Seaweeds Can Help In Treating Hypertension, Finds Study

Seaweeds Can Help In Treating Hypertension, Finds Study

Seaweeds Can Help In Treating Hypertension, Finds Study Seaweeds Can Help In Treating Hypertension, Finds Study NDTV Food Desk (with inputs from IANS) | Updated: May 29, 2019 14:33 IST Tweeter Hypertension treatment medicine: seaweed extract
Modern lifestyle comes with the humdrum of sprightly and tiresome everyday routines. Amid all the running around against time and taking care of societal and family responsibilities, our health takes a backseat. Of all the lifestyle related diseases, hypertension, depression and anxiety are becoming increasingly common these days due to living a more stressed life. Hypertension shows in the form of high blood pressure when blood applies a greater force on the walls of the blood vessels. The dysfunction of blood vessels poses the danger of suffering from heart ailments like heart attack or heart stroke. Hypertension can be curtailed by making lifestyle changes and amending one’s diet but still it is a rather difficult problem to get rid of fast and permanently.
Thankfully, a recent scientific breakthrough has come with a probable solution for combating hypertension. The city-headquartered Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) discovered that seaweeds can be used to make a nutraceutical product – Cadalmin Antihypertensive extract (Cadalmin AHe) – that can be administered orally to treat hypertension. The drug was released by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
(Also Read: 5 Summer Fruits To Manage High Blood Pressure ) Seaweed is a kind of algae that is mostly found in the Indian coastal waters
Kajal Chakraborty, Senior Scientist at the CMFRI revealed, “The extract contains 100 per cent natural marine bioactive ingredients from selected seaweeds by a patented technology, and would be made available in 400 mg capsules. This nutraceutical does not have any side effects as established by detailed pre-clinical trials.”
Seaweed is a kind of algae that is mostly found in the Indian coastal waters. It is also known as sea vegetable and is commonly eaten in Asian countries in foods like sushi, soup and salad. It is said to contain remarkable medicinal and health-giving properties.
(Also Read: Add These Spices To Your Diet To Treat Hypertension ) Seaweed is a common food product used in Asian cuisine
ICAR-CMFRI Director A. Gopalakrishnan said, “The institute is in the process of developing more health products from the underutilised seaweeds. Efforts are on for standardising and promoting seaweed farming all along the Indian coasts as a livelihood option for the coastal communities. This is expected to compensate for the dip in income for the fishermen during lean seasons.”
Earlier, the institute developed natural products for many common problems like diabetes, arthritis, cholesterol and hypothyroidism .

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Narendra Modi Swearing-In Ceremony Tomorrow: What Guests Will Be Served

Narendra Modi Swearing-In Ceremony Tomorrow: What Guests Will Be Served During High Tea, Banquet Narendra Modi Swearing-In Ceremony Tomorrow: What Guests Will Be Served During High Tea, Banquet NDTV Food Desk | Updated: May 29, 2019 13:30 IST Narendra Modi will take oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhawan forecourt tomorrow Highlights Narendra Modi will be sworn in as Prime Minister tomorrow The ceremony will be followed by High Tea and a banquet From Rajbhog to Dal Raisina, the menu will have a mix of cuisines
The new government of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set for the second term. The swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that is going to take place on Thursday is going to see a 6000-strong crowd consisting of foreign political leaders and diplomats, as well as Indian VIPs and dignitaries from various industries, including Chief Ministers, writers, film and sports celebrities. Some media reports have suggested that the grand swearing-in ceremony is going to take place at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is the abode of the President of India. The reports have further suggested that President Ram Nath Kovind is going to host a High Tea and banquet after the swearing-in ceremony.
Several details about the lavish menu have also come to light in these media reports. According to an Indian Express article, the High Tea is going to consist of a menu that has a mix of popular Indian and Western snacks, finger foods and desserts. The report said that the guests will be able to savour foods like samosas , sandwiches, lemon tarts as well as the rich and delectable Bengali sweet rajbhog . The popular sweet is very similar to the rasgullas and is prepared from milk solids and flavoured with kesar or saffron . Lemon tarts are delicious desserts from the UK that are made from tangy lemon curd in a delicious crispy tart shell.
Also Read: ‘We Talked About Food & Spices’: When Sanjeev Kapoor Cooked for PM Modi
The Express report also says that the banquet menu will have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to cater to the varied tastes of the guests. The banquet will also reportedly feature the dish dal raisina , which is a slow-cooked lentil dish that originated in the kitchens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan itself. The dish is said to be an original recipe of the Resident Chef MU Kasture, and it is prepared using ma ki daal (or the black dal ) that is a part of a number of vegetarian feasts in India. The dal r aisina reportedly takes a whopping 48 hours to prepare!
The Express article also says that the dignitaries will also be treated to a light dinner for guests who are not used to a rich and heavy dinner meal.

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Dear Guest,
Thank you for your feedback. I am happy to hear that overall you had an enjoyable experience with us. A refundable security deposit is required on arrival, which is stated clearly on our website. Our rooms contain one air conditioner unit which is located in the bedroom. We have a great housekeeping team who do a wonderful job ensuring all guest rooms are cleaned to the highest standard. All guest rooms are usually cleaned everyday unless requested otherwise by guests.
I regret to hear that 2 of the stove burners were not working and 1 tap was not working. I am sure if this was reported our maintenance team would have rectified this as soon as possible. You mentioned that while you were staying with us there were 2 bank holidays. While our restaurant was closed for sit in dinning we offered take away options from our full Asian Spice Menu. I am delighted that you found the food to be delicious. Our Asian Spice Indian restaurant offers authentic Indian cuisine and is renowned in Barbados for his exceptional food quality and service. Our specially trained Indian Chefs do an amazing job and are usually commended for their work.
Our hotel is located within walking distance to many shops and restaurants. Alternatively we offer a scheduled bus shuttle to take our guests to any location within 3kim radius. Thank you for acknowledging that our staff are generally friendly. Our staff are more than happy to make all of our guests feel welcomed and ensure that their stay is enjoyable. Even though our bar closes at 10pm they normally serve guests if they need a drink or water even a few minutes after they have closed. We do not offer complimentary bottled water in our rooms as our tap water is perfectly fine to drink.
I regret to hear that while you had an enjoyable stay you will not be returning to us as we would love the opportunity to host you again.
Thanks

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Discovering Quintessential Kuala Lumpur with Cosmo Hotel

airplanemode_active Kuala Lumpur • May 29, 2019 • Written by Aina Nabiha Discovering Quintessential Kuala Lumpur with Cosmo Hotel “We are not makers of history, we are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Kuala Lumpur is known for its vast and progressive development. With unending days of improvements and construction, it is easy to lose sight of the historic vestiges and legacies that once gave identity to this capital city. To understand how Kuala Lumpur came into being and become what it is today, Cosmo Hotel has created a new tour package called the City Discovery Package for history buffs and general adventurers to truly experience the ‘real side’ Kuala Lumpur. Guided by award-winning independent tour guide Jane Rai and the hotel’s staffs, this tour takes guests to Kuala Lumpur’s significant attractions, which turn out to be eye-opening to say the least. The hotel Deluxe Room at Cosmo Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Prior to the tour, Gaya Travel Magazine team first checked into our room in one clear Saturday morning. At first sight, Cosmo Hotel’s facade appear imposing, extending high into the sky next to the other buildings that dominate the area. But as we stepped into the hotel, we were welcomed by an air of cosiness. The radiant lighting and plush, contemporary neoclassical-inspired interior of what was once an edifice containing offices piqued our interest. The rooms are designed to relaxation and stimulate at the same time, with bold carpeting and patterned wallpapers. Complete with modern necessities, the hotel is perfect for a business visit or staycation. Our lunch at the hotel’s food and beverage outlet Café Mint consisted of multiple choices of hearty, filling and succulent dishes such as rib-eyed steak and chicken chop. This outlet is a crisp and suave looking restaurant, minimalistic with two ostentatiously hung chandeliers. The breakfast and dinner buffet served at Café Mint are respectively impressive with abundant choice and sizeable portions. The tour Lovely panaromic view from the top of the canopy walk. After breakfast, we were given a short brief on our trip to KL Forest Eco Park, also known as Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, located on Jalan Raja Chulan, a mere 10-minute walk (2 kilometres) away from the hotel. Known as the green lung of Kuala Lumpur, this forest reserve is a family friendly spot for those in need of refuge amid verdant tropical greenery right smack in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, making this park the only forest reserve in the world that exists in the middle of a metropolis. You are recommended to follow the 200-metre long canopy walk, which gives you the chance to view Kuala Lumpur’s concrete jungle from a different angle while healthily sweating it out. Murals by the side of the shope lots around Lebuh Ampang. After exploring the KL Forest Eco Park with the park’s own guide, we walked back to the hotel via the bustling thoroughfare called Lebuh Ampang that is known for its quaint collection of hip, sophisticated cafes and specialty shops. Along the way, we laid our eyes on a pretty mural on a side of a shoplot, including the view of the charmingly colonial St. John Cathedral with the soaring KL Tower as its backdrop. St. John’s Cathedral’s architecture that boasts colonial elegance and artistry. Soon after, we were introduced to an ex-journalist, Jane Rai, who captivatingly shared her colourful story about the historically significant area of Kuala Lumpur, as well as her experience as a licensed tour guide. River of Life is situated at the convergence of Gombak River and Klang River. We started walking right across the hotel, at the banks of the newly beautified confluence of Gombak and Klang rivers, where Masjid Jamek is located. The beautification is part of the government’s River of Life project to turn the rivers, into the pride of Kuala Lumpur because the city traces its beginnings from them, thus bear strong connection to the founding of Kuala Lumpur. Masjid Jamek is known as one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia, designed by Arthur Benison Hubback and was officiated by the then Sultan of Selangor in 1909. Jane explained how the plot of land close to the mosque was once a Muslim burial site, and then the remains were required to be relocated to a newer site on Jalan Ampang. She highlighted the importance of the confluence as the point where Kuala Lumpur began, including the banks of Klang river, where Yap Ah Loy (a key historical figure who helped in the development of Kuala Lumpur) built his house around 161 years ago. Now the river bank is an urbanised and trendy venue filled with youthful attractions and mesmerising fountain and light shows. Night Market at Tunku Abdul Rahman lane. We continued our walk by heading to the back lane of the popular Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR), where we feasted our eyes and taste buds at the night market that sells a multitude of affordable good and wares, including snacks. This place teems with shops like Bak Tailor that handmakes traditional Malay clothes like baju Melayu (Malay male set of top and trousers) since the 1980s and stores selling handmade songkok (a close-fitting Malay male rimless cap with a flat top). Next to them is a humble and aged barbershop manned by experienced barbers known to have their very own set of customers who follow them like a cult. We subsequently stumbled upon several pre-war shophouses and buildings that sport art deco design such as the Coliseum Cinema, which has been operational since 1921. These days, the cinema primarily plays Indian movies. The comestibles Coliseum Cafe and Hotel vintage facade. During the walk, we managed to sample some local food at selected eateries, one of them was Jai Hind Restaurant (+60 03-2692 0041) that serves delectable Punjabi cuisine and desserts. The store is vegetarian so Muslims can be rest assured that the food can be consumed with peace of mind. As we returned to the back lane of Jalan TAR, we stopped by to have a sample of apam balik (Malaysian sweet pancake with peanut and sugar fillings) that was fresh off the pan. We then quenched our thirst at the 97-year old Coliseum Café and Hotel . This establishment’s bar and interior have not changed much since 1921, and it is famous for serving classic bestsellers like steaks and signature mocktail (non-alcoholic and refreshing mixed beverage) called Gunner B, which is a must-try. Multiple vegetarian Indian snack samples that is hearty and delicious at Saravanaa Bhavan. Before ending the night, Jane made sure that we savoured the South Indian version of a good dinner at Saravanaa Bhavan Vegetarian restaurant . You should order the drink called the Three Flavoured Lassi , which explodes with tangy, sweet flavour and a slight kick, to wash down the finger-licking meal. Conclusion Cosmo Hotel’s three-hour City Discovery Package tour is definitely an interesting approach to further learn about Kuala Lumpur’s history and be immersed in the city’s local urban environment and day-to-day living. With the combination of insider information, lip-smacking food, and exposure to the quintessential aspects of the city, it is hard to simply move on from the experience. The tour costs RM250 per person, which is separate from the room rate. For overnight stay that is part of the City Discovery Package, Cosmo Hotel charges RM288 nett per room night inclusive of breakfast, set lunch, and dinner for two persons, including a flexible check in time and full 28-hour stay, complete with complimentary access to the gym and in-room Wi-Fi. T: +6 03 2030 1888 E: or This article is featured in Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 14.1 . Read other contents HERE . Share:

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13 Muslims From Around The World Share Their Ramadan Stories

Tweet If you’ve been following us on Facebook, we’re sure you’ve been seeing our different articles on Ramadan Around The World . It’s really interesting to learn about different cultures in Islam and even more so in Ramadan, as you can see how different countries celebrate Ramadan differently. Whether it’s the food we consume or the traditions we do in Ramadan, it truly shows us the wealth of diversity in Islam. It’s also beautiful to see how Islam unites all Muslims around the world. As Ramadan is coming to an end soon, here’s a round-up of 13 stories from Muslims all over the world. Read on as they share how they celebrate Ramadan, the challenges they face and the community they live in. 1. Tokyo: A Singaporean Revert’s Journey Living In Japan Singaporean Chinese-Muslim revert Meryem currently resides in Tokyo and she tells us how it’s been like for her to celebrate Ramadan in Japan. Credit: Tokyo Camii on Facebook “Ramadan in Japan is pretty much non-existent unless you’re at the mosque or at a gathering with your Muslim community – we don’t exactly feel much atmosphere here since there are only about 100,000 Muslims in Japan and are scattered out. But some of the local mosques here (Tokyo Camii, for example) serves free iftars daily for the Muslims and extend the invitation to non-Muslim Japanese, so it is very common to find Muslims and non-Muslim Japanese people sharing a table in the mosque for our daily Iftar 🙂 It is a very heartwarming scene, to be honest!” We also managed to ask her a few questions about her journey as a revert and how it has improved for her over the years. Credit: @immeryem on Instagram
“During my first Ramadan, I expected myself to “read the Quran from back to back”. I fondly remember myself repeatedly listening to (and first loving) Surah Al-Qadr during the night where I first heard to be the night of Lailatul Qadr. I bought dates, and made myself drink water first instead of immediately digging into my iftar, because I had learnt that it was sunnah. I joined Tarawih at the mosque just opposite my house (what a blessing, Alhamdulillah!), mostly alone, and I got confused because I couldn’t count properly and thought we ended Tarawih with 13 raka’ats. I didn’t understand what people were reciting in between, and at the end, I was really quite frustrated.
Now I try to also focus on improving myself in terms of akhlaq which I sometimes severely lack – and also because I have a responsibility over my child now there is an added challenge of meeting my ibadah during this month. But I am also comforted by the fact that by struggling, every form is an act of duty as a mother and having to take care of her daughter also counts, InshaAllah, and I pray Allah sees my struggle.” Read more about Meryem’s experience celebrating Ramadan in Japan here! 2. New Zealand: Standing Strong After The Christchurch Tragedy Ramadan in New Zealand is a little different this year, as it’s still coping with the aftermath of the Christchurch attack which killed more than 50 Muslims during Friday prayers. But our talk with Bilal Slaimankhel, one of Auckland’s mosque committee members, showed that there is an outpour of hope, strength and solidarity – both between Muslims and non-Muslims – after the tragedy. “During Ramadan, we usually organise many activities at different mosques and places where we have open iftar days every day for Muslims and non-Muslims to join. Men would eat together and women would gather together. At the same time, the police force sergeants and constables would join us as well. A lot of non-Muslims in New Zealand understand what fasting is, and they’re interested to know more.” “It hasn’t been much different since the Christchurch tragedy. The only difference is there are more people coming to the masjid attending prayers, Alhamdulillah. We organise daily iftar nights for the public where it’s open for non-Muslims to join us. The interaction between Muslim and non-Muslims has been amazing. There are many different faiths coming together and talking to each other. It has been awesome sharing different things and talking about life has been amazing. The future looks great. There are also church groups showing their support and offering any sort of help that can be any use of us. In general, support from other communities has been wonderful. Some people are still scared, but everyone is in high spirit and living their normal life. Everyone is happy and Ramadan is a month of reflection. To become closer to Allah SWT, more people are coming to the mosque and attend prayers too. All we have seen is positivity coming out from the tragedy apart from what happened that day.” Read more about the Ramadan experience in New Zealand here! 3. Seoul: A South African’s experience adjusting to Ramadan in Korea
Our writer Hashim moved from South Africa to Seoul years ago and although it was an exciting experience living away from home, the struggles kicked in when Ramadan came. “Korea gave me so much but also took one of the dearest parts of me away. It was at that moment, I realized that Ramadaan is fasting and prayer, yes, but it is also way more. It’s a gift, a time when everything and everyone comes together. It’s about family and friends bonding, rejoicing in the glory of our creator and the gift of Ramadaan.” Credit: @ capetownhalaal on Instagram “In South Africa, the Muslim community is really tight-knit – finding food and a mosque is as easy as breathing. McDonald’s, KFC and Nando’s are mostly or all halal. For us as South Africans, all our faiths are protected by our constitution and the beauty of it is that all faiths seem to live alongside each other in relative peace. The road I lived in, in Cape Town, has a church, a temple, and a mosque. The call to prayer can be heard for every prayer time and the walk down to the mosque with my dad is one I cherished. Muslims are also a minority in Korea but here it can be felt in many aspects of life and it’s glaringly obvious in Ramadan. I live 3 hours south of Seoul and finding halal food isn’t easy unless I go to areas like Itaewon which has loads of food options and a mosque. No major fast-food chain is halal and if I do decide to eat there fries or shrimp burgers are my only options.” Credit: @ ahmad.cho on Instagram “I was the only Muslim in my town of Hamyang and it has still been a wonderful experience. Ramadan, however, was truly a lonely existence outside the major cities. I had to wake up for suhoor, eat and make Fajr all alone. Coming home from work and breaking my fast was pretty much a quick meal and evening prayers. There is no mosque, no community and there’s definitely no Ramadan spirit.” Read more about Hashim’s Ramadan experience in Seoul here! 4. Dubai: Where Work Ends At 2pm
For Muslim-majority Dubai, Ramadan becomes more of a cultural event as the whole city changes its schedule so everyone can engage more in spiritual activities and have time for family. We spoke to Ruqaya Al Hamiri from the Sheikh Mohammed Centre For Cultural Understanding and she tells us more about the local customs. “During Ramadan, Dubai changes so much! Everyone can’t wait until Ramadan starts, not only for its religious importance but for what also comes along as well from cultural habits. During Ramadan, the working day is shorter (working hours are shortened by 2 hours, and for public sector workers, working hours from 9am to 2pm!) so it means you get to enjoy Ramadan and indulge yourself in spiritual activities, like reading the Quran.” Credit: The Sheikh Mohammed Centre For Cultural Understanding on Facebook “Culturally, many of us would spend Ramadan in family iftars, staying up late until Suhoor time which could mean staying up until 5 am! As well, I can’t deny that many people spend the month watching Ramadan series on TV (these are TV programs and shows that are made specially to air during Ramadan) too. One of the wonderful things that happen in Ramadan is the Taraweeh prayers in every mosque, where you get to focus on the spiritual side of Ramadan too. I think what makes Ramadan different here too is the fact that the people of Emirates are used to sending food over to neighbours as well to the local mosque to help break other people’s iftar.” Credit: Islamic Community on Facebook “For the past decade, Ramadan has fallen on the hotter months of the year, and that meant it was quite hot and tiring. The Government of the UAE had put in place a rule for all establishments to have fewer working hours during the day for everyone to help those fasting during the holy months. And for the past several years Ramadan fell on during the summer break for schools which meant a lot of people would take their leaves on Ramadan to enjoy it with their whole family.” Read more about Ramadan in Dubai here! 5. London: A Japanese Revert’s Experience Fasting And Celebrating Eid In The UK
It’s not everyday that you hear stories from a Japanese-Muslim revert and it’s even harder to find one in London. Arisa Maryam currently lives in London and she tells us about the vibrant Ramadan atmosphere especially with its large Muslim population.
“Alhamdulillah , London has a large Muslim population and wherever you go, you will usually find Muslims and halal restaurants. Even in the supermarkets, they will have a section for Ramadan selling Halal food, dates and etc. There are also numerous mosques where you can have iftar and pray tarawih and this is the time of year when they are most active and busy. There is a very good get-together socially and there’s a spiritual feeling during Ramadan with many families and friends having iftar together.”
“Currently, Ramadan is closer to the UK summer so fasting hours are long. Fasting during the middle of the summer in the UK can last for about 19 hours, which is roughly from 2:30 to 21:30. This feels a lot like a marathon, with the final 3-4 hours being particularly challenging. With regards to the weather, this is the UK; you never know what you’re going to get – sunny one day and raining the next.
There are many iftar events in London. Most mosques will have at least dates and other fruits with some snacks for iftar, but others will also provide whole meals. There is much going on in terms of community activities, especially on the weekends, with extra Islamic talks and halaqas throughout Ramadan.”
We also asked her how Ramadan has changed for her ever since reverting to Islam and she tells us how her family has joined in with Ramadan and Eid festivities.
“Ramadan is not only my event anymore. I don’t have any problems in terms of fasting with my family now. Alhamdulillah . My mother also joined an iftar dinner at a mosque in Tokyo when I was there and because of this event, she allowed me to wear hijab. I often went to my grandparents’ house with my mother and sister and we had iftar together, although I was the only one who fasted. So, I can say that Ramadan changed my family and improved our relationships over the years. Now, my family and I are talking about celebrating Eid parties together as a family when I move back to Japan. InshaAllah !”
Read more about Arisa’s Ramadan experience in London here! 6. Paris: A Singaporean Muslim’s Struggles And Dealing With Faith
Having moved from Singapore to Paris more than 2 years ago, Shirin Chua had to adjust to celebrating Ramadan in Paris. It wasn’t just the longer hours of fasting that she had to adapt to but not having any family together with her also meant that most iftar and sahur are spent by herself, a far cry from the Ramadan atmosphere in Singapore.
“I’ve only ever experienced Ramadan in Paris in the summer, so the hours are long. At the moment they last from approximately 4am to 9.30pm. Last year they lasted around 3.30am to 10pm.”
“Before my first Ramadan here, I was worried about whether I could physically withstand fasting such long hours. By God’s grace, it has turned out fine. I don’t really notice hunger or thirst and I miraculously detox from coffee (when I otherwise have 6 espressos a day 😅).
But the huge challenge is perpetual sleep deprivation/exhaustion. You break your fast at 9.30pm/10pm, Isha is at 11pm or later, then it’s midnight/1am by the time you fall asleep, you wake up at 3/3.30am again for sahur, and you may or may not have enough time to sleep a little again before work. So you’re perpetually exhausted.
And what’s more, unless you live with a Muslim family, this means you rarely eat a meal with another human being. So it can get socially very isolating. It’s very different from the community spirit and camaraderie that is a central part of Ramadan in Singapore. But ultimately, I think experiencing Ramadan away from home is a great experience despite its challenges. It makes you confront and realise what part of your religion is really YOU, taken out of your natural habitat and religious community 😊”
Read more about Shirin’s Ramadan experience in Paris here! 7. Morocco: Where The Markets Are Empty During Sunset Moroccan local and one of our HHWT readers Sara Maourouri comes from Rabat, Morocco and she tells us more about the local culture and traditions in her hometown during Ramadan. “It feels like every day, only that everyone is fasting, and restaurants and coffee shops are closed. Besides, the office hours change and are shortened (for public sector it’s from 9am to 3pm). The markets can be busy during the day. Locals shop in markets in the rest of the year, but unfortunately, during Ramadan, a large population focuses on grocery shopping and what to make for iftar. But as soon as the Maghrib approaches, the people start going back home and the streets are empty by the time the sun has set.”
“This time of the year, Fajr is around 3.45am so we wake up at around 3 – 3.15am, while Iftar comes at around 7.20 pm. In winter, the days are definitely shorter. Meanwhile, in summer it’s long days and short nights. Fasting can appear easier in winter than summer. Summer in Morocco can vary depending on the region, it’s generally hot but hotter and drier in the south. Up north, the temperature is more clement, and with the closeness to the sea, the weather is on the humid side. This year’s Ramadan is between spring and summer and so far we’ve been blessed with good weather, except for the heat wave on some weekends.”
“In my family we break fast according to sunnah, we drink water and eat 3 dates. We pray and afterwards we have vegetable soup or Harira, Morocco’s most famous dish in Ramadan. Some eat it with Chebakia, a sweet delicacy made with almond and honey. We then have a freshly made fruit juice, boiled eggs and what we call mkhamer, or batbout, depending on the region. It’s actually a pita-like soft and chewy Moroccan bread which has a pocket, and can flavour it with different sorts of fillings. For iftar, we have oats porridge with fruits, dates and nuts.”
Read more about the Ramadan experience in Morocco here! 8. New York: Where Diversity Comes Together For Ramadan And Eid New York isn’t a place that you’d think of when it comes to Ramadan but due to its cosmopolitan society, you can find many small Muslim communities such as the Bangladeshi community. Our contributor, Amina Khan, tells us how vibrant the Ramadan celebration in her community is. “Ramadan in NYC is basically a full month of Iftar parties. Whether it’s family; community; interfaith; or Masjid Iftars… I absolutely love them all! A typical day for us in Ramadan would be rushing from work to get home; freshen up and attend an Iftar party; then rushing from the Iftar party to go to the Taraweeh with my parents and if it’s the weekend we go partying hardcore till Tahajjud (and by partying I mean getting Burgers at Steinway street 🙂 ).” We fast about 16 hrs in New York, and the past few Ramadans were right in the middle of super humid and hot NYC summer but subhanAllah somehow every Ramadan it rains a lot! Which makes it easier for us to keep our fasts and this current Ramadan has been really cool and nice Alhamdulillah with only a few really hot days and even those weren’t so bad.” “As I moved here from Bangladesh when I was younger, Ramadan in the States and Bangladesh is very different. In Bangladesh, most schools were closed during Ramadan and work ended early for most people as well. This was a blessing I only realized after moving the States where we don’t really have any days off during Ramadan. As a kid, I remember basically sleeping all day and then waking up early afternoon and wait for Iftar. Everyday Iftar was made at home from scratch and after Iftar, we would all go to Taraweeh just like we do in NYC but everything was just a little more laid back in Bangladesh. Somedays I would go out with my Mom before some special Iftar foods from outside – the streets were filled with food! I mean at every corner there was a guy frying something yummy. We do have restaurants nearby my current home in NYC that serve Bengali Iftars but it could never compare to those street goodies.” Read more about how Amina’s lively Bangladeshi community celebrates Ramadan in New York! 9. Canada: A Muslim Revert Shares Her Experience On Motherhood And Islam With a non-Muslim-majority country like Canada, it’s hard for local Muslim reverts to find a community and even more so during Ramadan. Rebecca Khan shares with us her inspiring journey during Ramadan and experience as a mother, wife and as a new Muslim in Canada. “I converted to Islam in 2014, so my very first Ramadan was in the middle of the summer. The hours were long then, and still in 2019 we fast from about 3:30 AM to 8:30 PM. It can be a major struggle, particularly for those who have regular work hours, as you don’t get much sleep at night either! Because Canada is predominantly non-Muslim, there isn’t much of a festive atmosphere unless you are at the masjid in the evenings. It’s business-as-usual for most of us, going about our normal days. My biggest struggle these past few years is that I have not been able to fast due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and now another pregnancy. I have to find ways to make the month spiritually beneficial, all while taking care of my toddler son, working, etc. “
“Almost every mosque in my city offers free iftar daily. There are also so many mosques and organizations that do community outreach during Ramadan – organizing interfaith iftars, meals for the homeless, events for converts, etc. There are also different bazaars where local businesses get together to sell clothing, Ramadan/Eid decor, and food. And, of course, there are special spiritual gatherings during the month where scholars and community leaders speak.”
“For iftar and sahur, we eat very normal “Canadian food” – which is actually a mix of food from around the world. I always rotate between meat, fish and vegetarian/vegan. We eat healthily year-round but make sure to eat extra well during Ramadan to fuel our bodies. A few examples of meals: coconut lentil curry, roasted chicken and vegetables, honey-soy salmon bowls with quinoa, beef stew, pasta, lots of big salads… Before our main meal, we break our fast with dates, milk and fruit. For suhoor, it’s usually eggs, oatmeal with seeds (like hemp, chia), and fruit. We don’t eat many desserts, but I did do some cookie baking and decorating this year!”
Read more about Rebecca’s struggles and how Ramadan has improved for her since she reverted to Islam! 10. Ireland: A Malaysian Muslim Finds Home Away From Home
Living in a small town in Ireland, Malaysian Najwa Salim has had to adapt to longer hours of fasting as compared to her home country. While it’s difficult not having a huge Muslim community, she has managed to find comfort from a small community there. “In the early Ramadan, the fasting period starts at 4am and ends at 9.06pm. Towards the end, it gets from 3.40 am to 9.50pm. Alhamdulillah, the weather in Ireland really helps me go through the day with ease. The weather is nice and mild, with temperatures around 8-18 degrees, I don’t really feel as thirsty or hungry as I was in Malaysia due to this chill weather. During Ramadan, Tarawih sessions are held at the Dublin Mosque. Although it starts late at around 10.30pm and finishes at 12am, the mosque is full. And it feels as though you’re in Mecca with other Muslims from different backgrounds coming for the prayers.” “There are around 3 Malay-Muslim families in town and we occasionally meet for iftar sessions. Dublin (capital of Ireland) is one hour away from where I live. In Dublin, there are around 3-4 big mosques with loads of activities held during the year, especially in the month of Ramadan as there are bigger Muslim communities in Dublin. So they have charity iftar dinners, fundraisers, Muslim kids summer camp plus there are a lot more choices for halal food in Dublin as compared to where I live.” “In Dublin, the Malaysian community is active too. They often organise food bazaars and gatherings before Ramadan. As for my part, I’d sometimes host iftar dinners or get-together with friends.” Read more about Najwa’s challenges on experiencing Ramadan in Ireland and how she overcomes it ! 11. Melbourne: Living Far Away From Family Family is one of the most important sources of strength in Ramadan but Malaysian Nabila Norsofiena, has to spend Ramadan away from her family. Currently working and spending her Ramadan in Melbourne, she tells us how she’s had to face the bitterly cold weather and how she misses the lively Ramadan bazaars back home. “This was my first Ramadan away from my family. It was a journey about learning how to be independent, be on my own as well as be a great cook when you miss food from home! My go-to ingredient is ikan bilis! As well as brussels sprouts and not forgetting, bird’s eye chilli. The hours are definitely shorter which I had underestimated. The first Ramadan in Melbourne was about adapting to winter, as fast as sunset would come. It also meant that it was cold and that you would get chapped lips and dry skin easily. Days were shorter, but because of the chilly weather, you’d also feel hungrier faster. Something I didn’t see coming! Timing for iftar was definitely quicker, which also meant sahur was earlier too.” “Melbourne is quite Muslim-friendly. I have had the opportunity to buka puasa with many authentic cuisines namely Ethiopian, Indian, Pakistani and more. Some restaurants even give out dates, bananas and bread, which is similar to home. There are Iftar gatherings and terawih prayers at local universities too. This was a common practice at the university where I was studying in Footscray. There is a strong Muslim community presence in Footscray, so you can always join in with many iftar and terawih prayers easily at respective local mosques. Local online communities also make their best effort to sell or cook Malaysian cuisines which makes it feel a little closer to home.” Read more about Nabila’s Ramadan experience in Melbourne here! 12. Perth: Where The Sun Sets At 5.30pm Studying and living in Perth, our writer Wirnida tells us how she’s had to find a community to turn to during Ramadan and how it’s been like adjusting to life in Perth. “Winter generally means that days are shorter. The sun rises at around 5.30 in the morning and sets by 5.30 in the evening. This means that in the Southern hemisphere, we fast for an average of 12 hours a day. That’s MUCH shorter than in Singapore or Malaysia (where it can go up to 14 hours a day). Generally, if you are working in an office, it is time to break your fast by the time work ends. Hence you don’t have to wait at the dinner table for the azan, which is something we do a lot in Singapore or Malaysia where the food is already on the table by 6.30pm but the azan only sounds after 7pm.”
“Although the hours of daylight are shorter, the cold weather makes you feel hungry a lot faster than usual. The challenges of fasting here definitely cannot be compared to the everyday experiences of those who are less fortunate. Fasting during winter is definitely not as challenging as fasting in hot and humid Southeast Asia.
Generally, Ramadan is just like a normal day in Australia. While most non-Muslims are aware of Ramadan, they might not be as reminded that it is currently ongoing compared to our fellow non-muslims in Singapore. This is due to a very small number of Muslims fasting within the community. The mosques do organise iftar potluck during the weekends, but this varies depending on the mosque. Terawih prayers are definitely performed at the mosques on every single day of the holy month.”
“Since some of us abroad do not have our families around, we organise iftar with friends instead. Coming together and bringing food to someone’s place creates an ambience close enough to what we grew up with. It may not be exactly like how we experience Ramadan in Singapore but we try to recreate those memories over here. Since Ramadan bazaars don’t exist in Australia, we also learn (google!) to make different sorts of food ourselves. Food that we generally buy at the Singapore bazaars such as Ramly Burgers and Dendeng are things we try to learn and make. These are invaluable experiences and a great learning journey for all of us to not take things for granted.”
Read more about Wirnida’s Ramadan experience in Perth here! 13. Marawi, The Philippines: A Filipino Muslim’s Ramadan Experience Mention the Philippines and you’d automatically associate it with being Catholic-dominated. While that is true, there is also a significant Muslim population and our writer, Hafsa comes from Marawi, a Muslim-majority city. Marawi was in war a few years ago and it’s just gettiing back on its feet. Hafsa shares with us more about Ramadan in Marawi. “Ramadan falls during the summer season which means longer days (15 hours of daylight), and shorter nights. It is the warmest time of the year. A week just before the month comes you can feel the change in the atmosphere. We do general cleaning in the whole house; it’s mandatory for my family so it’s pretty much a bonding of its own. Ramadan is like a magical time of its own, a haven from the world. We try to have delightful food, homes would get decorated, and families would get together. You can say it’s like a month-long festival. Calendar of the praying time for the month would be handed out for free from the locals. Stores would stock up on groceries staple for a Ramadan menu.” “Iftar programmes are very common in the Philippines; different organizations, associations and/or families provide iftar in places and events where there is a remembrance of Allah. In the masjid, it’s usually the men who go to iftar sessions since women just stay generally at home for prayer. A lot of homes host iftar for family and friends and are also open to neighbours and visitors.
Filipino Muslims eat peanut butter sandwich, local-style fruit salad, beef or chicken meat, dates (usually given as gifts from the local masjid or from friendly neighbours) and of course rice. Rich and the poor essentially become solitary as neighbours are so keen to share meals with one another, and so just 30 minutes before iftar it becomes an exchange of dishes from the whole block of the neighbourhood.”
“Tarawih prayer is commonly the time when Masjids become full – so full that others have to extend their praying areas to the veranda. At night, you can feel the swift charge of energy in the atmosphere. Muslim-owned restaurants, which close during the daytime, open at night to accommodate people coming straight from prayer. Different programs like Qur’an reading contests, giveaway programs and other sorts also start after the Tarawih.”
Read more about the Ramadan experience in Marawi here!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this round-up of Ramadan stories from around the world. Let us know what other compilations of stories you’d like us to do! Here’s wishing everyone the best for the remaining days of Ramadan 🤗

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You have to check the places out and decide if the menu suits your taste or not.
Ande ka funda serves cheap and best options from North Indian cuisine. Khanavalis serve amazing Karnataka style food for cheap prices while Messes serve good Andhra style meals.
BTM has enough Odiya style messes as well. Check out near Alliance University for Odia style.

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Contradictions make this grilled zucchini dish delightful

Contradictions make this grilled zucchini dish delightful by Bonnie S. Benwick The Washington Post | Today at 1:49 a.m. 0 comments Ginger-Marinated Zucchini With Lime Yogurt Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post
Ginger-Marinated Zucchini With Lime Yogurt is a dish chock-full of contradictions, which might not exactly make it sound like something you’d want to try. But bear with me.
Its flavor base relies on the ginger and garlic combination so widely used in our favorite cuisines, yet the recipe does not neatly fit into an Indian, Mediterranean or Chinese playbook. It tastes light and refreshing, yet rich, thanks to olive oil and yogurt. Marinating is involved, but nobody has to sit around or rearrange their spices; the zucchini is sliced so thin that by the time you compose plates and fry the eggs — yep, this is one of those put-an-egg-on-it meals, suitable for breakfast or brunch as well — dinner’s done.
Ginger and garlic can both pack a sharp bite, but they do mellow here. That will depend in part on how much you break them down on the cutting board with a fine chop or mashed with a little kosher salt. Choose a buttery-tasting or “smooth” olive oil for them to infuse.
And here’s the best part, in triplicate: It takes 20 minutes to prepare, cleanup is minimal and it will augment your summer zucchini arsenal. Ginger-Marinated Zucchini With Lime Yogurt
1 lime
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger root
2 medium cloves garlic
2 tablespoons PLUS 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more as needed
⅓ to ½ cup full-fat plain yogurt, for serving
Pinch sugar
2 eggs
Use a Microplane grater to zest 1 teaspoon of peel from the lime. Cut the lime and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. Coarsely chop the white and light-green parts of the green onions to yield at least 3 tablespoons. Use a spoon to peel the ginger, then grate or mince the ginger to yield at least 1 tablespoon. Mince the garlic, using a little salt to mash it into a paste.
Rinse the zucchini and trim the ends. Use a wide vegetable peeler, a mandoline or a sharp chef’s knife to cut each vegetable lengthwise into equally thin planks (less than ¼-inch thick).
Use 2 teaspoons of the oil to lightly coat each zucchini plank on both sides, then season with about ⅛ teaspoon of the salt and the ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
Heat a large, dry grill pan over medium-high heat. Arrange as many zucchini planks as will fit in a single layer in the pan; reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 1 ½ minutes on each side. The planks will soften and turn into ribbons. Repeat to cook all the zucchini, transferring it to a large plate as the ribbons are done.
Stir together the lime zest, a drizzle of the oil and the yogurt (to taste) in a small bowl. Season lightly with pepper.
Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the lime juice (in its measuring cup), then add the onions, garlic, ginger and the pinch of sugar. Pour over the zucchini ribbons, tossing them gently to coat. Let them sit/marinate while you make the eggs. If the mixture looks dry, drizzle in a little more oil.
Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack in the eggs and fry, sunny-side up, just until the whites are set but the yolk is still a bit runny. Season them to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, divide the lime-zest yogurt between plates, spreading it around with the back of a spoon. Top with equal amounts of the ginger-marinated zucchini, then place an egg on each portion.
Makes 2 servings.
Recipe based on a recipe in No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous by Teri Turner; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019
Food on 05/29/2019 Print Headline: Contradictions make grilled zucchini dish delightful ADVERTISEMENT

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Palakkad Iyers Rocks…..! 😇😇😇😇

Shobha Iyer Palakkad Iyers Rocks…..! 😇😇😇😇
Kerala Iyers or Bhattars, are Tamil Brahmins of the Indian state of Kerala — people who were residents in the Kerala region, and also people who migrated from the present day Tamil Nadu. They are Hindus. The community consists of two groups – the Palakkad Iyers and Iyers of the Cochin and Travancore regions.
When it comes to prejudice, Indians lead the rest of the world by a very long mile. Every community has a very poor view of all other communities. Not just that: the closer the other community is in terms of caste, geography, and language, the less charitably it is viewed.
While a Brahmin from Uttar Pradesh would never have heard of Palghat Iyers (or Aiyars), a Brahmin from Tamil Nadu will at once turn up their nose.
And it doesn’t stop there.
If you are an Iyer from Tamil Nadu, you will not only wrinkle your nose at Palghat Iyers you will also harrumph a bit. Iyengars, on the other hand, will merely purse their lips and change the subject. There were no, or very few, Iyengars when the slow migration began. Iyers worship Shiva and the Iyengars Vishnu. It was natural, therefore, that the migrant Brahmins would be Iyers.
Meanwhile in Kerala, where the Palghat district is on the northern border with Tamil Nadu, they will actually become agitated. There is also suspicion, distrust, dislike etc. This is partly because Palghat Iyers are highly intelligent, educated, well-off and successful at whatever they try their hand. The Malayalis call them pattars, a derisive term for Brahmins in Kerala.
Furthermore, as someone said, they are seen as being in Kerala but not of it. They speak Tamil at home with a thick Malayali accent, which irritates both the Tamils and the Malayalis.
The following are some common questions that come my way at any South Indian social gathering. “Which part of India are you from…“Kerala?” “But you said that your mother tongue is Tamil, so shouldn’t you be from Tamil Nadu? “ “Wait a second…your Tamil has such a strong Malayalam slang..how come? “
Then, a light bulb goes on in my acquaintance’s face!! “Ohhhh!! Are you a Palakkad Iyer???” I nod in the affirmative, and then get teased about the quirky ways (language, food etc) of Palakkad Iyers.
As the centuries rolled by, the Iyers of Kerala became something like the Ashkenazi Jews, who formed a distinct, standalone, rich and influential group with a markedly different identity in the Holy Roman Empire about 1,000 years ago.
If you are a North Indian, you can only understand these attitudes towards Palghat Iyers in terms of Sindhis and how they are viewed in North India. In a country where even the slightest difference becomes a reason for detestation and prejudice, prosperity is a very big one.
I often wonder, “What is Palakkad Iyer culture?” “What defines us?”
I posed this question in an online forum and was thrilled to hear from so many Palakkad Iyers who shared my thoughts. Here is a modest compilation. Please note that some terms are in typical Palakkadan and I have attempted to translate as and when possible.
PALAKKAD IYER Culture is inherited, experienced, assimilated and passed on in unique ways depending on each PALAKKAD IYER’s family background, childhood experiences in cultural immersion and strong presence of patriarchs or matriarchs in the tharavadu/madom (ancestral household) or agraharam (village). PALAKKAD IYER culture is the collective characteristics of PALAKKAD IYERs or Kerala Iyers, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
Language:
The charming ‘avial’ bhashai (medley language) of Talayaalam……. morumchaam, sheevishul, chaana-choranai, kottathalam, chella petti, kollai, machumel etc are neither used in pure Tamizh nor in pure MalayaLam, but unique to PALAKKAD IYER Talayalam (Medley of Tamil and Malayalam)
Religious practices:
Invoking and seeking Ishwara’s/Kula Deivam’s blessings for any endeavor; Saligrama pujai, Shiva Pujai, Bhagavati Sevai, Maa Velakku, Saastha-preeti and a discipline to perform nithya karmas.
Cuisine:
Unique PALAKKAD IYER dishes include Palada Prathaman, Ammini kozhakkatai, veppalakatti, chithu-murukku, puliyakuthi, arachu kalakki, verumarishi adai, (green) pepper corn oorugai, chakka varatti, thamara kizhangu vathal, chakka pappadam, thair molagai; all home-made and gifted to friends and relatives with love.
Social aspects:
Most PALAKKAD IYERs were land lords and owned a lot of agricultural land. Most of that changed owing to the Land Reform Acts. However, there still seems to be a lingering feudal attitude among some high placed PALAKKAD IYERs; a sense of entitlement and superiority because, “we were all that great then”. Although purohitam (priest-hood) was the chief profession in the early days, many illustrious PALAKKAD IYERs have excelled in a wide range of professions: industrialists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs, artists, you name it, PALAKKAD IYERs have made a mark.
Owing to the predominantly vegetarian and saathwic lifestyle, PALAKKAD IYERs practice Ahimsa; don’t have much trouble with the law and attach high value to education and industriousness.
PALAKKAD IYERs (as per my observation) contribute to social causes in their own private way. Most do not participate in institutionalised giving. I have noticed a lot of petty politics in various Brahmana sabhas, although individually, each member is quite harmless. PALAKKAD IYERs just don’t buy into “herd mentality” and are highly individualistic.
Music and arts:
PALAKKAD IYERs are great connoisseurs of music and other forms of art. Music is intricately woven into our cultural fabric; We burst into song during ponnu paakkal, kalyaana oonjal, nalangu, valakaapu, thottil podal, navarAtri etc..
As Sir T. N. Seshan aptly stated about PALAKKAD IYERs … they are “cooks, crooks, carnatic musicians or civil servants”.
Over the last 6 decades, PALAKKAD IYERs have migrated to several other states within India or have ventured abroad in search of a ‘better life’. Their innate ability to adapt as has helped them excel in any chosen field anywhere. Most PALAKKAD IYERs have a relatively simple, often times, frugal lifestyle; this need for contentment puts a glass ceiling for most of their career growth, as they lack aggression when compared to their counterparts at work.
No matter where they go or what they become, they will always be in the warmth of the PALAKKAD IYER cultural blanket….!!!
As mentioned in an article by Shri. K.V.Narayanmurti – Senior Advocate, New Kalpathy, Palakkad – Kerala Palakkad Iyers – a contrasting story of Brahmin migration
This theory that the Palghat Iyers came from Kumbhakonam or that they migrated in the 18th century is borne out by recorded facts. Logan’s Manual – Logan was a British subject and an ICS officer – has recorded that they came much much earlier, and that they were a learned and enterprising community. Why should they have worked as cooks or domestic servants?
In front of the Kalpathy Siva Temple, there is a vertically erected pillar on which is recorded that the Sivalingam for the temple was brought from Kasi by one Lakshmi Ammal, who was a resident of Kalpathy. It is also recorded there that the Kalpathy Village s were built on land gifted by the Palghat Raja and, that as a tax measure each householder had to pay to the Siva Temple the equivalent of four Anna’s a year, during the Sivarathry function for the upkeep of the temple. the temple itself was constructed by the munificence of the King.
Our own Josier family have lived in this same house for over ten generations, thus taking us back to over four hundred years. I remember, when I was a child, there was hardly any Brahmin in the village who was a cook or a domestic servant. Yes, some aristocratic Brahmins did have achhis, in extra marital relationships or when their wives had died. Most were scholars in Vedas or ctheir branches like Astrology, Medicine etc. it is because of the level of scholarship of the Brahmins that they could join the ICS or become great Administrators or Scientists or Professors or Doctors.
I am also a keen student of Indian History, and have recorded in one of my earlier writings on the subject that the Palghat Iyers came from Trichinopoly District of Tamilnadu, in groups, and founded the various villages and settled there. Our own Josier family came from Kandramanickam Village, in Trichy District, and we are identified as Kandramanickam Brahacharanam. Yes, people also came in groups from Madurai, Erode areas, Tiruvannamalai (the whole of Nurani is from there and all are Brahacharanam). Pallipuram and Tirunallayi people came from around Conjeevaram and Sreerangam and brought with them the Vaishnavaite influence on their rituals and practices. They wear the Namam, have mostly Vaishnavaite names and pay obeisance to the Jeer at Srirangam and not to the Sankaracharyas. Only Seshan, at a personal level, became a disciple of the Kanchi Acharya.
The migration of the Iyers was facilitated by the prosperous trade and business prosperity and opportunities to earn a comfortable living, and live in peace. It should be remembered that the Kerala Rajas and the community as a whole were great respecters of the Brahmins and their learning. The Nambudiris always considered themselves as the highest in the hierarchy, and so would never eat food cooked by any one other than the ladies of the house or an Embranthiri. In the Nambudiris hierarchy, the Aduvancherry Thambrakkal are the highest, every other group oNly comes after that.
It is amazing how there can be several fanciful theories about the largest migration ever in history, and no two agreeing on details. The fact is, no one has studied the subject in depth. UNO or some such International authority should organise systematic research into this subject, and the report would amaze the whole world. The creativity, resourcefulness, the ability to get on with others etc. of the Brahmin, his easy adaptability to any place and clime are all to be admired.

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Grilling Season: Vegetarian Burgers

Posted on May 28, 2019 by goatsandgreens
Contains: Legumes, egg, nightshades. Is: Vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free. Vegetarian patties made from black beans, spinach, seasonings, and egg. Topped with mustard, and ready for lettuce wrapping.
And yes, you can optionally top this with cheese if you wish. Or faux cheese, if you don’t do dairy. And/or onion and tomato. I’m simply going to use Dijon mustard (since we are no where near tomato season here – and I forgot about the onion slivers…). Since I raise my own chicken eggs, I’m not going vegan in this recipe. (There’s a surplus of those things here!!!)
Shortly after the Jack in the Box hit on ground meat back in the 90s, I went to vegetarian/vegan ground beef patties. While they claimed to taste like meat, this seriously would be stretching a point. I did like the black bean burgers (a bit) and the mushroom burgers (a bit), but I was not fond of them pretending to taste like ground beef. Neither did, for one. TBH, I don’t need veggie burgers to try to taste like “meat”… they simply need to taste GOOD. So many veggies taste great to begin with, right? Nor, eventually when I got around to reading the package list (which is why I gave them up), the extensive list of ingredients on the packaging that said Fake Food loud and clear. Mix it!
Today I understand there are some meat substitute burgers that taste like beef – haven’t run into them yet, but they seem to get good reviews. And they have less ingredients than those old Gardenburgers have, only one real questionable one, actually.
Okay, so it (the Impossible Burger) presumably tastes like real meat… but it still has TVP in it. “Textured” vegetable protein. Hmmm…? We surely could do better than this!
The thing is, as noted, I don’t really need meat substitute products to taste LIKE beef or the animal du jour. I just want them to taste GOOD, so I can serve them happily to my vegetarian friends, and enjoy them myself as well. Tasting just like a beef burger is of little interest to me. There are so many great taste sensations out in the world, so go for the gusto! Cook It!
I am leaving egg as a binder in this – I’m raising up hens and their eggs here, after all. So, this isn’t vegan. While I do have vegan friends, they all live far enough distantly, that I am not likely to be entertaining them here – and if I do, I’ll find a great Indian subcontinent recipe or three and make a great non-egg, non-burger recipe or more, instead.
SO – my challenge: Vegetarian, no dairy but egg is acceptable. (Whatever one tops the burger with is on anyone.) Gluten-free, preferably grain-free as well. Tasty but no obligation to taste like meat. In fact, that would be a defect. Moist, not dry. And not that rubbery “gardenburger” texture. Won’t collapse and break apart either through the grill grates or on the way to the table. No faux food such as TVP or worse.
I’ll state right now that I will be using lettuce wraps (even without being semi-Paleo, I really and simply don’t like those heavy buns to begin with, and if nothing else, I’m glad Paleo came along to give me an excuse to decline them), and that I don’t own a bottle of ketchup, and have no plans in the immediate future to change that. (If I get a bunch of folk over for burgers, yes, I’ll supply those folks that condiment as well as buns – but that’s not what’s arriving up right now.) The one without the mustard was a little too flat, and a little too wide. This one crumbled, the other two held together much better.
Yes, veggie burgers will take longer to prep up than the beef ones… but it is worth it to do them right.
Essentially, the spinach and the black beans weigh the same, but that’s the size packages of these two items come in, hereabouts. So, effectively – 1:1 the spinach and the black beans!!! Prep Time: 20 minutes. Cook Time: About 10 minutes. Rest Time: No. Serves: 4-6. Cuisine: American / Tex-Mex. Leftovers: Best to save patties prior to cooking – seal well and refrigerate, up to 3 days.
Vegetarian Burgers: Black Beans and Spinach 1 bag of frozen chopped spinach (16 oz / 1 lb / 455 grams). Thaw, and thoroughly squeeze out all the water using a fine sieve / cheese cloth over sieve / by the handful. 1 can of black beans (15.5 oz / 140 grams), drained. (Reserve drainage) 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder OPTIONAL: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (taste first) Salt and pepper to taste. 2 tablespoons reserved black bean drainage 1 egg
Mash the black beans coarsely using a masher, or pulse a few times in your food processor.
Add spinach and beans together, along with the seasonings, and taste. Adjust as necessary. Add back the two tablespoons of the black bean drainage (discard the rest).
Mix, taste again.
Beat in the egg and mix well.
Form patties, making sure they hold together well. These may still not hold together as well as beef patties, but they should work. Do not make over-large, or too flat – definitely a bit thicker than your standard store bought burger patty, but not out to an inch (2.5 cm) either.
Either in a skillet or on a prepped grill – use a healthy vegetable oil for the skillet – add each patty.
You won’t be able to use tongs to flip them, use a spatula. In the skillet, cook about 5 minutes per side, medium high. On the grill, on the hotter side, flip them at about 4 minutes. Gently! If you don’t think the texture of yours will hold up, I won’t tell if you use a sheet of foil under them. Anyhow, let them get a little brown on both sides.
Serve hot on a bun, in or on a lettuce wrap – or by themselves. Top with mustard or whatever thing you like to top your burgers with.
They don’t taste a thing like meat, but they’ve got a great Tex Mex flavor! I’d eat these over most people’s beef burgers. And they’re satiating.
Verdict: They hit 5 out of 6 of my above-listed requirements, and if one is careful, #5 can be handled.

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PLACES YOU NEED TO VISIT

PLACES YOU NEED TO VISIT IN 2018
SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH KOREA
1 In Ethiopia, Harar’s old town is a maze of alleys lined with colorful walls.
Tourists in northern Ethiopia rarely travel to the laid-back east, anchored by the enchantingly contradictory city of Harar. The “City of Saints” boasts 82 mosques, as well as Ethiopia’s best beer, strongest khat (an ubiquitous narcotic plant), and highest quality coffee.
2 Jujuy Province,Argentina
A motorcycle drives through Jujuy Province in northern Argentina Hang with nature-made rock stars.
Located in outermost northwest Argentina, Jujuy is home to the Quebrada de Humahuaca World Heritage site. The narrow valley is cloaked in colorful rock bands crafted over millennia. Elevate your Instagram with shots of Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of Seven Colors).
3 Tbilisi,Georgia.
Vibrant buildings create the intriguing cityscape of Tbilisi, Georgia Development is reshaping the cityscape of Georgia’s capital city at a dizzying pace. Traditional Georgian experiences—the 24-hour sulphur baths, the plump khinkali (spiced meat dumplings), and the legendary hospitality of the locals—persevere in disarmingly disorganized Old Tbilisi.
4 Sydney,Australia
The illuminated Sydney Opera House can be seen from a nearby neighborhood known as the Rocks.
A $273-million upgrade launched in May 2016 is transforming the interior of Sydney’s iconic Opera House. Improvements include state-of-the-art acoustics, a hangout-friendly foyer, and the renovated Joan Sutherland Theatre, which reopened in December and welcomes back the Australian Ballet in April.
5 Oaxaca,Mexico
A woman in a traditional gown embroidered with silk flowers poses during a festival. Tourists are welcome more than ever in the color-rich Mexican state of Oaxaca; shaken by two powerful September earthquakes. Shop local markets for dazzlingly vibrant wool rugs and other handmade textiles dyed using fruits, insects, and other natural colorants.
6 Vienna, Austria
Schönbrunn Palace sits beyond Neptune Fountain in Vienna, Austria.
Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, and Otto Wagner—three leading members of Vienna’s upstart Secession art movement—died in 1918. To mark the centennial, the Belvedere, Leopold, MAK, and other museums in Austria’s art-obsessed capital city will host special Secessionist exhibitions.
7 North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
The Ko’olau Mountains on the island of Oahu are located just beyond Waikiki’s bustling city.
World-famous for its big waves, the North Shore is the rural neighbor of increasingly sprawling Honolulu. Local farms, such as Poamoho and Kahuku, are helping (as the ubiquitous bumper stickers state) “Keep the Country Country” by cultivating homegrown crops and agritourist experiences. Discover more about Oahu.
8 Malmö, Sweden
Modern architecture greets riders in Triangeln Station in Malmö, Sweden. Home to nearly 180 nationalities and over 450 restaurants, Sweden’s third largest city is a United Nations of food. Foodies flock to Malmö to sample a global smorgasbord offering everything from cutting-edge Nordic cuisine to the number one street food, falafel.
9 Jordan Trail
The Jordan Trail highlights the country’s most scenic sites
The 400-mile Jordan Trail is a newly minted hiking path linking ancient trade routes. Divided into eight separate sections, the trail leads through Jordanian forests, canyons, deserts, and along the shores of the Red Sea. Overnight in guesthouses, home stays, and Bedouin campsites.
10 Dublin, Ireland
Patrons linger outside of the Temple Bar Pub, the district’s namesake.
While home to almost 1.2 million people, Ireland’s intimate capital exudes a friendly, village vibe. Stroll around to discover Dublin’s historic Georgian squares, cozy pubs, and high-tech treasures, like the new Irish Emigration Museum and revamped National Gallery of Ireland. Discover more about Dublin.
11 Madagascar
An endangered ring-tailed lemur makes eye contact in Madagascar’s Andringitra Massif Madagascar, the world’s fourth-largest island, is the undisputed land of the lemurs. Located in the Indian Ocean east of Mozambique, the biodiversity hotspot is home to about 100 species of lemurs—almost all endangered due to deforestation, climate change, and other threats.
12 Santiago, Chile
The Santiago skyline can be viewed from Cerro Santa Lucia park in Chile. Bare walls are blank canvases for vibrant murals in Chile’s capital and largest city. Walk with Stgo Street Art Tours to see Chilean-style, street art in neighborhoods such as Bellavista, Brasil, and Yungay.
13 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Buddhist monks walk by the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Oscar buzz for Angelina Jolie’s Cambodian genocide drama First They Killed My Father is boosting interest in the Kingdom’s buzzing capital city. See cultural treasures in the Royal Palace compound. Learn about the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
14 Cleveland, Ohio
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame adds character to the Cleveland skyline Cleveland rocks: on stage in the eight theaters on Playhouse Square, at indie-music venue Beachland Ballroom, and in hip meat-lovers’ restaurants like the Black Pig and the Plum. Shop and stroll in the revived Hingetown neighborhood and Waterloo Arts District.
15 Tétouan, Morocco
A woman passes through a market in the medina of Tétouan, Morocco.
Traditional artisans still create carpets in this port city’s World Heritage site medina, but a grassroots fine arts movement is attracting new talent. See contemporary works at the National Institute of Fine Arts, Tétouan Museum of Modern Art, and Green Olive Arts.
16 Seoraksan National Park, South Korea
Snow covers a landscape in Seoraksan National Park, South Korea.
Seoraksan is in northeastern Gangwon province, site of February’s Winter Olympic Games. While not an Olympic venue, the park boasts equally breathtaking mountainous terrain. From the Seorak Cable Car, see some of the park’s 30 peaks, including 5,604-foot Mount Sorak (Seoraksan).
17 Albania
Off the Albanian coast, a diver explores a cargo of amphoras from a Roman-era shipwreck.
Sunken aqueducts, shipwrecks, and rarely visited caves are a few of the relatively untouched treasures awaiting divers in Albania. Decades of isolation under communist leader Enver Hoxha limited development and inadvertently preserved underwater cultural heritage, particularly off the southern coast.
18 San Antonio, Texas.
Colorful lights decorate the River Walk in downtown San Antonio at night.
Three centuries of history inspired San Antonio to throw a big-as-Texas Tricentennial Celebration. Join the year-long party at the kickoff New Year’s Eve concert and fireworks extravaganza or at any of more than 550 scheduled arts and cultural events.
19 Labrador, Canada
Water crashes down White Bear River Falls in Labrador, Canada.
Located in a road-less expanse of northern Labrador wilderness, Akami-Uapishku-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve is one of Canada’s newest and most remote national parks. Book hikes and other experiences with First Nations guides, such as Experience Labrador in Cartwright.
20 Friesland, Netherlands
Restaurants and shops line a former canal dock in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
Birthplace of Mata Hari and a European Capital of Culture for 2018, Leeuwarden is the capital of the Dutch province of Friesland. Live the Frisian life: mud walk on the Wadden Sea, buy tin-glazed pottery in Makkum, and eat cinnamon-laced sugar bread.
21 Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
A female lion stalks through the Serengeti.
Ruaha, Tanzania’s largest park, is home to about one-tenth of the world’s endangered African lions. Sustainable tourism initiatives help visitors see the big cats—some grouped in prides of 30 or more—and support wildlife preservation in and around the park. Advertisements

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