow viewers could see the vice president’s reaction.
When it came time to eat their home cooked meal, Kaling looked a little worried as she rated the result of their cooking a “hard B minus” and shared her uncertainty about the taste of the dosas. Despite Kaling’s hesitations, Harris seemed to enjoy the dish as she complimented its “very nice” flavors and called Kaling “such a good cook.”
“A lot of flavors, yeah, I’ll take it!” Kaling said while making air quotes after watching the clip back on the show. She also added it was “very polite” of Harris to be so kind about the meal.
In a September 2020 interview with Bustle, Harris was asked, “How have you changed since you were 28?” Harris replied, “Well for one thing, I’m a better cook. Cooking has turned into my passion, my stress relief and my way to show love to family and friends. I can do a thing or two in the kitchen — especially when I have time to make Sunday dinner, a family tradition.”
While their first meal together might not have been a raving success, Kaling maintained that Harris is “so great” and it was “nuts” that she got the chance to cook alongside her. “It’s absolutely nuts that she actually deigned to come to my house, because it’s not that great,” she said. “She came over and we cooked Indian food together [and] talked about Indian stuff, and I love her. I think she’s so strong and really principled.”