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Vegan food blogger Nisha Vora tried ChatGPT for recipes. She says they’re edible — but not exactly great.

Nisha VoraNisha Vora, the creator of Rainbow Plant Life, tested ChatGPT’s cauliflower curry recipe.

Nisha Vora

  • Nisha Vora is a vegan recipe developer and the creator of the popular food blog Rainbow Plant Life.
  • She tested a cauliflower curry recipe written by ChatGPT to evaluate the bot’s recipe-writing skills.
  • Vora said ChatGPT’s recipe was edible, but didn’t pass muster for anyone who had “standards.”

Nisha Vora is a known quantity in the world of vegan recipe development — a good person to ask whether ChatGPT, the buzzy new AI-powered bot — can serve up a usable meal plan for a tasty dish.

Vora is the creator of Rainbow Plant Life, a vegan food blog that she updates with new recipes weekly. In 2019, she published a cookbook called The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook and has a second book in the works. She also runs an Instagram account with almost 800,000 followers, and a YouTube account with more than a million subscribers, where she posts videos demonstrating how to make her creations. 

Insider asked Vora to test out ChatGPT‘s recipe-development skills, now that people are using the chatbot for everything from meal prepping to buying groceries. 

A ‘normal’ Indian-inspired curry 

Cauliflower curryThe final result of ChatGPT’s recipe, which Nisha Vora says was only OK.

Nisha Vora

Vora said her instinct was to experiment with ChatGPT as a tool for “inspiring cooking” when you have ingredients at home that you don’t know what to do with. 

On the day of her experiment, she had cauliflower, tomatoes, and onions on hand, so she prompted ChatGPT to come up with a vegan recipe using those ingredients. 

ChatGPT offered a recipe for a “delicious and healthy” Indian-inspired vegetable curry that Vora said was relatively straightforward. 

The recipe asked her to chop a head of cauliflower into florets, chop an onion, dice a tomato, and mince garlic and ginger. The recipe also called for turmeric, coriander, cumin, red chili powder, an Indian spice blend called garam masala, chopped cilantro, and salt to taste.

“I’m like, oh, it’s probably not going to be bad,” she said. “It’s got a good variety of spices.”

But the result, she said, was underwhelming.

“It was edible,” she said, “but it felt like a healthy influencer came up with it and was like ‘Oh, I love Indian food. Here’s my interpretation.'”

Vora admitted that she might be more critical because she’s of Indian descent and grew up regularly eating cauliflower curries with a similar set of ingredients. She also has her own recipe for a vegan curry with cauliflower and tofu that is well-liked by her readers. 

Chat GPT’s ‘cauliflower curry’ recipe

Prompt: I have tomatoes and onions and cauliflower. What dish can I make with those ingredients?

ChatGPT says:

With tomatoes, onions, and cauliflower, you can create a delicious and healthy vegetable curry. Here’s a simple recipe for a Tomato, Onion, and Cauliflower Curry:

This tomato, onion, and cauliflower curry is a flavorful and comforting vegetarian dish that is easy to make and perfect for a weeknight dinner. Enjoy the delicious combination of flavors and textures in this curry!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until softened and lightly golden brown.
  3. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, red chili powder, and salt. Stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes soften and release their juices.
  5. Add the cauliflower florets to the pan and stir to coat them with the spice mixture. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add about 1/2 to 1 cup of water, cover the pan, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  7. Once the cauliflower is cooked, sprinkle with garam masala and stir to combine.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.
  9. Serve hot with rice or bread of your choice.

Calling it a curry is ‘misleading’

Vora said that ChatGPT’s recipe lacked the precision of a recipe created by humans. 

First of all, she noted that ChatGPT didn’t take into account how watery cauliflower can be. The recipe called for one half cup to one cup of water for simmering the cauliflower, Vora said. 

“I only used one half cup — so the lowest end — and it was quite watery at the end, so I think calling it a curry was also very misleading,” Vora said. 

Added to that, Vora said the recipe only called for a tablespoon of oil, which wasn’t enough fat to balance the other ingredients. She said adding more oil, vegan butter, or even coconut milk would have improved the overall flavor. 

Her conclusion is that ChatGPT is only capable of producing “edible” food if you give it ingredients that sound like they would work together. If you have high “standards” for food, though, Vora said it might not be your best option. 

Still, she’s not ruling out ChatGPT completely. Vora acknowledged that the bot may still be useful for simpler recipes like grilled cheese or an olive oil-based pasta. 

And over time, Vora believes its curry making skills may improve, too. “This is the initial iteration of ChatGPT, so I’m sure in one year it will be a lot more sophisticated.”

Read the original article on Business Insider