Ginger and Ganesh

“Please teach me Indian Vegetarian cooking! I will bring ingredients and pay you $10/hr for your trouble. I would like to know about your culture as well.”

In 2008 Nani Power, Virginia-based writer and aficionado of spicy Indian food, impulsively placed this ad on Craig’s list. Much to her delight, more than a dozen Indian immigrants who lived within driving distance of her home responded. Many of her hosts offered her ginger-flavored chai, milky black tea, as a welcome beverage. Over time, some shared their life stories with her. Ganesh, the jovial elephant-headed Hindu god, believed to be the “remover of obstacles,” was the presiding deity in many of the homes Power visited. That is the Ginger and Ganesh of the title.

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