Ugly Delicious (2018) s02e02 Episode Script

Don't Call It Curry

When someone goes to a Korean restaurant, they're like, "I want bibimbap, I want galbi, and I don't like kimchi.
" It's like the top things that, in their world, comprises a Korean menu, because they don't know what the fuck they're doing.
I'm that asshole when I go to an Indian restaurant.
I've never made Indian food at home.
I'm just gonna say that right now.
I'm like, "Holy shit.
I'm a shitty person.
" It didn't really become a thing to me until I lived in New York for the first time, in Murray Hill, which is also known as Curry Hill in New York.
I think that's a terrible name.
And I order like a dummy.
I don't know what the fuck is what.
I know nothing about Indian food.
Do you guys know anything about Indian food? It comes from a country that has over a billion people.
It's one of the oldest, richest histories in the world, and the food's delicious, right? It should, in my opinion, maybe be considered as great as any other food in the world.
All I know is, it's vast, wide, varied, has an incredible history, and I don't know how I would ever really understand it without, like, diving deep.
I am at my friend Padma's house.
It's one of my favorite apartments in New York City.
The only "meal" I ever had that was Indian in someone's home was actually this apartment when it was the Diwali Diwali.
- The Diwali, yeah.
- That was actually it.
- Oh, you have to come back.
- I know, I have to come back.
The food in the restaurant, people don't eat like that.
Indian home cooking is very different.
Restaurants aren't encouraged to be very authentic because, you know, the people who would know aren't eating in them.
But Indian food is really, really, really varied and regional, and it's like Europe joined as one.
Because you can travel by car for an hour, and you will meet people speaking a different language, praying to a different god, and dressing a different way.
Do you think that Indian food is the most underrated food in the world? I think most people outside of India who haven't been to India very much or don't know it or have stayed in the hotels, frankly, just know Northwestern Indian food, or Punjabi food.
It's always, like, some vegetable or protein floating in some kind of brown or orange or red sauce and it's nondescript.
Indian food, to me, is like the epitome of what Ugly Delicious sort of represents.
- It's like - It is very ugly, Indian food.
Not South Indian food, but North Indian food is butt-ugly.
But it is mucho delicious.
I think there's so much about cuisine and a culture - That's what real food is.
- Yeah.
It's only you chefs that want to charge a lot of money, put shit on white tablecloths, and bust out your tweezers.
There's just a lot of oomph and flavor.
Indian food has balls.
- Is there any type - I like to say it has tits.
I like to say it has a mean rack.
I'm waiting for India to have its moment, like Mexican food or Chinese food, and it just hasn't.
But what is Indian food? Well, if you ask ten different Indians, they'll tell you ten different things.
Every time we've met, we've had food.
- Yeah.
- I mean, basically, put it that way.
But we've never never had Indian food.
I don't even know what you're making.
Curry beef? Kerala.
- Kerala-style beef.
- Kerala-style beef.
It smells so good.
- What's in this? Curry leaf? - No.
Spices? You're not gonna tell me.
I am.
Yeah, I am.
This is the most amazing thing.
It's an entire collection of Indian spices put in Smucker's strawberry And these are the same Smucker's jars that my mom's been using since, like, the '90s.
You guys grew up close to each other? But we both cook different styles.
- Differently.
- Yeah.
But even from different houses in the same town, everyone's cooking is a little bit different.
Their curry's different.
Like, even amongst our family, like, different aunts and stuff will be like, "Mm, that aunt's chicken curry is okay.
This aunt's better.
This auntie's is a little bit better.
" They'll talk a lot of smack about who's biryani is better.
Do you think that your town's food is better than her town's food? Always! Always! Not like that, because they both have different tastes.
- But whose taste is better? - Mine! - Why not? - I don't know.
This is so much anticipation.
- I can't wait for this rice.
- They're ready.
- You're gonna get set up.
- Start.
Follow Aniz's and I's lead.
We'll each make a plate, and you can follow us.
I kind of take a bit of everything - and decide what I'm gonna go in on.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
- No, thank you.
- Thank you, Mom.
- Thank you, Mom.
Yeah - So there's sauce on the rice.
- Yes.
- I put some on the rice.
- Yeah.
Look, all the stuff we do, you know, I'm sure there's other people that do similar stuff.
I'm sure people are watching, like, "These guys are weird.
" I'm just going curry straight on the chapati.
I have so much to learn.
It's wild to me we're eating with hands on camera, you know what I mean? So how do you eat the this with your hands, though? You can do it that way, or you can do like this.
- See? - I'm just trying to I'm still I'm looking at you guys - Eating so quickly.
- Exactly.
I feel like when I'm eating with chopsticks, and someone doesn't know how to, and I'm privately laughing inside.
But this is a lot more skill than It's kind of just use one hand.
It's kind of a grab.
Then, there's a push, you know? - That's a push! - The push is what you need to learn.
- You use the great toe.
- It's hard to push.
This is so delicious.
- How's the goat? - Goat is fantastic.
Korma's a little spicy, but it's good, though.
- Mm! - Is this how I will eat in India? - Yeah.
- It depends which part of India you go to.
- We're going to Mumbai.
- Three days.
Any food you like, you can have.
I'm so excited, but what I'm what I'm trying to get ready for is what I can't get ready for.
- Right? - No.
You can't prepare yourself.
It's something that's so different - You're going into another world.
- Yeah, it's, like, a totally unique place, and you just kind of let it guide you - where it guides you.
- Hm.
I think India, for whatever reason, is intimidating to me.
I have no reason as to why I haven't gone.
I feel scared in a sense of I don't know it.
And in a world where I want to know everything, that is really scary.
Welcome to Bombay.
We're at Vegetable Lane, right next to Grant Road Station.
When I was told you wanted to shoot in Bombay, I thought this was one place you had to see.
- Cool.
- Most of the people who come to shop here are from, you know, vegetarian communities, like the jatis.
So, the quality of vegetables is very high.
This is a lot of good stuff.
Do you recognize these? Turmeric and ginger? This is actually mango ginger.
Mango ginger? Mango ginger.
It's an ancient spice that was imported by the Romans in large numbers.
That guy over there recognized you, didn't recognize me.
A really, really deep blow to my Indian pride.
You can blend in, man.
You can literally go like this on the wall and blend in.
Aziz! Big fan, man! - Oh, thanks.
- See? There you go! Wow.
Like, on cue.
On cue.
Vikram, can you tell me about bananas? India has a huge variety of bananas.
But these are bananas which are actually being grown for the American supermarkets.
And these bananas are actually crap,  okay? These are the bananas I'm used to eating here, right? - A little sweeter.
- These These are sweeter.
They're better.
They're tastier.
They're grown for their taste.
And these bananas have been grown for the American trade.
And they've just been dumped here.
Some Asian people will call me a "banana.
" Yellow outside, white inside.
So, this is an Indian finger banana.
Yeah this is so much better.
- Much better.
- How do you know? I think you're being biased and discriminatory to American bananas.
- I don't appreciate it.
- All right, I'll be honest, okay? I took a bite.
I'm like, "Oh, it's way better," but part of me was also getting swept up in the whole thing.
Like, "Oh, these bananas are garbage," and I'm, like, "Yeah.
" The fuck-up with these bananas is they're grown as a monoculture.
There's just one type.
Now, the screw-up with a monoculture means that if a disease comes, it wipes them all out.
And that's exactly what's happened in Central America.
Two or three types of diseases have come and have wiped out banana plantations - in Central America.
- Oh, wow.
That's why we're growing bananas.
We're growing them to make up for the bananas that have been wiped out in Central America.
These are what Americans want as bananas.
These are the only bananas that Americans will accept.
And it's fucked up because the diseases are gonna come here, too.
And these bananas that we're growing for the American market will be wiped out too.
- I love this banana passion.
- Yeah, fucking crazy, I love it.
- I'm passionate about bananas.
- You're like, "These bananas!" Is the fact that India, as a cuisine Yeah.
is, like, the furthest thing from a monoculture, is why it cannot ever be exported to the world? That's a good point.
Yeah, we have so much variety, it's hard to standardize it into, uh, an easy package for the rest of the world to accept.
- It's like all those bananas.
- All those bananas, yeah.
Really, the bananas is a perfect metaphor.
It's a metaphor.
So this place is, like, just kind of classic.
This thali is one of the best thalis in India.
- Wow.
- What's a thali? This is a "Thali "literally means "plate.
" And it's soon gonna be very, very full with food.
So, just talk about the basics.
Where did curry come from? Because it may be the most iconic dish and misunderstood dish in Indian cuisine.
Yeah, because it's not one dish.
It's a range of, like, dishes.
I mean, it's a liquidy dish.
I mean, that's I guess Is that I'm just saying Your meaning of curry? I guess.
I mean, damn.
You've brought the Indian that knows the most about India and the Indian that knows the least to this episode.
There are other reasons why curry became so iconically Indian.
One is because of the cooking mediums we use.
We never had coal.
Gas and things like that are recent.
Our basic cooking medium was, like, wood or cow dung.
And cow dung, if you cooked with it Have you cooked with cow dung? - Okay, well, you should try one day.
- How do you cook with cow dung? Dried cow poop cooks with a very slow-like flame, so, you know, you can't get a high heat on it, but you can get a slow, consistent heat on cow dung.
So, that's great for, like, long-stewed dishes.
Man, the fucking cow dung explains so much.
- Yeah.
- Why? In what way? If there's an abundant source of cow dung and no traditional fuel sources as coal and such, it works as fuel, but it doesn't ever get something to a ripping boil.
That's why you have curries.
- Low and slow.
- Why you don't cook it down.
- Yeah.
- Wow.
- Right.
- Even I figured that out.
So, we developed long-cooked curry.
It's one reason why cows are held sacred.
I mean, the reason why Indians don't kill cows is not because so much because we hold them holy, but because cows are so important on so many economic levels.
A cow is not just meat and milk.
It's also cow dung.
- Oh, my fucking God.
- I didn't know any of that.
- Ready.
- Okay, here we go.
That's dal baati.
- And that's ghee.
- Ghee.
- Oh.
- And that's the dal.
I think this is the best way.
I love how this is being served.
This whole concept of everyone eating the same thing, - it's communal.
- Yeah.
That's the point of a thali.
Some of us like this part, some of us, like You can ask for more of any one thing.
So, you customize it.
And I also love no menu.
Most of my favorite restaurants have are no-menu.
No menu, yeah.
"This is what we're doing.
You're gonna eat it.
" - It's why he doesn't come to mine.
- Yeah, it's too much.
Too much menu.
and a special dish.
Root vegetables, eggplant, banana, dumplings, fresh green garlic, coconut, fenugreek - A lot of things go in this.
- I never had anything - that tasted like that.
- Yeah.
- Delicious.
- Yeah.
That was great.
The rice was so good! Was it What kind of pickle? Mango pickle? - Mango.
A mix.
- I don't know how to.
- I messed up.
- Lime? Why did you use a spoon? Because I wanted to be, like, cool.
Because it's such a distinct food and culture, when you can see the patterns of immigration, it, like, turns into something that you don't quite expect.
I don't know if you can say that's Indian.
It becomes something else.
Oh, that's curry shit.
Add a couple of bay leaves and some thyme.
Very Caribbean.
And then to that, we'll add the "curry powder.
" The secret ingredient that makes our curries stand out is miso.
The longer the miso is stewed, the more the umami flavors emerge.
In Berlin, the original curry sausage is 100% pork.
It come with curry powder and homemade ketchup.
That's it.
After slavery, there was a large influx of indentured laborers that came to the Caribbean.
Most of them were from the north of India and they brought their shit, and it stayed.
The sausage was created by Herta Heuwer.
The people say she's fallen with curry and ketchup, and then she mixed it up.
So, she said, "Oh, that's a curry sausage.
" A sausage with curry and ketchup.
Initially from India, it probably went to Europe before arriving in Japan from Europe.
To say that a curry like this is not Indian is a disservice to the thousands of years of cuisine.
From young to old, it's a flavor everyone likes.
Germans love curry.
This is a popular street food in Berlin.
I love it.
This one's for Mom, India, and everybody before.
So, we will use this guy for the fish.
So, these are fresh curry leaves.
- I can't figure out what it tastes like.
- It's unsubstitutable.
- It's, it's Yeah.
- It's very floral and herbaceous.
Curry, or curry powder, has nothing to do with curry leaves.
So, curry powder can be a million things.
But curry blends are usually made from cumin dried red chilies, black cardamom.
There's cinnamon, there's black peppercorn, turmeric, anise seed or fennel seeds So, basically, someone took, like, all the delicious spices - and just put it under one thing.
- Yeah, but my grandmother she will, like, let you cut off her fingers before she'll tell you the recipe to our sambar powder.
So, that is curry leaf.
We're frying it at the beginning.
But have you ever seen this in any Indian restaurant you've gone to? No, but made with fresh ingredients like that from the market.
That is what it's gonna take.
Somebody who understands really beautiful food, bought from the best farmers or whatever.
There's actually not that many Indian chefs - that are trying to break through.
- Yeah.
Like, Floyd Floyd actually he just opened the Bombay Bread Bar, which is fantastic.
I've known Floyd Cardoz a long time.
Floyd was the first Indian chef that was running, arguably, the best restaurant in the world, Lespinasse.
And then he got tapped to run his own restaurant, Tabla, which was one of my favorite restaurants.
Floyd was the man.
And two, three years ago, he opened up a restaurant in Mumbai that was more street food, way more casual.
Guys, we have a guest in the kitchen! What is the cuisine here? So, the cuisine at the Bombay Canteen is universal Indian.
We do an adaptation of Indian, and by "Indian," I mean "regional Indian.
" We just don't do one area.
We do some things traditionally, and then we kind of take the flavors and play with them.
The dish we're going to be doing is from a little town called Indore.
It's a corn polenta, and we do a slightly different version of it.
So the traditional dish is just this, served in a small bowl with grated coconut.
Oh, and you're gonna fry it like panisse.
And if you served it traditionally like that, with shaved coconut, people would be like, - "I can get this" - "On the street.
" "Why am I paying for it in a restaurant?" Exactly.
It's very difficult, given how people have been so enamored by foreign cuisine, to get them excited by Indian food by showing them the traditional.
It's about coming full circle, but to get there, you go through this process of getting people really excited about different aspects of Indian food.
Our goal is to take stuff like this and make it mainstream, because we don't all eat chicken tikka masala.
I guess what we're trying to do is redefine what Indian food means.
and, uh, get Indians excited about Indian food again.
Get them jazzed about it again.
Indians have to tell the story that our cuisine is fucking amazing, and it doesn't have to be thought of as something that's pedestrian or cheap or Curry Hill.
We want to show you things we eat here all the time.
- That's a duck curry.
- Oh, my God.
This is my grandmother's duck curry from down south in Kerala.
This is a dish that I didn't know existed till I went to Kerala.
In modern day, people can break down Italy from the boot, all the way up to you know, the the the Alps.
- Yeah, exactly.
- And they can tell you about pasta, vintages, and and grapes, France, Spain.
Am I wrong to think that people still don't know 'cause I certainly don't, the variety within India, and the geography and all the breakdown? Until we started researching it, - we also didn't know.
- We didn't either.
And we went on trips to different cities to see the food they eat.
I'd been to Kashmir.
It's one of the states I'd been to.
I'd been to Assam a long time ago.
I'd been to Goa a lot.
And then I went to Hyderabad.
And I thought, "Oh, my God.
What is this?" I'm gonna go to Lucknow now, on this trip.
Something that I've never seen.
I've heard about Lucknow.
We're gonna go out.
We're gonna play and eat, and we're gonna follow through with what we want to do.
Because if we passionate food people don't know about it, how do you expect the rest of the world to know about it? All right, Chef.
You ready for Lucknow? This is fuckin' amazing.
- This is chaos.
- Yeah.
First time here? It's a chaotic city, but it's a delicious city.
Where are all these people going and coming from? I didn't realize there were so many people.
They're all going to their next meal.
I've been coming here since I was four, and no trip to Lucknow is ever complete without, like So this is the shit that you've been dreaming about all these years.
It could be hot, huh? Incredible to have charred street food, which has that sweet, sour, salty, spicy, hot, crunchy softness with so much flavor.
When I go on a road trip, I always find something that's interesting.
I always find something strange.
And it's like, "Holy shit.
Where has this food been all along?" They're using two different doughs, one which has got yeast, and one which doesn't, and then they stick them together.
So fucking awesome.
Makhan malai.
So the way they make it, they're constantly churning the milk.
and it's rising to the top.
- Wow.
- It's all hand-churned.
I've never ever seen that before.
It's pretty damn cool.
He's saying he sells 50 to 60 kilos every day.
It's crazy how good this is.
I think maybe we should figure out a way to use this.
- We could play with that.
- We should.
You know? The cuisine of Lucknow is called "Awadhi" cuisine.
I'd like to say that it's delicate like French food, but it's got spices in the notes that, when you taste it, it's really incredible.
Is there a lot of this food that's cooked from the morning to be eaten at dinner? This one took 24 hours of cooking.
This is, like, whole lamb.
This is potli.
How many people here know how to make the potli? - Only I.
- Why? When you're sick He'll get to know, hopefully, before that.
Half the potli, he knows.
When will you tell him the rest of the potli? That It depends, you know, on him.
- On how quickly he learns? - You work hard, okay? The only way we can move these recipes along is if people share.
So, we want to try and get those dishes and adapt them.
Oh! Nice.
- When did you have one last? - I haven't.
Only heard of it.
I've never really had it.
This is cooked in this pan slowly, right? It's going to basically fall off the bone.
That is the Awadhi cuisine.
We believe in the aroma and the simplicity of the food.
My goal is to bring this regional cuisine to the world.
Let's show the world what we have.
I did my cooking programs in the early '80s for the BBC, and they had no great expectations of it succeeding.
It was put in the papers as an education program.
That's how it was advertised.
A lot of people think that all Indian food is very hot.
Well, it isn't.
What makes Indian food Indian, really, is a mixture, a blend of spices.
The first thing I'm going to do is make a paste of ginger and garlic.
"Curry" is a generalized word, given to Indian food by the British.
In 1600, the East India Company was formed to go into India, looking for spices.
What was there for them to eat, except Indian food? They loved it.
They sent back those recipes to England and they either had their wives cooking from the recipes, or they brought back servants.
But there were no restaurants.
Let's go into the 20th century.
In the 1950s, there were ten Indian restaurants in all of England.
So, that was the state.
But, suddenly, things have changed.
And there are now 10,000 Indian restaurants, employing 80,000 people.
Two-thirds of the people of England, when they dine out, they go to an Indian restaurant.
The foreign minister declared chicken tikka masala Britain's national dish.
And it's not just in restaurants.
It's in the pubs.
It's in the sandwiches.
It's fast food.
All this is available everywhere.
If you put it all in a pile, chicken tikka masala alone, cooked in a year, you would get a pile that's 2,000 times taller than the highest building.
They colonized us.
Britain colonized us.
We hated that.
But now we have colonized them with our food.
So, we paid them back.
I mean, do you think it's a matter of time before New York has Indian food as good as London? Yeah, I do.
Because most of the Americans people don't know this, but there are two waves of American immigrants.
One in the '70s, because there was a shortage of medical professionals, so they gave all these lucrative visas.
My mother came over on a visa like that in the '70s.
The other big wave came in the tech boom.
Over 60 percent of the Indian immigrant population here - actually came after the year 2000.
- Huh.
So, there's a whole new breed of young Indians.
The title of this episode is "Curry," right? Right.
We wanted to do something where people would, like, understand, like, that a low-hanging fruit, like, "Oh, you don't know anything.
" But, like, I fucking hate that word.
It's a word that was sort of popularized by colonizers.
- Yeah.
- It doesn't exist.
I can't smell like that because it doesn't exist.
- Curry powder is not Indian.
- Yes.
Gonna throw that out there.
- It is a European thing.
- Yeah.
Curry is like the equivalent of, like, Apu, I would say.
- In the way that it's followed me in life.
- The food equivalent.
He's gone now.
RIP, Apu.
- They just killed him off? - Can we kill off curry powder? - "Can we kill off curry powder?" - But you guys are food writers.
How often is Indian food part of the conversation? - I mean, never.
- Never.
- It's - Unless we're the ones driving.
Publications are happy to run four steak stories in a row, but you used to pitch them an Indian story.
They're like, "We ran one last month.
" Like, I just wish Indian food would be considered everyday home cooking in the way - that I consider it home cooking.
- And healthy, right? Indian culture, food, traditions have always been co-opted when people think they're gonna help them, save them, gonna make them better, smarter, or whatever.
But if you wanna talk about healthy food, people are like, "Oh, no.
It's too rich.
" Unless it's turmeric lattes, ashwagandha, and, like, these, like, cherry-picked things.
I don't know how you guys aren't, like, crazy upset, like - Oh, you should see our group chats.
- I am not I just started this journey, and I'm like, "Are you fucking kidding me?" You have to be positive, right? Like, you have to move forward.
- It's not gonna get better if we're angry.
- Yeah.
There's just so much about India and Indian culture to celebrate that I think we'd all like to focus our energies.
I just, like, treat Indian food like my norm.
- It is.
- Because it is my norm.
You know, Indian food traditions have been exchanged orally.
It's not a culture that is really into writing things down.
So I feel like, for us, as food writers, a lot of what we're doing is just, like, writing this stuff down.
It's like making sure it's codified.
Would you be okay if somebody just does, like, some hodgepodge - of Indian food? - Well, you do see it.
You do You see these, like, fast-casual Indian food bowl places, and they're they're around.
You don't support them? - I like some.
- I do support 'em.
There's one in San Francisco called Curry Up Now.
It's smart because they put them in areas where there are a lot of Indians, - like, lots of tech hubs.
- Right.
What's the most popular thing on your menu? - Get a burrito if it's your first time.
- Burrito? Could we do a burrito? So we're having gulab jamun inside a crepe.
- Yes.
- Gulab malpua.
And we're having a samosa inside a burrito.
I'm overwhelmed.
In Silicon Valley, there's so much technology, and so many of the Indians who are here work in that industry.
We have a pani puri right here for you.
So what you're supposed to do is break a little hole, and then you put some of the potatoes in, and then pour a little bit of the pani puri juice, and then you just eat it.
Let's see if I can do this.
- I put too much.
- Mm! We're obviously not strangers to fast-casual in the US.
Do you think that places like this feed into a broader acceptance, or do you think they're related? Yeah.
Many people are here who are not Indian, and they're learning about the food and the flavors, and how different the different things can be.
This is guac sev puri, and it's chutney and guacamole and a little bit of sriracha on top.
Good party snack.
There's a samosa in my burrito.
So, how much of this feels familiar to you - as a second-generation Indian-American? - Um Maybe all of it.
This is obviously new.
This guacamole sev puri is something that Does that bother you? No, I love it.
I call it by its name.
Address, in some way, the culture that comes along with it.
I have a problem when foods or ingredients or traditions are separated from their originating community.
 Khichdi, something people are eating for cleanses, which is funny 'cause, as children, we ate it when sick.
And those things are becoming huge for people who love doing yoga and things like that, and they take all of the Indian identity away from it.
When you see it that way, when you see people selling seven-dollar moon milk lattes, and it's turmeric and cardamom and ginger but they've completely erased anything Indian about it.
And it's just, like, a pretty yellow drink that's supposed to make you healthy.
There's more of a chance now than ever to kind of reverse the trend of white people latching onto something and completely erasing all, kind of, history that goes along with it.
Well, India has had two or three big moments in Western popular culture.
The first time, I would say, is when the Beatles went to India.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the man who is currently bringing peace of mind to the Beatles.
He did his best to keep them away from outsiders, but George had a wave for us.
The other time, also from a rock star, is with Madonna.
I hate to say that.
- Wait, when? - You've gotta give her credit for yoga.
You mentioned yoga, that you'd given up the hard workouts.
- Is it true? - Yeah, totally.
By the way, I hear you don't like to do down dog.
Oh, hate it.
- Downward-facing dog is a position.
- Yeah.
"You're going down, dawg.
" - "Down, dog.
" - Yeah.
Think about the proliferation of yoga.
It makes me laugh when I'm sitting there with my ass in the air, and this, like, girl who, in the '80s, would have been an aerobics teacher is like, "Chaturanga!" You know, to me, yoga is a spiritual practice, and there is a physical component to it.
So, that's another thing.
Everyone wants to eat turmeric now.
That makes me laugh.
People are putting it in everything.
I just wish people would really take the time to understand how to use it and what it means, and how it can affect the taste of your food rather than saying, "Okay, this is giving me clear skin, so I'm going to eat, you know, tons of this yellow thing that's gonna make me sweat yellow, you know? - This goes into ayurvedic - Right.
Which is another level Yeah, that's another that's a whole 'nother bag of tricks.
In college, I'd studied Indian culture and religion.
I had even done a independent study on ayurvedic medicine and diet.
Can we google what "ayurveda" means? I think it is the study of life.
"Veda" is life.
So, it's "ayurveda.
" The science of life? Ayurveda is the science of life.
Ah, I fricking remember that shit.
- Look at you! - Yeah.
And I don't ever think I followed it because I just didn't necessarily believe any of it.
These are some manuscripts which are thousands of years old.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
And it says about how anybody can choose to live up to more than 100 years.
with vibrant health, unlimited energy, and peace of mind.
- Yeah.
- Now I'm listening.
You know, I heard that you are from Kerala, right? My My family's from near there.
So now, in Kerala, the food is made in what? Coconut oil.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
The highest level of intelligence is where in India? Kerala! Why? Because they cook food in coconut oil.
This is the secret.
- They cook food in coconut oil.
- Sorry.
I can't hear it! So, why can't you have a healthy, delicious food only by changing the material which you are using for cooking? What you just described was, like, the the superfood, holistic, ayurvedic movement, and people are selling alternative medicine through food, and it's a very profitable business.
- Yeah.
- How different is that than when you see a Pentecostal minister in America, like, tap someone on the forehead like this, then your pains and suffering will be gone? Isn't that sort of the same thing? No, no, no, this is not the same thing.
It works from subconscious mind.
Yeah, that's psychosomatic, like, medicine! Okay, psychosomatic medicine.
So now, with your permission, I can see your pulse? - Want to show me your pulse? - Sure.
If you are 41, and if you continue the way you are doing, then by 48, 49, you are going to have rheumatoid arthritis.
- I already have it! - You have it.
- Feel his pulse.
- Sure, sure.
He's great.
Aziz, how old are you? - Thirty-five.
- Only 35.
Beginning of new life.
He is too much Vata.
"Vata" means wind, wind.
- Too much wind.
- Wind, wind.
You want to become now spiritual.
You want to become more inside.
But sometimes your mind is thinking too much.
- Sure.
- Yeah.
And you want to do something which is known as social work.
Helping humanity.
You want to become a part of solution.
This is coming.
This is what is happening in your body, mind, and emotions.
- Okay.
- Okay.
Thank you, Doctor.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
No, no, my pleasure.
My pleasure.
You believe that was more truthful than you thought it was gonna be? Yeah, some of it is a pretty deep insight into my head.
I've been, like, really into meditation and stuff, and I've done this and that.
I haven't talked about that in interviews, where he would be able to find it, I don't think.
People believe in it because it's what they want to believe, too, but If drinking whatever he says every day makes me feel energetic, and I feel like I'm less in my own head, then I don't really care how I achieved it.
I don't care if it's placebo.
I have no problem with it, because it's working.
I'm curious what we're going to eat.
I don't know if it can taste delicious.
I don't know, I always I always find that, like, religious food is tied to, like, limitations.
It's hard to think it's always delicious.
- All right.
- So, here is the food.
All right.
- So, what can I eat to not think so much? - Yeah.
What you are asking is, "How do I become more grounded?" So, cow's ghee this is cow's ghee.
So, any food you pick up, and then you put lots of ghee, you feel more grounded and happy.
- Okay, great! - Yeah.
And also tasty.
- It's delicious.
- And light.
- Mm, it's nice.
- It's really good.
In my ignorant biased-ness, this was just going to taste like some new-age hippie health food store, but it's way more delicious.
And, like, the seasoning, to me, is - like, really on point, right? - It's all really good.
- The rice is really - Wonderful.
I don't even understand how the flavor got there.
Man, if this was what eating vegetarian was, it'd be so easy.
Eating this way would be fantastic.
But it's not the lack of discipline, it's I don't want to do it quite yet.
This is really delicious.
- Thank you so much.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
 Thank you.
- My pleasure.
- Your happiness is our ambition.
I got a long way to go for that.
You know about this place more than I do.
I just heard this is a really good kebab spot.
Padma, actually, she told me to go here.
- Hi.
- How are you? - Let's do it.
- This is the hangout of Bombay.
- This street? - Yes.
- What's this? - These are the rotis.
The special bread.
I'm marveling at how fast he is.
Want to try? Shall I give you some? - Sure.
- It's the best bread.
- It really does remind me of a chapati.
- Mmm! A giant chapati.
Wow, that is ripping hot.
Shit, I'm so excited.
- We're gonna eat here? - Check it out.
- This is where? - Yeah.
- Wait - On this random taxi? He's gonna set the table.
Look at that.
Coke bottle.
This is no bullshit? This actually happens? Yeah.
- People really eat this way? - Yeah, every day.
I think you're pulling our leg here.
No, you'll see it.
You're like, "Let's make fun of the stupid Americans.
" No! - Oh man, this is awesome.
- Okay, so these two items, the lamb and the chicken seekh kebab, are the legacies of Bademiya.
And just squeeze a lemon on top of it.
It's gonna taste brilliant.
- Oh, I forgot there's bread.
- Go for it.
- The rumali roti.
- That's the way to do it.
This is the baida roti.
Chicken baida roti.
I can't believe how good this is, and I'm eating off a car.
- So taco-y-like, right? - Yeah, it's very taco-y-like.
So good.
How is it? - Oh, hot.
- Very hot.
But so good.
These are just the starters that we have.
There's more food coming? Yes, the main course.
He said this is just the tease.
But I don't know what else there is.
It's a kebab place.
This is the kebabs! - What? What is all this? - Oh, my God! - Look at that.
- This is lamb brain masala.
- Oh, yes.
- Lamb brain.
Do you know anyone that practices yoga? - Yoga? - Yeah.
No, we practice eating.
We don't practice yoga.
I was right.
- No one here does yoga.
- Yoga.
That's true.
Yeah, can you imagine my dad doing yoga? I cannot believe that this has not happened in America.
Hot yoga has, but this hasn't.
But this, if you'd open in New York, they would slay, I think.
But, like, what is it about Indian food that prevents people from, like you know? It sounds too easy, but I'm telling you, it's foreign.
It's really, like, out there.
I honestly think that we've suffered a lot from people really, like, rejecting or making fun of our food or not accepting it.
So we don't have the practice or the proclivity to invite people into our food.
But once you realize that what makes you different - is actually what can give you success - Right.
it's different.
We're almost ready to eat.
Are you down for eating with your hands? - I'm down.
- All right, cool.
- Looks great.
- Have the fish curry first, because that's much more mild and delicate.
That's delicious.
I'm trying to, like You're using all four fingers, though.
Because this is soupy.
I need to make a little cup.
Like, Indians, when they get to water fountains, they won't go like this.
They'll put it in their hand and drink like that.
Really? Okay.
- Oh, the potatoes really are good.
- This is really good.
This is, no bullshit, incredibly delicious and healthy.
- And not that ugly.
- No, there's nothing ugly about it.
Whether you're from the north or the south or east or west in India, we use a lot of spices.
Most of the world's spices come from India.
In fact, they come from Kerala, which is where I'm from.
Which is, I believe, where also Aziz's parents are from.
So, like, if you go down to Kochi, you'll see there's a spice-trading market.
And, in fact, spices have been the reason that our world looks the way it is.
I mean, Columbus was looking for spices.
He wasn't looking for gold.
He was looking for the peppercorn.
All right, Asha.
Where are we? Cochin, Kerala, India.
Which was a huge port city during the years of the spice trade.
This looks crazy.
Like, I've only been in India and I've been in Mumbai.
Um This This scene right here doesn't happen.
Not in Mumbai.
So, this is ginger.
I thought it was leaves from far away.
You see, they're drying ginger, and this will become the ginger powder that gets used a lot in chai.
- Is that black pepper back there? - Let's go look.
Here's the thing that you take for granted - I've used black pepper my entire life.
- Yes.
I've never seen it.
- That's awesome.
- It's a variety of black pepper.
It's fruitier.
It's delicious.
I've never had this flavor before.
I've never had fresh pepper.
It's delicious, isn't it? And I'm sweating my balls off right now.
Holy shit.
You know, it's very rare that you get your mind blown on something that you take for granted your entire life.
- And, like, I know - And it's pepper.
And I know I know where it comes from, what it supposed to be, but I've never tasted it this fresh.
This is like the reaching this platonic ideal of what pepper is.
- So much spicier.
- Yeah.
There are spices that other cuisines don't use.
But I think black pepper is just such a staple across the world.
Which is why I feel like the first wave of Indian food dominance is spice, right? Yes.
If you removed black pepper from the world, - how dramatically does that affect - It changes cuisine everywhere.
It changes cuisine everywhere.
This changed the course of human history, this fucking shit right here.
The average wedding, you know, for a middle-class family is, like, 1,000 to 2,000.
- Average? - Average.
How's that possible? Because you invite everybody you know.
Your your neighbor, your relatives, - your doctor, your lawyer - Come get the good meal.
So the wedding-crasher scene must be, like, amazing here.
You could crash any wedding.
Yeah, because who would know in that massive crowd? Who would know? I mean, technically, we're crashing the wedding.
So, this is the wedding food.
The whole meal, from beginning to end, there's such a spiritual component to it 'cause they pray, they bathe before they walk into the kitchen.
So, how many weddings do you do sometimes in one day? Up to 15 weddings, sometimes, in a day.
So they're actually cooking for upwards of 20,000 people.
Good for you, man.
This place is awesome.
It's like Willy Wonka.
It really is.
There's so much so much food.
Forty dishes.
Forty? Look how big these are.
Wow, that's a lot of coconut.
- This is - You want to mix it? Yeah? No, hold it like this.
- Like this.
- Yeah, you show me.
Yeah, that that's I'm not there yet.
So, this is how it'll go to the wedding, and you'll see how the service is done.
A whole bunch of people coming out to the table and the food Until you say "stop," until you actually fold the leaf over, away from you, they'll keep bringing the food.
No one goes to the wedding for the food in America.
Here, it's for the food that you go to the wedding.
I want to taste it.
I wanna - Do you want to taste now? - Yeah! You do? - That's so good! - It's delicious! What is that? Coconut oil and coconut is the base of that dish.
- Mm.
- I love that you love it! It's so flavorful! I've never had anything that tasted like that.
We should eat now.
 We should eat now.
We're crashing this wedding.
We're not invited guests.
No, we're best friends.
We went to college with the groom.
That's a lot of rice.
My God.
How come you're doing it half-and-half? Are you supposed to do half-and-half? - You don't have to.
- Just go to town? Go to town.
And they'll keep coming.
I've come to this conclusion, filming and doing as much reading as possible.
Actually, not reading.
That's a fucking lie.
Just me thinking about it.
The food of India is actually a global superpower.
I just didn't see it.
If you took out India and the spices from India, the world would be an incredibly boring place to eat.
I came down to this idea that Indian food is broken down into three waves.
The first wave is the spice trade.
Second wave is through culture.
Without yoga, without the Beatles, I don't believe we'd get a movement right now where people are so into well-being.
- It's fucking awesome.
- It's delicious, eh? The third wave has to be, like, what we eat right now, how food from India could merge and evolve with local cuisines and local ingredients around the world today.
I'm wrestling with if Indian food's ever gonna get mainstream acceptance and whether it needs to or not.
That's what I'm asking myself on the meta-level.
It's like, who gives a shit? Because if you're Indian, you don't need anyone else's approval.
Take your banana.
- What? Why couldn't you just do this? - You can, because we just, like Maybe we should show them how to do it.
And I just need to shut up and appreciate the beauty, the complexity, and the pure deliciousness.
Like, legitimate, pure deliciousness of the food here, and just be the biggest fan of it I could possibly be.
Way to go, Dave.
- Way to fuck up 5,000 years of - Tradition.
I'm sorry about that.

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