Today’s post is a bit of a mishmash – my views on a serious issue as well as a light-hearted food review.
Firstly, you may or may not have been aware that last Wednesday 24 February was Vindaloo Against Violence day.
Melbourne, Victoria and Australia has been subject to some shameful local and international press recently due to a spate of racially motivated crime, and Indians seems to be a particular target.
Many of us, including myself, are outraged and saddened by the rise of this sort of intolerant, violent behaviour as well as the lack of positive action being taken by the authorities. Mia Northrup decided to do something about it by instigating a peaceful grass-roots movement, designating Wednesday 24 February as Vindaloo Against Violence day – a day for Australians to dine out at their local Indian restaurant to:
- express their anger and disappointment that racially motivated violence is occurring in their city;
- embrace and show solidarity with the local Indian community; and
- mount a show of force against the perpetrators of violence.
So in the words of Funky Curry, we decided to ‘curry favour with Indians ‘ by partaking in some cheap and cheerful Indian food as our small contribution to Vindaloo Against Violence. For $9 we received two deliciously light freshly made naans, a choice of a meat dish and a choice of a vegetable dish.
I went for chicken vindaloo which had definitely been toned down for Western palates, and I didn’t need my mango lassi to help with the heat at all. The dahl was lightly spiced, with still chewy lentils visible – much better than the yellow mush you normally get.
J and B ordered the other available chicken dishes, the cauliflower curry and more dahl, and while all the varieties of curry looked remarkably the same, each imparted a distinctly different flavour. They wiped up their plates with the moreish naan so I assume the other curries were also pretty good.
On a more serious note, Vindaloo Against Violence should not be the end of it. I feel strongly about this issue as I’m an immigrant, I look Chinese, I speak another language – and I call Australia home. I don’t want the people of this country, whether they were born here or not, to feel fearful about being different or speaking up to openly confront racism.
If you care about these issues as well, check out and contribute to RM’s public Google Maps project Help Map and Track Incidents of Racial Violence in Melbourne which he started after he and I witnessed a particularly nasty incident on a train to Camberwell one day.