Dubai: Non-Indian Twitter users who love Indian food are tweeting about their favourite dishes from the subcontinent, today. Why? Last night, American author and host Padma Lakshmi, shared a blog wherein a dad of a nine-year-old said he felt offended when his son’s Indian friend’s parents (apparently doctors) fed his child “chicken curry, lentils and vegetables” without consulting him beforehand. While the question was posted on a US web magazine, it’s unclear where the incident actually took place.
With the caption, “Sorry… what?”, Lakshmi shared the tweet that went viral, with many schooling the father about Indian cuisine. https://twitter.com/PadmaLakshmi/status/1293252871933370368
In the blog on the website named Slate, the father wrote: “My son, Chris, is nine. A few weeks ago, we decided to open our bubble to include the family of Neil, Chris’s best friend. Both of Neil’s parents are doctors, so this seemed like a safe decision. Both parents were born and raised in India. We let Chris have dinner at their place the other night since both boys were having a great time together. When we came to pick up Chris, Neil’s mom recounted to me how much chicken curry and lentils and vegetables Chris ate. I couldn’t believe that they served my son spicy curries without even calling to ask us if that would be OK! I was taken aback and gently mentioned that spicy foods can be hard on small tummies, but it didn’t seem to register. Thankfully Chris didn’t get sick. My wife says to drop it because any conversation will look racial in nature and to only let the boys play at our place. Please help.”
Indian-food-loving Twitterati were offended at the stereotyping, and other non-Indian parents responded.
Twitter user @willsocal posted: “My kids have been eating Indian food since they were two or three. It is still one of their two most requested foods for takeout (other is Thai). Get to know other cultures and new people. It will make you a better person and their food is usually amazing.”
@kpoluk49ui: “Ironically, my younger son is a an extraordinarily picky ‘supertaster’. Spicy chicken curry is one of the only dishes he loves and asks me to make. I lived with two Punjabi doctors in Moscow for three months who taught me how to make their version.”
Tweep @McintireReal added: “I wish someone had fed me Indian food without asking when I was nine.”
Many non-Indians soon started replying with their favourite dish from the Indian sub-continent.
Twitter user @AttorneyByrne posted: “My dad was originally from Manchester, England and grew up eating curries. He instilled a love for Indian food in me. Just last week I made a great chickpea and spinach curry. The hotter the better!”
And, @hetherman posted: “The only danger of introducing Indian food to kids is that it’s so damn good, they may never eat anything else - said by mum who gave toddler saag paneer (a leaf-based Indian dish with cottage cheese), who is still loving it 15 years later.”
In response, @TexyLefty posted: “Just had saag paneer for lunch. Frozen, but still better than all the other food out there. I just moved, and my first mission is to find good Indian in my new ‘hood.”
Other tweeps recalled savouring spice, Indian food during childhood.
@Jcalay posted: “Were it not for dinners at my childhood friends house, I would never have known the perfection of a pumpkin curry, dry okra with black mustard seeds or lentils and spinach. At that point in my life everything was fried, or boiled to death.”
And, @chakko posted: “I had a very traditional working class diet. When I was a kid my Sri Lankan friend's mother invited me to eat. Parental permission not required. This stuff was HOT. It was like a punch in the face. But OMG I could not get enough. It really opened my eyes to exploring food.”
Twitter user @CandideWasRight decided the skeptical dad needed some history lessons. She wrote: “This makes me incredibly sad for that child and his friend and it makes me angry at the parents reaction. Someone might want to also break the news to dad that Columbus was looking for a shorter sailing route to India for the spice trade. Hence the West Indies and Indians.”