A story of burnt toast

Burnt Toast

This morning I burned my breakfast toast. Actually most human problems are related to their zeal. So did my problem. I was trying to make the toast crispy. Little more than average. While this delicate and complicated process was in motion, phone chuckled
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Living in butter chicken capital aka New Delhi!

It is springs time in New Delhi. Flowers are everywhere. Bloom is overwhelming. Night is pleasantly cool. Morning sun is also pleasing. No sign of winter except when chilly winds blow but that too is limited to few occasions in the day.

Springs 2013 in NewDelhi

Springs 2013 in New Delhi

Prison of lifestyle:

New Delhi is not just political capital of India, it is ‘Butter Chicken‘ Capital of the world. The outbreak of swine flu at many places in India, does not matter.  Butter Chicken is the most popular non vegetarian delicacy which is full of fat. As a vegetarian I may like to call Delhi as ‘Chole Bhature‘ capital but that is not possible because there is no possibility of addiction to ‘Chole Bhature’ even if that is the most popular vegetarian dish or lunch in New Delhi. Butter Chicken is generally the dinner delicacy. And it now appears to be addictive.

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About yesterday!

A day in my life.

In retrospect yesterday appears to be an eventful day. Full of happenings, which will have long term impact. However while living yesterday it felt so uneventful. That is what we also call boring. But that is just a label.
For many days I was trying to cook a low fat recipe of Mushrooms. I skipped morning walk. Finished my morning chores and finally cooked Mushrooms. It turned out well and I left it to be sent to me with my tiffin for lunch. Alas when I opened my lunch, I found that most of the gravy, I was so preciously cooking, had been spilled. So the perfection has to wait. The recipe has to wait for another time when it shall be tried. Continue reading

Lost history and meaning of Vegetarianism in Hinduism and in West!

Definition of Vegetarian

In ordinary parlance any body who confines himself to a diet which excludes animal flesh or body parts is vegetarian. An extreme form of vegetarianism may involve complete abstinence from animal products i.e. Milk and eggs etc. as well. Not to use dead animal’s skin for footwear or other body wear may also be part of oral vegetarian practice. Vegetarianism is essentially a way of life which involves least violence.

Non-violence and least violence

Non-violence may be nearest translation of the Sanskrit/Hindi word “Ahinsa” (also spelled as Ahimsa) but that is not correct definition any more. In reality it is difficult to find true vegetarian. To understand this dichotomy, we should dwell on “Non-violence”, a little more.

Gandhian non-violence

The Non-Violence is of course an English word but it became a translation when Gandhi started Civil Disobedience and Quit India Movement against the English Rule on the principle what he called was Ahimsa. That was a political movement and not religious or spiritual movement. It was the determination of Gandhi, who as a leader would dare the English Police to arrest him, for that he and his followers would not accept foreign rule and thus disobey every order. Even the order to vacate the street. People would sit down or even lie down on the street in support. Now this movement for freedom was non-violent in the sense that Gandhi and people following would suffer injury from the arms of English Police but would not retaliate or attack physically. But as history tells us it had a far worse retaliation on the psyche of the attacker. Now with all due respect, it was not a Non-violence. It was Non-Retaliation. Even if we assume that it was Non-violence, then it had nothing to do with vegetarianism. Wikipedia and everybody got it completely wrong. To understand the ahimsa and true non-violence or vegetarianism, we have to dwell deeper into the matter. Continue reading

Where is my Pizza? Is it Italian or Indian?


Pizza from the box

What is an Italian Pizza?

The chinese food sold in India is not Chinese but it is Indian Chinese Food. I wonder if same is the position of Pizza. Domino and Slice of Italy are my favourite but I always wonder if it taste same as actual Italian Pizza?
Few years back I may have ventured to Italian Embassy to find out if their canteen serve ethnic pizza but the terrorists have made us prisoners of our fears and any one asking unusual question at highly secured place like a foreign embassy at New Delhi, may not get right answer. Would they have a public canteen for ordinary Indian citizen?

Geographical Misrepresentation:

Geographical names are so blatantly misused that often it goes by unnoticed. Nobody is bothered by Geographical Indication ……. Act, 1999 which was enacted to curb such mischief. Mozzarella cheese is protected under European Union Geographical indications and traditional specialities.
Do these Pizza maker import all the cheese from Italy? If not, it can not be called Mozzarella.
Now if Slice of Italy is not adding any ingredient to its pizza by actually importing it from Italy, can it call it Italian Pizza? Or should it be called “Indian Italian Pizza” or “Indian Pizza, cooked Italian way”?
After all anything resembling round shape Italian bread with cheese over it is not pizza. Even if it is, yet it is not Italian Pizza, unless the recipe is Italian.
This brings to second problem, except a few, all pizzas sold in India with vegetarian topping are recipes created in India by Indians and for Indians. So how Italian is my Pizza served in New Delhi?
I think very little Italian.
Welcome to the Authentic Indian Pizza.

Pizza ladies on the wall.

© (including images) Sandeep Bhalla