April 9th, 2014
04:00 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Punjab, India, in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 13, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

Chances are if you've ordered from an Indian restaurant in the United States, the intensely colored and spiced dishes have been Punjabi in origin.

"Most of the good stuff we refer to simply as Indian food comes from here," host Anthony Bourdain says in the season three premiere of "Parts Unknown," where he travels to the northern region of the world's second most populated country.

In Amritsar, India's holy city of the Sikh religion, carnivorously-inclined Bourdain finds himself among a bounty of vegetables cooked in rich, spicy gravies served with freshly baked kulcha, a type of flatbread, out of clay ovens.

After 'world's best' - what's next for a chef?
November 4th, 2013
09:45 AM ET
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Chef Gaggan Anand's eponymous restaurant is the only Indian venue to crack the top 10 on the "Asia's 50 Best Restaurants" list. So how's he faring now?

It's been a wild year for Bangkok chef Gaggan Anand.

In February, his eponymous Indian restaurant snagged the 10th spot on "Restaurant" magazine's inaugural list of Asia's 50 best restaurants. Two months later, it landed the 66th spot on the publication's "best in the world" list.

Quite an achievement for a man of 35 - "It was beyond my expectations" - who took a risk and opened a joint serving Indian dishes reinvigorated by molecular technology barely three years ago.

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Filed under: Cuisines • India • Indian

'The cow is our mother' – India's beef boom at odds with Hindu tradition
April 19th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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When 33-year-old Ashoo Mongia visits the supermarket it's rarely for stocking up his fridge for the week. As head of a cow protection enforcement team, he regularly scours Delhi grocery stores and outdoor markets for food products containing cow beef.

For the last 15 years, Mongia and his team of 120 Delhi-based volunteers have thrown themselves in a battle that pits India's billon-dollar meat industry and growing underground beef trade against Hindu traditionalists keen on preserving the holy status of cows.

Stall confessions: Life lessons from my lunch box
July 22nd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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Eatocracy recently ran a comment-inducing post entitled "Please don't eat in the bathroom." Devna Shukla, an Associate Producer for CNN's AC360°, shares her own tale of stall dining, how it helped her embrace her Indian heritage, and how she'll never do it again.

Growing up in a small town in Ohio, I had no concept of the true meaning of “diversity.” I was the only girl of color in my small private school and among the sea of blonde hair and blue eyes, my ethnic features always stood out.

My first generation interpretation of diversity was that we all had two competing identities: one inside of school (where I was American) and one at home (where I was Indian). I was just as eager to dress up as a Spice Girl for talent shows as I was to wear the traditional salwar kameez to Indian parties.

My two worlds rarely collided. My parents created a bilingual household and made sure to adopt American traditions like Halloween, and Fourth of July parties.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Cultural Identity • Culture • Favorites • Indian

Restaurant serves meat to Hindus, served lawsuit in return
July 22nd, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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A small tray of vegetable samosas costs $35 at the Mughal Express restaurant. But one particular tray, sold to strict Hindu vegetarians, might end up costing the Edison, New Jersey, restaurant a whole lot more.

The Hindu customers said the restaurant served them meat samosas, harming them emotionally and spirituality. A state appellate court ruled Wednesday that they can sue for the cost of travel to India to purify their souls.

Read the full story: "Hindu diners sue Indian restaurant for selling meat samosas"

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Dietary Restrictions • Indian • News

5@5 - Chef Suvir Saran
October 29th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

The United States is often described as a "melting pot" because of our multicultural society - and the American melting pot extends to the kitchen too.

Tex-Mex, Pan-Asian, Cajun, Italian-American. Worlds collide at the table - just ask Suvir Saran.

New Delhi-born Saran is the executive chef of Dévi restaurant in New York City, where his authentic Indian flavors earned one Michelin star in 2007 and 2008, as well as two stars from The New York Times and three stars from New York Magazine.

He is also the author of Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes and American Masala: 125 New Classics From My Home Kitchen. Not embarking into a professional culinary career until he arrived in the United States, Saran's latter book focuses on combining the best of both Indian and American cooking. His fried chicken is spiced with garam masala, his coleslaw has a hint of toasted cumin and his meatloaf is tamarind-glazed. It's classic American fare, with a twist.

Five American Classics to Add an Indian Twist To: Suvir Saran

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Business and Farming News • Cuisines • Indian • Make • Recipes • Suvir Saran • Think

July 30th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
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CNN staffers took on a double-dog dare to finish a dish made with bhut jolokia - a pepper so hot it's been weaponized. Sara Sidner, a Delhi-based correspondent, share her first-hand account.

I don't do eating stunts; it's just not my thing. I don't like watching people shovel huge amounts of doughnuts or pies or whatever else down their gullets to win a prize. It's part guilt - knowing there are hungry people in the world - and part disgust, because it makes me gag to watch.

Turns out I am a hypocrite. While in New York City, I did as some of the locals do and took a food challenge. It's called the "Phaal Curry Challenge," an idea thought up by Brick Lane Curry House in New York's East Village. Basically, the owners dare patrons to eat an entire bowl of their spiciest curry - Phaal Curry. It has a total of ten different types of chili and peppers in it.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Hot • Indian

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