About thosais and idlis, chapathis and naans

I was this close to hitting  my head on the toilet basin...on purpose. I will proceed to tell you why.

As was mentioned in my previous post, I work in a windowless, thankfully air conditioned room with a couple of smart, IT savy Indians. We have been invited out for lunch tomorrow by the management upon completion of a project that has been going on way before I joined.  The choice given was Swensons, Manhattan Fish Market and etc. The email was sent some time back, but none of them replied back...till today. One of the ladies from the management came in and reminded us to choose. Immediately someone remarked on an Indian restaurant. I was thrown out of balance literally.

Why??

Isn't that what you eat almost every single day of your life? I was so darn angry - I went to the toilet and almost wanted to bang my head to the wall, to the basin, to everywhere else I could land my head on and hit myself. First of all -  I hated my very own reaction. It was  racist and I was not happy with it. Secondly -  why??? Why Indian restaurant?  (By the way, as I type this, reservation has been made to that restaurant)

So I thought of checking out online if someone would enlighten me to understand why Indians prefer to eat Indian food( with the sole exception of my husband) even when its free rather than trying other options such as Chinese or Western.

It was not much of a help there actually, I didn't see much research done there and I hardly have the time to dig deeper. Maybe I will write a thesis and submit it to the University one day. But I did find one article that sort of mentions all the details about Indians and their way of cooking and their preference. What was more interesting was the comments. Talk about Indian food, we have Italian readers commenting about how Indians should try olive oil which is good for their heart, and another reader talking about how expensive olive oil is, and then another reader to comment how exercising is tough for women in India because its India...and so on and so forth. Comments are a plenty, but to tell the truth, they are just comments made by people who were offended by saying Indian food are not healthy.

I am not interested to know whether Indian food are healthy or not. I have eaten North and South Indian food -  hence I have no comment.


  • Indian food is healthy depending on what you are eating. Most of them are tubular food such as potatoes, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, ginger and pulses and grain such as the many varieties of dal. The greens unfortunately do appear here and there -  but loses  most of the nutritional value in the cooking itself.
  • They have absolutely healthy grains such as ragi and millets and all. They are extremely healthy -  but tastes bitter. 
  • Aesthetic wise, Indian food is good because of the heating and ailing nature of spices such as turmeric, coriander and stuffs like that. They are heaty and they induce good soulful feeling when consumed. 
  • Sweets -  by god they are sweet. They are way too sweeter than anything you would have tried. Some sweets are made combining dals and jaggery, and some milk and ghee. Indians love their sweets. Their chai or tea is sweeter there than local.
  • Exercise -  all Indian girls somehow are thin before marriage but grow shorter and fatter soon after having kids. This I am not just saying it, I am living it as well. But the article also mentions it -  so I am not alone. Exercise is not so much of an option available to Indian ladies because of the cat calls they get when they leave their house. If these ladies are out of India, they do better. 

Nobody is blaming India, people- I am not interested in getting nasty comments about this. No body is telling me why Indians don't eat non Indian food.

When I was in Delhi -  the South Indian friends I were with were complaining about the lack of rice in the north. ( I was banging my head on the table when I saw this...but this banging and all was in my head). The same south Indian friends, lament about so many Indian restaurants here in Singapore. They are comfortable with the unhealthy paratas sold by the hawker centre, but not so with the choices of pasta and rice and all sold anywhere else. The north hates the south and vice versa. There's no unity in the country itself.

Hence I came to a conclusion -  all on my own, Now I know why guys are married early in India. They need to be fed. They need to have all the comforts of having a mother around, but of course with the additional perks of having sex. They have to be fed with the same type of food they were used to before marriage ( hence the training every mother in law gives to the new wife), because their boys cannot do with outside food, its not healthy. ( But they can learn to drink alcohol. How they get to do this..I don't know). Their food must be ready, their clothes must be ready, they should not be bothered with the daily chores, they should not lift a finger to help the wife ( its considered not manly -  if this is done in India with his parents around).

So the reason why they need to have Indian food is because they are familiar with Indian food and they assume all other food is bland, or pathetic. They only know biryani and cannot handle aglio olio. They only know thosai and cannot handle crepes or pancakes. The sense of something familiar. Something their mother cooked, or wife cooked and free.

Would I eat non Indian food? Yes - only if its halal. And that is because of my religion's restrictions. However,  I have taken the risk to try other food just to know if I can take it. I ever threw out a bento set of Japanese food because I couldn't handle the smell. So now I know I cannot take Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese food, even if its vegetarian cos of the smell. I can eat fish and chips, pastas of all varieties, porridge not made of rice, salads, fishes not cooked in curry or deep fried, and many others.

Maybe the reason is more than this. I don't know. Its like how my South Indian friend knows only how to drive to tekka for shopping and eating, but gets panicky when driving some where out of their comfort zone. So that why they marry when they work overseas. Their boys need someone to cook and clean.


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