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“Clumpy Rice” for Anyone Who Dares to Disparage Indian Food

Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
October 2021
“Clumpy Rice” for Anyone Who Dares to Disparage Indian Food

Memo to public figures: If you feel the need to disparage Indian food or culture, make sure you do so privately; otherwise you may find yourself being chopped up like an onion going into a curry.

Gene Weingarten, a humor columnist for The Washington Post, obviously did not get the memo.

“The Indian subcontinent has vastly enriched the world, giving us chess, buttons, the mathematical concepts of zero, shampoo, modern-day nonviolent political resistance, Chutes and Ladders, the Fibonacci sequence, rock candy, cataract surgery, cashmere, USB ports . . . and the only ethnic cuisine in the world insanely based on entirely one spice,” he wrote.

There was an immediate smack-down of Weingarten, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

Writer Shireen Ahmed who tweeted, “I pride myself on my Pakistani cooking. I also love South Indian, and fusion dishes. That you got paid to write this tripe, and boldly spew your racism is deplorable. May your rice be clumpy, roti dry, your chilies unforgivable, your chai cold, and your papadams soft.” Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi tweeted: “What in the white nonsense is this?”

The Washington Post added a correction to the top of the column. And Weingarten apologized on Twitter: “I should have named a single Indian dish, not the whole cuisine, and I do see how that broad-brush was insulting. Apologies. (Also, yes, curries are spice blends, not spices.)”

More of ChaiTime here:

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]


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