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Monthly Archives: June 2008

Must Watch: Future Of food

Future of food is a documentary that delves into the mass production of food that has given rise to patented, genetically engineered crops. These companies, in their quest for high yields, have killed zillions of varieties of indigenous crops. I first go to know about the loss of bio-diversity when I watched this news item on a seed bank in Norway; did you know that till the mid-1800s there were over 3000 varieties of apples and now all that are left are a few hundred varieties?

This documentary raises some very pertinent questions, especially on how the crops (and seeds) are managed. Typically, farmers save a few good quality seeds from their harvest to use for the next season. Now, there are big corporations like Monsanto entering the foray and enticing the farmers with higher yields by using their seeds. After the harvest, the farmers cannot re-use the seeds as the plants are genetically modified such that the seeds do not give raise to saplings. This makes the farmers dependent on these big corporations for seeds every year and this eventually kills locally grown crops. Farmers are realizing (and understanding) the ill-effects of using these seeds now which has led to them modifying their approach.

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Posted by on June 25, 2008 in General, Uncategorized

 

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Shhh… its a secret, nay 10 secrets

Lekhni tagged me (why me, I say) to reveal 10 secrets about me. Well, if they are secrets, aren’t they supposed to remain, err, secret??? No says Lekhni and dares me to come clean.

a) I can be obssessive-compulsive at times (similar to Monk) – as in if I touch my forehead with right hand, would do it with my left hand too, so on and so forth. Thank God, not always!

b) I tend to be extremely superstitious, especially during exam time – I remember my lucky pen was a green Hero pen (anyone remembers those?) and wrote all my X and XII grade exams using that pen, except for Chemisty. Incidentally, I scored maximum in Chemistry – so much for luck and superstition šŸ™‚

c) This one is not really a secret, atleast not anymore – I have never tasted coffee in my life. Yes, yes, it is weird especially since I am from Madras, synonymous for filter kaapi and The Hindu. But no sir, not me.

d) Left to myself, I would sleep all day. I had (rather, still do) this poster, gifted by a few friends, that proudly claims “Sleeping is my favorite sport” and it is so true.

e) One trip that I definitely want to do in my lifetime is Kailash – Lake Manasarovar yatra.

Five down – Five to go…

f) I would rather travel to see nature than cities. I realized this when I went to Utah and Nevada and liked canyons better than the strip šŸ™‚

g) I love to engage in a discussion and argue (sometimes just for the sake of arguing :-P) – some of my best friends are folks with whom I first argued. Guess that is my weird way to bond!

h) My dream job as a kid was to become an IAS officer. I worked @ the Customs Department in Madras for a few months and figured that I am not cut out to work for the Government – bureaucracy is not my cup of tea.

i) I buy only books that I think I will read a second time, otherwise I don’t consider them worth-buying; so I usually don’t buy fictions.

j) Although I am a foodie @ heart and experiment with my cooking and palette, my favorite / soul food is thayir saadam – mor milagai (curd rice – dry-roasted chillies).

Finally! There you go – ten down. Now I dare Mitr, The Taste Tinkerer, Spillay, Priya and Nandita to reveal their secrets.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

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Bisi Bele Bath inspired by A Thousand Splendid Suns

The second book chosen for both Cook’s book club and Thoughtful Thursdays were coincidentally the same – A Thousand Splendid Suns. After having read and liked The KiteRunner, I was curious to read the second book by Khaled Hosseini. It is one thing to impress with a well-written first book, after all there is no reputation at stake, but quite another to keep that up and come up with a winner the second time over. While I wouldn’t call this a winner, Khaled did not flatter to deceive.

The book, again set in Afghanistan, is the story of two very different women, one old enough to be the mother of the other, and whose life touches and by a twist of fate, merges. The book, written from the perspective of Mariam and Laila alternatively, gives us a sneak-peak into a woman’s life in war-torn Kabul. The two women, married to the same man and forced to live together, slowly accept the presence of each other in their life, bond with each other over tea and end up caring for each other when the husband becomes their common nemesis.

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Posted by on June 19, 2008 in Books, Cooking, Desi, Traditional cooking

 

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Tofu bake with Thai dipping

When you have peanut sauce, can tofu be far behind? I prepared tofu very much similar to this, except for a couple of changes.

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Posted by on June 16, 2008 in Cooking, Thai

 

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Thai Peanut Sauce

May be due to the use of similar spices or an abundance of coconut and peanut in the food – whatever it be, most Indians especially South Indians really like Thai Food. I have made Pad Thai at home and when I saw this recipe, I knew I had a perfect recipe for a peanut sauce. Thanks Susan. This sauce is perfect with tofu and veggies on brown rice for dinner or as a side to tofu for hors dā€™ oeuvres.

Thai Sauce

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Posted by on June 15, 2008 in Cooking, Thai

 

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Go green with spinach

Circa 2003. Those were early days of blogging and Route 79 was one of those early blogs that I use to read regularly. Written by a second generation Indian from Britain, he used to write about myriad topics including food. He chronicled a lot of authentic Punjabi recipes coming straight from his kitchen and were not as oil-masala loaded as the restaurant dishes. Given our love for spinach (spinach masiyal, the South Indian preparation of spinach is a staple in our house), it is no wonder that we love Saag and I never quite mastered the art of making it, till I found the fool-proof way in Route 79’s kitchen. I have made this recipe several times and it has turned out well every single time without any mishaps. This is my entry for Your Recipe Rocks event started by Madhu for this month.

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Posted by on June 6, 2008 in Cooking, Desi

 

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Booky tag

Just when I was going through, what I thought was a blogger’s block, Rads of tunneling thru’ tagged me and also threw in a challenge. I am not sure if I beat her in the turnover rate but this is my personal best – responding to a tag within a few hours (as opposed to a few days). It was not just the challenge that spurred me on but also because this tag involved books – encouraging folks to pick a book that they might have forgotten and try to make them read the book.

The rules:

Pick up the nearest book.
Open to page 123.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the next three sentences.
Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you

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Posted by on June 3, 2008 in Books

 

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