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« Eggs and Kerala, Who Needs More ?!? | Main | King of Donuts! »

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


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Hi Suvir,
Just wanted to let you know that your fattoush salad from american masala was a super-super hit today! It was seriously the best salad I've ever had(at home or at a restaurant)! Thank you for the amazing recipe.....we finished more than 2/3 between just my husband and I, and the recipe is supposed to feed 8 people! :)

Stacey Morris

Hi Suvir -

What a glorious love letter to Mary Ann and her cooking you've written! The entire weekend sounds Divine. I share your love of Middle Eastern cuisine and a few days ago, made an impromptu batch of baba ganouj, for the most part, because I get exasperated trying to fry or bake eggplant. It's a challenge (for me anyway) to get the slices crisp and not soggy with oil. I added a handfull of fresh herbs from my garden, garlic, tahini, and a bit of olive oil - delicious!

Thanks for sharing all the dishes you and Mary Ann made. They're inspiring me to experiment further with the genre. I love lebneh also, so I'll give your Dannon technique a try.

- Stacey


Glad you enjoyed the Fattoush.
I agree that it is perhaps one of the best recipes for Fattoush.
Credit for it goes to Mary Ann, Najwa (her friend who shared this amazing recipe) and to all those restaurants that have served terrible versions of it, and given me hunger to correct that awful happening.
And yes, the recipe can serve many, but only if there are other dishes on the table.
I too can eat with one another, all of the amount the recipe performs.
Play around with the other recipes in the book, and you will find many new revelations and favorites.
Mary Ann's recipe for the Mujdarrah is simply wonderful. And the Rishta, will become a favorite soup at your table.

Stacey, someday, we can cook eggplant together, and I can show you how easy it really is to prepare it. It is quite a forgiving vegetable. Requires very little fuss and gives great amounts of magic to a meal.

Dannon plain yogurt is wonderful. And so are all plain yogurts, prepared with no additives to the milk.

Wish more people would read labels before buying product. That alone can create a new movement in our industry, and in our lives, that can ensure that we never eat poorly.

How are you Stacey?


Hi Suvir,

Stumbled upon your blog and website while researching a trip to NY..Devi is definitely on our plan when we make it. Given the otherwise deplorable state of indian cooking in restaurants in the US, hoping for just some stellar cooking for a change.

I see this message will not be posted till you approve it, so I hope you will not mind if I bring up Charley, who I am assuming is your partner. If he is, being the sister of an indian gay man, I cant tell you how glad it makes my heart to see a fellow indian living a happy life with his chosen partner.

If he not your partner, ofcourse, forgive my assumption and forwardness.

Good luck with everything,Ambica.


Keep in touch around your NYC travels.
I hope you make it to Devi.

Yes, Charlie is my life-partner. And I am blessed to be gay, be happy and in a happy relationship. But happiness aside, we have all the issues that any couple homosexual or heterosexual have to deal with.

My family and his, have been a boon to have had. They have made life easier through their care and sensitive and thoughtful manner.

Hats off to my parents, who live in India, and yet, have never made an issue about the gender of my spouse. They treat Charlie as they do my sister's husband and my brother's wife, as their offspring, and with utmost respect and dignity. What they have, is equally theirs to enjoy and share in. They have never treated us differently, and never expected us to hide, lie or act in any way that would make us feel in any rate different from my siblings and their spouses.

It seems like you too have been a champion of your brother. My sister, is a marvel. I could not ask for a better sibling. She is a pillar of strength, and interestingly enough, treats Charlie as her own blood, and will protect his interests just as doggedly, or even more so than she would my brother's or mine. It is wonderful to see them together. They get along famously, and Charlie enjoys things with my sister I may be incapable of doing.

India is a rich culture, an old one and also a very generous culture at it's core.

Whilst it would be foolish of me to suggest that all is easy for gay people in India, I have been rather lucky to not have gone through too much trouble there. In fact I have faced more challenges back home, in the US. Go figure! But I also know of many friends, that have faced tremendous challenges in their situations, and I know it will take years of dialogue and many families that are proud of their gay sons and daughters to leave a lasting and defining legacy around gay rights.

Perhaps in our lifetime, it is my hope to see an end to such hatred and bigotry, around the world, and especially in the country of my birth. If any nation can have moral superiority and show acceptance with ease, it ought to be India. We are a nation that thrives in plurality, and there is no reason that when it comes to equal rights for homosexuals, that India come to it last.

Thanks for your good wishes and thanks for your sweet message.


PS: below is a link to Newsweek magazine (and also an excerpt) that did a profile of me. As you can see, I am out and proud. The journalist, Vibhuti Patel, handled the interview delicately, and yet, shared it as I said it.

"........The Delhi kitchen was important to Saran for other reasons, too. "From the age of 3, I knew I was different from other boys," says Saran, who is gay. "At the family table, there were always outsiders; we were onstage. In the kitchen, I could be myself. Panditji didn't care who I was." Neither did his parents, who encouraged his love of music, painting, gardening. "Their attitude was, 'If a girl can do it, you can do it.' I was the first boy to take home economics--the school did not stop me--and the only one to teach macrame." He desperately missed having a role model. "I don't wear my sexuality on my sleeve but identity is important--if you're not yourself, you're nobody."............."

Middle Eastern Recipes

One of the most interesting posts I have ever read on Middle Eastern food. I think that any Middle Eastern foodie, can improve his cooking skills from the information you have provided here.

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