“No Onions Please, We’re Brahmins”: A Serving of Caste for Breakfast

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“No Onions Please, We’re Brahmins”: A Serving of Caste for Breakfast

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

n the 23 years of my existence, I grew up, like most of us, happily consuming whatever delicious food my mom cooked at home. My Tam Brahm parents grew up in the urban landscape of Delhi and Mumbai, so our traditional cuisine made way for the garlic-laden chutney of a vada pao and the tangy spice of pani puri, even as we consumed copious amounts of curd rice at home.

They passed on this happily chaotic, complex culinary system to me by cooking every vegetable under the sun. But my grandparents, with whom I’ve been staying for the last two weeks, resisted such expansion of our familial tastes. They resolutely stuck to scary-sounding vegetables like snake gourd and ash gourd without any signs of my staples: mushroom, cauliflower, onion, and garlic.

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