Three desis — one Indian and two Indian-Americans — banter and joke with each other, delve into history and discover little-known facts about the food, culture, and people of India and South Asia.
#10 - In Dialogue with Ira Mukhoty, author of books on amazing Indian women from the Mughal era and beyond
To quote Veda, "double digits, baby!"
We are in dialogue with author Ira Mukhoty, who has written about amazing Indian women in history, including the queens and empresses of the Mughal Empire.
We talk to her about her book Daughters of the Sun and how the colonial Orientalist gaze has given us a lopsided view of the women from the Mughal period — and why she refuses to use the word 'harem'. She breaks our hearts about the beloved Akbar and Birbal (yes, Jodhaa Akbar also comes up). But she also shows us how desi women have been denied the stories of powerful role models, and how she's changing that narrative.
We also talk about her upcoming book Song of Draupadi, which will feature the strong women of the Mahabharata.
#9 - Cricket in the US, the origin of filter coffee, and a desi man who was America’s first celebrity chef
We explore the rich history of cricket in North America and how the first ever cricket match in the world was between US and Canada. We also talk about some of our personal favorite cricket moments. We take a deep dive into the history of filter coffee and how it became inextricably linked with caste in South India. And finally, we talk about America’s first celebrity chef, a charismatic young man of Indian descent by the name of J. Ranji Smile. He was allegedly responsible, among other things, for teaching the women of America how to properly cook rice.
Find detailed notes on our episode page!
#8 - India's first car, a South Asian goes viral in 1950s America, and the story of a South African snack
In this episode, we take a dive into the history of the first car manufactured in India and how it became the "king of the Indian roads."
We talk about Kuldip Rae Singh, an Indian student in the US who became famous in 1950s America after he stole the show on national television.
Finally, our food thing for this episode is the history of South Africa's favorite snack, bunny chow and its connection to South Asia.
Intrigued? Find show notes, pictures, and more on our episode page!
#7 - In Dialogue with Beth Watkins (@bethlovesbolly), Bollywood blogger, expert and general film enthusiast
Our second in the “In Dialogue” series! Our guest for this week is Beth Watkins, a museum professional and popular Bollywood blogger and film enthusiast. She goes by @bethlovesbolly on Twitter.
Beth is a treasure trove of film trivia and Bollywood films in general. We talk to her about how she got into Bollywood, what you should watch if you want to start watching Bollywood films, and we play our “Guess the inspiration” game with her.
But most importantly, we talk about her amazing Bollywood family trees — the Kapoors, the Mukherjees, and many others — in which she finds links between several big Bollywood families and dynasties. Also, Satyajit Ray.
As always, show notes and references are on our website.
#6 - The origins of Indo-Chinese food, Punjabi-Mexicans, and an Indian spy who fought the Nazis
We look at the origin of Indo-Chinese food and how it is so different from native Chinese cuisines. We talk about the Punjabi-Mexican community of California. And we discover the amazing story of Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian spy who fought the Nazis in Paris.
Find our show notes on the episode page!
#5 - In Dialogue with Krish Ashok, the author of Masala Lab, a book on the science behind desi cooking
Introducing our “In Dialogue” series! This is a little different than our usual episodes. In these episodes, we'll interview experts, authors and generally cool desis about things that interest them!
In this episode, we speak to Krish Ashok, the author of “Masala Lab”, a fascinating book that documents the science behind Indian/South Asian cooking. Ashok also comes armed with great desi food facts.
To go podcast during my night walks.
Fantastic new pod, great research, fun!
Super well-researched and yet entertaining — one of the few podcasts that manages to get this balance right. There are so many things I learned from this pod - how India is connected to America and Europe and the cool stories behind some pretty day-to-day stuff that we never think about.
I like that the hosts bring their perspectives on growing up in India and the United States, so it’s relevant regardless of where you’re from. And they have great chemistry; feels like you’re in a room with friends!
Highly recommend listening to them!
Three Awesome Folks!
These three are fantastic. Not only are their three voices calming, and easy to listen to, you can actually learn something from their episodes! Love this pod.