Press Releases


May 18, 2010


Milwaukee, WI - MPTV launches two new local productions Saturday morning, May 15, at 11 a.m. and Monday night, May 17, at 8 p.m. After the completion of its 42nd million dollar Great TV Auction, MPTV's schedule now welcomes HEATHFUL INDIAN FLAVORS WITH ALAMELU and ARTS DIGEST. Both programs enhance the quality of programming available to MPTV viewers from Manitowoc, WI to McHenry, IL.

HEALTHFUL INDIAN FLAVORS WITH ALAMELU is hosted by Milwaukee area resident, culinary educator, and three-time cookbook co-author Alamelu Vairavan. A native of the Chettinad region of South India, Alamelu has lived most of her adult life in the United States. Over the years, she developed a deep interest in promoting the use of spices, legumes, and Indian cooking techniques into healthy food preparation that would appeal to Americans. She has been teaching for over 20 years about the health benefits of spices turmeric, cumin, ginger, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, coconut power, urad dal, cardamom, curry powder, and other ingredients in her recipes including, broccoli, legumes, beans, rice, and Brussels sprouts.

Alamelu has appeared on PBS, Discovery Channel, Fox, NBC, and CBS programs and presented a culinary workshop at Manhattan's prestigious James Beard Foundation. She has also contributed several recipes to the American Dietetic Association cookbook and Cooking Healthy Across America. Alamelu and her neighbor, Dr. Patricia Marquardt, an associate professor at Marquette University, have co-authored HEALTHY SOUTH INDIAN COOKING and its expanded edition, along with ART OF SOUTH INDIAN COOKING. The books are published by Hippocrene Books, Inc. A popular side dish recipe is made with green beans and found at Curry on Wheels. See below. She will demonstrate recipes such as Cauliflower Rice/Chettinad Chicken Masala/Spinach and Lemon Rice/Eggplant Masala/Lima Beans/Rice Options on the new series. Alamelu writes a weekly blog Spice of Life for Whitefish Bay NOW.

Green Beans with Yellow Split Peas and Ginger
Beans Poriyal, a stir-fry dish makes a tasty side dish for any meal.

cup yellow split peas
2 tablespoons canola or corn oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
teaspoon turmeric, divided
teaspoon cumin seeds
1 green chili pepper; finely chopped
Salt to taste (optional)

1. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water. Add the split peas and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the split peas become tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Place the oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, stir in cumin seeds; cook until the seeds become brown. Add the green beans and stir well.
3. Add the ginger and the green chili pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat for about a minute. Add salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 2 tablespoons water; mix well.
4. Cover and cook the beans over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
5. When the beans are tender but still crisp, add the cooked split peas. Stir well.
6. Remove from heat and keep covered until serving time. Be careful not to overcook the beans.

The series initial run is six programs airing Saturdays at 11 a.m. and the following Fridays at 6 p.m. on MPTV 10 HD. Episodes will be available to view online after broadcast. Jack Abrams, producer of OUTDOOR WISCONSIN produces the new series HEALTHFUL INDIAN FLAVORS WITH ALAMELU.

ARTS DIGEST debuts on Monday, May 17, at 8 p.m. following ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. The new arts and culture series kicks off its first magazine-style episode with a profile of former Waukesha resident and composer Daron Hagen, who now lives in New York City. Hagen has composed works for Milwaukee Choral Artists, Waukesha Symphony, Madison Opera, and Seattle Opera. The program also takes a look at the very popular Danceworks' Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap, which teaches in 45 Milwaukee public and private schools. Katie Musolff, the new Pfister Hotel artist in residence and outgoing artist Reginald Baylor, are interviewed and John McGivern leads a unique tour of the Milwaukee Public Museum. Performance excerpts from "A Night at the Movies" from Theatre Gigante and MATC animation student clips are interspersed through the half-hour program.

Additional Channel 10.1 HD airdates for the first episode are: 5/20-6:30pm; 5/23-9:30 pm; 5/28-10:00 p.m.; 6/22-10:30 p.m. Channel 36.1 airdates are: 5/18-9:30 p.m.; 5/22-10:30 a.m.; 5/22-9:00 p.m.; 5/28-9:30 p.m.; and 5/30-8:30 p.m.

ARTS DIGEST is co-produced by Jon Anne Willow and Tom Strini of Third Coast Digest and Lois Mauer of MPTV. Mauer also produces weekly MPTV series 4th STREET FORUM and broadcast specials such as the GREAT CIRCUS PARADE and FLORENTINE OPERA's "Pinocchio."

For the additional information on Milwaukee Public Television, visit; or call MPTV Viewer Services at 414-297-7520, 24 hours a day; or consult FINE TUNING, the MPTV Friends monthly viewing guide. Local and PBS program videos can be viewed online at MPTV Videos. MPTV is also at Twitter and Facebook. Viewer comments are always welcome. Program and segment proposals can be submitted to the producers. MPTV's main phone number is 414-271-1036.

Since its inception, MPTV has educated, entertained and inspired. Today MPTV offers viewers a family of nine digital channels to choose from, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 10.1 HD (Time Warner Cable 1010) 36.1 (TWC 16 or 1016), 36.2 Vme (TWC 975), 36.3 World (TWC 976) 36.4 Create (TWC 977), 36.5 Classical (TWC 978), 36.6 Jazz (TWC 979), 36.7 Weather (TWC 980), and 36.8 Traffic (TWC 981). MPTV is a viewer-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College.
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