The old saying goes a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Latest neuroscience research is beginning to show this old adage rooted in actual science. What goes into our stomachs has neurological impacts in our brain. And the way to a bigoted man’s heart is also through his stomach. Well, even bigoted women.
All the snap judgments thrown my way by strangers and family, recent turbaned encounters of designer Waris Ahluwalia in Mexico City, Canadian comedian JusReign in San Francisco and the cantankerous presidential campaign has really reinforced me to think about what brings me the most joy, food.
Here is a menu of flavorful concoctions from my ‘Make America Great’ concept vegetarian restaurant in NYC where I am hotly seeking a Michelin star.
Far Away Fritters
Taking a bite into this batter dipped oven baked fritters will make you feel as if you are not in America but in a land far, far away. Something so foreign you could not put your finger on its origins.
There is nothing original about these nachos except they fool you into thinking what to expect but once you dip them into the sauce flavored with Eastern spices it will confuse the neural networks and literally take your breath away.
The sweet and sour pancakes cooked with whole wheat flour will make you think of the wild exotic flavor from the far east and as you devour these it leaves you with a colonial after taste.
Rajma, the mighty protein rich red bean cooked with the verve of true Punjabi spirit will titillate you with gustatory pleasures.
Tailor Made For You
Our chef hails from a lineage of tailors and good for you, he knows next to nothing about stitching. We offer you a selection of fresh market vegetables and you tell us what tickles your fancy and he will tailor make them to your taste.
The words ‘Osama,’ ‘Taliban’ and ‘ISIS’ well up strong, angry feelings but from the places these monsters are born do come some wonderful exotic tasty things. This Southern-style stew combines pomegranates from Afghanistan, rice from Iran, dates from Iraq to create explosive flavors that will only knock your socks off.
To Sikh is to learn, think equality and this special dish inspired by the young 500-year-old faith combines naan prepared in clay oven, black lentils sautéed in French butter, yogurt prepared from Dutch cow milk and served with tea for an English touch.
Our chef’s love of Tintin’s adventures and imaginary world of cartoons has inspired this pasta concoction that is served on a plate featuring cartoon lines made out of Thai glass noodles.
The Introverted Roast
For that introvert inside all of us, this contemplative dish is the crowd favorite having been crowned by food critics as the most thought-provoking dish
Butter soft seitan steak cooked medium rare makes you feel right at home with all the foreigners in our midst.
Middle Eastern Maharaja
Israeli hummus, Moroccan couscous, Egyptian mint combined with the aroma of Basmati rice from the hills of the Himalayas will make you want to ride an elephant like a king in the old days of the English Colonial rule.
Captain America Burger
This patriotic burger rounded with garlic fries is served by our chef in a Captain America suit—in his resplendent blue turban—and sparsely populated beard (FYI: he does keep his beard covered while cooking in the kitchen).
Gay and Chatty
Whether you lean straight or gay or any other way, this cinnamon topped croissant gets you all chatty and spiced up for the remainder of the day.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, this homemade pistachio flavored ice cream Slurpee will make you forget how you look on the outside and feel the joy inside.
Girly Virgin Brandy
A non-alcoholic blend of herbs from the Middle east and Africa gets you a bit more in touch with your yin half. Remember we are all born from a woman’s womb.
Whitish Chocolate Cake
From east to west, every culture prefers the aesthetics of the lighter shade of skin and our chef’s favorite sweet tooth indulgence looks white on the outside covering the black vivacious chocolate richness deep inside.
Raghead, Genie, Clown special
This rich flavorful cake is a secret recipe combining ingredients from the deep south to the farm fields of the land of five rivers known as Punjab, melting the deep rooted feelings about exotic looking folks. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself with the urge to hug our turbaned chef after this special experience.
*This is a Kosher certified menu. Any investors interested in franchising this patriotic cause can reach the chef @sikhtoons.
GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Vishavjit Singh is the nation’s only turbaned/bearded editorial cartoonist, writer and costume player based in NYC. He was featured in Red, White & Beard, a short film released last year. His works can be consumed at Sikhtoons.com He can be reached @sikhtoons.
It is officially that time of year—the holiday season. There’s nothing like Christmas and New Year’s in the West Indies. Between the pepperpot in Guyana and the palm trees decorated in lights in Trinidad, the home food, warm weather and laid-back ambiance makes us wish we could escape the cold and head back to the Caribbean. Most of us, however, cannot “take holiday” and find ourselves hungry for fresh dhal puri and doubles. But, thanks to these Indo-Caribbean food bloggers, we can bring the motherland to our kitchens.
From Diwali mithai specialties to curry chicken, Matthew is creating a name for himself as a young Guyanese food blogger. He makes a great effort to incorporate Hindu holidays and traditions on his Instagram account, in conjunction with the customary foods and sweets associated with these religious events. However, his expertise does not end there, with new and alternative recipes for classic dishes such as curry chicken and bhara, Matthew takes center stage sharing both traditional Guyanese dishes as well as specific religious dishes made for festivals. His most popular YouTube video, with 1.4 million views, features his grandmother and focuses on the best tips to make the softest Guyanese paratha roti. In addition, his YouTube account is home to many videos offering guidance to Indo Caribbean cooking. Find recipes at @mattews.guyanese.cooking
Natasha Laggan of Trini Cooking with Natasha is wildly popular throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. With humble beginnings, Natasha credits her love of food to her family’s business. She speaks of the nostalgia home food provides her as she reminisces memories of her grandmother’s cooking and helping her mother make sandwiches early in the morning. Featured by Forbes, Natasha grew her Facebook following quickly throughout the pandemic by posting old YouTube videos. Today, she has more than 1 million followers on Facebook and over 200K followers on YouTube. She uses her passion for cooking and Trinidadian culture to bring easy-to-follow recipes to viewers. Her following has now reached the West Indian diaspora globally as she has also become a brand ambassador to two well-known food companies. Follow the food expert @trinicookingwithnatasha.
With over 100K followers on YouTube, Ria is quite the expert when it comes to making roti. Her dhal puri, sada roti and paratha roti tutorials have over 1M views! However, her expertise does not stop there. Of the 180 YouTube tutorials, her recipes vary from curry to other Trinidadian favorites like macaroni pie and pigtail soup. Just scrolling through her YouTube page makes your mouth water. From doubles to classic Trinidad bakes like pound cake and sweet bread, she provides precision and anecdotal commentary while guiding you through the familiarity of home food. Check out Ria’s page at @cookingwithria.
Known as Chef Devan, Devan Rajkumar embraces his Guyanese Canadian heritage by creating recipes combining flavors of both the East and West Indies. His love of food has allowed him to expand his role to judge in a popular Canadian cooking show: Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters. His cooking often blends the flavors of multiple cultures but also creates the classic recipes of his motherland. With a multitude of interests, Chef Dev uses his social media platform to connect with followers by sharing various aspects of his life that go beyond cooking. His most recent YouTube video provides a trailer for an upcoming video “Tastes Guyana” which shows him exploring Guyana from the inside, specifically deep parts of the inner country. To learn more about Chef Devan follow @chefdevan.
Reshmi is the chef behind the growing blog, Taste of Trinbago. A Trinidadian native who now resides in Texas, she uses her love of food and Trinidadian culture to share hacks, tips and easy recipes with West Indians throughout the globe. She finds a way to simplify traditional West Indian meals, that we once watched our elders make with curiosity. From holiday specialties like black cake to Diwali delicacies, Reshmi has brought vegetarian and non-veg recipes to followers in an extremely accessible way. She even posts recipe cards on her IG highlights for followers who may need written instructions. Her IG profile is a mix of various West Indian foods while also sharing bits of her life and even her secrets to baby food. Follow her @tasteoftrinbago.
These are just five Indo Caribbean food bloggers sharing their secrets to easy cooking. The once very daunting recipes and food instructions our parents gave have been simplified by most of these bloggers through video, voice over and modernized recipes. We no longer have to estimate a “dash, pinch or tuk” of any masala. We are just days away from Christmas and this is the perfect time to find the best-suited recipe to make that paratha for Santa.