Food articles get the most love at The Juggernaut because they resurface nostalgic moments. Think: how a Portuguese technique led to a Bengali sondesh explosion to how kithul palm treacle became a Sri Lankan favorite to why it’s so hard to open an Indian restaurant in America to how fake cinnamon came to rule the world.
We’ve also profiled the who’s who in the restaurant and food and beverage industries, from Dishoom co-founder Shamil Thakrar to chef Padma Lakshmi to James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner Madhur Jaffrey. Our food writers include staff writer Mehr Singh, who has also written for Eater, Priya Krishna, now a staff writer at the New York Times, Nikhita Venugopal, Rohan Kamicheril, Myles Karp, Tania Banerjee, and several others.
Why it matters: The gatekeepers of food journalism often have little to no curiosity for Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Sri Lankan, Bhutanese, and Afghan recipes and cuisines. Or, they love passing off critique of Indian food as humor, satire, or just plain harmless. We write stories about our culinary traditions with depth, nuance, and fun.
How Shan Masala Spiced Up Diaspora Tables
Despite competition and import bans, the Pakistani venture built a global, $250 million business whose fans swear by its innovative spice blends.
Haleem, Now Available Near You
For many, the meat-and-pulse stew is a rare, Ramadan tradition. Now, chefs are bringing it, along with inventive modifications, to the masses.
Padma Lakshmi on ‘Taste the Nation’ Season 2: “To Eat is Political”
We chatted with the food writer and TV host about how American food is immigrant food, why she doesn’t care about what the 1% eats, and what’s next.
How Ferrero Rocher Melted South Asian Hearts
And why the significance of the once gold standard of gifting is no longer the same.
How Horlicks, Bournvita, and Complan Took Over India
World War I, celebrity ads, and scare tactics ensured that a Western concoction became a mainstay for the subcontinent and its diaspora.
Saravana Bhavan: Dosa, With a Side of Murder
Around 20 years ago, a Chennai court convicted the infamous restaurant chain’s founder of murder. What happened next was equally surprising.
The Death of Paan
How the tricornered treat, once a cornerstone of South Asian life and art, has slipped to the periphery.
How Cha Became Chai
British trade manipulation, espionage, and aggressive marketing changed the trajectory of the once-unpopular beverage in the Indian subcontinent.
Wazwan and the Fight to Keep the 36-Course Kashmiri Feast Alive
How Kashmiris around the world are championing the ancient meal once fit for kings as its chefs slowly dwindle.
How South Asians Reclaimed Tiffin
The colonial term — which refers to everything from a lunch box to a teatime meal — stuck around to become a cultural touchstone.
Hot Tamale Louie: The Pakistani, Tamale-Slinging Cowboy
How Zarif Khan changed a Wyoming town and redefined what it means to be American.
Trinidadian Doubles, the Unlikely Street Food Hit
How the national dish lifted families out of poverty, led to a family feud, and changed Caribbean cuisine forever.
Ethiopian and Indian Food: An Interconnected History
Sambusa and samosa. Injera and appam. Misir wot and dal. How over 2,000 years of trade shaped the cuisines of the two ancient cultures.
Madhur Jaffrey, Always the Perfectionist
The chef, actor, and writer showed the West that Indian cooking was worthwhile and Indian women had bite. And she still has several projects up her sleeve.
How India Became a Nation of Eggetarians
The egg’s prominence in the Indian vegetarian diet is a point of contention. The perennial question is: are eggs meat?
Not All South Asians Like it Hot
How eating spicy food became so intertwined with South Asian identity, and why it’s time to retire the stereotype.
In Tadka We Trust
Each drop is a sensory universe. Here’s how the technique as old as time came to define South Asian cuisines.
Khichdi Deserves More than the Sloppy Treatment
It’s time to celebrate the rice and lentil dish synonymous with home comfort, which rarely makes it to restaurant menus and has been appropriated by wellness warriors.
In Defense of Doodh Soda
Despite Pepi’s viral ad, mixing milk and coke is nothing new. In fact, the combination has a long history in South Asia.
How Tandoori Chicken Took Over South Asian Thanksgiving Tables
For the diaspora, the no-frills dish has become a curious fixture of the iconic holiday meal.
How Hilsa Became One of the World’s Priciest Fish
With insatiable demand and export bans, ilish maach has become expensive and hard to find — but that isn’t stopping the diaspora.
How the West Deemed Eating With Your Hands “Uncivilized”
And why the practice persisted in South Asia anyway.
How Chakri, a Diwali Special, Became a Global Snack Sensation
Crunchy, salty, spicy, and addictive, these savory fried coils are no longer just for the festive season, in large part, because of the diaspora.
Even Parle-G Isn’t Immune to Change
The iconic biscuit — long associated with consistent branding and pricing — shrunk its packaging twice in just the past year. But did anyone notice?
The Overlooked History of Punjabi Vegetarianism
Two-thirds of Punjab is vegetarian. But stereotypes of chicken-loving foodies persist, ignoring traditions shaped partly by Partition.
The Disappearing Sweets of Bengal
The region renowned for its sweet tooth endured multiple conflicts and divisions, losing many of its creative mishti-making traditions in the process.
How Bhut Jolokia, the Ghost Pepper, Took Over the West
Dubbed the hottest pepper in the world in 2007, the unique northeastern Indian chili became a tempting challenge for Western palates. But what got lost in the process?
Sri Lanka: The Reality of Mealtime in the Midst of Economic Collapse
The island nation’s worst economic crisis since its 1948 independence has forced people to change how and what they eat.
Why “Best Of” Lists Often Overlook South Asian Cuisines
But as these restaurants and chefs rack up recognition and business from ardent fans, do mainstream accolades even matter?
Irani Bakes Spread Through India. Now, They’re Disappearing.
As Parsi cafés shutter, Irani bakes that have become teatime staples — from mawa cake to nankhatai — are at risk of vanishing, too.
How Maggi Created a Generation of Experimental Cooks
The iconic instant noodles packet turns 40 in India, its biggest market, this year. Here’s how Maggi, despite a 2015 ban in the country, reshaped snacks and meals forever.
Rowdy Rooster Wants You to Fall in Love with Indian Fried Chicken
Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya — behind New York City restaurants Adda, Dhamaka, and Semma — just launched their first quick-serve concept.
How India Made Ice Cream a Dessert of its Own
Once the mainstay of the colonial elite, ice cream — thanks to American GIs and Indian entrepreneurs — soon became the ubiquitous and flavorful treat that it is today.
The Urban Resurgence of Offal
Once a staple of Parsi home kitchens, animal organ dishes are showing up on urban restaurant menus — from those of Dhamaka to Bombay Canteen.
How Ghee Took Over U.S. Grocery Shelves
The recent global rise of the clarified butter — as common as salt in many South Asian and Middle Eastern kitchens — is striking for an ingredient steeped in centuries of culinary history.
For The Great British Baking Show's Crystelle Pereira, Passion Means More Than Perfection
We sat down with the finalist to chat about focaccia, the one spice she can’t live without, why she didn’t kiss Mr. Spatula, and what’s next.
Why We Rarely See Bengali Restaurants Outside Bengal
Is London’s Chourangi a sign that global appetites are changing, or will Bengali food take longer to make its well overdue mark?
India’s Burning Hot Love for the Sizzler
The scorch-your-tongue dish grew popular in the 1960s, but few know how it came to India. Some say California, others Japan, but the real story is not so straightforward.
The (South Asian) History of Curry Powder
Today, as much as we accuse those who use the word “curry” of painting subcontinental food with a broad brush, the history of curry powder is inherently South Asian.
How a New Generation in India is Reclaiming Gin
Once a remnant of colonial times and consumed primarily by an older generation, gin is now enjoying a revival as cool, young, and uniquely Indian.
The Sri Lankan Hopper is Going Global
The quintessential island snack is making its way around the world, appearing on menus from the U.K. to Australia and beyond.
Why India isn't Known For its Alcohol
France has champagne, Japan has sake, Scotland has whiskey. So, why isn't India famous for an alcohol of its own?
Opinion: The Audacity of Culinary Caucacity
Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post article isn’t the first time mainstream media has tried to pass off racist commentary as satire, humor, or harmless.
The Elusive Appeal of Bengal’s Gondhoraj Lebu
Few outside Bengal have been able to appreciate the delights of the "king of aroma." But thanks to a new generation of chefs, the citrus is slowly making its way into cuisines across India.
(South Asian) America Runs on Dunkin’
Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi immigrants have been a big part of the chain’s success. But as larger franchise networks take over, newer arrivals can no longer get their foot in the door.
How the Amul Girl Became India’s Conscience
The iconic butter brand’s take defined how Indians consumed news. But with less room for political dissent, the Amul girl has been holding her tongue.
How Assamese Pithas are Going Mainstream
A new crop of entrepreneurs are serving up these traditional rice flour-based delicacies at scale — and, in turn, bringing them from the kitchen to homes outside Assam.
How India Loved, Lost, and Returned to Coca-Cola
In India, a bottle of Coca-Cola is synonymous with celebration. But the country's love affair with the soda wasn't always smooth sailing — Coke was banned in India for nearly 20 years.
Tamarind: India’s Quintessential Candy Flavor
Although tamarind has always been a large part of savory South Asian cooking, its sourness also has a sweet side.
How a Portuguese Technique Led to a Bengali Sondesh Explosion
Nearly 500 years ago, the Portuguese popularized milk curdling in Bengal. Bengalis would add sweetness and create a rich delicacy.
The Second Globalization of Turmeric
For centuries, turmeric has categorically been the South Asian spice. But, in recent years, it has exploded throughout the West, from face masks to lattes and beyond.
How America’s Patel Brothers Won the Indian Grocery Game
For many new immigrants, the store was a saving grace in a world full of Wonder Bread and Ruffles. But for their children, is the supermarket still a necessity or simply nostalgic?
The Rooh Afza Renaissance
The ubiquitous, cooling drink known for its permanent spot on the iftar spread is also indelibly linked with the history of Partition.
The Shifting Tides of India’s Seafood Traditions
Though plentiful and sustainable, shellfish such as clams, mussels, oysters, and snails barely make an appearance in popular accounts of Indian seafood.
How Trader Joe’s Became Known for Its Indian Food
The American grocery chain inadvertently built a line of products — from lamb vindaloo to spicy chakri mix — that appeal to South Asians and non-South Asians alike.
The Weight of Parsi Toddy
How an ancient tradition cemented itself in Parsi kitchens, and why it is now fading away.
How Posto Became Bengal’s Comfort Food
The rise of poppy in Bengali cuisine went hand in hand with the British love for tea.
Community Cookbooks, A Window Into a Bygone Era
A generation of Marathi cookbooks highlight unusual ingredients, old cooking techniques, and absurdly high expectations of women.
A History of Bhang, India’s Most Accessible Cannabis
From Holi celebrations to paan shops, bhang has been consumed for thousands of years in India.
What Recipes Leave Off the Page
Recipes, family legacies, and lore are passed down in the kitchen, not the written word.
How Soya Nuggets Became a Household Ingredient in India
A strange twist of history made this plant-based protein a feature of Indian cuisine.
Sri Lanka’s Little-Known Memoni Cuisine
For years, Memoni food remained absent from mainstream Sri Lankan cuisine, but women from the community are changing that.
Baul Dada Sings of the American Dream
The singing street food vendor brought jhalmuri to New York City, then got caught in immigration purgatory.
How Chili Peppers Spiced Up the South Asian Palate
Whether fresh, dried, tempered, roasted, fried, powdered, stuffed, or pickled, the not-so-native fruit has become deeply enmeshed in regional cuisines.
How Lijjat Became a Global Papad Brand
The story of a women-owned cooperative that turned 80 rupees into a business worth millions of dollars.
2020 in Review: Our Top 10 Stories on Food
Our most drool-worthy food features from the year.
Ten of our Favorite Drinks for the Holidays
Sweet and milky, warm and spicy, or berry-licious and boozy — we have all your holiday drink needs covered.
Here’s How Brown Chefs are Celebrating Thanksgiving
From pumpkin biryani to sweet potato samosas, three Brown chefs share their favorite Thanksgiving meals.
Our Ten Favorite Biryanis to Plate this Thanksgiving
Will it be light and fresh veg biryani, divine seafood biryani, or nutty lamb biryani? The final pick is yours.
The Revival of Sri Lanka's Kithul Palm Treacle
The sweet vegan syrup is evolving from a dessert sweetener to a condiment in savory dishes and boozy drinks.
Rishi Naleendra, Michelin Star-Chef, Spotlights Sri Lankan Cuisine
A "short brown guy from a small island" shared his native food with the world — and they ate it up.
How Fake Cinnamon Came to Rule the World
Even though empires fought wars to acquire the spice, few today have actually ever eaten the real thing.
Nepali Cuisine Comes into its Own
The nation’s cuisine is far more than dal bhat and momos: restaurants are gradually incorporating regional specialties in Nepal — and abroad.
Ten Years of Dishoom
Co-founder Shamil Thakrar shares what it takes to build a food institution — deepen, don’t dilute.
The Evolution of Padma Lakshmi
Her latest show “Taste the Nation” is just the culmination of who she’s always been: an authentic food writer, history nerd, and steward of culture.
Amid COVID, Indian Street Food Vanishes
The COVID-19 lockdown has left street food vendors wondering how they’ll reclaim their hard-won places in the heart of cities.
Indo-Chinese Is More Than Fusion
Indo-Chinese food takes the most electric, savory, and often spicy flavors from certain Chinese dishes and dials them up tenfold.
Even a Pandemic Can’t Stop the Indian Mango
Nearly 15 years after the infamous “nuclear mango deal,” Indian mangos are still hard to come by in the U.S. But there’s still hope.
Pyaara se Pyaar or the Love for Guava
How the fruit came to represent my childhood in Delhi.
Filter Kaapi is Delicious and Everyone Should Know It
South India’s coffee scene and its signature drink, kaapi, have remained largely in the background.
The Faultline Between Indian and Chinese Food
Chinese and Indian food share many similarities, but they’re not always popular within each culture.
Pakistani Cuisine is on the Cusp of a Renaissance
The diversity of Pakistani cuisine, from slow-cooked mutton roast to Kiamari prawn biryani, may finally be getting its due.
The New York Supper Club Serving Indian Food
From spicy, tangy sorpotel to black pepper saaru, Rohan Kamicheril brings Indian dishes you won't find at restaurants to his supper club.
Why It’s Hard to Open Indian Restaurants in America
Diners in the ’50s fell for butter chicken and naan. But for the Indian chefs seeking to do something different, it’s been an uphill battle.
Julie Sahni is Doing Just Fine
New York’s — if not the country’s — preeminent cooking teacher has eschewed fame for a simpler cause: making Indian food accessible without dumbing it down.
The Momo Queen
Her restaurant has won accolades, but owner Yamuna Shrestha has left family behind in Nepal, and may just want to go home.
How Zareen’s Feeds Silicon Valley
The Pakistani American entrepreneur has built a beloved brand in the heart of Silicon Valley by testing and scaling different South Asian food concepts.
Eating Halal in New York
Over the years, halal has grown to be a more popular option, opening up new cuisines and making it more fun to eat out.