Sodexo Careers has been celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this month by sharing unique facts on our Facebook Page. We share these facts to lend insight into a population of people who are so multiethnic and culturally diverse.
Asian and Pacific Islander Americans represent many different countries and cultures of the world. This is a broad term since they have varying practices when it comes to religion, language and customs. According to U.S. Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders refer to people who can trace their original background to the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands, including native Hawaiians.
As their ancestors arrived in the US, they often moved into already established ethnic communities where common language and culture made them feel at home, i.e. Chinatown, Koreatown, Little India. Today, these “enclaves” have become a significant part of virtually every major city in America.
There are many ways to gain a better understanding of culture like visiting museums, traveling and reading but I enjoy celebrating culture the most through events and food.
Here is one of my favorite Indian recipes to try in honor of Asian Pacific heritage.
Aloo Pakoras (Potato Fritters)
Pakoras are a popular appetizer frequently encountered in Northern India and can be made with potato, eggplant, spinach, cauliflower or Indian homemade cheese.
Ingredients for the batter:
*1 cups gram flour
½ cup water (or as needed)
Oil for frying
1 medium size potatoes
1 medium size onion diced
*½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
*½ teaspoon Garam Masala (optional)
*1 teaspoon coriander powder (optional)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
* available at an Indian grocery store
Sift gram flour and mix with water until it becomes a smooth thick batter (consistency should be that of a cake batter). Mix salt, cayenne pepper, and Garam Masala. Cover and let stand for 20-25 minutes. Heat the oil in a deep skillet or a wok, bringing the oil to a medium heat. Add sliced potatoes and diced onions to the batter. Mix all ingredients and drop spoonful of the mixture into the hot oil. Fry on medium heat turning the pokoras so that all sides are cooked until golden brown in color. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel or brown paper bag. Serve hot with mint chutney or tomato sauce.
What recipe can you share to celebrate the Asian Pacific American heritage?