Sunday, September 28, 2008

Signs you're eating with desis: #14

One of the time honored traditions of any good Indian parental unit, namely the mom, is to reduce every meal you have at a restaurant as being some derivative of a basic Indian dish.

In essence this is the food version of the Indian mom tendency of pointing out that all the cool clothes in the mall are really made in India and instead of buying it now "we can just get it next time we go to Bombay." Uhh, no offense but Cotton World and Armani have very little in common.

But back to my original point, every time you eat a new dish, you parents try to convince that it's just an Asian, Thai, American, or French version of something that can be made at home. For example:
  • Shephard's Pie - alloo and kheema
  • Pizza - dosa with tomato, kheema, and capsicum (we do NOT say bell peppers in front of Indians...ever!)
  • Cheesecake - a form of paneer
  • Hakka noodles - hakka noodles...don't you know that Indian Chinese cuisine is better than regular Chinese food?
  • Crepes - masala dosa
The purpose of finding the Indian roots in things which have no Indian lineage whatsoever is to make you feel like Indian things are cool and not so weird from things kids would normally like.

Of course this never seems to work because instead of enjoying Indian things on their own merit, you end up not liking it as much because it's Pizza really isn't like a dosa...and Cheesecake is, well, a bit better than paneer (okay, not by much, but work with me here).

That irony is that things which are far better than their American counterparts are products no normal parent would rightfully brag about: Thums Up is awesome versus Coke... although I have no idea how they could misspell "Thumb"... and Goldspot was better than any orange soda around these parts.

It's sorta like my Big Fat Greek Wedding, when the father yells out that everything "Is Greek!". So next time you're a restaurant, in Jackson Heights, or just in the state of New Jersey, yell out "that's Indian!" and you're bound to create a cult following with Indian aunties.

1 comment:

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