"You want to tell me what was in there?"
Actor Kal Penn has revealed that he is hesitant when it comes to eating at Indian restaurants.
He was a guest on Lilly Singh’s talk show and he explained that they “lie” to their diners.
When Lilly asked the Harold & Kumar star about it, Kal bluntly replied:
“It’s very simple, our people lie.”
He went on to explain that due to his nut allergy, he asks the staff at every restaurant to make sure that his food does not contain nuts.
Kal said: “Oftentimes, I’ll order Indian food or I’ll go in and talk to the uncle and tell him ‘look, I’m allergic to cashews, almonds, pistachios’ and I’ll say it in three languages and they’ll go ‘yeah, yeah, there’s none of that here’.
“I’ll ask them, ‘can you please go check with the chef’ and they say ‘main chef hoon (I’m the chef)’.”
He said that after the food arrives, he would take one bite and his throat would start to close.
Calling the staff member over, Kal told him: “I got about nine minutes to get to the hospital. You want to tell me what was in there?
“What kind of nuts are in here?”
Kal added that the staff member continued to deny that there were any nuts despite the allergic reaction.
After asking what was in the food, the staff member responded:
“There is lentil, there is onion, garlic, cashew, tomato and –.”
Kal’s story prompted the audience to burst out laughing before the actor went on. He interrupted the staff member by saying:
“Wait, wait, go back! Go back before the tomato, man! Cashew?”
Kal explained that the staff member responded: “Yeah, but it’s in the paste.”
Watch Kal Penn explain how Indian Restaurants “Lie”
The clip from A Little Late with Lilly Singh went viral and many Indians stated that it is quite common.
One person wrote:
“Yep, we Indians aren’t very honest about the food ingredients. Ask for less spicy and we’ll give you extra hot.”
On a more serious note, others pointed out that Kal Penn spoke about a real problem.
“I’m Indian and allergic to nuts and this is the story of my life! So glad you addressed this as it really is a problem with our people, and I’ve nearly died because of this.”
Prior to their conversation about Indian restaurants, Lilly and Kal spoke about how far the entertainment has come in terms of diversity.
Kal spoke about the auditions he would get in the past.
“Some of it was phenomenally stereotypical, more than you would ever see today, thankfully. And then some stuff was really awesome and aspirational.”
At the time, Kal hoped that there would be enough diversity in the industry that would look back and say:
“This is cool how far we’ve all come together.”
Lilly is one of the few women to host a late-night TV show on a major broadcast network. Her first guest was actress and writer Mindy Kaling.