When Smita Chutke moved to the US from India 20 years ago, she was homesick. Hoping to find some comfort through food, she looked for local Indian restaurants, only to realize that most of them had a very “generic” menu. She recalls seeing many curry dishes and other items that sounded nothing like home. She was disappointed.
That made her realize that the Indian cuisine represented in the US was not authentic to her country roots, but an adaptation originated from the British colonial times. According to Chutke, it is especially true when it comes to curry, which she attests it’s not an Indian word.
The desire to promote authentic Indian food in her community, and to disassociate the word curry from the Indian people, led Smita to become a chef, and embark on a culinary journey. She started organizing cooking socials at her house, which led her to teach community classes, to private dinners, and most recently, the creation of her own spices line.
Her work has been featured on local TV, newspapers, and magazines, and she’s become a well known food activist in the Western New York community.
Directed by Brenda Turteltaub Feldstein (USA)