Never Roasted…is it?

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Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
~Lily Tomlin

I thought I might never have to write about this incident. But looks like when one mad party keeps talking about it, claiming it to be the truth, the readers are lead to believe it as the truth.

Few weeks back a blogger who was supposed to be a good friend, accused me of plagiarizing a recipe from another blogger. I immediately wrote back to her saying that the said recipe was taken from a cookbook and not from this other blogger. Unfortunately the cookbook which came along with an old pressure cooker is no longer with us. Even before this incident, we have been searching for it but we couldn’t find it.

I wrote back saying, when I have credited a cookbook, why would I hesitate to credit a person if I was inspired so. It wasn’t like I was basking in the glory of having created the Authentic recipe right? I was already citing a source and I have never claimed in the post of being the inventor of this recipe.

The main reason for them to accuse me is the fact that Badi Elaichi is never roasted. This was supported by their friend who claims to be an expert in Elaichi.  He said badi elaichi IS NOT EVER DRY-ROASTED by the Punjabi people!!! They think that they have developed the recipe. What a joke!

The bloggers and their friend who accused me should know that “Half the punjabi women roast their badi elaichi and the other half don’t. It just depends on the family style”

I got this confirmed with my Punjabi Blogger friend, who got it verified from her Mom. Since I don’t want her dragged into this mess, if any of you have a doubt can mail me for her email id, she will be willing to reply to your queries.

In support of this, I researched on the net and found sources that say for authentic punjabi garam masala all the spices are roasted and ground. Check this site for details:

Logically I can’t understand few things:
When I have cooked so many dishes from other bloggers and have always credited them, why would I not do in this case?

In the said recipe I don’t claim anywhere that I created the recipe, I have credited the cookbook. Just because I no longer have that book doesn’t make it any less the truth.

If I was worried about losing out readers by linking others as how some said, then I won’t be linking to the many bloggers who send their entries but sometime forget to link back.
To all those other bloggers who took stand on this against me, I can only wish they exercised their judgment better.

This whole incident looks like one person claiming to have the authentic recipe for Sambar in Tamil Nadu! Many people make the sambar the same way, just like Punjabi Chhole in the whole of Punjab. If I will be accused on the base that the ingredients and steps are same, I wonder if there is a different way of making Sambar!

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  1. Oh dear, sorry this happened to you. Is this the same incident as last year, i thought I remember you posting about something like this before? In any case, whoever your true friends are, will stick with you. The fake ones will come and go.
    I think some people treat blogging as a full time job where they can create such petty issues and blow them up. They need to get another hobby =)

  2. Srivalli,
    People love to use their judgement before they realize that they have common sense!…
    such cases are better forgotten….I would say listen thru one ear and let it out the other…well here only difference is that we are reading it…and there is no letting out the other eye!!:))
    Smile and forgot!!
    So many similar recipes are made in so many different ways all over this world…who can even keep track of them!…its only becos of this blogging world that we r coming to know of it now!!…and BTW I think roasting always gives the whole masala a wonderful flavor…this is even said by many great authors worldwide! Who is one single person to say whats right and whats not!!
    there are much better things to worry about in life than such petty judgements and the people who make them!!
    Have fun!

  3. Oh, how horrid for you. I love the "olden days" – when I grew up, recipes were to be shared, and sources did not matter. It is about the food, the sharing, the family, the community, the communion that comes from sharing food together.

    I did a quick search and found many examples of black cardamom being roasted. You are correct, it is just a personal or family preference. Saying "This is the way that you make this particular masala all over (this region of) India" does not make any sense, as we all know.

    The important thing is not to engage in the argument beyond what is strictly necessary – it will only lead to anger and frustration. We know you and love your integrity and the wonderful work that you do in all parts of your life. There are better and so much more important things to do in life than to argue over whether a seed is roasted or not!

    Love to you…

  4. Just ignore them. It is better not to have a friend like that.
    We all know that you are ahonest and good person and if some are jealous about your blog etc….. you should be happy that they take so much trouble to make trouble with you. You never knows these ppl might be loosing sleep over thinking how they can harrase you 🙂
    Just ignore these ppl. Don't worry.

  5. valli .. i can vouch for the fact that badi elaichi is roasted in punjabi garam masala … i have been doing so after learning it from my very punjabi sikh friend's very punjabi sikh wife from amritsar proper. so go dump these people who lack common sense and get back to your delicious recipes … we are waiting for that garam garam next post. 🙂

  6. dear valli,

    some people just think that they have da copyrite for all recipes in da world… i mean who cares whether u roast or not… when u have mentioned, the recipe is taken frm a cookbook, why shud ppl be bothered??? just let them be…its like da same case whr a person accused me that i had used dates in a dates cake recipe… i mean what else do we use??? atta???;)

  7. Have been a lurker allthe time, time to delurk…you rock..
    you would be the best example to the saying in telugu only trees that bear fruits are hit wih rock (rough translation, bear mine)…

  8. Srivalli, I love the simple and easy recipes from your blog and often visit to check out some of the traditional festive recipes here.
    Yes, the basic ingredients for all cooking are same, be it flour, oil, sugar and other flavors for cake, muffins or breads. Or turmeric, coriander, chilly for Indian curries. We either add or remove certain ingredients to give a different flavors and texture to our recipes.
    And no one can patent these flavors, spices and ingenious ingredients. You can use them as you like it.
    Hope to see you back in action soon. Take care.

  9. sorry to hear about this upsetting incident. i have always loved reading your recipes and have tried out quite a few with success. Id say ignore the incident and carry on with the good work of spreading recipes

  10. Sri..dont take this hard…its weird how people can act so dumb…you go ahead with all the great stuff that you post..I often refer to your blog when I am in need of some quick recipes 🙂 Love ya

  11. I was quite confused when I read the other post and was wondering why you were not reacting.No,not to hear a justification from you,but I wanted to know what actually happened.It is a sad thing to get accused of plagiarizing a recipe,I am glad you reciprocated!!

  12. The fact that you spend so much time developing or trying new recipes and post them in your blog, despite your busy work/family life tells us that you are not the kind to plagiarize!!! Only people that are true to themselves and passionate about food/cooking can do what you do. I am sorry I don't understand the controversy. They accused you of plagiarizing a recipe just because you said bada elaichi is not roasted? Whatever it is, your true loyal readers will follow you!

  13. Finla, I agree with you. It is better than having such people for friends. Thank you for the support. Yes that was what was happening as I didn't react for a month. And they were again and again only talking about this. I hope they are satisfied now.

    Ann, thank you! Last year's incident was also terrible. It was good that there are technical reasons for such things to resolve it. hahah I think some people really need something to keep them occupied. I hope I have given them enough to live for a while.

    Sharmila, that really feels good to get another vote on that fact. Though I don't claim to be an expert on spices, I know there is no hard and fast rule for using a spice in a said way. But this was from a different cuisine, I didn't want to sound as expert. But I am glad you can vouch for it..:)..I have so many delicious posts lined up, I wonder why I am forced to address such issues.

    Smitha, You are so right! hheheh I can imagine doing that. I have been ignoring them for a while. But they have been persistant. Yea when there are so many things which require our attention, people end up pursuing really pretty things..

    Ganga, you are a gem! I am so glad that you were able to find many examples. I only wish they did before they came out accusing on such reasons. I can imagine how arguing never takes us further. That was the reason why I didn't engage in it. Loved your comment on the seed being roasted or not..If only one knows how to spend time more valuably

    I feel blessed in having your support!

    valli,.thank you for de-lurking. Thank you for words and support. means a lot.

    Rebecca, thank you! as you know I have far better things to do..:)

    shalini, your comment really made me chuckle! thank you..and did somebody really ask you that..:) how funny..thank you for dropping in

    Sanjeeta, Thank you for your feedback. It was very nice talking to you. Oh yes for sure..

    Lakshmi, thank you for the feedback. I am glad you liked the recipes. Will be back soon with more recipes.

    R's Mom, Thanks for dropping by. Its been a pleasure knowing you.

    Divya, Thank you for writing. I wrote to them even before they published on it. I was shocked that even after explaining they were not ready to accept it but continued to debate and discuss on it at every chance. And also I wanted to get sufficient proof on that fact, now that I have I thought I will clear the issue. I am so glad you wrote on this.

    Jay, I agree on that!

    Rupa, thank you for stopping by to give your support. I am glad to see that there are people who think beyond pretty things like whether to roast a elaichi or not.

  14. Srivalli,

    You are one of the senior bloggers of the food blogdom and have many great things to your credit.

    You should just ignore these stuff and use this valuable time to try out new recipes.

    Take care.

  15. Don't let all the negativity get to you, Valli. No one can claim authenticity to any recipe. Your blog showcases how you do things. And never say "never" when it comes to cooking. You don't know which no-no thing you did that made you create the next signature dish, right? Keep smiling, girl! 🙂

  16. Oh Just back from Bangalore and saw your post. Just ignore it Valli. Even I have a recipe in my blof where badi elaichi is dry roasted. After all, cooking is creative and nowadays there are many fusion cookings. Whether you dry roast it or not, its your way of cooking. Thats all.

  17. Srivalli,
    When I read that article, I was shocked. but now reading your response, I feel that there may be some misunderstanding. I hope it gets clarified between both of you. Both of you are very respected and talented bloggers.

  18. Thank you Sailaja,

    Shobana, Thank you for writing in

    Vani, thanks for stopping. I totally agree with you!..:)

    Shanthi, Glad to hear that. will check out how you have done.

    Meera, Thank you so much for writing in. I can understand how it can look to people who just happen to read that article and not know my side of the story. I really tried my effort to explain but when it is not accepted, I really can't do much. I am trying to get hold of that book. There can't be anything better than getting this air cleared btw us. Thanks for the words

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