Happy Sunday! The sun is shining and it’s a nice relaxing Sunday for me. I have no plans, other than checking out Kung Fu Panda 3 at night. Hubbz and I have made Sunday Movie Night a regular thing. It’s nice way to end the weekend before heading back to dreaded Mondays.
This morning I woke up and checked my Facebook. I saw a post regarding cultural appropriation and Indian culture. The post claimed things like – you can’t wear bindis, bangles, henna, unless you are South Asian or getting married as a South Asian bride. I thought those claims were way over the top so I commented.
Usually I avoid commenting on articles on Facebook because I can’t stand trolls and I also don’t want to invest time in reading replies to my comments. This time, however, I just had to! It irked me that this idea was out there, so I responded –
“Wow this is extremely strict. Sarah Tina what do you think? I think wear and do whatever, but sometimes it might look corny to rock another culture so hard, i.e. Beyonce in cold play video.”
I always tag Sarah and Tina in brown posts because they’re smart and desi and they get it! Yes, that Cold Play video did bother me – why is Beyoncé in this? Why couldn’t they just have Sonam Kapoor represent India, if that was the intention. I may seem contradictory in my opinions (see next comment below), but I just wasn’t feeling that video. Anyways I also said –
“As a Pakistani American, my opinion is wear whatever you want! My friends have rocked sarees, bindis, henna, and I love that it’s a way of sharing the culture I grew up in. Also as a non-hindu I may have a different perspective because we wear bindis, henna, bangles for fashion (yes even in Pakistan). Some south Asians may get offended if they feel that these items are religious.“
When I state my opinion, I like to say “I think” or “my opinion is” because I believe it feels unfair and sometimes inaccurate to make a claim without actual science to back it up. That may just be because I’m a Libra, or perhaps because my Masters in Science has the idea engrained in me to Google it first (using reputable, legit sources) or to do an actual study.
What are your thoughts on cultural appropriation or cultural exchange? I’m really grateful to be in America, where we can actually discuss things like oppression and psychological ideas and problems as well.
I woke up thinking, it would be nice to go to brunch with A. However, brunch equals money and extra calories. It also means I would have to yelp a few places, make a reservation and actually get ready while the sun is still out. Let’s be real, that’s just too much work for a Sunday morning! Instead, I decided to make Chana Pullao – spicy chickpea rice. My mom makes the best food in the world, and her Chana Pullao is off the charts. A decided to make Indian Huevos Rancheros – spicy egg + veggies. You’ll have to ask him for the recipe!!
Here’s my recipe for Chana Pullao.
- 1 tablespoon ghee or cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas
- 1.3 cups Basmati rice (I go a little over 1 cup to match the proportion of chickpeas)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- water as needed
1 teaspoon each of:
- chili powder
- cumin seeds (you can add 2 tsp if you love cumin seeds, like I do!)
- cumin powder
- garam masala powder
- coriander powder
- Chana Masala spice mix
- curry powder spice mix
- cooking spoon
- medium sized pot
- two small bowls (for chopped cilantro and tomato)
- one medium sized bowl (for rice to sit in water)
- cutting board
- one spoon to scoop tomato paste, garlic paste
1.) Rinse rice three times in cold water. Let it sit in enough water to submerge the rice.
2.) Chop onions, tomato, and cilantro. Set tomato and cilantro aside. Fry onions in the ghee or oil on medium heat until golden brown.
3.) Rinse chickpeas in a strainer and set aside. Add cumin seeds, garlic and garlic paste. Stir until you hear the seeds pop.
4.) Add all of the spices. Fry for a minute. Add chickpeas, chopped tomato, and tomato paste. Stir for a minute.
5.) Reduce heat to medium-low. Strain water from rice then add to pot. Add milk. Add water if needed to submerge rice and chickpeas up to 5 mm (half a cm) above the rice.
6.) Let cook for about 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and add more salt to taste. Serve with raita or yogurt.
Total prep time: 5 mins
Total cook time: 20 mins
Here is A’s Indian Huevos Rancheros masterpiece.
Yumminess galore! Enjoy with mango mimosas like we did!
References: A = Aditya