‘bollywood kitchen’ : the celebration of Indian American cuisine.
As an Indian American, I will not immediately connect bollywood movies and food – this is mainly because many bollywood film role too care about eat dance number and the effect of melodrama. So, when I meet new cookbook bollywood kitchen, I fear that it may be written by an ignorant of Indian culture, only a little bit about bollywood, “curry” and na.
Fortunately, I was wrong. In fact, the book was prepared for me – the second generation of indian-americans was intimidated by the idea of making Indian food. The author, Sri Rao, says he wrote the book based on his experience growing up in the United States as a brown child.
“I’m really telling the story of how I grew up, and how these films will connect me to a country I never knew,” rao said.
Full disclosure: rao is not a chef. He is the writer of American TV dramas, and also makes and writes bollywood films. He was born in fort meinicksburg, pa., where he was one of the few people of color. Even today, he says, his identity can be confusing.
“I feel very strongly about being an American in my identity, but at the same time, I appreciate my cultural roots in indian-americans,” he said. “And I’ve been looking for ways to combine these two things together.”
Like rao, my identity as the United Nations has been confusing. I grew up in suburban Georgia and longed for chik-fil-a and Waffle House. But now, as a 23-year-old living in her own, far from home, I find my missing mother’s Fried pakoras and hot tomato chaaru. I live near an Indian restaurant that serves chicken meat dishes (it’s not really Indian, by the way). Still, I found myself walking through it every day just to smell a familiar smell and spice.
The characteristics of this book is from all over India’s diet, such as from the north rajma, from the north bean stew, and from the south delicious crepe dosa, as well as the classic American recipes, such as walnut, pumpkin soup and pan baked kale. This is for many, including myself, the second generation of Indian americans nodded, they grew up with two kinds of food, our American grilled cheese sandwiches in India tamarind chutney. That’s the point of the book, rao said.
Home cooked Indian meal with a memorable bollywood movie.
Take a formula, keema, which he calls “the textbook example of American assimilation”. It asked for lamb, but his mother used it with a hamburger helper.
“Since I saw this book, some people have said to me, ‘so this is not really Indian food, is it? It’s a fusion.” I really like this because I think it’s real Indian food. “The real Indian American is.
When I read the book’s recipe, I stopped the mixed vegetable cura – the heart of my family legend. When my father came to America when he was a teenager, his family didn’t have much money. “When I came to America, I had only a few COINS in my pocket,” he said, marveling at dinner. Because frozen bag mixed vegetables are one of the cheapest things you can buy at the grocery store, my father bought these bags and made a mix of vegetables and cura to save money and eat healthy. Today, he let my brothers and sisters and I eat at least once a year, reminding us that our family comes from a small means.
Mixed vegetable cura has sentimental value, but it’s not my favorite dish. So, my first attempt at cooking for my ancestors, I decided to prepare a dish that I actually ate: baingan bharta. The punjab eggplant is the equivalent of baba ghanoush in India. (and one of my favorites!)
My apartment was soon filled with the smell of warm cumin, ginger and cilantro. I was afraid that I didn’t get the right recipe, and when it was on the stove, I was hesitant to get a taste of baltar. To my delight, it tasted like my mother’s cooking. When I got home from work, my mother used it for the school night. She knew I liked it, so every time she made it, she would add a little extra to my dinner plate.
In order to complete this experience, I decided to pair my dinner with the movie. I chose Lagaan, an iconic bollywood film about India under British colonialism. But I couldn’t sit in a three-and-a-half-hour movie, so I saw the Stranger Things. Yes, it’s the dream of an Indian American.