#1: Gin and tonics, the world’s first vaccines in India and why hill stations exist
#2: Jewish origins of Bollywood, an African military commander in 17th century India, and millets
Did you know that the first female superstars of the Bollywood were from the Jewish community? Or how an African slave became a military mastermind in 17th century India? We also talk about how the way India’s diet changed in the 1960s and how it’s affecting people’s lives now.
#3: A rebel queen from Tamil Nadu, English words that are not really English, and how the British got desis addicted to chai
Did know that the phrase “dam it” or the word shampoo has its roots in colonial India? Ever heard of Velu Nachiyar, the first queen in the subcontinent to wage war against the British? We also explore how chai came to India and how the desis got addicted to it.
#4: Bollywood-Hollywood “inspirations”, the world’s first female head of state, and samosas
Did you know Tarantino took inspiration from an Indian film for Kill Bill Vol. 1? Or that the world’s first female head of state was from South Asia? Or the samosa, the quintessential Indian snack, is not actually Indian? We talk about all of that on episode #4 of Three Desi Things.
#5: In Dialogue with Krish Ashok, the author of Masala Lab, a book on the science behind desi cooking
Introducing our “In Dialogue” series! This is a little different than our usual episodes. In these episodes, we’ll interview experts, authors and generally cool desis about things that interest them!
Our first guest is Krish Ashok, the author of Masala Lab.
#6: The origins of Indo-Chinese food, Punjabi-Mexicans, and an Indian spy who fought the Nazis
We look at the origin of Indo-Chinese food and how it is so different from native Chinese cuisines. We talk about the Punjabi-Mexican community of California. And we discover the amazing story of Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian spy who fought the Nazis in Paris.
#7: In Dialogue with Beth Watkins (@bethlovesbolly), Bollywood blogger, museum professional and film enthusiast
Our second in the “In Dialogue” series! Our guest for this week is Beth Watkins, a museum professional and popular Bollywood blogger and film enthusiast.
#8: India’s first car, a South Asian goes viral in 50s America, and the origins of bunny chow
We take a dive into the history of the first car manufactured in India and how it became the king of the Indian roads. Then we talk about Kuldip Rae Singh, an Indian student in the US who became famous in 1950s America after he stole the show on national television. And our food thing for this episode is the history of South African’s favorite snack, bunny chow and its connection to South Asia.
#9: Cricket in the US, the origin of filter coffee, and America’s first celebrity chef
We explore the rich history of cricket in North America. We also talk about some of our personal favorite cricket moments. We take a deep dive into the history of filter coffee and how it became inextricably linked with caste in South India. And finally, we talk about America’s first celebrity chef, a charismatic young man of Indian descent by the name of J. Ranji Smile, who was allegedly responsible, among other things, for teaching the women of America how to properly cook rice.
#10: In Dialogue with Ira Mukhoty, author of books on amazing Indian women from the Mughal era and beyond
We are in dialogue with author Ira Mukhoty, who has written about amazing Indian women in history, including the queens and empresses of the Mughal Empire.