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Indian Cuisine with CulinArt
Chef Srinivas Reddy

 

 

 

 

 


by Aaradhana Natarajan

Stony Brook University has one of the highest percentages of students of Asian descent in the nation. Consistently ranking within the national top 20, our university is a microcosmic cultural melting pot. 

This metaphor became a tangible reality on November 7th, 2017. On that Tuesday night, the aroma of aloo chole and chicken tikka was warmly interwoven with the noodles, stir fried vegetables and tofu that are such a staple at West Side dining. Students lined up by the dozens to experience the live demo and dinner prepared by Chef Srinivas Reddy.

On the topic of metaphors, I asked the chef what he thought about the cultural significance of food. "You know dosa. Here, they have pancakes... [and] the crepes they eat for breakfast in France. They are different, but all the same."
 

 

Whatever the climate, whatever the crop, humans have always been uniquely resourceful when it comes to their comestibles. Food transcends political borders, providing comfort and sustenance to people across the world. Everyone's taste buds speak the same language.

Some things get lost in translation, though. "When people hear Indian food, they immediately say 'curry'". With a population exceeding a billion and nearly 200 recognized ethnic groups, there is far more to Indian culture and cuisine than curry. 

 


The chef succeeded in serving up dishes that showcase a wider variety. The menu also included spiced lamb, paneer makhani, rice pilaf and naan (bread). Chef Reddy hopes that broadening students' palates can also broaden their perspectives.

Students seemed to concur. One of my interviewees declared, "It's not what I normally eat, but I would totally try more stuff like this if they brought it more often."

At the same time, he recognizes how deeply significant food can be to cultural identity. "Authentic is authentic and fusion is fusion," he said when I mentioned fusion cuisine. "We must not forget our roots."

Growing up in Hyderabad, the chef used to help his mother and grandmother cook. That childhood fascination later grew into a full-fledged career with CulinArt. He tries to recapture those flavors in his current recipes, bringing the flavors of India to foreign shores.

 

 

 

 
 

 

   
   

 

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