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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

‘Cancel curry’: Internet erupts after ‘woke’ food blogger tells followers to unlearn the word

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When talking about Indian cuisine, the word ‘curry’ quickly comes to mind. But not everyone is happy about that. According to various food bloggers, many dishes are wrongly labelled as curry and that word does not do justice to the versatility of Indian cuisine.

The 27-year-old Chaheti Bansal from California is one of the food bloggers who wants to cancel the name ‘curry’. Earlier this year she posted a video about it on her Instagram. “Because I don’t understand what that word means?” According to a saying, India changes its cuisine every 100 kilometres. The vast country has a rich cuisine with a great diversity of dishes. “And yet we still use this umbrella term that was made popular by the white people who didn’t bother to learn the real names of our dishes.”

In the west, the term curry is quickly given to any South Asian dish in a sauce or gravy. It is unclear where exactly the word comes from. Religious Studies professor Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst tells NBC that there are several theories. “Curry is one of those words that most historians attribute to the poor listening of the British.” For example, the British settlers may have misunderstood the Tamil word ‘kari’, which has several meanings, including a side dish.

Eventually, the word came to be used for all Indian dishes. Instead of learning the actual designations, dishes were all lumped together in the curry category.

Bansal’s video about cancelling the word curry was shared by Buzzfeed’s Tasty and viewed millions of times. In the reactions, there was a big discussion about cancelling curry. Meanwhile, some food bloggers have joined Chaheti’s opinion, including American Nisha Vedi Pawar (36). She also said in an interview with NBC that she does not understand why everyone calls everything in Indian cuisine curry.

According to Chaheti, it is high time that people get acquainted with the diversity of Indian cuisine. On her social media accounts Rooted in Spice, she shares all kinds of varied Indian recipes and stories about her culture.

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