American cooking for the modern Indian family

Isabel Hallock - India


February 1, 2018

My host family once again asked me to make dinner. Niraj, my host dad said it was my duty for Sunday nights, and I had 3 hours to whip something up. I knew I didn't know how to cook very well, especially not Indian dishes, so I looked up American recipes instead. I asked my host parents what they would like, and they said pasta and whatever food I usually eat at home. "Okay, that's easy," I thought, "I'll just make pasta and some kind of Mexican dish for them to try." As I was collecting ingredients they already had in the kitchen, I realized that the only thing I could cook within 3 hours with the ingredients they had was Mac and Cheese and refried beans… I quickly called up my friend Bryneth to come and help me. We started with the Mac and Cheese and soon realized… Indian cheese is not even close to the gourmet standard of even a Kraft Mac and Cheese meal. To give you a better sense, it tastes like the soul was taken out of the cow before it was milked. So, we proceed to add a *ish* ton of butter and salt to the pot, and it came out alright. Next came the beans… apparently you're suppose to soak the beans over night before you cook them, and I soon realized they would not become soft by just boiling them. I ran to the maid Reshma for help, and with the most pitiful look and chuckle at me she took the beans and started blending them. The beans came out crunchy, and my family didn't like the pasta very much either. We finished the night off with the most American of dishes- apple pie. A dish we could all agree on, and I vowed to never bite off more than I could chew again. 

Isabel Hallock