CARIBBEAN gives people a little more choice re: dishes.
I was going to nomimate just Jamaican but I couldn’t leave out Trinidad and their lovely doubles.
Many Trinidadians and Bajans will tell you their home cooking is better than Jamaican home cooking (Bajan home cooking can be fantastic- I was lucky to experience that for a week in 1996)
Excellent roti and curries from Trinidad and Guyana.
Most of the Caribbean places in London are Jamaican but my fave is a Trini place.
Spent a bunch of time last weekend discussing and researching how indians ended up in the Caribbean, and how the food transformed. There’s some but not a lot written on it, but I did find this interesting.
I had assumed doubles (double roti) were named for the yeast usage (in india, double roti is a common term for yeasted bread rolls aka Pav/Pao - roti is regular unyeasted “bread” ie chapati) but apparently not.
Also the replacement of individual spices with curry powder and the simplification of techniques makes sense. I had no idea that the bulk of “migration” was from the north and northwest, but having come across some less well-known Indo-caribbean dishes that makes sense now.
My best friend’s grandparents were Untouchables who immigrated to Trinidad. Her dad was able to study in India, with a scholarship.
The Hakka Chinese food in the Caribbean is also delicious, with a distinct history. In Toronto, there’s enough demand, that there are Hakka restaurants focused on dishes that people originating more recently in South Asia want , as well as Hakka restaurants focused on those who like West Indian / Caribbean Hakka food.
This is a digression, but I recall there was a Hakka cookbook written with recipes from all over their diaspora, as they migrated across the world. Was the first time I learned that Indian chinese has Hakka origins from their settling in the northeast. Want to track it down for the read.
Also strikes me that a similar book on Indian diaspora cooking would be fascinating, given the significant changes it underwent (and also brought to local cuisines) in Africa, the Caribbean, SE Asia, the UK of course, and elsewhere.
Yes! The Hakka Cookbook, by Linda Lau Anusasananan was COTM over on CH in January 2015. Grace Young’s book, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, is not about the Hakka, but the broader Chinese diaspora and included Caribbean recipes. I don’t know of a cookbook about the Indian diaspora, but I would certainly buy it if someone were to write it! You can get some of it through individual books and the author’s specific background - Meera Sodha’s parents migrated from Gujarat to the UK via Kenya and Uganda - and also through the books specific to the regions influenced by the Indian diaspora - Trinidad, for example. It would be a massive undertaking to write such a book, but then again, the Hakka book and Young’s book also just scratch the surface. I find the migration of foodways across cultures to be absolutely fascinating, even if I can only get a partial picture.
Thanks for the link. Not read it yet but I too have a great interest in migration and food. I’ve been looking for a masters course that may encompass this.
A lot of UK Indian cooking is via Africa - especially of the vegetarian, Gujarati variety (large settlements relocated to the UK when they were ousted from Africa) - like Meera Sodha’s family.
She herself is a generation removed, so I equate her cooking as British Indian to Indian American here in the US - which is a category that exists but not in cookbook land, aside from Priya Krishna’s compilation of some of her mother’s cooking in Indian-ish. For example my aunts and their contemporaries who emigrated to the US in the 60s through 80s made a lot of substitutions due to ingredient availability - kind of like Andrea Nguyen’s explanation in VFAD.
Yes, clearly, I’m also fascination by food migration and evolution!
(What I still really wish there was some research on is the close overlap between Ethiopian and Indian food, because there’s a story there, just not one I’ve come upon yet.)
Another digression. I’ve been lucky to have Khoja home cooking, made by some Ismaili moms living in Canada, whose families have roots in Pakistan, but immigrated from East Africa
The Settlers Cookbook by Yasmin Ali Brown which charts her families migration from India to Uganda and then the UK, through food is a fascinating read. It may me want to search out places in London with East African Indian dishes, I didn’t have much luck.
Sounds interesting! I will look into it.
So while prowling around on Amazon looking at the books recommended by @Phoenikia and @paprikaboy, I noticed that Raghavan Iyer has a book coming out in 2023 called " On the Curry Trail: Chasing the Flavor That Seduced the World."
Looks like I have a lot of reading to do! I found an academic paper on migration some time ago and kopitiams in Singapore if anyone’s interested? This is a particular interest of mine.
Currently the food history/culture book I’m reading is a little closer to home, it’s Scoff A History of Food and Class in Britain by Pen Vogler. Only 3 chapters in but it’s very enjoyable so far.
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