Naan, Not Naan Bread: Read Padma Lakshmi's Guide On Indian Food
Image Credit: Padma Lakshmi/ Instagram, Freepik

Indian-American author, model, TV host, and activist Padma Lakshmi shared a guide on Indian food and netizens are loving it. On June 24, 2024, the model took to her social media to school people who often add an English word as a prefix to the Hindi pronunciation of a dish.

The model, who often shares her culinary triumphants and recipes on social media, enjoys a following of 1.7 million followers on Instagram. With Indian food taking over the world and bloggers abroad posting videos tasting a variety of delicacies often end up pronouncing the dish wrong. While Indians might be okay with pronunciation (given people around the world have different accents), it does bother them when a popular dish is given another name.

‘Naan, Not Naan Bread,’ Says Padma Lakshmi

In India and now even abroad, people are fans of naan, a traditional flatbread often prepared using all-purpose flour or maida. Do you know what most people in the West call it? They call it ‘naan bread’. Schooling them, Padma Lakshmi said, “It’s naan, non naan bread.”

She added, “It is pita, not pita bread.” Foodies and chefs could not agree more with her. While naan, pita, or even paratha are different kinds of flatbread, adding ‘bread’ as a prefix is not justified. The video of an Indian-American author guiding people on naan has gone viral since and already has more than 27K likes on Instagram.

While she was telling people it was wrong to ask for ‘naan bread’, Padma Lakshmi was in the kitchen making a dessert. It looked like she was adding vanilla essence to it. She captioned the video, “The more you know,” and added a rainbow emoticon at the end.

Social Media Reactions

Netizens on social media are hailing her for correcting. A fan wrote, “And it’s chai, not chai tea.” Another added, “I just love it Padma when you correct people. Especially chai tea. That drives me crazy.”

One user said that it is not bao buns but just bao. Commenting on the video, American chef Claudette Zepeda wrote, “It’s ‘Tamal’, not ‘Tamale’ (singularly speaking). The plural is ‘Tamales’. 

Commenting on Lakshmi’s ‘It naan, not naan bread’ comment, a user wrote that many restaurants also get the names of the dishes wrong. 

An Instagram user went a little beyond and asked why many people cannot pronounce ‘r’ in turmeric. “It’s not turmeric,” the comment read further. He also wrote, “It is dosa or dosai, not Indian crepe.”