Can you tell us about what we have prepared here today?

We have butter chicken masala, chana masala which is like chickpeas, we have rasam which is kind of an add on the rice we have here and we have curd as well!

Awesome, well let’s dig in shall we?


So you mix all of it together?

No no, no! What you mix is the rasam with the rice and just add in the chicken as you eat like bite per bite.

(We both take a couple of bites of the food.)

The food on the table.

So where is home for you?

My home now is India, It’s a small city in south India called Coimbatore, I’ve been living there for 8 years now. It’s like a really small quiet place with beautiful weather which is not like most places in India.

(We both laugh)

What do you miss most about it?

The people— My family and friends.

Well what about this dish reminds you of home?

On that note, Could you tell me a little bit more about the dynamic in your household?

Well I live with my mom, dad and my twin sisters who are both 11. We moved into a new house not too long along, it took three years to build though I’m not too attached to it since right after we moved into it, I went off to college.

That makes a lot of sense. You didn't have too long to actually live in it huh?

Yeah, exactly.

Is there any home you are attached to?

Um, It would be my first house we lived in back in Colorado since before that we lived in apartments. We lived in that house for five years from when I was in first grade. I’ve always, always, always called that house home. It was the first one my parents owned and before that we were just living in apartments.

Skyline of Colorado

Yeah I would agree. I consider my home to be my house in Orlando more than my old apartment in New York. On that note, we've been talking a lot about your home in the past but where could you see your home being in the future? Would you go back to India?

I probably wouldn’t go back to India. I’m really comfortable living here and think I will end up living here; Somewhere in this country for sure.

Talking more about the future; Would you make this dish for your kids?

Yeah, I would love to! My Mom’s been bugging me for years to learn how to cook saying things like “you can’t get married if you don’t know how to cook” which isn’t true but it’s a cultural thing that the woman knows how to cook. Though I mean cooking is a vital skill to survive so I don’t blame her for wanting me to know how to cook in that respect.

Wow, what a mom! (laughs) but, but going off cultural stuff, how is home life in India, generally? How is it affected by things like religion and politics?

It’s super conservative where I’m from; Like my friend wore shorts one day and she went walking around and apparently a guy couldn’t take his eyes off her so he ended up getting into an accident, which is crazy. I mean, this sort of stuff is getting better but still, even with the weather people still cover themselves up.

(I finish the meal that was served)

It's like a palette cleanser.

I don't think I've ever really had a palette cleanser in my meal before. At least not at home. (laughs) Anyways, can I ask you one more question?


Did eating this meal remind you of home?

Yeah! Everything about it, I mean nothing compares to my mom’s cooking but what we’re eating, the way we’re eating it; It all reminds me of home.

Aw, that's great to hear! Thank you so much for joining me on A Heart's Meal! It was a pleasure having you!

It was a pleasure!

This meal was cooked with Indhu Solayappan (RISD ID '17)
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