The 21st Show

Urvashi Pitre’s Butter Chicken; The Best Book in Illinois; Documenting Hate Crimes in Illinois


Urvashi Pitre/Two Sleevers

On the 21st: We chat with cookbook author and blogger Urvashi Pitre. Plus, Illinoisans vote on the book that best represents the state. What's your pick? And, we speak to journalists at ProPublica who are working on ways to better document hate cimes across Illinois and the country. 

Urvashi Pitre has been cooking for most of her life. But it wasn’t until last year that it became a way to de-stress from her day job, where she’s founder and president of her own company in Dallas. It was never meant to be more than that. But over the past year, Urvashi has shared her recipes with millions of people, whether it’s through her food blog, her cookbooks, or huge Facebook groups with those who are hoping to up their culinary game.

And oftentimes, it’s all done through the phenomenon known as the Instant Pot. Urvashi is the author of the Indian Instant Pot Cookbook and the Keto Instant Pot Cookbook. She will be at Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago on Sunday (June 11) at 11:00 am. 


As Illinois celebrates its 200th birthday, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is asking people to vote on the Best of Illinois in different categories -- from movies to athletes to scenic spots. And today is your last chance to vote on what book you think best represents the state. We were joined by Chris Wills from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and John Hallwas, a professor, literary scholar and historian at Western Illinois University to talk about the best Illinois books. 


Over this past Memorial Day weekend, 200 headstones and monuments were found spray-painted with swastikas in a western Illinois cemetery in the village of Glen Carbon. Within 24 hours of the discovery, authorities announced they had arrested 34-year-old Timothy McClean. He’s been charged with not just institutional vandalism and criminal damage, but also with hate crimes.

But how often do people get charged with hate crimes? And how hard it is document? That’s the challenge ProPublica has taken on over the past year. And they need your help. ProPublica Illinois’s Logan Jaffe and Sandhya Kambhampati have been working on ways to do just that. They joined me on the phone earlier this week, from their office in Chicago.

Story source: WILL