August NINSletter

Greetings friends! In this august NINSletter we have delicious eats and a delicious news roundup. Check out the recipe below from our past spice of the week chef Siska Silatonga Marcus of Chilicali!


“If I was a spice i would be birds eye chili”

Capsicum anuum

Bird's eye chili, bird's chili, piri piri or Thai chili is a chili pepper, a variety from the species Capsicum annuum commonly found in Ethiopia and across Southeast Asia. It is used extensively in Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian, and Vietnamese cuisines.

Siska is a chef and entrepreneur. You can learn more about her by following her on IG (@chilicali) and p.s. she will be cooking up some amazing surprise eats at our October 5 event: BBQ without Borders (save the date!)

Terong Sambal Kemangi / Eggplant in Basil Sambal

Terong Sambal Kemangi / Eggplant in Basil Sambal

The recipe is for 2 people:


500g Asian Eggplants

1tsp salt (add if needed) 

1 cup Grapeseed oil (or other high smoke point oil) for frying 

2 tbsp shrimp paste 

40g Brown Sugar 

Sambal Ingredients: 

250 Fresno Pepper. Cut each pepper to 2-3 pieces

50g Thai Basil/ Lemon Basil. Pick and remove leaves from stems

100g Minced Shallots

100g Diced Tomatoes



Soup ladle


Food processor 


Step 1 - Blend all sambal ingredients in a food processor. Choose pulse mode. Set aside.

Step 2-  Cut eggplants 2-3 inches lengthwise than half each piece. 

Step 3- In a wok, or skillet, heat oil, high heat. fry the eggplants until the meat is golden brown. 

Step 4- Remove the eggplants. Set aside. 

Step 5- Using a ladle, remove about 1/2 cup of the oil from the wok/ skillet. Leave about 2 tbsp in it to cook the sambal. 

Step 6-Reheat remaining oil in the wok/ skillet and add the chunky sambal paste. 

Step 7-Add shrimp paste, salt, and brown sugar. Mix well with a spatula. Cook in medium heat for about 7 minutes. 

Step 8- Add eggplants into the sambal mixture. Serve with white rice. 

*This recipe can be made with ChiliCali Sambal Base by replacing the Fresno peppers with 3 cups of Sambal Base and adding 100g extra tomatoes to the recipe. 

Now for the news

Now for the news

July Immigration News Roundup

Cassandra Talley Esq.

First up, we have, at last, some good news! But it’s only good news because of our president’s gross incompetence. But, hey, we’ll take it! The Trump Administration had promised that immigration raids would be occurring in mid-July but, thankfully, for reasons unknown—though I’ll chalk it up to a pattern of disorganization and incompetence that seems to plague this administration—they have not occurred.

This is a good read for how the Trump Administration is also curtailing the legal immigration system. Leon Rodriguez was the Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service from 2014-2017. As Leon points out, and as any immigration practitioner will tell you, the uptick in “Requests for Evidence” on immigration petitions very often request information that was already submitted or information that is irrelevant to the determination. Because of this it was the common opinion among the immigration bar in my city that these requests were issued solely as a means of slowing down the process. This deacceleration can have real and lasting consequences for immigrations in our communities: delayed family reunification for the employee and added expense on the part of the corporate employer, to name only a few. It’s a waste of time and resources and I can’t even imagine how repetitive and frustrating it must be for the average USCIS case manager who has to issue these duplicative requests. USCIS is tasked with administering immigration benefits and, notably, not enforcement. Leon’s quote here is important: “And the Trump administration’s proposed 2020 budget seeks to transfer more than $200 million in applicant fees out of USCIS into ICE to pay for, among other things, hundreds of ICE enforcement officer positions, even though USCIS officials asserted under oath that budget and fiscal constraints do not allow USCIS to hire the volume of personnel needed to process its caseload.”

Let’s end with a heartwarming story out of Tennessee. When ICE came calling for an undocumented man, his neighbors came together and formed a human chain so he could get inside his house. Without a proper warrant ICE eventually left. Stories like these help restore my faith in humanity which is sorely needed these days when it comes to reading news about immigration.

BBQ without Borders!!

BBQ without Borders!!

P.S. Save the date: October 5 : BBQ without Borders from 5-9 pm in downtown oakland at impact hub. 3 immigrant chefs doing their riff on BBQ + music + dance + art + community = great times . xoxox

vibha gupta