EGGS KEJRIWAL topped NY food critic’s list in 2017. Surprised?
It has nothing to do with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal although the marwari connection is very much there. Kejriwals belong to the Bania caste. They are astute businessmen. Mostly they are vegetarians. Many young people from the community eat non vegetarian food clandestinely.
The said dish was invented by Devi Prasad Kejriwal a businessman from Mumbai. Being a conservative marwari in he didn’t take eggs at home. But he enjoyed it after golf.
Good thing about the dish is easily available three ingredients Eggs, Cheese and Green Chilli. It hardly takes any time to prepare.
He would tell the waiter how to make it with a slice of cheese, a fried egg and, being a Marwari, he liked green chillies,“ says Ajay Kejriwal, his nephew.
How did it get thus peculiar name?
It got its name because other members began asking the waiter to give them the same what Kejriwal is having.
The dish topped New York Food Critic’s list. One reason cited is the commonality of the ingredients and easy way to prepare.
Tea is the most popular beverage all over the world. Although tea is grown mainly in China and India, it is relished by people all around the globe.
Many variations of traditional steeped variety exist depending upon the innovations done locally. For example, in India people like to drink milk tea. Then there are spicy teas lik ginger tea and cardamom tea.
Tea has been said to be good for health as it contains many antioxidants like flavonoids. Beverage is addictive in nature that’s why whole world craves for it in the morning.
Eggs are also consumed all over the world. Mostly hen eggs are eaten. Eggs are very nutritious full of protein, calcium, vitamin A, iron and phosphorus. They are very easy to prepare even by a novice. These are eaten in many forms like simple boiled eggs, omelettes, in egg curry. Eggs are in essential ingredient in various cake preparations, coatings of food, trapping air in many preparations to give volume and fluffiness.
What are Tea Eggs then?
These originated in China as evening snack. The are also called Marble Eggs. In most simple terms the boiled eggs with small perforations in the shell are steeped in tea liqueur. Many other ingredients like Star Anise, Ginger, soy sauce, cinnamon are also added to spice up.
The steeping liquor is made by boiling these ingredients in water and cooled down.
The eggs are hard boiled which take about 7 minutes time. They are removed from hot boiling water and immediately put into freezing bath to stop further cooking.
When these are at room temperature, the eggs are tapped at different places lightly with a spoon to create cracks avoiding the detaching the shell portions. After these these are soaked in the tea liqueur prepared earlier.
After about 24 hours, the shells are removed. The eggs become dyed with the liqueur color. They look like marbles. And are ready to be eaten.
There are a number of recipe pages on the internet. For example the following link.
Snails are called Escargots in French language. Escargots is a dish made from land snails. In France this dish is eaten as starters. You might be thinking humans can eat such a thing.
But the snail dishes have been eaten since ancient times. In fact, Romans prized this dish as the dish worthy of Gods.
In addition to France, snails are eaten in Nagaland of India. Cyprus, Malta, Crete, Tunisia, and many other countries where escargots are eaten.
Not all the snails are edible. For example in France the species Hellix Pomatia is used. Escargots are very rich in proteins and very low in fat. These are used in food and fashion industries. The slime has healing properties and is used in cosmetic industry.
You will be surprised to know that consumption is considerable and snails are reared in snail farms. The art of the raising the snails in commercial quantities is called Heliciculture. In these facilities, snails are fed in a way so as to make them edible
Aloe has a very long history of use. The sap was used medicinally by the Greeks and Romans, who obtained it from the island of Socotra. The Greek physician Dioscorides recorded the use of the leaves to treat wounds in the first century AD.
Aloe had reached England by the 10th century, where it appears to have been one of the drugs recommended to Alfred the Great by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In the early part of the 17th century, the records of the East India Company show payments for aloe being made to the King of Socotra, who held a monopoly on the production of drugs from the Socotrine aloe.
It is not known whether the Socotrine aloe obtained in Greek and Roman times was from wild or cultivated populations. Today, however, African aloe (both Socotrine and Cape) is collected from wild plants, while in the West Indies, the plants are laid out in plantations like cabbages.
To prepare Aloe vera for market, the leaves are cut near the base of 24-36 year old plants. The resulting latex is collected and concentrated to the consistency of thick honey. A true concentrate produces a clear, translucent gel, which can be applied fresh, or it can be commercially converted into a more expensive ointment.
The gel can also be fermented to produce a tonic wine, to which honey and spices are added. In India, this is used to make a drink called kurmara or asava to treat anaemia and digestive and liver disorders.
The gel can also be inhaled in steam, and the powdered leaves can be used as a laxative. There is a danger that the huge tonnages of gel now sold in the developed world will mean that aloe is regarded as a cure-all for any ailment.
Coconut grow in the coastal areas. In India, whole of the coast is dotted with coconut trees. Kerala tops the list in coconut plantations. Known as Coconut in English, Narikela in Sanskrit & Nariyal in Hindi, coconuts can grow to between 15 and 30 m tall in plantations. Their trunks are ringed with scars where old leaves have fallen. The top of the trunk is crowned with a rosette of leaves.
Fruits are called coconuts. They are oval and covered with a smooth skin which can be bright green, brilliant orange or ivory coloured. Below the skin is a thick fibrous layer which is used for coir. The next layer is the shell of the seed with the three characteristic ‘eyes’.
The coconut finds so many uses. The shell may be used to make charcoal which is used in the water filters for absorbing the coloring contaminants. The inside of the shell is lined with a white, edible layer called the meat. This is used to make chemicals, and medicinal products. The fluid inside the seed cavity is known as coconut water. This fluid contains many minerals and is taken as such to rejuvenate the body. It is recommended in case of dehydration caused by diarrhea. It has a cooling effect and removes the body heat in summers. When seeds germinate, the new shoot sprouts from one of the eyes. Due to so many uses, in India it has been called the ‘tree of heaven’ or ‘Kalpavriksha‘.
In India, it has great spiritual value. The three ‘eyes’ of the coconut represent the three eyes of the great god Shiva. An earthen pot or pitcher, called a purnakumbha is filled with water and mango leaves and a coconut is placed on top. This purnakumbha is used in the ritual of worship and adoration of the gods, called puja. It is placed as a substitute for the deity or by the side of the deity. The purnakumbha literally means a ‘full pot’ in Sanskrit. It represents Mother Earth, the water the giver of life, the leaves life itself, and the coconut divine consciousness.
In South Asia, coconuts are named Sriphala or fruit of the Gods and symbolize complete usefulness, selfless service, prosperity and generosity. The palms are believed to be the embodiment of the ancient Indian concept of kalpavriksha, or the tree which grants all wishes. It plays an essential role in many religious and social functions in South Asia.
Coconut is an integral ingredient of South Indian cuisine. It is used in one form or another in the food. It is used to make chutneys, thickened with milk and sugar to make delicious sweets. It is milk is used in many fish preparations. Its oil is used for cooking and hair dressing.
For those who are from science stream, the Apple occupies a place of esteem. As the story goes, an apple fell on Newton, one of the greatest physicists, mathematicians an philosophers as he was sitting under an apple tree and mulling over the gravity and suddenly the darkness was dispelled and outcome was his laws of gravity. This seems very ludicrous because the process of ideation is not momentary. It goes on and on.
Apple is also the brand name of the revolutionary electronic products founded by Steve Jobs. Its product line includes laptops, ipods and ipads.
But one thing is true that Apple is the king of fruits. It is about apples hat doctors said “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples are the most widely cultivated fruit trees. There are thousands of varieties of apples in the world. It is grown in the mild to cold climates. The apple has, like other fruits that has been domesticated, undergone a sea change from its original wild varieties.
Thousands of the varieties that are grown today can be divided broadly into three: Cider varieties, Cooking varieties and Eating varieties.
Cider varieties are usually more acidic, although cider can be made from any type of apple. Cyder is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fruit juice, most commonly apple juice but also the juice of peaches or other fruits.
Cooking varieties include the Bramley, one of the most popular and easily stored types of apple. Eating varieties include the well-known Cox’s Orange Pippin, Granny Smiths, Russets, Braemar, Golden and Red Delicious.
Eating apples have been selected for several centuries for their color, size, ‘bite’ sweetness, physical nature of the pulp revealed once bitten, and their aftertaste. The aroma of the ripe apple before consumption is also an important commercial consideration.
Modern selections are now so high in sugar and low in balancing Malic acid that dentists often no longer recommend apples to clean the teeth. It is same story like white rice. Rice in the natural form has a coating of brown color on the seed. This coating is rich in many vitamins especially “Vitamin B” and in the process of polishing this coating is removed and resulting rice is rich only in starch but poor in the minerals and vitamins. So the rice has to be taken with supplements like green leafy vegetables and fish to compensate for the minerals and vitamins. The famous 1930s slogan, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away‘ extolling its value as a source of carbohydrate and dietary fiber, is no longer universally applicable as many varieties now contain so much sugar they actually cause tooth decay.
Robert Bruce is the Englishman who is credited with discovery of tea in Assam in the year 1823. But the Singphos, who were the major tribe of Upper Burma and their territory once extended from Arunachal into Assam, beyond Jorhat, and covered large tracts in northern Burma, smirk at this statement.
They contend that they had been drinking and using the tea plants in the food seven centuries earlier than 1823. Griffith also noticed that tea leaves were eaten as a vegetable food prepared in mustard oil and garlic.
A similar salad recipe in Burma, called ‘Letpet’, promised marital bliss. Here the leaves were boiled for several months for fermentation. The resuscitated leaves were chopped and mixed with oil, garlic, fried shrimps, fruits and dried coconut and served to newly wed.
British East India Company tried to plant the seeds brought from China in Assam since 1774. But this did not succeed. They have to resort to the local tea bush which Singphos already grew.
Robert Bruce met Singpho king Bisa Gam to discover tea. As usual, the very Bisa Gaum who helped them grow the exceedingly profitable shrub of tea was charged with taking part in 1857 rebellion against them and was jailed for life and sent to Andaman.
When the East India Company, by the treaty of Yandabo, 1826, annexed Upper Burma to Assam, the Company made a similar treaty with the tribal chiefs of the different clans; at Sadiya When tea cultivation started on Singpho land the East India Company paid a land rent to the Chief.
Irritated over a delay in receiving payment Bessa Gaum hacked off some newly planted tea, little realizing that his destructive act actually helped the industry. The cut plants resurrected and put on vigorous growth, this initiated pruning. To this day the estate where Bessa Gaum cut the plants bears the name “Bessakopie-hacked by Bessa”.
Singphos processed the tea leaves in a special manner. They half roasted it and then dried it for 3 days in the Sun. During roasting, leaves are hand twisted the leaves. After this, tea leaves were stuffed into the bamboo and hung over hearths where other eatables like fish were also hanged. This imparted the tea a smoky flavor. It was called “dhooan chang technique”. It was somewhere between green and oolong teas. It needs some time getting used to.
To survive in this harsh world, one has to struggle and beat others. While in the world of animals the competition is really physical, the human beings take it to mental level.
Humans have the ability to hide their emotions, they store their grudges against others and thus compete on a very different level. Most of their actions are covert in nature.
Animals have very hard life that way. Most of them settle their scores on the spot. They don’t keep it for the future. They even do not seem to repent the loss of their near and dear ones in the struggle as the humans do. They seem to be resigned to their fate and take the events as they come.
Since they have to face a fierce competition for their food, they are masters at conserving their energies, they don’t waste it unnecessarily. Since they don’t get much for over eating, they don’t need to exercise for their fitness.
Since many days, I am observing a strange thing. In the early morning, scores of crows dive into the garbage in the ditch outside the boundary of our colony. They dive and come out with bits of parts of the dead birds mostly chickens.
With some morsel in their beaks, they sit on the nearby tree branches and many sit on the tops of the buildings of our office which is adjacent to the boundary.
I also invariably noted the presence of stray dogs standing below these trees and always looking up. I have the suspicion that dogs are waiting for the crows to throw away the discarded morsels and eat them.
They hope that since crows are endowed with power to fly, they will not linger on morsel in the mouth longer. They discard them after eating small bits and then fly to get the new better ones.
Then, I noticed dogs sitting on the top of the wall of the building where the skeleton of a hoarding is situated and which is regularly occupied by the crows. This wall is facing the highway and first I thought that these dogs are surveying the traffic on the highway!
But everyone knows that no animal will take the risk to go and sit on the ledges from where they can even fall down fatally. It dawned upon me that again the reason is the same. Getting the discarded and thrown away morsels of the offal.
This whole phenomenon seem to prove that even crows can feed the dogs. Thus a new food chain is created.
Worldwide the number of bees is reducing due to various detrimental factors. In the past four years reduction in their numbers have shrunk by as much as 30%.
Honey has so many properties and benefits to humans, that it is considered as the food of Gods. It is full of nutrients and is complete food.
And how is it made? Flowers with nectar, and a beehive and bees do the rest. It was also the first food of the cavemen. Our food will be less diverse and less nutritional without honey.
Not only that they convert the raw nutrients from flowers into the brown colored liquid but during the collection of nectar by visiting one flower after another, they are carrying out the process of cross pollination which results in better kind of fruits.
The bee keepers keep their beehives under the shade of flowering trees or crops with flowers to enhance the pollination rate and thereby the productivity of farm crops. It has been observed that production increases to the tune of 35% due to pollination by bees.
India in this regard has done better with increase in the number of bees. The production of honey in 2014-15 has been 29578 MT as compared to 28376 MT in 2013-14.
The value of export of natural honey was 445 crores rupees in 2013-14 and 555 crores rupees in 2014-15. The major buyer countries are USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Libya and Morrocco.
In India, 500 species of flora exits which are suitable for bees to extract the nectar and pollen. Major areas of production of natural honey are Maharastra and North East India. Some of naturally pure honey types are:
Rapeseed or mustard honey.
Karaj or Pongamea honey
Multi flora himalayan honey
Wild flora honey
Multi or single flower honey
The possible reasons for the decline in numbers are the use of pesticides in the farming, pathogens and lack of foraging. There has been marked increase in the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) disease during recent years.
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.
Even nature is giving us enough indication against the use of methodologies which run counter to the harmonious ways of the nature.
Can we imagine any food without salt? In addition to the taste it adds, salt is an essential nutrient for the human body. It is an electrolyte which helps the transmission of the messages from different parts of the body to the brain and vice versa. It is present in the cells.
Any imbalance in its concentration whether in the form of deficiency or excess can play havoc with our body. When dehydration occurs, the salt has to be replenished by the intake of oral rehydration solution. It is lost from our bodies during perspiration and blood becomes thicker and our bodies require water.
In addition salt is used as preservative for pickles and other foods. It acts as a barrier to the bacteria which attack the food and decompose it.
Salt comes from the evaporation of the seawater collected in the salt pans. After water evaporates the salt is left behind which is then made to undergo the processes of purification. Those who live in the urban areas and especially near sea coasts never feel it’s importance.
But still there are people living in the remote areas where access to this commodity is impossible. Some of such communities live in Kenya. These tribes, as the saying goes : “Necessity is the mother of invention ” has developed a way to compensate this by extracting the salts from the Reed Stalks.
Bunches of river reed are cut into smaller pieces and dried on the hot stones for about a period of 3 days to reduce the inherent moisture. Then the stalks are put on very slow fire. When organic ingredients burn, the ash is left behind. Ash is collected and boiled with water and filtered to get pure salts dissolved in the filtrate while impurities are left behind. The filtrate is then boiled till only the salt is left behind. Sometimes they add a pinch of pepper powder to add flavor to it.