Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hindi Word Highlight: Khanna (खाना)

Translation: food

At the office, we all eat lunch together at a big table in the conference room. Everyone brings his or her lunch (actually, we leave it in the kitchen and the 'office boy' sets it out, but that's a story for another day...) and passes it around for sharing.

I've stopped sending mine around. There's just no point. No one is willing to try non-Indian food (too bland, no spices, blah blah) and my Indian food isn't up to my coworkers' standards. I simply can't match the talent of the lifelong cooks each of them has working in their houses (no joke).

Back when I did send my food around, unsolicited critiques flowed freely. Some gems include:

"You didn't cook the mustard seeds long enough."

"What, you didn't put any salt in?"

And my all-time favorite..."You like this?"

So I stopped sharing. I think we were all grateful for that.

Considering these past experiences, I was a little stressed coming up with something to bring to yesterday's holiday (more on that tomorrow) potluck party. I clearly couldn't go Indian, but non-Indian wouldn't have gone over well, either. In the end, I found a compromise, using ingredients common to Indian cooking but in a non-Indian dish. I whipped up a fantastic homemade salsa.

I figured chips and salsa would be a safe bet - tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chilis and lime are in half of the things my coworkers eat anyway. I added extra onion, salt, and chili peppers to adapt it even more to their tastes. And yet, despite my cheerful, constant prompting, no one would eat the damn chips with the salsa. Everyone took the chips, but the few who took the salsa ate it as salad. As usual, the salsa was the only thing left of people's plates.

I officially give up.


  1. oh no! you can make salsa for me anytime!

  2. Hilarious!!! I LOVE the Indian dishes you make at home!

  3. I take offense to people scoffing at your fabulous indian & mexican cooking! I'll eat it gladly, any day.