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Is Indian Food Exotic?

You can find tons of awesome new foods to try just blocks from your house. Photo by Haley ’15.

Anyone up for spicy, exotic food? My mom first asked me this question when I was ten years old. “I don’t like spicy food,” I thought to myself, “and I don’t know what exotic food means.”

What my mom had in mind was an Indian restaurant for my family’s Saturday night dinner. The first time I went to Akbar Cuisine of India in Hermosa Beach, I had never had Indian food. When I looked through the menu, I had no idea what to order. My mom suggested that I order the Tandoori Chicken and Naan bread.

When the chicken came, it was red. I had eaten baked chicken, grilled chicken, fried chicken, but never red chicken. I tried the Tandoori Chicken and really liked my entire meal, especially the bread. Since then, every time I have gone back to that restaurant, I have tried other things on the menu, including Chicken akbari, which is chicken in a cashew sauce; Khatta-Meetha Shrimp, which is giant shrimp prepared in spices and Lassi, a yogurt drink.

After eating Indian food my tolerance for spicy foods has increased, and I no longer consider Indian food to be exotic because I eat it more often than before.