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!”
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!