Row over 'insult' to Indian dish Kamala Harris likes
The idli is considered a good, friendly staple food
A tweet from a UK-based scientist calling an Indian home-cooked meal "boring" sparked an amusing food war on Twitter.
"Idli are the most boring things in the world," tweeted historian Edward Anderson.
The idli is a steamed rice cake usually eaten with a lentil-based vegetable stew called sambar. It is considered a good-natured staple and home cooking that is popular with South Indians and lives in India and abroad. Food writer Vir Sanghvi calls it the most famous South Indian dish in India and maybe around the world.
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris, who has an Indian-born mother and a Jamaican-born father, fondly remembered her mother trying to instill a "love of good Idli" on her during her vacation in the southern Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras).
Senator Harris, addressing Indian-American voters, is not the only politician wooing voters with idle talk.
In the city of Salem in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, politicians from India's ruling BJP are serving cheap "Modi idlis" - named after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - to the poor during the pandemic. This move is seen as an open challenge to the state's local ruling AIADMK party offering "amma idlis" - named after the late Prime Minister J Jayalalithaa, affectionately known as amma, or mother.
Dr. Anderson, who teaches at Northumbria University in Newcastle, gave his opinion in response to a question from an Indian grocery delivery company in which he asked people what the only dish was, "You never understand why people do so much to like".
Edward Anderson: Idli are the most boring things in the world
Dr. Anderson found his tweet was very stimulating for idli lovers, especially southern Indians who blew up on Twitter.
Ishaan Tharoor, a writer and columnist, was the most critical.
Ishan Tharoor: I think I came across the most insulting attitude on Twitter
His father, Shashi Tharoor, a senior Indian MP and well-known writer, quickly joined in and even suggested a better way to have Idli.
Shashi Tharoor: Yes, my son, there are some who are really challenged in this world. Civilization is difficult to acquire
Others despaired that a frontal attack on their favorite food had devastated them.
Dr. Anderson did not withdraw from a tournament. He said he ordered a plate of Idli for lunch and didn't change his mind after eating.
Dr. Anderson told the BBC that he "had a lot of Idlis in his life, mostly in India - I've spent a lot of time there over the years and my wife is from Kerala. Idlis perform regularly at breakfast with their in-laws."
Angry Idli lovers on Twitter tried to get Dr. To train Anderson on the right track for breakfast on Idlis, with a number of delicious sides. They suggested wiping warm idli off a banana leaf with fiery mulagapodi, a flavorful, dry spice made from lentils and chili peppers, fresh coconut chutney, and steaming sambar.
Not for Dr. Anderson: "I agree that these escorts are great ... it's just that Idlis aren't the best vehicle for them! Dosa and Vada and Appam are far superior!"
Dosa, Vada, and Appam are popular fermented and steamed South Indian breakfast dishes that are also served with sambar, mulagapodi, and various chutneys.
Dosa is an extremely popular South Indian breakfast dish
Dr. Anderson said the Idli debate demonstrates how "food speaks to people's identities and regional pride and resonates with everyone on an emotional level".
"So many of the responses, whether they agree with me or not, mention that they grew up with Idlis in their family homes and local restaurants. Many of the people who responded are also Indian immigrants or members of the diaspora - for many of them food is an unbreakable link home, "he said.
The story goes on
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