A Stick in My Craw
Pardon for the interruption from the regular blog-a-thon, but I've got a thorn in my side that needs extracting. Or maybe it's a gallstone. Whatever it is, I've got to release the pressure.
In yesterday's blog space, I detailed my Indian bread-making adventures over the weekend, and for the most part, what I got for my efforts is a lousy t-shirt that says "Your Roti Ain't For Real." Translation: Apparently, my recipe, adapted from Indian cookbook writer Madhur Jaffrey's "From Curries to Kebabs" isn't authentic enough for some readers, despite the fact that I never made such a claim.
"Those roti are nothing like the ones my mother makes. Hers are thin and papery. And definitely no yogurt," writes one reader.
"Baking soda? Yogurt? Microwave? These are not roties," declares another.
"I'm afraid these look nothing like the rotis my mother and grandmother made!!" proclaims yet another member of the so-called Authentic Roti Club. "Yours are much, much thicker, for one thing."
You're right, all of you. I'm sure these rotis are worlds apart from the roti you grew up on in India. Jaffrey herself acknowledges the adaptations, using quote marks around the word roti in the recipe name (as in, My Own Whole-Wheat "Roti"). Authenticity was not the aim of this blog post, but cross-cultural exchange of ideas and a even a wee bit of kitcheneering, yes, that was the madness behind my method.
As many of you already know, curve-ball comments from readers who like to challenge my work and express their own views is part of what makes this blog interesting and lively. Constructive criticism is an important ingredient in any kind of community forum, and I want you to continue stirring the pot and keeping me on my toes.
But the allegations in yesterday's comments area that somehow my roti aren't real enough for prime-time viewing is missing the point and the spirit of this blog called A Mighty Appetite. This is an online kitchen community, a place to share ideas, recipes, stories, cooking tips and techniques, and most of all, good will. This is not a competition or contest. A recipe is as real as the moment and the cook who has brought it to life.
Besides, who cares if my roti don't look like your momma's? Aren't you the least bit glad I touched on something other than naan, opening the window of Indian bread just a tad for some of us Westerners who don't know any better?
The most curious thing of all: None of the members of the Authentic Roti Club have yet to share a recipe to show me the errors of my ways. Why not show and teach me. As always, I'm happy to learn.
Today is chat day; Talk to me today at noon about this or any other kitchen issue on your mind.
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