The new NBC Comedy Outsourced takes a comedic look at both American and Indian cultures. The show centers on Todd Dempsey played by Ben Rappaport, transplanted from the Midwest to India to manage the Mid American Novelties call center. While Dempsey is going through his own cultural shock the call center employees are having a hard time trying to understand why in America any one would wear a yellow wedge of cheese on their head and what is mistletoe?
For a foodie like me is fun to watch the reaction of Dempsey who in the first show looked at the food line in the cafeteria at lunchtime, pointed reluctantly and said, give me some of that yellow stuff”.
The other American expatriate in Outsourced is Charlie, played by Diedrick Bader (Drew Carey Show), who warned Dempsey about eating “that stuff”. Charlie who runs the outsourced call center for the All American Hunter Catalog Company has his food shipped from the U.S. His care packages include Slim Jims, Twinkies and Smuckers Jelly for his PB&J sandwiches.
Another episode showed call center employee Manmeet played by Sacha Dhawan drinking Chai tea with Dempsey commenting, “How can you drink hot tea in these temperatures”? The same show had co-worker Gupta, played by Parvesh Cheena
eating Pakora as he tagged along on a double date with the boss.
So for Dempsey and anyone not familiar with Indian cuisine here is a very brief explanation on what might be on the Mid America Call Centers Cafeteria lunch line.
Samosas; deep fried pastry triangles filled with savory fillings including; potatoes, peas, onions, cauliflower, lentils, and spices.
Pakora; deep fried fritters usually vegetable including; eggplant, cauliflower, spinach, and potato.
Rice always; most often Basmati rice wonderful flavored rice that is a staple to the Indian diet.
Dal; dried beans, legumes and peas eaten at most meals often with rice and roti (wheat bread).
Curry; Curry translates to gravy. Curries come in a wide assortment of flavors and even colors. Meats in curry include chicken, lamb and goat. Shrimp and vegetables are also popular curries.
Tandoori; a clay oven with extremely high heat that cooks foods very quickly. Tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices and cooked in the tandoori oven.
Keer; Indian rice pudding
Ras malai; cottage cheese balls served in sweetened condensed milk. (sounds yucky but is really good)
Gulab jamun; a fried ball, think donut, soaked in sugar syrup
Lassi; yogurt drink either salty or sweet. Try the mango lassi. Yum!
Watch Outsourced on NBC Thursday nights at 9:30 EST.