NRI Q&A: What are the pros and cons of raising kids in America for Indian American parents?

Response by our editor,?Mohan?follows

My wife and I moved to India this summer with our 7 year old , primarily to be closer to my aging parents. Our son spent over six years – through first grade – in the US, and we had been making annual trips to India.

So, here is a bit of musing on raising ?Indian American? kids in India (flip this for a response to the question)

America is a melting pot and people from literally all corners of the world continue to migrate and call it home.

  • While immigrants bring their distinct cultural identity along, they are expected to be ?American first.? It is expected that we think and act like an American, albeit a brown American.
  • Kids growing up in India acquire mannerisms, accent and usage of English distinct to South-Asia (nothing wrong in this)

India is changing, and cities in urban India are loosing the distinct cultural identities. Why do I say this?

    • Kids are as comfortable talking about the latest American sitcoms (or cartoons) as they are about Desi episodes. My son loves Kris and Bal Hanuman as much as he loves the escapades of Oggy and the cockroaches
    • This ?westernization? continues through childhood and by High school, kids (whose parents can afford to) begin finalizing plans to ?go abroad? for higher-education

Most public schools focus on academics and little else. The daily grind of commuting to work and school in India leaves little time for other activities like learning music or art.

    • Taking the child to a music class or Bal Vihar in an hour-long Uber/Ola ride after he gets back home at 4 or 5 PM is neither practical nor fun for the parent or child
    • Parents in India have to invest a lot more effort to ensure some ?cultural induction? for the kids. One can argue this is similar to the additional effort parents in the US put to take their kids to Violin Class (or a Gujarati class) an hour across town every week.

?Indian Values? This is perhaps the most overrated issue constantly discussed by Desi parents in the west.

    • The fact is that the values and mores many of us grew up with in India in the seventies, eighties have changed.
    • Indian Millennials are as ?globalized? or ?westernized? as their peers in America or England.
    • Middle class in urban India is struggling with some of the same challenges we see in the west – Youngsters moving in to live together, promiscuous relations etc.

So, what do I think of all this? My son enjoyed his time in the US. Although he sometimes misses his old school, he has begun to enjoy his new school; making, new friends, learning new languages like Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil are a big plus.


8 Ways to Incorporate Fruits in Banana Bread Recipes

We occasionally share recipes of interest with our readers. Here is one:

Sure, banana bread is great, but fruit banana bread is even better. The reason? It is healthier, fresher, and richer. You can incorporate any kind of fruit in any form:

  • Whole (berries)
  • Slices and dices
  • Mashed and pureed
  • Grated
  • Flaked
  • Dried
  • Caramelized
  • Preserves
  • Syrups
  • Juices
  • Zest
  • Fruit liqueurs

Here are some suggestions how to incorporate a few of them:

Pureed and Mashed Fruit Banana Bread

Pumpkin is the fruit that comes in the form of puree to make best banana bread recipe rich and autumn-y. Pair it with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. You will also find that all pumpkin recipes also involve vanilla and can be mixed with nuts and chocolate. I recommend preparing a classic pumpkin banana bread and top it with vanilla bean glaze made with vanilla bean paste, heavy cream, sugar, and salt.

Mashed avocado brings softness and creaminess to the banana loaf. Mash 2 small avocados combine them with either blueberries or chocolate chips.

Sliced and Diced Fruit Banana Bread (plus Examples with Caramelized and Grated Fruits)

Dice an apple or a pear (one cup). You can add them to the batter complemented with cinnamon, but they are even tastier when you caramelize them with butter, brown sugar, cornstarch and add them on top of each slice. Well, this version is not exactly healthy, but it is certainly delicious.

Besides apples and pears, you can add any fruit you wish- peaches, apricots, pineapples, mangoes?

If you don?t like feeling the fruit chunks, especially when the apples and pears you use are very fresh and hard, you can also grate them into the batter.

Whole Fruits Banana Bread (and a Preserves Example)

When I say whole fruits, I mean berries. And by berries, I mean any berry that comes to mind ? strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry? Add them to the batter or prepare some homemade jam to use on the side, for instance, my favorite strawberry jam.

Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to boil. Boil, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (use a food thermometer to check this).

Flaked Fruit Banana Bread

Flaked fruit = coconut flakes. Mix their unsweetened version with any other (overripe) fruit you have in your cupboard and you will get an instant tropical flavored banana loaf. I have also combined it with chocolate and nuts. Tastes perfect every time. But I think the best combo is the coconut-pineapple, especially the recipe that calls for pineapple-rum glaze made with pineapple juice, rum extract, toasted coconut, and powdered sugar. All these ingredients appear in the batter as well.

Dried Fruits Banana Bread

I am sure that the first fruit that comes to mind when hearing ?dried fruit? are raisins. One cup of raisins into the butter will suffice, and they are best to mix with nuts, especially walnuts.

However, my favorite dried fruit to use in banana quick-bread is the apricot. I don?t really like fresh apricots, but I adore them in banana loaves. Also, my dislike for the fresh version always leaves me with dying ones ready to reuse in my favorite sweet treat. It is best if you combine them with bourbon, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon and use them as a topping.

Fruit Syrup Banana Bread

You can use any kind of fruit (strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, peaches?) to prepare easy homemade syrups to use as toppings and sides for banana quick-breads. Syrups can also be used as sweeteners if you want some extra fruity flavor in your loaf.

Here is how to prepare a syrup. Combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 1/2 cups fruit, frozen or fresh, or squeezed fruit juice in a sauce and allow the mix to simmer for about 25 minutes or until the fruit softens and starts to fall apart. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a strainer. Let it cool and store in the fridge.

Juices and Zest Banana Bread

Any type of acidity makes batter-based goods fluffier, softer, and airier! Add at least a tablespoon of lemon, lime, or orange juice to the batter. Or add it in a cup of milk to create homemade buttermilk.

For extra tanginess, add 1-3 tablespoon of zest to the batter, or mix it with some maple syrup and vanilla and pour it on top of the bread slices. This is sure to wake you up instantly in the morning and is especially delicious when served with a cup of coffee or tea.

Fruit Liqueur Banana Bread

If you type ?fruit liqueur? on Google, you will get a list of amazing fruity liqueurs. Even their names will make your mouth water: Amarula, Curacao, Hesperidina, Lichido?Now imagine using them in your favorite sweet treat. Add 1/4 cup any type of liqueur to your recipe to create an unbelievable depth of flavor. Mix it with chocolate chips, and compliment with some vanilla.

4 Chicken Appetizer Recipes that Will Make Your Party Unforgettable

We occasionally share recipes of interest with our readers. Here is one:

The world of chicken appetizers is a fun world: skewers, balls, rolls, wraps, sliders?all made with chicken! They are perfect for all sorts of casual get-togethers for friends and family, from New Year?s parties to kids? birthdays. Chicken appetizers are so versatile, but they all have in common two important attributes – easy and simple. In addition, they are light, which makes them ideal for parties that involve alcohol, mingling, and dancing, allowing for a minimum mess!

#1 Skewered Chicken Appetizers

Why go for regular chicken appetizers when you can have ones with an Asian twist? The twist comes from the marinade which involves pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, fresh garlic, and fresh grated ginger. Prepare this the night before and all you need to do the following day is to arrange the chicken slices on the skewers, sprinkle some sesame seeds, and cook on a grill! Oh, yes, I am talking about caramelized pineapple! To enrich this dish additionally, reserve the marinade, simmer it and mix it with some peanut butter! Even better, caramelized pineapple in a nutty sauce!

#2 Slider Chicken Appetizers

Mini sandwiches a.k.a. sliders are the best way to save your leftover chicken meat from the day before. Or, you can make them from scratch. the recipe I like is made with chicken nuggets, only this time they are baked instead of fried, in order to make the, less fatty. The nuggets are marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce for at least 3 hours, then dipped in flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs (in that order). Finally, they are baked on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes. Originally, this recipe uses waffles instead of bread, but it is a matter of preference and convenience. Bread won?t spoil their taste at all. As for the add-ins, the suggested combo is bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato slices.Yum!

#3 Cheeseball Chicken Appetizers

OMG, I love these cheeseballs! They are perfectly cheesy and moist and no matter how big a batch you make, you won?t settle until you eat them all. I mean, you will literally get out of bed to finish them off. You will need an all-purpose baking mix for this chicken appetizer recipe. You can buy it from the store, but it is even better to throw it together at home (everything tastes better if made at home). Just combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and mix for about 20 seconds. Add some shortening and mix until the mixture is paste-like.

To form the chicken cheese balls, combine this baking mix with ground chicken meat, 2 tablespoons Salsa Picante hot sauce, 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, salt, and pepper. Form 2-inch balls, and place on a lined sheet pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

#4 Wrapped Chicken Appetizers

I was hesitating between chicken wrapped in lettuce or chicken wrapped in bacon and I decided to go fully decadent with the latter. I know, these wraps high-calorie and probably not so healthy, but I justify myself with the fact that they are small, so you can control how much you eat. If you manage to restrain yourself.

Slice the chicken into cubes and wrap them in bacon. Roll each wrap in a mixture made with brown sugar, chili powder, and cumin. Bake until brown and crispy. Very easy and ultra-delicious!

Elderly NRI and senior citizen

We continually update with new listings. In a new section for “Elderly NRIs”?of , we feature issues and listings featuring elderly and aging for Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and people of Indian origin.

The latest update is for?Anand Vihar, a premier 55-plus community in the United States.


The concept of Anand Vihar originated when two good friends envisioned creating a community where their parents could enjoy a vibrant, yet serene lifestyle in a close-knit community, while living in the best retirement city in the US.??

Drs. Krishna Nallamshetty and Seenu Sanka, long-time residents of Tampa Bay and local entrepreneurs, partnered?with two of the leading real estate developers in Florida, Santosh Govindaraju, CEO of Convergent Capital Partners, and Eric Isenbergh, CEO of Oxford Homes, to turn their vision into a reality.

You might be interested in the “Elderly NRI” section of

NRI Q&A: Is investing in land in India by NRIs a good and logical decision?

Here is a question from an online forum answered by our editor.

Is investing in land in India by NRIs a good and logical decision?

I see some downfalls in it.But let somebody answer this question.

Let us break the question down into the key components: Is investing in land in India by NRIs a good and logical decision?

Investing in Land – ?Like other investments in physical assets, the basic mantra holds – location, location, location.

  • A parcel of land Land in a tier-3 city, say in Sangli in Maharashtra may or may not generate the same return as in Mumbai.
  • Encroachments, squatting and land-grab are all too common. Therefore investing is land is inherently risky.

good and logical decision?

A ?good? and ?logical? investment takes into account risks (vs rewards). Higher the risk, greater the reward.

  • By this account, investing in Land is generally a good decision; as the old adage goes They don’t make land anymore
  • However, the regulatory system in India continues to be in a flux. And the legal system is bogged down with civil disputes, most of them involving land and property. Herein lies the risk

Bottomline: Investing in Land in India is not for the faint of heart. Invest wisely and with caution. Make sure you are able to safeguard the investment and stomach the risk.

ps: I have a personal story on investing in land and land-grab, that thankfully ended well? but will not bore you with the details.

India's Most Distinctive Awards for the Global Indians #YouDeserve

After its resounding success in the last three seasons, Times Now and ICICI Bank are back with the fourth installment of the prestigious NRI of the Year awards, 2017 to salute the spirit of the nimble-footed globetrotting Indians.

This prestigious award brings to fore the proud achievements of NRIs, bringing them to the world platform. This award is judged by an eminent jury, each of whose members, are accomplished individuals.

The NRI of the Year award commends exceptional achievements of NRIs, PIOs and OCIs in the following six categories: an entrepreneur, a professional, a start-up founder, a student, an artist, philanthropist across 4 major regions: America (Canada and USA), Middle East (Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE), Asia Pacific (Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore) and United Kingdom and Europe. These exceptional men and women have inspired many to not be deterred by challenges, to soldier on towards new landmarks, and give Indians the relentless zeal to work towards their goals.

From across the world, this year too, many inspirational stories of the Indian Diaspora are pouring in.

If you too have reached a milestone that you want to tell the world about or be recognized for, write in to us. This award will truly help catapult your many successes in front of your peers and those that are truly looking for inspirational stories that have borne the brunt of drawbacks, difficult circumstances and upheavals.

Entries for NRI of the Year, India’s most distinctive global awards, are closing soon.

Register now on

About NRI of the Year : ??Times Now ICICI Bank NRI of the Year awards powered by Global Indian International School (GIIS) is India’s most distinctive awards recognizing the outstanding achievements of the Indian Diaspora globally. With their grit and perseverance, Non Resident Indians (NRIs) have achieved tremendous success in various fields in the countries they have chosen to adopt as their homes. Many NRIs are accomplished politicians, scientists, sportsmen, businessmen, professionals and academicians in various countries and Times Now ICICI Bank ‘NRI of the Year’ awards recognize the success of these achievers.

[Press Release?]

NRIs bullish on Indian stocks, equity assets up 3-fold on Modi optimism

Non-residents remain bullish despite single-digit equity market returns since May 2014

The Indian diaspora has taken a liking to equities under the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Total equity assets owned by non-resident Indians (NRIs) have jumped nearly three fold to Rs 2,675 crore between December 2013 and December 2016, data provided by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) showed.

Although the Modi-government came to power in May 2014, the stock markets had started moving up in December 2013 in anticipation of a change of guard. The value of NRI holding in December 2013 stood at around Rs 900 crore. The increase in NRI assets is far higher than the 30 per cent gains on the Benchmark Sensex during this period.

Market players say they have seen an increase in new NRI accounts as well as improved flows in the existing accounts since the government took charge. They attribute the optimism to improvement in the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country, confidence in the new government and buoyancy in the primary markets.

NRI investments have persisted even though the equity market returns since May 2014 have been in single-digits. The Sensex had rallied close to 40 per cent between December 2013 and April 2014. However, a mix of global and domestic headwinds has taken some steam out of the rally. The Sensex lost more than five per cent during 2015, while it ended 2016 with near-zero returns.

Read the rest in?Business Standard