You Don’t Have to Eat My Samosas

I often ask myself questions that have no easy answers. This week, one of those questions was, “Why do people keep googling “spicy kabob” and ending up on my website?”

Now, I get that the word “Masala” is in my blog name. Masala means “spice” in Hindi, so I totally get why people might say, “Hey I am going to go to this Indian cooking site and learn how to make samosas!

Samosas. My mother’s are the best. EVER.

But those people must be disappointed when they come here and find no recipes for chicken tikka or palak paneer. I am sorry. And I can’t help that the top search queries to get to this site include “aloo tikki” and “gulab jamuns.”

This ain’t no cooking blog, yo.

On the other end of the spectrum are people who apparently think that “Masala Chica” is a porn site. I am sorry for any misunderstanding or misrepresentation there. To the person who stumbled upon this site by typing in “ganges river village fuck hard stories,” I am sorry to let you down. I hope my posts on how I haven’t walked the same or had the same level of bladder control since popping two kids out of my hoo hoo really turn you on.

Actually, no. I don’t. I just puked in my mouth a little thinking about you.

But going back to the first point, about this NOT being a cooking blog. I wanted to share something with you. Something I am less than proud of. Because everyone makes mistakes in their lives. Even porny food bloggers like me.

FACT: I am really passionate about Indian food. Like, more passionate about it than I am about “Les Mis.

FACT: I used to get so angry when people would tell me they did not like Indian food. Like, Nazi angry about it. I once wrote a post called, “When Good Indian Food Happens to Bad People,” in which I accused people who do not like Indian food of also not liking Gandhi.

And that’s not fair because what did Gandhi ever do to them? I asked.

FACT: I used to take it as a personal affront when someone would say they did not like Indian food. Because of how closely I associate Indian food to my memories, my family and my life, I would feel like my culture and my identity were being criticized.

I realize now how extreme my reaction was. I no longer want to throw samosas or pakoras at people’s heads just because they don’t like chicken curry. Besides, those are not hard enough to really cause any kind of real damage. I would need to find something harder.

I have done some self-examination. Not a breast self-examination, though I need to get on that too. What I mean is, I have looked inward, trying to understand where this anger, this resentment, came from.

And one incident in particular came to mind. Will you pull up a chair and let me tell you a story? Here’s a drink.

Oh you wanted ice?

Well, you’re not fucking getting any. Just drink.

Why I am Besties with Samosas.

Ok. So when I was growing up my parents had an Indian grocery store. Papa worked as an engineer and Ma ran the store every day. They worked hard to run it, with Papa working at the store on nights and weekends. They worked seven days a week. Long, hard hours.

One of the things Ma would do every morning was get up to make samosas. It was like the Dunkin’ Donuts, commercial. “Time to make the samosas.” She would get out of bed and start the endless process of making a new batch almost every day.

She charged 50 cents a samosa. Those samosas got me through college. I sometimes try to do the math and estimate how many samosas she has already made in her lifetime, but I can’t. I do know that every minute Ma and Papa worked was to make a better life for our family, both here and in India.

Ma’s samosas, though they were painstakingly made, were one of the only things she did which didn’t feel like an act of labor, but an act of love.

Nobody Puts Ma’s Samosas in the Corner. Nobody.

Ok, maybe once they did.

I was going to visit my non-Indian boyfriend’s family a few years after graduating from college. Ma got up early that morning and made a fresh batch of samosas which we took to his mother’s house. As we sat down at the table, I pulled the just heated samosas out of the oven and put them on the table. I was excited to see everybody’s reaction to trying something new.

Something that I loved so much.

I looked up at my boyfriend’s older brother and asked him if he would like one.

No, thank you. I don’t eat that.

You don’t eat what?” I asked, walking right into it. dumb, Dumb, DUMB. He stopped unfolding his napkin and looked me in the eyes and responded,

“I. DON’T. EAT. THAT. SHIT.”

The sphincter says what?

The words had barely left his mouth before I picked up a samosa and threw it at his smug, pompous face. Before he could finish wiping the crust and potatoes out of his eyes, I threw another one. There was no sign left of that jerky smile as my right arm moved on auto-pilot and threw another. And another. And…

Ok. I’m lying. I didn’t throw anything. Though I really, really wish I had.

Instead I just sat there, feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. I tried not to cry, but now that you know that that I cry during movie previews you can assume that I did NOT do the best job.

Not ONE PERSON at the table touched my mother’s samosas.

I just remember looking at that plate and knowing that his message was about more than the food.

Why I no Longer Feel that Throwing Samosas is the Answer

I am not going to win people over to Indian food by getting upset, telling them that they do not like Gandhi or the Dalai Lama. I am not going to get people to like Indian food by asking them to stop using the example of “the ONE time they tried it” to judge the cuisine of a massive country, with dozens of different regional styles of cooking. I am not going to win anyone over by throwing samosas.

Violence is not the answer. Just remember though. Before any of you start talking about samosa control, just remember, samosas do NOT kill people.

People kill people.

Usually with guns.

As for me, there are a lot of things I need to evaluate in my life. Perhaps a career in porn-food blogging?

Today, if you tell me you don’t like Indian food, I promise I will still like you.

Unless you are the guy who googled “ganges river village fuck hard stories.” YOU? I don’t think I will ever like, no matter how many samosas you eat. Fucking perv.

Do you like Indian food? What’s your favorite food that you associate with your childhood, culture, upbringing? Have you ever tried to throw it at someone? Hmm?

Love you whether you can handle spice or not!

Namaste,

Kiran

* A sphincter says what? was made famous on the Mike Myers and Dana Carvey SNL recurring skit and movie, “Wayne’s World.

47 Responses to You Don’t Have to Eat My Samosas

  • Nelson
    Twitter:
    says:

    Luckily I love samosas! Not too hot though OK? When will they be ready? :)

  • Nelson
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’m good at ducking. I’ll take my chances.
    Nelson
    Nelson recently posted…Things We Don’t Learn – No Matter How Old We Get…My Profile

  • Snehal Naik says:

    There have been a zillion instances in my life when I have wanted to fling things at someone out of anger. And on many occasions I have done that in my mind. But I have also been on the other side when some kind of food has been forced on my plate and I have had to eat it unwillingly. But I totally agree that sometimes it is much more than food on the plate. Hot rice, dal, ghee, pickle and fried fish is my favorite soul food that I associate with my childhood :-). Being married to a vegetarian, I miss those chicken and fish eating Sundays back home,

  • Omigosh! This sounds like my about me page. Kinda. Only you took it too the next level.

    And samosas? LOVE them.

    In fact, I’m going to Thali of India today with two friends.

    I’ll bet your mother’s samosas are even better. You know, cuz they are made with love and not for the money. She doesn’t do it for money, right? Like some poor, sad girl on the Ganges River. See? I can’t even joke about that.
    Renee Schuls-Jacobson recently posted…The Annual De-Gift and Re-Gift PartyMy Profile

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    OMG I LOVE Indian food. At one point, I loved it so much, I had to eat it once a week. For realz. Now, I make my husband run out and get me some a couple of times a month. Truth be told, the shit is fattening. BUT OHSOGOOD.

    I cannot fathom how anyone could not like Indian food.

    MMMMMM. Hungry.
    Alison recently posted…Labels Are BullshitMy Profile

  • Manisha says:

    Hi. So I’m hanging out at our retreat in the woods and our organic farmer neighbor comes over, drinks a beer, and asks me if Indian people are quiet because they feel remorse for their religion. WTF? I have no idea where this is coming from and I don’t even understand what he is asking. I’ve known him for years with never a whisper about such nonsense. Instead of throwing something at him, I peed right next to his ATV. I had used his potatoes in samosas the year before, but he doesn’t know about that.

    Thanks for the reminder to curb the food violence. I’ll keep that in mind when I feel like chucking his organically grown pumpkins at him!
    Manisha recently posted…I am a SuperheroMy Profile

  • Divya says:

    Not loving indian food is a dating dealbreaker for me! I don’t know how I would have reacted if I were in your shoes that night at dinner. Not well, that’s for sure!

  • dixya
    Twitter:
    says:

    lol I just could not stop laughing at this and seriously I thought you threw samosas ;) coz that sphincter was pretty disrespectful – regardless it is samosas or any other food. I love Indian food from all regions – its just so versatile and somewhat similar to Nepali food. Since I grew up in Nepal with my mom’s food, I miss that alot and now matter how much I try to replicate her recipes- its not the same. I guess thats what mothers act of love is – like your ma’s samosas..and i have thrown things at people but food- not yet.
    dixya recently posted…Only Fruit and Vegetable Diet {my experience}My Profile

  • Carrie says:

    The ONE time i tried Indian food I did not like it. And realized that it was because the ‘flavor profiles’ can be so different than ‘American’ food. Just like a child needs to try something multiple times to ‘teach’ themselves how to like a food, the same exact thing needs to happen as an adult. So I tried it again, and then again. Keeping an open mouth as well as open mind. Allowing myself to experience the flavors and appreciate them. Honestly, how can a few billion people be wrong?? And now I adore most Indian food. It’s comfort food to me. The sad part is how isolated people become with their food – and its a direct reflection of how closed minded they can be in other areas of their life. My Grandmother lived 70+ years before she tried any cheese other than processed american! Last point: is there anyone who doesn’t love Mango Lassi at first taste?? Its like crack.

  • Marie says:

    Thank goodness I found your blog. I LOVE Indian food, and I don’t understand people who do not get how wonderful it is. That being said, I have sometimes run across pitiful excuses for cultural cuisine that do not represent well. Sometimes people live in a cultural wasteland and have not educated their palate. (BIL and FIL, I’m looking at you.)
    Found you through Jenny, and I’ll be back!

  • AnneH says:

    I love, love, love Indian food. My husband wasn’t so sure about it until he had chicken tikka masala and now he can’t get enough! I just wish I could replicate it at home and somehow make it low fat. I also love that Indian restaurants have great buffets. My Indian food palate isn’t broad enough to order off the menu so I love trying all of the different dishes on the buffet.

  • Shell says:

    Okay, so don’t throw anything at me, but when I first saw your post title, I thought you were talking about the Girl Scout cookie samoas. Still love me? ;)

    I’ll try pretty much any food. I love spicy. Though I’ll admit that I haven’t had much Indian food. I live in a small town on the edge of nowhere so there’s not much variety here. And while I love trying new recipes, I tend to stick with things that I’m more familiar with- so I know when I have to add a little more of this and that.

    But, I’d try it with you!
    Shell recently posted…Pour Your Heart Out: Living Far from Family and FriendsMy Profile

  • Mary
    Twitter:
    says:

    I adore samosas and am drooling at the thought of some right now. Personally, I liked the idea of you throwing them at someone, but I also liked your rationale for leaving that particular fantasy behind. If you throw some my way, I promise I’ll eat them right up. I’m also writing a post about the search engine terms that bring people to my blog – coincidence? I love your version and trust whomever visits your site finds exactly what they need, even if they don’t know it at the time. Great post!
    Mary recently posted…Limit Setting for the SqueamishMy Profile

  • I also think it’s a bit nuts when people say they don’t like Indian food because Indian food is so vast. It’s impossible they’ve tried it all. And if they don’t like samosas, they just haven’t had a good one yet because really, a good samosa is life changing :)

    PS: Really liked the story of your mom’s samosas putting you through college.

  • Sig
    Twitter:
    says:

    Samosas are my favourite Indian street food…well that and chaat papri/pani puri. I love them when they are hot and fresh and eat all the corners first and then spend the rest of the time scooping up the filling and dipping into the requisite mint yogurt chutney.

    That being said – samosas are so versatile – like they can be used to be thrown at someone’s head. And totally justified by the way.

    It’s like that saying – “My friend thinks he’s smart. He said onions are the only food that makes you cry. So I threw a coconut at his face.”. That might be worth trying??? :P
    Sig recently posted…Pregnancy Diaries – Week 27My Profile

  • Sabina says:

    I too feel insulted with those kinds of comments, as if it’s a personal attack on our culture as a whole! We probably feel that way because, as most Desis, we are completely obsessed with food. Love a good sammy. My mom used to make hers with keema, peas, and just a little bit of aloo. Best of all they were not made with thick dough but were made in an EGGROLL WRAPPER. Hot DAMN those f-ers were fabulous. BRING IT!

  • I love Indian food, but I’m not great with TONS of spice. If I were going to throw food, I would make sure it was really hard and could do some damage. Anything I would bake would do the trick because it is sure to be brick-like. I’ve never had samosas that I can remember, but they look so delicious I wish I had one right now. My “remember from childhood” food was my grandmothers chicken soup which was so good I can practically taste it right now. Between samosas and soup I’m hungry. This is why I could never be a food blogger (well, that and the whole non-cooking thing)
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…I Will Cut You If You Bother Me While HotSean! Is On T.V.My Profile

  • Ha! So the first time my husband had Christmas at MY family’s house, his mother asked, “So, what did you have for dinner? Was there a ham?” “No.” “A turkey?” “No.” “Well, what exactly did you FEED my son on Christmas?” (No, she didn’t really say the last part – although I think she was thinking it…LOL)…We eat Italian. We are a large Italian family, and we eat some kind of pasta (lasagna, manicotti, etc.) on Christmas. The sauce simmers for hours, which means it tastes NOTHING like Prego, thank-you-very-much; the meatballs are home made, and we use good cheeses – parmiagiano, ricotta, mozzarella – cottage cheese comes no where near our lasagna/ziti/manicotti/etc. I would much rather eat my own (or my mother’s) tomato sauce than any restaurant’s. At least that’s what we used to eat on Christmas. Now that my family is half Irish, this year we had a lasagna, sausage, meatballs… and a ham ;)
    Daily Presents recently posted…Being Santa ClauseMy Profile

  • Elaine A.
    Twitter:
    says:

    Funny story about “different” food…. When we were first dating my husband suggested we go out for Lebanese food. I had never eaten it before and was SO disappointed that we were going somewhere for dinner that I was pretty sure I would HATE. Let’s just say I was WRONG. To this day I love the stuff. Gimme some hummus and shwarma, stat!

    Honestly, I have not had that much Indian food. I need to remedy that. Those things look damn good!! :D
    Elaine A. recently posted…I’m a Happy WifeMy Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Elaine – you would love Indian food if you love the flavor profile of Lebanese food. It’s just such a lovely layering of complex flavors. Definitely takes an open mind but once you are in, you are IN. if you know what I’m saying, girl.
      xo,
      Kiran

  • I do like Indian food, but I can’t eat it everyday. I love variety in my foods. One of my favorite subzis that my mom makes is Baigan ka Bharta, it’s #1. so good. Love this post.. it’s funny what people search for and end up on your site. Sorry, but at least it’s amusing. :)
    honeywhatscooking recently posted…De Santos | New York City (west village)My Profile

  • Nicole says:

    It’s blasphemy, isn’t it? I totally love LOVE Indian food. And I miss it! Where we live there is only one good Indian restaurant, and it’s not really all that good. And it’s expensive! When we lived near a big city there were so, so many good Indian restaurants and it was amazing. My younger son was probably mostly nourished in utero on the Indian buffet my son and I went to all the damn time. Oh my.

    Great. Now I want samosas. Thanks a lot!
    Nicole recently posted…Pear and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette SaladMy Profile

  • steph says:

    If we ever meet in person, please feel free to bring samosas. They will be eaten by either me or my 3-year-old. I am so thankful he is an adventurous eater and, as I have mentioned, I hope to raise him with the same cultural awareness and appreciation that my parents afforded me. He does call naan “Chinese bread,” but he’s still learning :-)

    Now I’m wanting samosas, too. One of the things I miss about living in the city is having a broad range of diverse food choices. After moving back to the south, I had to give up on my Lebanese on Valentine’s Day tradition. On our last trip to DC, our big family outing was a trip to the Lotte market!

    As for your query…I wish I could go back in time and into my Filipino grandfather’s kitchen. He was a master. Lesson to kids everywhere — don’t take your elders for granted!

  • ilene
    Twitter:
    says:

    You don’t know how this one touched my heart. First of all, what we make and what present to others is a gesture of love – and for your boyfriend and his family to not touch the samosas is a gesture of rejecting that love. I don’t know if I would have tossed the samosas at them or curled up in a ball and cried. Second of all, I have been running a cash business since I split with my husband (don’t tell anyone, ya hear?). My product is gourmet snack foods. I’m doing it because I needed to do something to keep us going since finances are much tighter now. I can not tell you the pride I feel in making something with my own hands that helps support my children and the source of satisfaction I feel to be able to care for them in this way. I KNOW your mother never looked at making those samosas as an act of labor but one of love, because that is exactly how I feel – on every night that I am up until midnight baking for an $8.00 order.
    ilene recently posted…One WordMy Profile

  • Dev says:

    Hahaha…………….love the samosa throwing frenzy. but he definitely meant more than the food…..the sphincter. who would not love your mother’s delicious samosas.

    I am not angry at all……..just feel sorry for his closed mind and zillions of other things that he has missed out on.

    certainly this is more entertaining than ganges river hf stories.

  • JaniceM says:

    I love Indian food! When we first moved here to Jacksonville, FL twenty years ago there was only one Indian restaurant and it was not very good. It was definitely amusing however to see the look on the waiter’s face when my nine year old daughter ordered her Chicken Dhansak which she had been eating in Scotland since she was five! He kept trying to tell me it would be too spicy for her! Thankfully, our Indian population has grown since then and we have several great restaurants to choose from as well as a few Indian grocery stores if we feel like making our own curry.
    I have not tried to make my own samosas but I do love to eat them dipped in a little HP sauce. =) I’m sure your Mother’s samosas were delicious Kiran. Don’t you wish closed minded people had closed mouths too?!!
    By the way, I love your blog which I also found through The Blogess!

  • theREALMFdeal says:

    just curious, was the “non-Indian boyfriend” white ?

    I remember at a “diversity meal” bullshit thing our middle school did once, I brought in pullao and someone called it “fluorescent green rice”

    I was hurt and sad and all that mushy stuff back then. now I’m just sarcastic, and would say, “how else do you think we hide our nuclear reactors so well?”

  • RDHolyfield says:

    The funny thing Kwoman, is that it could go the other way too, as in , reducing a culture to only being about food. I can’t even count how many times a conversation has gone this way:

    Person: Where are you from originally?
    Me: India
    Person: Oh! There’s this Indian restaurant by us, I just love their Mango Lassi, and what’s that thing, with the little thing on the other thing, and…

    By the way, I haven’t changed my name to show you I’m capable of other types of thoughts also.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evander_Holyfield's_Real_Deal_Boxing

  • ani says:

    Dear gawd, you are me. i am you. i still can recall vividly people reacting to my mum’s indian food out west. Just be polite and decline if you will. quit with the sneers and sticking your nose in the air. I also love when I discuss various Indian dishes I make by specific name…many people refer to all indian dishes as “curry”. No they have specific names. GRRRRRRRRRRRR.

  • MomWithaDot says:

    I MUST tell you this (and you’ll read it again on my blog sometime in the future, I’m sure)

    In her new pre-K class
    William (looking suspiciously) – ‘what is that you are eating?’
    My daughter (enjoying cubed idlis with ghee and sugar ) – ‘I can tell you its idli, but you won’t know it’
    MomWithaDot recently posted…Domestic Diva II – Healthy OptionsMy Profile

  • KM says:

    This will even out the other ignorant family’s bad manners
    .
    My husband and I are Irish- straight off the boat.
    My two kids are American,.
    Our Christmas dinner was Indian buffet this year because we let the kids pick their favorite food to eat out instead of us/really him ( my husband is a firefighter and a great cook) cooking at home.
    That family have NO idea what they missed.
    If you figure out how to ship your Mom’s samosas I’ll send you my address.
    My mom makes turkey dumplings for Christmas. They are my favorite food memory.
    You were right not to throw the samosa. Waste of a good samosa.
    M

  • LisaAR
    Twitter:
    says:

    Kiran….I am so tired I’m reading through this post and…even though you even have a PHOTO, I am reading along and in my brain supplanting the word “samosa” with “mimosa”…and I’m like “Kiran’s mom rocks!” and loving that these drinks are such a part of your life…Of course, as I kept reading, I realized my error…Yeesh. Right now, I’d love to try a samosa with a mimosa! :)
    LisaAR recently posted…Once This, Then ThatMy Profile

  • JQ says:

    HE SAID THAT!!!? At the dinner table? About food that a guest brought???? The rudeness! WOW.
    I probably would have had the urge to punch him with my fist of spicy samosa rage. Seriously. Roll d20 to survive dinner with limbs in tact.
    I LOVE spice. I love trying new foods…
    I drew the line at eating raw sea urchin on my sushi. The texture reminded me of chicken lungs. Don’t ask me how I know about chicken lungs.
    JQ recently posted…POP!My Profile

    • masalachica says:

      Oh JQ,

      He said it. My boyfriend at the time was a nice guy and I know he felt terrible, but he was not going to be one to defend it or diffuse the situation. I wish you had been there with me with your spicy fists of samosa rage. You sound kind of like a bad ass, actually.

      I have never eaten sea urchin either. The texture is weird and completely unappetizing to me. I am pretty adventurous though and especially if someone is asking me to eat something they made? I will always make an effort to try it.

      except for the sea urchin ;-)

      xo,
      Kiran

  • Amy says:

    So, if I were to SAY I don’t like Indian food in a totally rude fashion, would you PLEASE throw one of your mom’s homemade samosas at me? Trust me when I say I will catch it.
    With my mouth.

  • Mercy says:

    I LOVE Indian food.Of course having lived here for almost 10 years makes me a little biased. My favorite food is masala dosa. I don’t cook many Indian dishes, but I get by. Besides, my hubby thinks anything without chilli is bland so I have to make some spicy food. He was raised on Mangaloriean food so that explains a lot.
    Mercy recently posted…Our Trip to MangaloreMy Profile

  • Mercy says:

    Oh, and I meant to say that that guy was plain rude. I have eaten food that was way too spicy for my liking but I did it to be polite. He could have at least taken a taste.
    Mercy recently posted…Move Progress UpdateMy Profile

  • Justine says:

    I happen to love samosas.

    And I think that even if people don’t like other people, they should learn a little bit about civility. Because really? It goes a long way.

    Found you from Ilene, and I’ll be back!! :)
    Justine recently posted…You Are HereMy Profile

  • Adrienne
    Twitter:
    says:

    What a jerk! Both of them. The old boyfriend and the guy searching for disturbing porn. What a creative way to speak a message of truth. We all need a little more somosas!
    Adrienne recently posted…Featured Blogger: Co-Pilot MomMy Profile

  • Can’t believe someone was so rude to a guest in their home, for one. And two, who the hell doesn’t like samosas? meat? good. Potato? good. Spices? GOOD. Oh, and the pastry… oh my god, GOOD!!!

    I grew up in New Zealand in a very multi cultural big city (auckland). Thankfully, Indian food was a prominent staple (as well as chinese, afghani, pakistani, indonesian and thai).

    I wouldn’t have wasted a samosa by throwing it though. I would have taken the plate, and left. And ate the lot sitting on the steps out front waiting for my boyfriend to tell his family off.
    USA Kiwi (Kylee) recently posted…Baked Sweet Potatoes with Warm Black Bean SaladMy Profile

  • I forgot to mention, my 17 month old enjoys food from all over the world. His first food was actually hummus with falafel. He’ll chow down on a good chicken jalfreizi too!
    USA Kiwi (Kylee) recently posted…Homemade Goldfish CrackersMy Profile

  • Lea says:

    The first time I tired a samosa I almost cried– I had found the most perfect food in the world. I wish you wouldn’t waste them throwing them at some ignorant fool (even if you only threw them in your head), you can throw them at me.
    I just found you via Scary Mommy– where you wrote a FANTASTIC post. I’m adding you to my reader, now.

  • Pingback: Miles to Go Before I Sleep – Fierce Diva Anniversary Edition

  • Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness. I am way late to the party, but I just found your blog through ScaryMommy and was browsing your posts. I LOVE INDIAN FOOD and I would totally eat your samosas! (Now I’m hungry, thanks a lot … ) :) great blog!

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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