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Homemade curry powder


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i find it amusing that practice changes in the home-country without too many people getting worked up about it, but foodies elsewhere are determined to hold on to the "right" way of doing things--i'm not saying this is what you are doing, of course. a lot of foodies in the u.s, it seems to me, almost long for markers of complicated "authenticity" in indian and other "ethnic" cuisines--it almost seems to be necessary as a stick with which to beat the lack of these things in their own cuisines.

Very thought-provoking. Thanks mongo.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Would be very interested to know where you got your Bengali garam masala mix?

I recognize that formula from Yamuna Devi's book Lord Krishna's Cuisine. I always wondered what was supposed to be so "Bengali" about that recipe. Every Bengali cook I know swears that it would only be cassia or cinnamon, cardamom and cloves with maybe some black pepper.

If my forum friends will indulge me a bit longer, the paragraphs above help me explore some of the issues raised in the thread about Indian cooking teachers, that deeply trouble me. I hope that the forum will concur that there is not the slightest malice or ill-will on my part when I confess to being a little upset [my problem entirely] when, say Edward, in all innocence and enthusiasm, declares himself to be a teacher of Bengali cuisine. I would be much more comfortable with his describing himself as a teacher of the cooking of modern Bangladesh or Sylhet

All of the Bengali or as I would more likely say "Bengali-Style" dishes I sometimes teach in my classes are things I learned in the kitchens of Bengali families here in the states. They are usually very simple things like:

Alur Borta or begun pora, masoor dal, done in different ways, jhinge Posto, bhuni kichuri, fish steamed with mustard paste and mustard oil, karela bhaji, payesh, sandesh etc., to name a few.

I ate and cooked things like this time and time again and in many homes. Perhaps when I say that some of my classes have Bengali dishes I should say "Bengali-American" :shock:

As far as cultural appropriation goes-I am uncomfortable with my name being mentioned in this context. It may appear discrediting.

I only teach what I know and have had direct experience with. Usually the term cultural appropriation denotes a "theft" of aesthetic standards, behaviors etc, from one culture by another. It also implies that this is done with no true understanding of the source.( Madonna's MTV awards tilak is the perfect example of this. Starbucks demonic tasting "chai" may be another.)

I can only give you my word that I do my best not to take these things cheaply. I have done everything within my grasp to educate myself to the fullest and not just with books, but by experience. I don't feel that I have stolen anything, rather, I have been given something. As long as I don't step on any toes or make ridiculous claims why not share it?

I find the issues you bring up to be very important and very stimulating. I look forward to reading your posts.

Edited by Edward (log)

Edward Hamann

Cooking Teacher

Indian Cooking


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