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Sundays with SEEMA: Features Simon Majumdar

2 years ago / by Seema Kumar

More than 60 attendees watched today’s Sundays with SEEMA Zoom webinar featuring an exclusive conversation with Food Network personality Simon Majumdar on “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of LSD (Life-Saving Dahl).”

Majumdar and SEEMA founder Seema Kumar shared their views on the history of South Asian food, fusion cuisine, cultural appropriation, representation, and the importance of Kamala Harris’s nomination on the South Asian psyche. And of course, they talked about Masala Dosa.

Moderated by restaurant owner and consultant  Kunal Lamba, the one-hour show also featured well-known South Asian restauranteurs and chefs Palak PatelSapna Ajwani, and Priavanda Chouhan. The program was sponsored by media partners Radio Mirchi USA and TV Asia. For those who missed today’s event, the conversation will be rebroadcast on Radio Mirchi USA and TV Asia in September. Stay tuned to SEEMA’s Instagram for updates.

Majumdar appeared in the most recent digital magazine issue of SEEMA:

A famed food critic and Food Network TV personality, Majumdar still recalls that moment in 2004 when he was getting ready to jump from the balcony of his apartment in London. His mother had just died, and he was facing the prospect of losing his job at a failing publishing house. “I got very, very downhearted, very depressed, and to the point where actually I was ready to jump,” says Majumdar.

As he stood on his balcony, the delectable aroma of Lebanese cooking wafted up from the open windows of the apartment below, and suddenly, Majumdar found himself more hungry than suicidal. He stepped back from the balcony and stepped instead into his kitchen to cook his Indian grand aunt’s Bengali Dahl. “We call it LSD, or life-saving dahl, in our family,” Majumdar says, comparing it to chicken soup to soothe the soul. “It’s a red lentil dahl that we cook it in a very different way from many people.” This version of the delicious dahl is a soothing one-pot meal of red lentils, lemons, and spinach, served over hard boiled eggs.

As Majumdar stood in his kitchen that night in 2004, pensively stirring the dry lentils in the pot to coax the nuttiness out of them as he was taught to, he began thumbing through his old cookbooks. There, he found an old notebook in which, as a 14-year-old, he had written down goals and objectives to accomplish before turning 40. “I’d written that I’d run a marathon, which I did, and that I would have a suit made on Savile Row, which I did. I had my very British teeth straightened,” he says. At the bottom of this list was one last item: a mantra that now guides his life. Go everywhere, eat everything.

Read more about Majumdar and his interview with SEEMA here.