Lahore Literary Festival in New York 2019: Writing Stories of Food

Lahore Literary Festival in New York 2019: Writing Stories of Food



hello everyone I'm a module yep / I will be the moderator for this session if you see me on my phone it's because I have my notes on here so my apologies I'm not checking my texts or anything I am a podcast host and journalist I host see something say something which covers American Muslims but also as a journalist I've I'm very interested in how South Asian food is written about in American media and you know I've done some writing and hosting about that so I'm really excited to be with this panel of you know eminent cookbook authors and writers and to have a conversation about food so I'm gonna introduce our panel I'm not going to do too much talking I'm joined by Martha Jeffrey she's an actress food and travel writer and the author of the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame cookbook in the invitation to Indian cooking and also now a little bit of a rap star is that correct I think we have the video if we could put on the mister cardamom video so we can already a little bit of a taste you're living in our house now mom we're not living in yours why do I have to keep telling you this I'm also joined by somani she's also an author of two cookbooks summers under the tamarind tree and mountain berries and deserts price desert spice excuse me she also has a video that she's brought to share with us if we could put that on as well that would be great it's on her rap video yeah that would be a great mix tape though every time I cook a recipe that I grew up with the minute a spice hits the oil I smell the flavor of home when I moved to the UK ten years ago I realized that not many people knew the individuality and the distinct flavor of Pakistan which is reason that led to writing my book summers under the tamron tree my greatest connection with food is having watched my mom from a very young age cooking and to this day my mother says how do you know how to cook I never taught you anything but I just learnt by watching her by the senses of hearing and tasting and smelling different aromas and tastes the borders of Pakistan have influenced a few food in Pakistan the cuisine has been influenced greatly by invasions by migration there's such a wealth of history behind each recipe and the most important thing is that dope-ass sounds a really young country it is a cuisine that's been in the making for centuries one of the most important factors of cooking in Pakistan is that we use our senses to cook and we use estimation to cook which we in order call and aza and that's something that I write about in my book as well that the cooking with your senses cooking with feeling hearing smelling aromas is so much easier and less intimidating than having to follow a recipe completely by every single letter this book was a labor of love and as I give it to you as a gift from my country from from my kitchen to you I hope that it opens up a whole new world of flavor a whole new culture that's not always been understood maybe misunderstood I hope that it creates an understanding that in Pakistan food is everything it's our passion it's what we live for as the culture of Pakistan is about sharing food I'm sharing my food with you welcome welcome to my thank you and finally we're joined by Simeon Rushdie who is the author of indian cookery sorry i always pause on that one can you tell me a little bit about that story of indian cookery it's a really interesting story how its come back to the u.s. print it's interesting that it's come to America now at the time when I wrote it I wrote it because the food that I when I came to England I came in the 80s and nothing that I saw recognized was the food of home nothing tasted like what we were used to I was angry by the curry houses that you ate out in there weren't ready meals at the time there weren't that many takeaways and I just wanted to write it was it was a personal book it was the book that was of my life and a food in my house and the food that I traveled with and at the time I thought it was important because food like language kind of makes up the culture and the identity of who we are and I had children at the time that didn't but you know there were children growing up there's a whole task for of children who were eating this awful stuff which was called Indian food that was one thing and since then so many Pakistani friends because Pakistan was a place that I went to in my sleep when I was 17 and I was there for about and in terms of life it wasn't that long but it's it was an important part of my life and a lot of my really good friends are there and they say that this is Pakistani food and I want to explore that notion of it what you know is there an Indian or Pakistani food it's it's a subcontinent that's it's so huge then Pakistan and Muslims right to own the malls as their own but so much of North Indian food also derives from that and the morals were influenced by where they were they didn't serve our Persian food they served up food with Indian spices so it was all about all those things that were important to me right and it's good that it's coming out in America now I think with this people are ready to explore that food it used to be very unusual for anyone other than Indians to cook Indian food at home or Pakistani food or whatever I think that's opening up a little bit more right and it's such an amazing collection of Rushdie family recipes I think of it as like the family cookbook it really captures that and it's it's so it's a wonderful achievement so you know as someone who's written a lot about South Asian food on the internet you know that's really been my sort of thing that I've done I still see that despite the fact that I have taken a lot of inspiration from all of your writing and how you have translated successfully you know the foods of our home and the foods of our of our cultures to people that there's still a lot of sort of you know misunderstanding there's words like you know chai tea naan bread and you know even Mazda Road in the 70s about curry and how you know simplified of a word it is and you know in some ways things have we've gotten we've learned more like the American public and maybe the UK public as well as learn more but I think there's still some work to do so I wanted to know like what was your vision when you were writing your books how did you translate our food into a cookbook mother would you like to start the very first cookbook I did was called an invitation to Indian cooking I didn't pick the title my editor did I didn't know what to call it I wanted to call it curry myth and reality my editor said is going to be filed in the philosophy section and no one will buy it so I said okay you pick the title my whole idea was I was going around America people didn't know Indian food and what they knew of Indian food now I'm talking about 60s the late 60s I'm really old older than sending me a heart cell you know hush me let me tell so so in in the 1960s there was there were two or three horrible Indian restaurants and they were like the British you know High Street curry houses where you went to drink basically lager beer and you wash your beer down with something spicy yeah thought you hardly knew what it was if this order Brothers matter yeah I didn't matter vaguely spicy and you just have the two together and you went home drunk and happy so that was what we all mother we conformed with that it was our people that were producing that stuff right they carry just they and they you see the food was basically North Indian Punjabi but the people who are cooking bowling it's from select yes I'm from Silla misty long jump shape or whatever and they were cooking none of their lovely fish nothing like that none of the bingo Li wonderful Bengali dishes they were cooking this North Indian stuff which they hardly cared for hardly ate themselves and it became a sort of sequence of hot hotter hottest and that is what been written the food is I remember going to I was writing a book called the curry nation this was much later and I went to they said Thursday's is curry day in every bar in every pub in in England so I said I'll go on one of these curry days and talk to people interview people first I looked at the menu so it went from the hottest it was like Madras as they say Madras curry and which is the the one vindaloo vindaloo yeah vindaloo I'm getting old so this window and so it came down to korma which was the supposedly the mildest and we all know combat can be spicy and hot but anyway in England this was the sort of grading at the people understood so I was talking to various people interviewing various people and there was a boy a young like 14 year old boy on the cusp sort of and I said what are you eating what have you chosen to eat and he said I used to eat coal ma but now graduated to vindaloo I'm very proud that he can do it and it's that kind of food just I hate it I just ate it and I was at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art studying acting and I would go up to the fifth floor where the canteen was and eat this roast beef that looked great and just potatoes and cabbage that had been cooked for two days and I said no no I can't do this and there was no good food to be had so I wrote letters to my mother to say please teach me how to cook and she wrote three line letters and as you were saying it's a matter of and ours and memory so I remembered what we eaten at home and her three line recipes and my and ours and my memory helped me to recreate the dishes and so it went I mean I don't want to take all the time but I mean you you say your experience I mean it's exactly the same I think you know people say how you know something you said mean is that you know India Pakistan is such a big subcontinent the food is so diverse in every section of the country yeah and for me I mean I grew up as a first generation Pakistani because I was born in obviously most 1947 and my parents had migrated from from India so of course where the food I grew up was just food and I just need his box honey food and and I it was very influenced by different parts of the country I would say my friends my family into marrying you know people from Peshawar or somebody from Lahore got married in the family and we all sort of cook food that was borrowed from each other and and so I would say that I sort of saw the development of the you know contemporary Pakistani cuisine which is a real in confluence of all the flavors of the borders of the migrants everything and and so when I moved to Britain of course much later I was in my 30s when I moved to Britain it's a I'm giving away my age and I've been in for about 15 years now and I have to say that I was you know like a good little girl Pakistani girl I did what my dad said and became a lawyer and of course hated every second of it but when I especially when I moved to Britain and I and sort of you know I was there and I wanted to eat my food and I used to go work in the law firm and every time I'd be creating something masala darling or something I want something and I just couldn't find anything just like you I just couldn't find anything that would speak of the flavor that I grew up with and I was more exceedingly getting quite perturbed by the way Pakistan is represented in in the West and I thought you know this I'm not going to get to the politics but I'm definitely going to get into the food side of things because I saw how beautifully connective food is such a great medium to express a culture without being highly controversial I mean you can be controversial but you can definitely pick a non confrontational sort of side so I thought it sort of writing stories about food and growing up in Pakistan and trying to get people to understand that you know my story is not just my story but it's everybody's story everyone in Marx I have a similar story with food and you know what I said in my video food is all life you know even in India even in Pakistan it's just exactly what we live for every festivity every gathering every meeting and I thought this is something really positive you know we never I mean I was in the panel before us and something that struck me was you know we just don't celebrate our culture enough we always try to hide behind it especially as a foreign sort of British or American you know theses we don't really celebrate it enough yes it's changing now so this all these sort of thoughts made me write my books and and I was it was very hard to sort of sell it as Pakistani food because every editor my you know agent would take it and say well every commissioning it I would see but it's the same thing as Indian what are you bringing new to the table I said well this is what I'm bringing which is new it may be similar but it is regionally different and it has evolved and become a cuisine in its own right and it just deserves a voice of its own right I just want can I just add one thing you know we keep stumbling over this India Pakistan business and we can't say it's Indian food when we are talking we have to say India – Pakistan why can't we find a word that includes both because of the roots of our cooking are the same there exactly this and but somehow when we talk we stumble we are embarrassed because we don't know if we've left out the other then reveal oh we should have included the other so we must get out of it somebody come up with a bright idea about India and no it's not even about that there is no Indian language there is no pips you say what people say I speak Indian we laugh I speak Pakistani we laugh but we don't laugh when they say it about food because in a way we know the food we eat we call Indian food and I call other food West Indian or not West Indian Caribbean but from the West oven right regional regional yeah so I call it Bengali food alright from Goa or South Indian food and I go and when they call their food they call it Indian food and they call us from somewhere else but actually there is no Indian food or there is no Pakistan so when we are when you say there should be one word there is no all encompassing forward it includes India and Pakistan with all our regions me I mean you up Cynthia food you have other kinds of food but something that is inclusive in South Asia is okay but it's so boring like food pieces that were collecting from various different regions I would tend to use desi but I loved what they say I love you personally but I can see why I think the broader audience also doesn't know it which is part of the challenge but there are other voices that are not heard it's still like everything else with food you said you didn't want to be political but it is class-oriented in his politics look at the three of us who are sitting here but I was when I was thinking about what we could talk about that would be different and one of the things that I thought about does anyone talk about Daleth piscine when you talk about no run even they didn't what what happened when when the Brahmins declared the cow sacred it's a kind of kept them in business and it created another layer to an untouchability and Hindus Brahmins Muslims Christians and the untouchables wealthy and they also had the added burden of poverty so there at awful and they add the cheapest cuts of pork and beef but they are now reviving their cuisine right and so there's there's and there are other voices of you know we talk of street food but the people who cook those foods in our bus these and in other places they don't have a voice and I'm sad that the people who are finding who are giving them a voice are often white people who are going there picking their recipes and writing their books for them and I think maybe instead of being cross with them we should be cross with us because that's easy and I think that that there there are those stories you know the stories we talk about we recognize it's the same story so in a way that's boring and I wonder now things have changed mother since I wrote my book and before that no did your everyone's a blogger everyone's writing you want a recipe you just have to look it up there's nouvelle Indian cuisine people are and I used to resist that because I don't like I like more traditional food but then I'm old but younger people like them no but I'll stop you this I mean I'm I don't know I want to if suppose this but I suppose I am a little bit younger than you yeah I love traditional food I can't modernize Pakistani or Indian food because I find I mean I can put a little twist to it but I don't feel I'm being true to myself I think I like cooking traditional food and there are young people writing today wonderful writers and they're writing books like Priya Krishna's book India nish you know yeah and in which it's all sort of Western sandwiches and pizza based Indian dishes and it's it's easy for Westerners to make easier for them to understand the concept and I'm sure she'll do very well and I'm sure more people will cook from her book then perhaps my book and I think okay yeah it's okay that's what I am saying that it's okay this is America we'll take what America takes to make it American they see food you know our names have changed if someone introduces themselves to me as khalida I can't say your names harder her name is Kali de and in the future you know there was a time I used to say and what does your mother call you but then I thought shut your mouth now you're white right things will change since completely change yeah the conversation will change and I sometimes wonder you know we've all written about the food we learned from our mothers and grandmothers now is that a bit passé I don't know I don't know it's not thinking about it it's got this place and you have to have you have to know what things are before you deviate from it but we have to also allow that creation and not immediately disagree I think that is an interesting uh-huh when threes need to the village library to speak about very interesting topic which was cultural appropriation and food and this is exactly what it is you know we one can talk about this but I think it is going to be culturally appropriate there will be recipes taken or ideas of thoughts or ingredients and then you know just blown into this amazing media magnet that will create but then nobody will look behind the recipe and so my I don't have a problem with people appropriating things as long as they respect where it's coming from give it kudos to where the culture is coming from where that recipe comes from and for that books like ours which are traditional are sort of books people can research and see well that's where it actually comes from is it your creation it's change its I think it's the misappropriation I have a problem with it's more when people just try to sell something as something just because they want to use it as a media bait that's the only point I don't have a problem with change I should not issue no problem with change yeah things are evolving all the time if you look at the history of Indian food for example there was no wheat at one time there was rice but no wheat and wheat came from the Middle East to India so we also got new things and learned how to use them and made them our own you know but every generation even in India as literacy grows and and there is television and there is the Internet there was a generation maybe mine is the last generation where the only way you learned how cook was the best food you ate was in people's homes if we went out we went out to eat Chinese or we went out to eat Gaylords to eat chicken Kiev didn't know how to eat Indian food but now there are people and there were no cookery books to cook from the only way was like you said to ask your mom how she did it but there are books and there are there are Indian chefs on television now just like there are here and people watch those programs and young women are cooking differently from them and not everyone's just looking to their mom shame but I know well I think one one other thing that's also interesting we've mentioned blogging but also the way in which there are other mediums in which cooking is being spread I mean video is a huge part of it I mean a YouTube video makes a huge difference and I really like your points to mean about you know underrepresented communities who do not get often a microphone that it's often privileged folks of families who can you know call over and you know reestablish there there's sort of traditions at home but there's all these other stories so maybe in some ways video and like you know passing the mic to those communities is another way of doing cuz getting a book published is very challenging but us going out into those communities and you know sort of capturing that I think that's also a potential Avenue for lots of good stories there to bring yeah they are I mean I have to say that you know you've course once you had a very interesting point which was about street food and they're the people who actually create the street food not having a voice and as we said where some people go they take the recipes they write a book I think I went I spent some time in Lahore once and I actually just took it upon myself to just go to the streets of the different street food areas in Lahore and just talk to people and to the to the guys who cooked the food and you know you just sit there and you think my goodness these people have so much knowledge that even my mother never have oh my goodness I'm so glad she's not here incredible that's because they have you know they have generations behind of doing this kind of cooking and creating these recipes they put in Hardy for example you know there's so many techniques and things that you just it's unbelievable and they really require a voice I think and you know this topic was supposed to be got street food and that's one of the main things I feel is that you know Lahore especially and Karachi where I'm from definitely has incredible street food culture with a lot of heritage behind the cooks who cook it and they do reserve deserve a voice because I think there are a dying breed as well right right and I think as we all search for four stories to write and different stories to write we find I mean it is amazing what you can find but it's also in your point of view how your what you are bringing to the story what associations you have with certain things I remember I was in in Pakistan a guest of Reggie's family actually and I said I wanted to go to the Northwest Frontier and they arranged it but I had to have a military escort so there was military in front of me military in back of me and I was going to go to the border of Afghanistan so it was all very dangerous and they were very worried and then you know we had machine guns and everything and we got to the border or near the border and we came across a little shop that was making chili kebab now I wanted the recipe of chopping kebab so badly and I wanted to write my own story so I wanted to see being cooked right there so I said I'll come back al we have to go to the border but I'll come back and get what you make some chapli kabobs so we got to the border and they were just closing there were some people coming in in Bluebird cars from Afghanistan and they were just closing the gate when there was a rush of something happened on the other side and a rush of people came in and started pushing the gate and coming in and there was mayhem and our escorts said let's go let's go get into your cars let's go and I was in the middle there was escort before me and escort after me and we started going back I said please please can we stop here I need to get the recipe Kabam here so they wouldn't stop I said no please and I jumped out I I've got to go so I went there he's still awaiting the guns ready and I said please can you make me some check pick about and he did and I watched the process I watched the Tilted pan the oil at the flowing the fat it was dumb bah fat flowing to the bottom and he making the kabobs with the little chopped tomato in between and green chillies and Sabbath had Anthony na Saba Danny on you inside and was just that recipe was my story of the day and I wrote about it and of course they kept saying hurry up hurry up and finally we moved on and it was a wonderful day for me for my story and this is what happens to writers they these things you come across them and you can't stop but absorb it and take it in and write about it no absolutely and I think I love I agree with you and I think as a writer especially one which is about food you know especially exploring I have to say that when I would lived in Pakistan I never really appreciated the rest of the country you know never really bothered to travel very much except to like maybe in Lahore or slower but but then when I left and I started to write and research for future books I sort of said to my parents that's it I'm going to trial I'm going to Hunza I'm going to go and explore them that's horrible food you know us box we don't actually appreciate what we have and I said no it's absolutely wonderful it sounds so different from the rest of the country and I don't think that's the region that's never got a voice so I went to spend some time in Chitra a couple of years ago and then I'm going up to actually doing a food tour to InDesign baltistan in next year from London and the whole idea was to show how abundant these areas are with natural produce that doesn't get sent to the rest of the country so we have an abundance of buckwheat we obviously have a hones apricots that come but then there's incredible grains you know millet we were talking about and and we don't heat it we don't even celebrate I mean we can talk about recipe books and cooking but what about the produce of Pakistan within Pakistan there's not enough use of what can avail yeah you're right you know but one of the things that I notice that's really different about Pakistani food and in are we noticed when we came to Pakistan from India everybody just eats neat if you eat Pollock you put meat if you eat yummy you put me so what you're talking about produce and I was struck because when my children were young and I took them we went to actual Bangladesh and the man came around with hens on his head and they played with those hens in the courtyard and they had no connection between that and what was on their table at lunch and they would not have eaten it if they had I mean there's a writer Alice B toklas and American writer who wrote in Paris 1954 her cookery book and she talked about the horrors of the kitchen there's all this pleasant food that we talk about and how she had to learn to smother a carp and stab a duck and all that stuff that she said that she would never ever want to do and then and after that she gives you the most wonderful recipe but it really is like that I mean and your friends of mine I'm not there now tell me around the fraid how the cities stink of meat and so really this is a plea to everyone that we really need to start eating vegetables for their own sake not to stuff mate in ever the meat Addington vegetables I mean I was I grew up my dad was from utter Pradesh my mum was from Jabalpur so she had you know sort of like different kind of cooking techniques and they came in and I think one of the very specific things my mom always said having Punjabi roots was that we always add meat to vegetables we never can cook a veteran on its own unlike the save the northern box Indians who know how to cook sabzi really well and so we've sort of like in and if you go to the northern parts of Pakistan you know although they eat a lot of dumb bar like you said a lot of power factions that keeps you know that gives them the the heat that they need in harsh climates but they eat incredible vegetables and simple really really simple and one of the things I learned in shatral a recipe a beautiful recipe that I I think has Central Asian roots somewhere it was a beautiful bean dish made out of black-eyed beans at an incredibly creamy topping of walnuts and our and and tomatoes mix in between their Halabi topping wonderful it's tempered with walnut oil and onions so you know it's just away that I just want to tell you one more thing about someone young she is taking a group of people to the Sansa area so anyone who wants to sign up and go with her the other thing is that I was in the favor Pass area honor I don't know if it was Wednesday or Tuesday one of the men are in a daze and so they were cooking lunch for me and I was taking notes and it was all a fabulous kind of fortress that they lived in and on me days they cooked chicken so they made something fantastic they made Binda I don't know if you know it's all of you know yes you don't know it's of a squash it's of a green squash type of family and it's it's that's enough and you cut it and you cook it with tomatoes and spices and things like that so they made that and with it there was a kind of bread major nothing dude like oven but it was reached grown in their own area and that was the sweetest best wheat I'm eatin and this was the tastiest I forget what they called the bread it wasn't they didn't call it a non it was superb I could have that bread and those tin does all that now because we were wonderful they were wonderful and that was a meatless day and but not everyone observed it in Pakistan I noticed but these people did I think we're probably whipping our audience into a hungry friends I've just been so blessed to be a fly on the wall this conversation I think food is amazing conversation and I loved hearing you guys talk about it but I would also like to open it up to the audience because it sounds like there are some questions do we have some microphones where people can ask questions raise your hands please keep them short more questions and comments and you know we can have more of this super entertaining conversation thank you my name is Khaled Rahman in the Diaspora like in New York are the Pakistani ships from the back on creating fusion dishes taking sin turkey or asparagus and things like that which are not seen in Pakistan and creating dishes which have a fusion a taste with spices and so forth do you know you live in America I don't live here so I mean I don't know how much it's happening but one of the most interesting fusion restaurants that I ate in recently in London and for the first time because I also have quite purist about but but this fusion was fusion of different parts of the subcontinent fusing with each other and that food was really interesting so you don't have to look at fusion with the West you can fuse with South Indian food elements of you know it was doing that myself I began to love curry patta and then I put it in my dog you would not so you begin to love certain things and certain flavors and you add them to whatever you're making so I think Indians are doing they're watching so much television and his food shows they are confusing a lot of their their food but the pure form you know where to get when it exists and every now and then you go to a certain part of India and you say I know nothing about this food I remember going to cook and which is in southern India north of Kerala and the food was something I've never eaten never eaten they eat a lot of mushrooms from their forests they do a lot of hunting so they eat meat but they have different kinds of rice noodles that they make themselves that have not seen anywhere before they have also kind of rice balls that they steam that I've never seen anywhere before so it's a different altogether different cuisine and you can go into pockets of certainly India and I'm sure that's true of Pakistan where you will see things that you've never seen before and that's a very exciting kind of adventure still left buddy yeah but that's what I meant about the voices that are not heard I know we're all women on this panel but often it's third world women whose voices are not heard who are cooking those foods I mean it you know something you said about the the fusion element I think one thing that I've started to do I live I am based now I used to be in London I I'm based in Scotland a bush is blessed with some incredible produce really wonderful produce and I started to feel that you know as and this is me being environmentally conscious a little bit more eco conscious is that you know do I have to use vegetables and things that are have done so much Estonia miles why don't I start incorporating local produce so I've used a lot of local produce in creating but sunny things so you know just sort of I can't get bindi I know Mindy's done lots of miles right so I'll use something that's local as something I recently I was a revelation for me was that you know we have so much lubob I have a lot of other my radio – yeah I've started to make lubob chutney in sort of Dom Rancho because it's such an it's got that tartness yeah easy to sort of balance with chaat masala and you know I make avocado chart and you know there's so many things you can write but that's not me trying to be fused a fusion it's just me because no no that's a good really good point that which was really answers the question the gentleman I can't see anyone with these lines but it's about about whether America American cooks are using local produce and I think that that that is where people must begin to do that because you're right about the body home vegetables they only there for four or five months in the summer yeah but in the summer we are eating our own oh and the concept of eating what's in season I'm not expecting everything to always be available some member it's always cheat and I eat with bindi okra I cheat all the time because I don't grow it I can't grow the numbers that I need I will buy it from the market it don't care it's organic I just love being me so you're allowed to cheat you can I'm the whole I think I should try India I would cheat yeah make an exception do we have other questions yes right here what can we get your mic the microphone around to her please in the front I want to ask there's a huge difference quality to Pakistan to see which is produced in London and in New York literally it's like day and night I mean the quality is just outstanding now I just go to London to eat food there you know kind of anything else in and you know some of your comments you know like this restaurant which is Edition become so popular that it serves from 7 a.m. till 1 o'clock at night so there is a beautiful of borders of war over there so why has our cuisine not been accepted here and there's so much of a difference that it is not appreciated as it is over there I think it's London's had a longer history with it perhaps is one reason in also there is that element of racism that meant that Indian food needs always to be very cheap so people were not willing to spend a lot of money when you edge out Indian food and now I think that's changing there are some very upmarket Indian restaurants where the quality of the ingredients as well as the quality of the cooking is better but on the whole what's still being sold in supermarkets as ready meals as appalling as when I first came here I don't know why it's allowed takeaways the qualities is so most people are still not eating good food but I think there is that people and were not willing to pay and I think maybe that America is still but get into that stage with Indian food where you accept that this is a cuisine it is like Chinese people want cheap Chinese food you know have an Indian you know my daughter came home and said what's an Indian my friends are going out to eat an Indian I think it's also because I generally I would say this for London more than the rest of England in you know England's yeah yeah London's in the last 20 years has seen this strange excited trend based cooking and eating out so they're you know suddenly you have a trend the new trend is Middle Eastern food everyone's going nuts for Middle Eastern food although it's been there for centuries you know they don't wallet call it call it irani they'll call it Persian because it sounds so much more regal and then Pakistani and Indian food again it's like you know we have to go to this nouvelle cuisine Indian restaurant you know no it's it's changing they're trying to start understand little and I think it's because England is smaller then say New York London is smaller than New York and the can you know I think a little community's a little bit more close-knit and there are less of them but I have to tell you I went in your town in Glasgow I went because I was heard so much about it it's chipped served with curry so and I wanted to have a record in my own head in my book about what chips with curry sauce so we walk into this little chippy or whatever they're called and there's you know the usual counter smell of fat and the manager's Turkish enough so the Turkish manager gets me we have cameras BBC is following me and say so we are taking all this down and he gets me this chips with curry sauce I eat it it's tolerable I mean it's not awful but it's near offers this is very popular in Glasgow let's find out a little more about it I said can you show me how you make it he said well come into my office so I said all right I'll come into your office so he had a big team sitting on the shelf and he had like a shovel went into got so many scoops of this powder yellowish powder put it into a bucket on the floor he had a like a kettle for boiling water he boiled the water electrically and poured measured a port a measuring and then he and the whole thing became a sauce that's it ah but I thought let me look at the tin and see what it says it said curry sauce made in China that's what is being eaten in the in the fast food shops in your town and pakoras tried of all of those things and if the haggis came from a tin now haggis can be wonderful if it's really made as you know yes good haggis awful but they take it from the teat right but if it's Indian it has to be cheap yes we have time for one more question let's do the final question and then we can say thank you to our panelists go ahead you ask the hard questions I remember I am just going to take you back in time you write in English your cookbooks in English but there's a cookbook that I've heard about from my grandmother named Raji a cadastre ham and rocket Azarcon whether you grew up in in Delhi you may have read it in North or you may have read it in Hindi or English it's a cultural icon of sorts new Brides were given it as they headed over to their husbands what impact has it had on the cultural cuisine of the DC cultural cuisine I have no read so I can't speak just the word the stuff fan tells me it's coming from in North India no I come back gradually drop the books and look Navi yeah it's coming from various you talk about the hospital I think it's a shame I think it's what happened with language it's like you know in the panel before people would talk about you do but it's if it's elitism and I think that was Pakistan got into trouble or who became a national language they did the same you know we come from a subcontinent everyone spoke language we spoke something we all understood each other and suddenly we don't understand each other because one went into person and one went into another and also in script it had to be written in different scripts and I think it's there's become a kind of pan Indian and a pan Pakistani yeah cuisine and all of that is North Indian and all of that is influenced a little bit but there hasn't been the same respect paid to the regional cuisines I know some have done really well the vineyards have got known and the dosers have got known but and Bengalis are known for their fish but it hasn't got that kind of pan that global acceptance that that what came from the morels because you know and we were guilty of that our curry house is also kind of traded on flock wallpaper and and Mughal kings who cook your biryani by candle night you know you finish em story I think one of the saddest things that's happened in India is that we have lost two zoo it is one of my saddest if I can list the sad things that have happened in my life I would say that's one of them and so somebody should at least translate that into English but I don't haven't seen it has been I have not seen it okay I must look for it so we have some reading what is the English title rezian understand okay okay what sorry no no I'm finished um I just want to say this little small thing about Pakistan just before you know we said appends that I think that you know it's all very well to sit up here and you know sort of talk about the differences and the similarities but I think it's time to sort of also celebrate you know obviously 1947 changed the countries sadly and in some ways some good ways as well and not thinking about the political sights I think that you know if we talk about food I think yeah I'm not saying anymore it's very difficult it's a very different it's it is but you know if it doesn't affect me so much but I think is a Pakistani I feel that you know as geographically and politically we do divide sometimes it changes food and this is for many many parts of the world where we're historically places of change and the food has changed I think it's time to do something which is to celebrate every region of the country yeah because I think it doesn't get over ice the people don't get a Voisin and I think that this is what I have experienced from this is why I'm so passionate about the north of Pakistan because I think that these are people that do lack a voice and there are some incredible cuisines very driven by produce but can be replicated and they should be given always and I think it's time to sort of celebrate those regions of the country in India we do have them yes we do have lots of regional cuisines tons and tons of books on regional cuisines they're not always written well you see a cookbook has to be written well for it to be used by more than people who know all the measurements and words and languages that are in there for example the same vegetable will be called by a different name the name you don't know the dollar will be called by another name you don't know that name the measurements are local measurements and they'll say a glass full of this what laughs what were you talking these things don't translate excepted locals and it because they've seen it being made they can do it but the in India they do exist and it takes someone to sit with the people and do the measurements and do this and say oh you mean you mean red lentils that you oh you mean MoDOT because they're calling it something else so it needs that kind of person who's written cookbooks in a proper way that can sell to the majority of the people who understand the terms it's taken us hard a lot of time to make people understand what moong dal is and how it is different from my food darlin so that needs to be done in all the region of like books as well so I'm sorry we could sit here and listen to this all day but we have to move on to the next panel all their cookbooks I'm sorry no we have another panel after this that we have to get to and I don't want I want to respect their time I'm so sorry but all their books are available outside for purchase please support their work and you know big thanks a little whore literary festival for putting this on let's give a round of applause for

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