The Candid Eye

April 10, 2010

Ayurveda cooking new buzz in moms kitchen

Ayurveda cooking new buzz in moms kitchen

The Forgotten Ajwain Is Getting A New Lease Of Life As Antacid

Nandita Sengupta | TNN

New Delhi: Its back to the spice route in more ways than one. Taking grandmas gharelu nuskhe (home remedies) to a grander level, ayurvedic cooking – all about the right mix of spices and foods is the new buzz in the kitchen.
Cooking the ayurveda way is sheer chemistry: Food properties, what type goes with which spice, how to snap the time, temperature and mix right and mapping all this to a persons constituency . Its about rediscovering basic principles, says 27-year-old Kaushani Desai, a Mumbai SNDT Food & Nutrition graduate, now ayurveda cooking instructor with Art of Living.
Wrong combinations counter foods good properties while right combinations nullify the bad ones, says Desai. For instance, adding methi to pumpkin can kill its tendency to trigger acidity. Fruit-milk combines are a complete nono , replace cheese with grated mix of potato, nutpowder and salt; replace meat with a combination of root foods like potato, jimikand and sweet potato: for the same satisfaction are some quick tips.
Eating opposite to your nature is key, says Desai. So, a hot, light and dry diet is for those on the heavy and oily side. Desai also sees the time a person has for cooking and whats available (you cant have a grocery in your kitchen) to prescribe the balance.
With wrong cooking techniques, the healthiest diet wont yield any result. Recent convert 45-year-old Sangeeta Anand, for instance, always believed she ate right. A persistent back problem troubled despite a diet of of fruits and nuts. I had to sort out what was going wrong with me, she says. Healthier for having switched to holistic eating , she says, I never realised that my simple milk-tea and rusk in the morning were bad. Milk-tea takes a day to digest while the soda bicarb in rusk triggers acidity, says Anand.
She was comfortable with cheesy stuff, instant noodles and the like, says Shatakshi Chaudhry, 32, but everyday pains nagged. She never believed the way she cooked or when she ate would be as important as what she ate. Its about using spices intelligently, she says. Having once gone into the kitchen with newfound zeal, she says she needed no special diet. Her aches and pains disappeared. I’m not overeating or craving the wrong food, she says.
Realising the need for people to snack, Smita Naram started Swadshakti in Mumbai’s Malad an ayurveda restaurant , one of a handful. But with growing interest in holistic eating, more restaurants are on the cards.
Modern-day nutrition paradigm is fundamentally flawed, says Desai. It categorises people on the basis of their disease. So all diabetics are clubbed together , as are heart patients. But thats not how it is in real life. Ayurveda works on the principle that every individual is unique in how he/ she responds to food. Thats realistic, she says.
Finally, the acid test for any cook is to have boys sampling the wares. My sons loved it, says Tripta Dhawan, of tawa-fried cutlets coated in magaz , a powdered mix of melon, pumpkin, cucumber and sunflower seeds. Her kitchen now is an ayurvedic lab of sorts.

Busting Ayurveda Myths

Its banal |

No, its not karela juice and lauki. Its all foods and spices normally used. Funda is to cook right food at right time with right spices

Takes hours, kitchen has to be rejigged |

Same spices, same foods, only cooking techniques change

Individual body types/doshas of kapha (earth & water), pitta (fire) and vatta (air) cant be catered to |

Ayurveda a holistic approach, a balancing act. A meal caters to all

Spice Route

Cardamom, cumin, ginger, cinnamon are good for all

Vatta |

Go for cloves, mustard seed, small quantities of black pepper

Pitta |

Go for fennel, ground ginger, spirulina, coriander, dill, parsley, mint, cardamom, anise, basil

Kapha |

Go for dill, clove, basil, sage, curry, parsley, oregano, pippali, black pepper, ajwain, fenugreek, cayenne





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January 31, 2010

Kerala Court gives a big blow to Caste based reservation!!

Filed under: Congress,Education,India,Indian Politics,UPA — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , ,

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday urged backward communities to stop depending on reservations and compete for jobs and education with mainstream sections.

Caste Based Reservation in India : Image Courtesy - http://en.wikipedia.org/

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S.R. Bannurmath and Justice A.K. Basheer pointed out that time had come to review caste-based reservation as achieving excellence in educational and professional fields required competitiveness.

Vote bank politics : Image Courtesy - http://www.outlookindia.com/

The bench made these comments while dismissing a petition filed by the Kerala Muslim Jamaat Council challenging the state government’s decision to give reservation for the poor among upper castes in degree and post-graduate courses.

Terming the petitioner’s stance as “uncharitable,” the judges said that reservation to the poor among upper castes would in no way affect the rights of backward classes and pointed out that many among the forward communities had slipped to penury after land reforms were enacted.

The bench said that reservation has caused revolutionary change in the socio-economic situation of the people from the backward classes and time had come for them to stop depending on quotas. “Now they have to wake up from the slumber of satiated insouciance,” it said. Instead, backward classes should try to gain jobs and admission in educational institutions through open competition.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

October 9, 2009

Vande Mataram

Source: HJS

Few years back, there was a huge outcry over the central government order, that Vandemataram song to be sung on its centenary day celebrations. Many state goverments had officially made it clear that singing Vandemataram song in schools and colleges was not necessary Sanatan Sanstha, an NGO which is involved in promoting scientific spirituality has done a research on Vande Mataram song and has come up with astounding facts.

The importance of ‘Vande Mataram’ as compared to various other songs as told by H.H.Dr. Jayant Athavale.

Song /Song Type
Potential in words (%)
Importance of tune (%)
Vande Mataram
90
10
*Nursery Rhymes
90
10
**The Shaktistavan
‘Aadi Shakti Tu
Ant Shakti Tu’
50
50
The songs giving
importance to
emotions
30
70
Classical Music
5
95

* Though this proportion is same as ‘Vande Mataram’, the effect occurs on small children and the effect of ‘Vande Mataram’ occurs on older (Patriotic Nationals) persons.

** In order to attain the effect of the words, there has to an ideal 50% proportion of tune and word. It is present in the Kshatrageet of Sanatan Sanstha ‘AadiShakti Tu Ant Shakti Tu’

Bharat Mata

Bharat Mata

Full Wording of the Song:-

Lyrics of Vande Mataram
वन्दे मातरम्
सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम्
शस्यशामलां मातरम् ।
शुभ्रज्योत्स्नापुलकितयामिनीं
फुल्लकुसुमितद्रुमदलशोभिनीं
सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिणीं
सुखदां वरदां मातरम् ।। १ ।। वन्दे मातरम् ।
कोटि-कोटि-कण्ठ-कल-कल-निनाद-कराले
कोटि-कोटि-भुजैर्धृत-खरकरवाले,
अबला केन मा एत बले ।
बहुबलधारिणीं नमामि तारिणीं
रिपुदलवारिणीं मातरम् ।। २ ।। वन्दे मातरम् ।
तुमि विद्या, तुमि धर्म
तुमि हृदि, तुमि मर्म
त्वं हि प्राणा: शरीरे
बाहुते तुमि मा शक्ति,
हृदये तुमि मा भक्ति,
तोमारई प्रतिमा गडि
मन्दिरे-मन्दिरे मातरम् ।। ३ ।। वन्दे मातरम् ।
त्वं हि दुर्गा दशप्रहरणधारिणी
कमला कमलदलविहारिणी
वाणी विद्यादायिनी, नमामि त्वाम्
नमामि कमलां अमलां अतुलां
सुजलां सुफलां मातरम् ।। ४ ।। वन्दे मातरम् ।
श्यामलां सरलां सुस्मितां भूषितां
धरणीं भरणीं मातरम् ।। ५ ।। वन्दे मातरम् ।।

Translation by Shree Aurobindo
Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
bright with orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving Mother of might,
Mother free.

Glory of moonlight dreams,
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.

Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands
When the sword flesh out in the seventy million hands
And seventy million voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call Mother and Lord!
Though who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foeman drove
Back from plain and Sea
And shook herself free.

Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou art heart, our soul, our breath
Though art love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nervs the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her
swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
And the Muse a hundred-toned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother lend thine ear,
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleems,
Dark of hue O candid-fair

In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Lovilest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A much abridged version is sometimes sung, which is not correct. Just because there is reference to the words “Durga” and “Mandir”, you cannot use a pseudo secular sizer to cut parts of the song. True spiritualism will inform us to understand that Durga refers to our defence and protection energy and Mandir can be a common name for any place of worship.

Its important to notice that in India we have an idea, concept and practice of motherland. With this, we don’t generally go and invade other neighboring countries. Also when one has that honor for the land you are born in, one will not do anything that will harm the country. In your home you don’t spit in any room, you go to basin. So also there is space for toilet.  More the awareness of the home-land is in the citizen, less he/she will pollute, litter or abuse the countryside.

Various reports on Vande Mataram Controversy

September 21, 2009

Consumers reject GM food, demand Nestlé India go GM free.

New Delhi: 16th September 2009: More than 500 consumers today pledged to return their Nestlé products to the company’s corporate office in Rajiv Chowk today, even as Nestlé continued to deny the consumers their right to GM free products. Greenpeace volunteers, who acted on behalf of more than 20,000 consumers across the country, placed the rejected products marked with question marks, into larger than life nests in front of the office building, parodying Nestlé’s well known logo. This symbolized questionable contents of Nestlé products owing to the company’s failure to have a GM free policy.

MG_4999-150x150

Greenpeace India released the Safe Food Guide in New Delhi recently ranking 17 major food companies as ‘green’ or ‘red’ on the basis of their policies regarding the use of genetically modified ingredients. Only two companies Nestlé, and Hindustan Unilever had indicated a policy which favoured the use of GMOs.

Hindustan Unilever, which was initially slotted in the ‘red’ list, has since clarified to Greenpeace that it does not use any GM ingredients in its products. This clarification by HUL has made Nestlé, with brands like Maggi, Cerelac, Lactogen, Kitkat and Nescafe, under its umbrella, one of the big brands, openly supporting the use of GM ingredients in its products.

As a result of the pro GM food position indicated by Nestlé, thousands of consumers across the country have started demanding that Nestlé, in sync with its policies in the European Union and Russia, should go GM free in India as well. Over 21000 emails have been sent to the Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé India, Mr. Antonio Waszyk demanding that Nestlé India go GM free.

Last week, Greenpeace in China discovered Nestlé’s baby food products contaminated with GM ingredients. Like India, Nestlé has had a history of disregard to consumers in China. Soon after the news of this scandal, over a 100 people called the Nestlé India head office demanding a GM free policy from the company.

“Overwhelming public opinion shows that consumers reject GM food as unsafe and unnatural. Nestlé needs to respect consumer choice and declare itself GM free like it has in Europe and Russia. Anything else will be merely a manifestation of double standards. If MTR foods can, why can’t Nestlé” said Jai Krishna, campaigner with Greenpeace India.

(1) Of the 17 major food brands, 6 are in the ‘green’ list. 11 companies are in the red list. In the green list, MTR is the only company to have a policy rejecting GMOs in their food products. For the entire guide log on to http://www.safefoodnow.org

(2) http://www.greenpeace.org/china/en/news/nestle-baby-food
India has not approved any GM food crops as of today. However there are more than 11 food crops which have been under hundreds of acres of field trials. In addition to this, unauthorized imports of packaged foods and even grains, makes the threat of contamination a reality.

September 20, 2009

The Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods

Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 114, Number 3, March 2006 Open Access
spacer

The Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods

Letter: Margulis C

spacer

September 19, 2009

Greenpeace uncovers illegal GM food in India

New Delhi, India — Greenpeace today confirmed the presence of illegal Genetically Modified [GM] food in India at a press conference. Tests conducted at an independent laboratory on products picked up randomly from a supermarket in New Delhi has revealed that Pepsico’s Doritos Corn Chips contain genetically modified Mon 863 and NK 603 variety corn ingredients. [1]

Both Mon 863 and NK 603 are Monsanto’s genetically modified corn varieties. Mon 863 has a bacterial gene to give pest tolerance, while NK 603 has a bacterial gene for herbicide tolerance. An Independent analysis last year, done by the Committee for Independent Research and Information On Genetic Engineering [Crii-Gen] lead by Prof Gilles Eric Seralini, a member of the French National Committee For Risk Assessment of GMOs had concluded that both Mon 863 and NK 603 pose serious health impacts [2]. The debate that ensued led many countries in Europe including France and Romania to stop the cultivation of GM corn. None of these varieties have been approved in India for human consumption.

“Though India has a law prohibiting the sale of any genetically modified food products with out the permission of Genetic Engineering Approval Committee [3], the presence of these products in the supermarket shelves proves that the regulatory system is in shambles. India seems to have become a dumping ground for genetically modified products that have been rejected due to their risk to health elsewhere,” said Rajesh Krishnan, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, Greenpeace India.

Greenpeace had received RTI responses from the Director General of Health services, Director General of Foreign Trade and the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the three agencies involved in regulation of import of Genetically Modified food in the country, declaring that no permission has been granted for the import and sale of any Genetically modified Food in India other than purified Soya oil [3].

“This is a serious violation of people’s right to safe food as consumers are being kept ignorant of the presence of potentially dangerous GM ingredients in the food products. There is growing scientific evidence on the health hazards of GM foods across the world and it cannot be ignored any more. The mandate of keeping hazardous food out of the country should be the duty of the Health Ministry and it should take immediate steps to stop the illegal entry of these foods,” said Dr Mira Shiva, of the Initiative for Health, Equity and Society.

Greenpeace is demanding that the Health ministry take notice of this serious violation and threat to human health and constitute the Food Safety and Standards Authority at the earliest.
In the meanwhile,
1. Effect an immediate confiscation of these products from the market, keeping in mind their potential health risk.

2. All imported food products should be embargoed and tested for any GM contamination and GM products found should be rejected.

Notes to Editor

[1] Greenpeace had picked up 3 random products containing corn from Le Marche, a super market in Vasant Vihar in January this year. The products were sent to an independent laboratory for DNA analysis for confirmation of the presence of GM ingredients. The PCR analysis had confirmed the presence of the GM ingredients in the corn chips.
The test results are available with Greenpeace and can be shared on request.

[2] The study on Mon 863 was published in the American journal, Archives of Environmental contamination and toxicology dated May 2007, and is available on line http://www.springerlink.com/content/02648wu132m07804/?p=d84fa910926d4c7492a585a386b28812π=18

[3] Under the Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro Organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells (1989), Rule 7 (1) states “No person shall import, export, transport, manufacture, process, use or sell any hazardous micro organisms, genetically engineered organisms/substances or cells except with the approval of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee.” Rule 11 states: “Foodstuff, ingredients in food stuffs and additives including processing and containing or consisting of genetically engineered organisms or cells, shall not be produced, sold, imported or used except with the approval of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee.”

[4] The RTI responses have been annexured.

Vision, video, photos, report information

Jayashree Nandi- Greenpeace India Communications, +91-9343868011, jnandi@in.greenpeace.org Rajesh Krishnan, Campaigner, Sustainable Agriculture, +91-9845650032, rkrishna@in.greenpeace.org

September 11, 2009

Wisdom of Sages – 1. Chardham Yatra

In India, Language and taste of water changes every 20 km. India is a rich country of diverse culture and practices. It also invites lots of differences because of this diversity. What we talk of national integration today, was already achieved in 8th Century by Adi Shankaracharya!! The great 8th century reformer and Sage, Adi Shankaracharya was prominently involved in reviving the Hindu Dharma in India.Adi_Shankara_recoloured He traveled throughout the country and grouped the four sacred places Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Puri and Dwarka as the Char Dham which are dedicated to the Vishnu Avatars (incarnations). Geographically spealking the char dham make a perfect square with Badrinath and Rameswaram falling on same longitude and Dwarka(old) and Puri on same latitude, representing the farthest north east west and south points of India( at that time, before coastlines changed).

char-dham

So, when people from south travel to north, and east to west, they get to know their country, the people of their country, the diversity of culture and so many differences fizzle out. India is a country of unity in diversity, and its origins lie in this great work of Sages.

Badrinath Temple is located in the North Indian state of Uttarkhand. It is in the Garhwal hills, on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The town lies between the Nar and Narayana mountain ranges and in the shadow of Nilkantha peak (6,560m).Badrinath_temple

Badri refers to a berry that was said to grow abundantly in the area, and nath refers to Vishnu. The legend Shankara discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda river. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. In the sixteenth century, the King of Garhwal moved the murti to the present temple.

Dwarka located in the West is in the state of Gujarat, India. The city derives its name from word dvar meaning door or gate in the Sanskrit language. It is located close to where the Gomti River merges into the Gulf of Kutch. The city lies in the westernmost part of India.Dwarkadheesh_temple

The legendary city of Dwaraka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dwaraka has submerged six times and modern day Dwarka is the 7th such city to be built in the area.

Puri located in the East is located in the state of Orissa, India. Puri is one of the oldest cities in the eastern part of the country. It is situated on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.Temple-Jagannath

It is the only shrine in India, where Goddess Radha also referred to as Durga, Sati, Parvati, Shakti abode here with Lord Krishna who is Jagannatha. Puri is the site of the Govardhana matha, one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankaracharya.

Rameswaram located in the South is in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the very tip of the Indian peninsula. According to legends, this is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge Ram Setu(also known as Adam’s Bridge). The Ramanatha Swamy Temple occupies major area of Rameshwaram.

Rameswaram_Gopuram

Rameshwaram is significant for the Hindus as a pilgrimage to Benaras is incomplete without a pilgrimage to Rameswaram. The presiding deity here is in the form of a Linga with the name Sri Ramanatha Swamy, it also is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.

Source:- Wikipedia, 1st PUC History Textbook in Karnataka.

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