Opinion Piece: What’s in a Name, of an Indian Dish?

Nandita Godbole

A lot, actually.

People like me, with roots in India, have struggled through the Biryani Roll controversy, the Chickpea Tikka Masala drama, the Jalebi-is-not funnel cake fiasco, and most recently, the Dal Makhani debacle. We could not directly put our finger on why this caused us discomfort- because every public debate metaphorically danced around issues ranging from freedom of personal expression, artistic license, and most fundamentally, who gets to call the shots. No debate addressed the real cause of concern: that the discomfort came in not so much as the taste, but the name of the dish, and the confusion and mixed messaging it presented.

Here is some context that may explain why this bothers us so. Very few people living outside India have experienced the agonizing task of picking a child’s name in the same way an Indian family does it. Each name has a meaning, a connection or tie to family history. In the largely Hindu nation, in the 21st century with missions to Mars, naming anything—especially a child—can involve many things including but not limited to astrological charts and pundits — all ancient practices that are seldom challenged or controversial. Apart from a little inconvenience, they are harmless, instead, offer a humorous way to engage the entire family in the new addition. We had picked out a whopping 36 boy names and 36 girl names picked out when we were expecting our daughter (we had chosen to not find out beforehand). I still have that list somewhere.

The joys and challenges of naming an offspring are not limited to Hindu parents in India. Modern or not, even among its many religious communities — Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Muslim, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and in their sub-sects, there remains a very heavy reverence to the opinions of elders, no matter how strained the relationship is. This is an opportunity to stay connected to one’s roots and is never done willy-nilly.

Nandita Godbole

I can’t recall the origin of this phrase: “You are only as strong as your roots,” perhaps it is a phrase the Jewish community uses in preparation for the Feast of Trees, but I believe there is much to be learned from this sentiment.

As a novice food writer, I routinely graze through pieces that attempt to celebrate Indian cuisine. Most are written in good faith by ‘so-hot-now’ chefs, writers and such. It is great to see them getting recognition — everyone deserves their fair share of the limelight. I am supportive of chefs experimenting with flavors, combining old and new, finding a balance, and making it their own.

But I fall in an unusual category of having done just enough to know when something is spot on, and when something is terribly off the mark, particularly when a dish I have loved cooking, eating or teaching others to make is misrepresented. Having cooked for about 35 years, I managed to write enough on my own to merit a few inches of shelf space on my own bookshelf. I write about classic dishes that I grew up with, dished learned from watching chefs on television, and experimenting on my own. Surely, many of my dishes were adapted along the way and I never claim to know everything, and I make sure my readers know that. However, between eating, writing, cooking, and teaching — what seldom misses my eye (or taste-buds) is when the food world chooses to skew the expectations of an Indian dish by calling it something it is not.

I have also been silenced by food editors in private, some even POC’s, when I questioned the weaknesses of a recipe presented as a “traditional” Indian dish, or when I lamented that the writer would have done more with the latitude they had. Some defended these pieces with “that is their audience” and “what is the harm.” Social media is a showcase of a diverse group of writers and editors, particularly POC’s who speak up, openly refusing to wish to carry the “burden” of their cultural roots or align too closely with anything that represents their roots because they feel pigeon-holed. I don’t doubt that their struggles are rooted in an assertion of individuality. I agree they are all more than that. However, such aspirations don’t accurately show the growth or trajectory of their creative endeavors. In addition, what they forget that each one of these individuals who has a platform, or an audience, and the means — also has the luxury of latitude, and the luxury of privilege, no matter how long it took them to get in front of the spotlight, or the intensity of their struggles. Their struggles and their hard-earned limelight also come with greater urgency in ‘calling it out.’

Opinion Piece: What’s In a Name, Of An Indian dish?

Respecting the audience:

There would be a global backlash if someone called a Marinara an Italian ‘Makhani’, or a Makhani, an Indianized Marinara sauce. I mean no disrespect, but if this association bothered you, you might understand why any dish is much more than a name (and a name means something).

No cuisine allows culinary nomenclature to follow the style of naming monarchs from the olden days, where there was King George-I, King George-II and so on. Even then, there remained respect to the order in the lineage, and to hierarchy as an extension. So why should Indian food be treated differently?

Creativity is not about minor alterations, but creating something entirely different, one that then merits its own space, and therefore its own identity, and its own name.

There is no ‘line in the sand’ moment of Indian cuisine because it isn’t a beach where the ebb and flow of the ‘diner-whim’ tides constantly shift the shoreline that defines the cuisine. Indian food is a complex beast with many facets. It holds many nuanced elements that some attempt to bypass in lieu of making it their own. Perhaps it has not occurred to anyone, or perhaps those familiar with Indian food have overlooked a need for guidelines in the food nomenclature as it relates to Indian food. Would anyone who has eaten either of these: ‘sliced bread’ and ‘pizza’ use the reference interchangeably? In the same breath, should all (Indian) breads be called ‘naan,’ all chicken dishes be called ‘Butter Chicken’ or all (Indian) caffeinated beverages be called ‘Chai-tea?’ What has the food world done, particularly those promoting the cuisine — to educate a casual diner to know what makes a dish a ‘makhani’, or a daal — a daal? Or, what are the subtle nuances to differentiate a paratha from a luccha paratha? What makes kheer and rabdi different? Why is Jalebi NOT a funnel cake? What constitutes a biryani and why is it different from a pulao, or in one particular instance — why is it not a wrap? Diners don’t see it on the menus and barring some books by indies like me, consumers are not seeing it in cookbooks either.

Consumers are unconsciously accustomed to seek familiarity, visual cues of signs and colors. Authors and their agents are familiar with the term ‘comps’ or ‘comparable’s.’ In the food world, diners are looking for flavor comps. The familiarity in the names of dishes on a long menu is muddled, and the same dish appears three different ways with different price points! Many eateries follow the KISS — Keep It Simple (&) Stupid model, and offer up dish similar to something, the ‘-esque’ version, rather than taking the opportunity to educate diners to explore the nuances of the cuisine, past what they have eaten before. These comps only tease the diner with a suggestion. Comps of cooking methods rely on phrases like Curry (sauce-based), Tandoori (clay oven), Tadka (add-on tempering), Baghara (add-on tempering), etc. that matter to the diner only if the diner is savvy. Or, the name hints at its flavors with phrases like Adraki (ginger), Lasooni (garlic), Makhani (using butter/cream), Mughlai (with nuts and cream) or Masala (spicy). Regional affiliations such as Kashmiri, Hyderabadi, Bengali, Rajasthani, and others become relegated to being props in the puppetry of this game of shadows and mirrors, and sometimes do not even include flavors associated with that gastronomical region! Yes, India has several gastronomical regions.

In addition, many establishments bet on the assumption that the diner may not know anything about the dish they are eating, or hope that the diner is too enamored by the long complex name on a menu, and the kitschy décor, that they forget to ask ‘why is the dish called so.’ It is infinitely worse, second-hand embarrassment almost when the creator embedded in, representing or affiliated to the food culture they are peddling, is the one also unapologetically disseminating the ‘-esque’ version as an ‘authentic’ one.

Such infractions are not blind appropriations or an excusable naivety on the part of the establishment, but far from it. It forces us to have a conversation about respect and identity. If the creator, the one who is closest to the source does not respect the source, what hope is there for others?

I respect the originality of interpretations. But the cuisine as complex as the Indian cuisine also merits the respect for its roots and identity. If the chef alters recipes but chooses to hide behind an old name, merely to promote familiarity, they have lost an opportunity to showcase their own creativity. In a written context, and on the menu, this information is critical. If a chef alters a recipe, I wish they would admit the alterations and not promote it as one without roots. That singular act, one that eliminates context, also eliminates a reader’s appreciation of a chef’s creativity, and instead presents a complex cuisine as a nebula, a mere assemblage of random ingredients, too far away for anyone to care, but exotic enough to be written about.

For me, and others like me — it is no longer about changing the expectation of a dish or a misunderstood cuisine, and surely it is never (now more than ever), never about making something acceptable to suit someone else’s palette, or conform to a populist idea. It is always about transparency, recognition, acceptance, and appreciation of its core identity.

What is the harm?

Misrepresented creative expression does a tremendous disservice to the legacy of cuisine, and its ripple effect appears in the food industry.

I remain greatly concerned about the role of media in influencing the space Indian cuisine occupies in a conventional diner’s mind, and how dishes are promoted, especially those that deviate so pointedly from classically based recipes — and how they skew the concepts and methods behind its roots. For instance, excluding any header or commentary in print about a classical dish (X), or what merits a change to X-a, instead merely presenting X-a, the adaptation, ignores the nuances of the classical recipe (X). Instead, it promotes the notion that this, X-a, is ‘better’ simply because it is published in a magazine, or is made in a restaurant set in a posh district. It also sets up an assumption that X, the dish that mom-and-pop establishments offer, the one that stays truer to a classic taste, or the one that folks make at home — is sub-par. Correcting it, after the fact, is again a reflection of the afterthought that is given to the cuisine itself, and the identity of the dish itself.

To say the least, I am not in favor of promoting an approach that does nothing to educate its audience about a cuisine, one that is already largely misunderstood, underappreciated and frequently appropriated.

I am all for supporting local farmers, restaurateurs, and small businesses. Believe me, I come from a farming family, my family was part of the restaurant and hospitality industry for a while, and more importantly my late grandfather—whose food legacy I carry and treasure—owned a cookie shop in the late 1970s (coincidentally, it was called Nandita Dry Fruit, in Thane(E)). I’ve sold our organically grown, farm fresh produce outside our teeny farm in India and in the village market, dealt with bargain seekers and old wrinkled and high pitched fisherwomen who would haggle with me over small change — even back when I was a young child. I’ve grown and harvested all kinds of vegetables, thrashed and winnowed rice when we grew it, harvested Alphonso mangoes, learned how to mill our own flour, and even pounded copious quantities of spices in oversized mortar and pestles the hot summer sun. This is before I even turned 25. So, when I see someone walk all over a small ethnic store — I see cultural curating. I see it when key-ingredient substitutions in classic dishes are offered for the sake of variety, and particularly for the sake of appeasing another community, and not because the ingredients are difficult to procure. It sends a coded message to diners, shoppers and consumers—don’t bother exploring the many narrow and full isles of your local ethnic store. It tells food enthusiasts—you don’t need to spend your dollars in the local versions of the Patel Brothers, the Cherians, Spice Marts or India Plazas, whose spice and flavor laden isles can possibly change your perspective on the day-to-day lives of your immigrant neighbors and possibly even your coworkers, of the varieties of old-fashioned grains and ingredients that you may have never heard of until now. I wonder if all these grocery stores are merely placeholders, that will serve as fodder for the next generation of yarn-spinners to later mine for their narratives on how they discovered their family roots in aisles of a fragrant ethnic mart? Will these narratives then be splattered across the same glossies and dailies that now share the ‘new’ Indian dishes and do not tell their stories to begin with? Tell me: how does none of this matter? How does this not add to the othering of brown and POC voices? Explain to me how this does no harm.

I respect chefs, classically trained, or those who are career transplants into this field who are upping the game, so to speak. I admire their drive to bring Indian food to the masses, their passion for flavors, their love of the food lore. I want to respect their creativity and originality. However, I will always remain deeply disappointed if I order a tandoori chicken (an iconic north Indian specialty with a specific spice profile) and it is served to me, cooked and then doused in Chettinad flavors (unmistakable flavors from the Southern India) with the distinct flavor of curry leaves.

To anyone who does not still know this: A dish is not made Indian because of the addition of curry leaves, and is never so because of the addition of the kitchen sink of spices, curry powder (I shudder in disgust).

There are still many misconceptions about the core flavor profiles of traditional Indian dishes, and to ignore the roots of a dish, is to ignore more than just that — it washes over a legacy, its history, and eliminates its context. It is its whitewashing or allowing so, in more ways than one. Sadly, those who use the iconic cultural appeal to exclusively and extensively promote a specific aesthetic, also carry the burden of offering clarity, a fidelity or even a reverence to the classic when they choose to improvise. I expect everyone to do better, because the Indian cuisine deserves as better seat at the table. I expect more when I dine at the establishment (and when I read an Indian cookbook).

I don’t conform to popular opinion and fully expect that if a food editor from one of my coveted, top-tier, wish list publications reads this piece, it just might be our brief hello-and-goodbye. I wish they would correct my assumption.

Meanwhile, I take this on as a personal challenge, that with each misrepresented, improvised, stylized train-wreck-of-a-controversy Indian dish the media chooses to put on display, or promote, if I can cook or eat it, I will share a simpler recipe a bit closer to what is made in my home, just for kicks.

By Nandita Godbole

Nandita is an Indian origin, Atlanta-based proudly indie author, food writer, consultant and podcaster. She is as much a proponent … Read more ›

Chef Devan Rajkumar: Bringing Indo Caribbean Flavors to South Asia and Beyond

Chef Dev

Passion is something many claim to have, but few truly possess. Whether it’s hobbies, professions or romances, it’s the secret ingredient we all crave but is quite difficult to come by. But on meeting Chef Devan Rajkumar — aka Chef Dev — it takes just a few moments to understand true passion. For the Indo Guyanese chef from Toronto, passion has always been food and its power to connect, nourish, excite and represent. 

[Read Related: 5 Indo Caribbean Food Experts you Need to Know This Winter Season]

It was there, as a child, when he followed his mother and grandmother around the temple, getting daal stains on his kurtas

Today, he’s used it to become a TV personality on Canada’s “Cityline” and Food Network Canada’s “Fire Masters,” to collaborate with renowned caterers The Food Dudes, develop his own line of signature soups and host pop-up events around the world. 


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Whatever the outlet, Rajkumar feeds his mission to be an ambassador for modern, West and East Indian cuisine. I recently sat down with him to talk about this and the experience of bringing Indo Caribbean flavors to South Asia and beyond.

Feeding a passion for food

“The sights, the sounds, the aromatics. The excitement of the kitchen has just always appealed to me,” he began. “Food moves me in a certain way. I want to nurture and nourish. I’ve just always wanted to do for others.”

As he sat back in a ‘Guyana vs. the world’ tank top, Rajkumar’s energy was palpable.

“I’ve always lived and breathed food, all day, all night. Like I’m talking about food right now. I’m constantly talking about food.”

To Rajkumar, food is education — one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to learn, teach and explore the world — and he credits his older brother Jai for inspiring this mindset. Jai was the first to introduce him to different cuisines, teach him to be curious about the world and show him how to challenge the norms of a “typical brown kid.”

Despite this encouragement, however, a culinary career wasn’t Rajkumar’s first instinct. The son of a businessman, he initially jumped around universities and career paths. He also struggled with substance abuse and grief after Jai’s passing. Through all the challenges, food remained a constant, and the sense of community it created was a powerful draw.  

“At a very young age, I recognized how food made me feel if I was in a bad mood and how it made others feel,” he shared. 

He’s always looked forward to sitting around a table with friends and family, enjoying a nice meal, and how everybody could share their stories or just forget their troubles.

“Food is a very powerful vehicle for transporting someone.”  

In 2009, Rajkumar finally followed his passion and joined a culinary school. He realized he had a knack for creating this experience for others.

“I realized I had the power and the gift to nourish and nurture someone else in this way,” and it became irresistible. 

A cook with no boundaries, Rajkumar didn’t want to limit the number of people he reached to just those in Canada. 


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For many, success in the culinary world is having a thriving restaurant, but after spending six months opening one with The Food Dudes in 2015, Rajkumar realized this route wasn’t for him. 

“I wanted more culture,” he explained. “I wanted to learn and not so much get my ass kicked, but to be a sponge. I knew I needed to travel to broaden my horizons.”

So he did. Rajkumar spent months cooking in India, London, Peru and Dubai. He shared his experiences on social media and people back home took note.

“When I returned to Toronto,” he continued, “that trip had established me as a cook who had no boundaries. As someone who wasn’t afraid to explore and get out of their comfort zone.” 

And get out of his comfort zone he did. 

“From catering to a pop-up abroad to filming ‘Cityline and speaking engagements, every day is different,” he explained. “I’ve had my bouts with imposter syndrome, but ultimately, I’ve gotten to make more of an impact than just opening a restaurant.” 

That impact has especially been prominent in South Asia. 


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“Mad Love” in the Motherlands

Rajkumar embraces not only his Caribbean culture, but his South Asian roots as well. 

The temple he grew up in was a blend of Guyanese and East Indians, so he knew foods from a typical Guyanese household like alu curry and saijan but also East Indian favorites like dhokla and malai kofta

“Ultimately, we came from India,” he declared. “I embrace the culture and I am very comfortable leaning back and forth into it. It’s in me. It’s who I am.”

In fact, Rajkumar noted his career became much more defined and successful when he really began to identify as not just a chef, but as an Indo Guyanese Canadian chef. 

Hearing this, it was no surprise that Guyana, India and Pakistan stand out as some of  his favorite destinations. 

“Guyana is hugely impactful for me,” he shared, having visited his parents’ homeland frequently. “As soon as that door opens [at the airport], you smell Guyana. You smell the sugarcane burning from rum factories. I have all these wonderful sights, sounds, smells and flavors from those trips.”

His sentiments for India are similar.

“Incredible India is incredible India,” he referred to the country’s tourism slogan. “Every 100-200 kilometers, the menus can change completely. I can live in India for the rest of my life and never see it all.”

Pakistan, however, is in a class all its own.

“There’s something special about Lahore,” Chef Dev explained. “I was told Lahori hospitality rivals the best in the world and I got to experience that. I was interviewed on national television by Mustafa Shah. I explored Old Lahore with Ali Rehman. I got to cook my own chicken karahi at Butt Karahi. Anything I needed, I had. I’ve never met kinder people in my life.” 


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Rajkumar’s first trip in 2020 was only nine days long, but its impact stayed with him. 

He couldn’t have been more excited to return for a month, earlier this year, and host what his friends there dubbed the “Mad Love Pop-Up,” after one of his signature sayings. 

He filled the menu for the 18-day event with global dishes like ceviche and scotch eggs but infused them with West and East Indian flavors like masala, jerk and cassareep — a rich extract of the bitter cassava native to Guyana. Before he left, he even prepared Guyana’s national dish of pepper pot, a hearty meat stew, for the staff meal. 

“My whole thought process was ‘let me give these people — my family there — an experience they’ve never had before,” he detailed. “Any time I give someone pepper pot or cassareep, they’re just so shocked. It’s so unique.”

Rajkumar is always excited to share the flavors and culture of Guyana with new people, but with his roots in South Asia, bringing them to Pakistan was that much more profound. 

“In India, maybe it’s different, but in Lahore, most people don’t know about Guyana or where it is. That’s another reason why I did this. That’s why I do all the things I do. That’s why I’m wearing this tank top — to raise awareness about my culture and how beautiful it is,” he said. 

Time in South Asia has also helped Rajkumar gain a deeper appreciation for the origins of many Indo Caribbean dishes and reinforced his love for them.   

“Guyanese cuisine doesn’t just have Indian influence, but so many dishes in some way, shape, or form come from there. Like when I’m eating sada roti, I can tie it back to which type of flatbread it came from in India. I feel like a better-equipped chef at the end of the day. I’m more connected to my Guyanese roots and to the culture overall.” 

Rajkumar wants to foster a deeper understanding and relationship between both heritages. He wants his food to build connections, not disparity. 

Bringing the world back home

Rajkumar has visited over 20 countries, but Pakistan remains one place he’ll cherish his entire life. He is grateful not only for the opportunities he’s had there, but also for the chance to offer a fresh, alternative view of the country from what is often shown by the media.  

Chef Dev Rajkumar
Chef Devan Rajkumar wants to use his culinary skills and experiences to bring people together.

“When people saw me posting content from Lahore, they were like, ‘Oh my God, this is Pakistan?’ This is not what we expected. This is not what we thought we’d see.’ They were shocked at how beautiful, kind, and welcoming everyone was.”

Reactions like these are Rajkumar’s ultimate goal.

A cookbook is due next year. He has aspirations of launching merchandise and cookware, traveling to South East Asia, and continuing his pop-ups, but ultimately, he concludes,

“I just want to stand for something. I want to continue to learn, remain humble, represent my Western and Eastern cultures and spread mad love. I want to be an ambassador to that world and be someone who’s dedicated to his craft, bettering himself and those around him.” 

“I just want to continue to grow as a person,” he added with sincerity as he touched on his sobriety and what it’s taught him about achieving your goals. 

“That might sound cliche, but it’s new to me. I’ve spent the last two years learning about myself and being vulnerable about how I feel, my healing journey and what I’m going through. If I excel and continue to invest time and discipline in that arena, everything else around me will flourish. I believe that goes for anyone.”

Rajkumar is going far literally and figuratively, but no matter where he lands, you can be sure he’ll bring something back for his supporters, whether it be a new view of the world or a concoction like a ceviche pani puri on one of his menus. 

“That’s my travels to India, Pakistan and Peru all in one bite!” he exclaimed. 

Chef Dev’s journey has not always been an easy one, but it’s a powerful example of the success one can taste with hard work, embracing authenticity and following true passion. 

To learn more about his work visit his website or follow his Instagram for real-time updates, recipes, and all the ‘mad love.’ 

Photos Credit: Alec Luna

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By Ramona Sukhraj

With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona has made a name for herself publishing over … Read more ›

5 Indo Caribbean Food Experts you Need to Know This Winter Season

trinidad curry
Curried Chicken with Roti Parata or Roti, popular Middle Eastern/Indian cuisine

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.

1. Matthew’s Guyanese Cooking

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

2. Trini Cooking with Natasha

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.

[Read Related: 5 Indo-Caribbean Recipes for the Holiday Season you Have to Make]

3. Cooking with Ria

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.


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4. Chef Devan

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.


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5. Taste of Trinbago

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.


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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.

Featured Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Subrina Singh

Subrina Singh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian & Asian American Studies from Stony Brook University and a Master’s Degree … Read more ›