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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kali: The Food Goddess, Fruits of the Family Tree

This volume of recipes was inspired by a bad review of “Kali: The Food Goddess, A Compilation of Delightful Recipes and Memories of Food.”

The reviewer did not read the book and had no comment on its contents. Her beef (really bad pun, I am so sorry) was about the image of the Goddess Kali on the cover. This person thought it was disrespectful of me to use it; especially because in the reviewer’s opinion, “You’re not even hindu (sic).”

Now, I respect everyone’s right to practice their own religion and understand the Indian antipathy for pop-culture and marketing ploys that distort their deities without an iota of understanding of their cultural or religious significance. After all, Jesus flipping burgers would cause a stir in some circles.

I used that specific image because I am her namesake (yes, my mother named actually me after the Goddess Herself) and the “Kitchen Goddess” nickname was earned by sharing recipes and memories of food that left my friends ecstatic and ravenous.

This combination became the logo for my semi-monthly column from which the book originated.

I’m agnostic, but some of my ancestors were devout Hindus. Of course, there was no way for the reviewer to know that one of my paternal foremothers was born in Southeast India, smack in the middle of Tamil Nadu.

I allow for her righteous indignation and her right to voice her opinion. I reject organized religion, not Democracy!

At the same time, it started me thinking about a book that carried recipes from some the places of origin in my family tree.

Of course, some of that heritage is alien to me because it is generations removed – but all that interracial mixture creates wonderful fusion that becomes part of the popular culture and a new cultural influence as well. As my cousins engage in genealogical research, and we find more connections we’d been unaware of I try to incorporate it in the kitchen.

Colonialism may have devastating socio-political effects on the people conquered, but it also sows the seeds of new cultural traditions and fascinating gastronomic ideas!

Table of Contents

And because I am just a little twisted, I also thought, “If you happen to be a white supremacist and a foodie, this book is going to make you severely conflicted.”

Kali: The Food Goddess, Fruits of the Family Tree” is available at the Kindle Store for 99¢ or free through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

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