Ekta Manglani

Ekta Manglani

Here's Ekta on her most recent trip to Mumbai, India.

Here’s Ekta
on her most recent trip
to Mumbai, India.

I recently did a Q&A with my good friend Ekta, 21, of Washington Township. Her Indian culture and upbringing play an enormous roll in the way she eats today. Here’s what Ekta had to say.

1) What is your favorite, or favorite few, Indian dishes? Describe what it is you like about them?
My favorite dish is paneer. It’s made with Indian cheese and spices, and it’s really yummy. Another one of my favorite dishes is called Aloo Paratha, which is basically Indian bread and boiled potatoes. The paratha is rolled into dough with the potatoes inside of it and made in a frying pan.

2) What spices or specific ingredients do you think make Indian food special or different from other cuisines?
Certain ingredients that make Indian food special? I would say coriander, which is the seed from the cilantro plant, adds a lot to a dish. A lot of other powdered ingredients are different too; Duniya, which is coriander powder, Haldi adds orange coloring, Mirchi is a red powdered chili, and Garam Masala, which is a hot powdered spice.  Other ingredients are mainly tomatoes, potatoes and onions.

3) What is your favorite food that is not an Indian dish?
I would say that I love pizza! It’s really yummy!

4) What was it like growing up in a family of vegetarians?
All of the kids in our family were not originally vegetarians. I think that changed around the age of 12, though. My parents are vegetarians and are very strict. I mean, it wasn’t forced on us to become vegetarians, but it made sense with our culture.

5) What is your favorite thing about food in general?
I think food is a wonderful thing. Socially, it gives you something to do. And traditionally, Indian familes eat a lot of food — especially during holidays and family gatherings!
I love it!

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