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Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

A Taste of Home

Indian food influences Tanvi Genti’s life and identity
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Vincent Hsiao
Tanvi Genti (12) explains how Indian food has influenced her. Genti grew up primarily with Indian cuisine, which she embraces. “I love Indian food because of its unique taste,” Tanvi said.
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Standing in the kitchen, Tanvi Genti (12) observes her father cooking an Indian dish: Chicken dum biryani. Her father marinates the chicken pieces with a blend of spices, yogurt and lemon juice. The powerful aroma of ginger-garlic paste and the tang of the yogurt with the sharpness of lemon juice transforms the kitchen into a world of spices. 

Tanvi’s parents Shiva Genti and Neer Genti relocated to St. Louis, Missouri from southern India prior to her birth. She visits India once every year, and as she grew up she quickly noticed the striking differences between Indian-American food and actual Indian food.

“In India, there is always a high spice level because the people there can tolerate so much spice,” Tanvi said. “But then in America, you have butter chicken that’s more of an Americanized version of Indian food.” 

Over time, Tanvi grew accustomed to spicy foods as her parents helped her explore and taste different Indian dishes, allowing her to build a strong connection with her culture. Tanvi’s mother, Neer, cooks Indian food on a daily basis to make sure that Tanvi doesn’t forget her roots. 

“Tanvi enjoys lots of Indian sweets made during festivals such as Diwali,” Shiva said. “She also likes a lot of Indian street food and always looks forward to [it] when we visit India.” 

Adding on to Tanvi’s experience, when the Genti family visits India they notice some significant differences from Indian and American food. 

“In India, the food is much more fresh and is made on the spot, as well as the recipes are more authentic in India,” Neer said. “Also, the Indian food here lacks the certain expertise in Indian traditional dishes like sweets and breakfast.” 

Tanvi does more than simply love Indian food; she occasionally helps her parents prepare some Indian dishes. 

“I’ve helped make dosa, which is a popular breakfast savory crepe,” Tanvi said. “Basically we grind some seeds together, ferment that batter overnight and then spread the batter across the pan in a really thin manner. Dosa is similar to pancakes but not as thick as them.”

Tanvi’s family occasionally gets together with their family friends to eat a variety of Indian meals. These gatherings have strengthened their bond with Indian cuisine. 

“Although I was born and brought up with Indian food, once in a while we try other cuisines,” Tanvi said. “But the sense of being complete comes only with Indian food.”

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About the Contributors
Nitya Nara
Nitya Nara, Staff
Junior Nitya Nara is a staffer on Panorama. This is her first year on staff. Nitya loves to spend her time by painting and playing badminton.
Vincent Hsiao
Vincent Hsiao, Photo Editor in Chief
Sophomore Vincent Hsiao is the photography editor in chief for Panorama. He was previously a staff photographer for Ladue Publications where he significantly contributed to photos in both the Panorama newsmagazine and Rambler yearbook. Outside of photography, Hsiao is on the Ladue swim team and has been a swimmer since he was six.
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