India

Health & Wellness

Ancient Health Secrets: Ayurveda Diet

By Tawnya Manion | May 9, 2013

ayvurvedic

For over 5,000 years, people in India have followed the Ayurveda diet to promote wellness and vitality. This ancient medicinal practice originated from the Hindu scriptures called the Vedas. The word stems from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit; ayur meaning life, and veda meaning knowledge. People who follow this diet philosophy consider it a sacred way to nourish the body, mind, and soul. In short, they believe food that enters the digestive system not only effects how the physique feels but the spirit too.

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Life Feeds on Life: The Consideration of the Jain Diet

By admin | February 15, 2012

Photo: Andre Mellagi

Photo: Andre Mellagi

By: Dylan Rodgers

Cries of impending doom rose from the soil…  These are the cries of the carrots.

                                                                            -Maynard James Keenan

Vegetarianism and veganism are drastically different with plenty of sub-sects of varying intensity. Many vegetarians outwardly concerned with the harm caused in animal slaughter argue that fish may or may not be excluded from their concern (probably the lack of eyelids) and the fact that plants don’t have a face.  With so many schools of thought, where exactly would you draw the line-that is if you find yourself considering such a life changing pursuit?

Consider this: scientifically plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and viruses are all legitimate forms of life.  One key element to the definition of life is its response to external stimuli; it reacts when poked.  So this suggests that plants and all other life feel in one way or another.  The question arises:  if compassion is the driving force behind your choice, then how deep does this rabbit hole of passivism go?

Jainism, or the Jain Religion, is an order of nonviolent individuals bent on causing the least amount of harm possible, and their motto is not taken lightly.  Jains believe in the equality of souls and that all forms of life contain them. Read More

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Chai Makes Way For Coffee: India Embraces Starbucks

By admin | February 2, 2012

Photo:

Photo: ELPhotographia

By: Saira Malhotra

Delhi, India: brutally hot in the summer and brutally cold in the winter. A city where meal, snack and dessert options adjust to reflect changes in a climatic backdrop, yet there remained one consistency- chai.  An integral part of the day, chai represents not just the hot beverage steeped with tea leaves and spices, but also a homely setting with company allowing for moments to regroup and share happiness and sorrow.

Today, the fundamental elements of getting recharged and exchanging notes continue to be a required part of the day. However, the beverage and venue have changed. In just under a couple of decades, India has witnessed the rise of coffee houses, a trend off set by coffee lounge company ‘Cafe Coffee Day’. There are now thousands of inviting coffee shops all over the country with their own signature look and feel, offering Western snacks of biscotti and donuts as well as traditional Indian high tea snacks of pakoras and samosas. Read More

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India’s New Food Security Bill May Help Hunger Rates

By admin | January 9, 2012

Photo: Gates Foundation

Photo: Gates Foundation

By: Saira Malhotra

India – a country growing by leaps and bounds. A place where one can expect to find malls and luxury high rises sprouting like flowers in a fertile land. A developing country whose people face daily choices of organic or commercially grown, I-Phone or Blackberry, cook at home or eat out. Yet there remains a red flag leaving Gandhi Ji’s dream of an India without hunger unfulfilled: Food Insecurity. Last week, NY Times – India Ink, reported on initiatives and amendments that are being implemented nationwide.

Amid parliamentary discussions of anti-corruption legislation and hunger – challenges the country has faced for centuries, a new bill has been introduced to address food insecurity: ‘The National Food Security Bill’. The goal is to bring relief to the bellies of 75% of rural India and 50% of urban households, which under the previous system has not been effectively carried out. Read More

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The Ultimate Community Epicurean Experience: The Sikh Practice of Langar

By admin | December 7, 2011

Photo: mercedesfromtheeighties

Photo: mercedesfromtheeighties

By: Saira Malhotra

To whom would you bestow the crown of being your favorite chef? (Besides Marcus Samuelsson, of course!) Is it a member of your family, a friend, a chef from your most visited restaurant or that trip you took last year to Santorini where Costas made those wonderful tomato Keftes? For people in the Indian Sikh community, their options go even further and many of them would agree that their favorite cooks can be found in the kitchens of the local Gurudwara; the Sikh place of worship.

Sikhs come from Punjab, a region in Northern India situated between the border of India and Pakistan. For Sikhs, religion is a very integral part of their life and many visit their local Gurudwara on a daily basis. Yet they aren’t just there for spiritual tune-ups. They are also there to perform their duties as member of the community and connect with each other.

Every day, the Gurudwara serves Langar – three meals a day to everybody, regardless of their faith. Read More

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A Glimpse Into Indian Street Food: Interview with Chef Hemant Mathur

By admin | October 21, 2011

Photo: Hemant Mathur

Photo: Hemant Mathur

By: Saira Malhotra

Amid the towering corporate offices and New York City’s enthusiastic and multiplying energy lies a very serene locale ‘Tulsi’. Meaning ‘holy basil’, Tulsi is a plant that is worshipped in the morning and evening in India – could a name be any more fitting to this dining sanctuary? Mr. Mathur, a powerhouse in the Indian food scene is behind this culinary mid-town gem. Read More

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The Hindu Food Fasting and Spiritual Feasting: Karva Chauth

By admin | October 17, 2011

Photo: arunjrk

Photo: arunjrk

By: Saira Malhotra

This past Saturday was Karva Chauth, the day I was awakened by my mother-in-law at the crack of dawn to eat sweets, Indian stuffed unleavened breads and fresh fruit. To know me is to understand that sleep is the single most important ingredient to get my day started the right way and to know me really well is to know that I am not a breakfast person. Why then, was this day any different? This is the one day in the year when Hindu ladies (particularly from the North) pray for the longevity of their husbands’ life by fasting from sunrise to moon rise.

Many cultures have some kind of fasting as part of their rituals. For the Muslims, there’s Eid, for the Jews, there’s Yom Kippur, for Christians, there’s Lent and for Hindus, there’s Karva Chauth. Read More

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Street Food: Pakora

By admin | July 5, 2011

Photo: ampersandyslexia on flickr

Photo: ampersandyslexia on flickr

An important aspect of street food is how easy it is to eat and transport. When you’re walking around a new city, choosing portable food to enjoy while you explore can help maximize your time during your visit. Pakoras, a popular Indian chaat, are great little bites that you can wrap up and take with you for a delicious and traditional snack. Read More

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