Wednesday, August 20, 2008

National Integration at its Yummiest!

One thing most people have in common is the love for good food. Some have it in more degree and some have it in a lesser degree but it’s always there. Having said that, how many of us can actually boast of having tried delicacies from all over the length and breadth of our country? Not many, I am sure.

In any case, it would be great to know what the “must eat” dishes from different states are because if in case you do get the chance to visit sometime, you should be able to ask for those yourself.

The list below is dedicated to all those foodies who do not mind seeking out the most obscure places in order to sample the local cuisine. J For easier reference, it has been categorized state-wise.

Kashmir – Gustaba, Tabak Maz, Dum Aloo, Haak or Karam ka Saag

Punjab – Dal Makhani, Makki di Roti – Sarson da Saag, Chana – Bhatura, Amritsari Macchi and Kulcha

Chandigarh – Butter Chicken, Tandoori Chicken, Mutton Pulao

Haryana – Kachri ki Sabzi, Cholia (Green gram), Chaach – Lassi, Bajre ki Khichdi

Delhi – Chaat, Tandoori Chicken, Paranthe, Naugauri-Halwa, Chole Bhature

Rajasthan – Dal-Baati-Churma, Her-Sangari, Lal Maas Gatte, Pyaaz ki Kachori

Gujarat – Thepla, Dhokla, Khandvi, Handvo, Panki

Madhya Pradesh – Lapsi, Bafla, Bhutte ki Khees, Bhopali kababs

Maharashtra – Shrikhand, Thalipeeth, Vada Pao, Modak

Goa – Vindaloo, Xacuti, Bibinca, Prawn Balchao

Karnataka – Bisi Bele Bhaat, Kesari Bhaat, Mysore Pak, Dharwad Pedha, Chiroti

Kerala – Sadya meal, Avial, Malabar Parotha, Payasam, Irachi Stew

Tamil Nadu – Appam, Dosai, Idli, Sambhar, Rasam, Chettinad chicken, Pongal

Pondicherry – Kadugu Yerra, Vendakkai Patchaddy

Andhra Pradesh
– Hyderabadi Biryani, Mirchi ka Salan, Ghongura Pickle, Korikoora

Chattisgarh – Bafauri (a sweet made with chana dal), Kusli (a sweet made with flour and semolina), Red Ant chutney

Orissa – Fish Orly, Khirmohan, Rasabali, Chhenapodapitha

West Bengal – Bhapa Illish, Rosogulla, Mishti Doi

Himachal Pradesh
– Sidu, Aktori and Dham (a vegetarian mid-day meal cooked by Boti Brahmins)

Uttarakhand – Aloo ke Gutke, Kaapa, Jhangora (millets) ki Kheer, Chainsoo

Uttar Pradesh – Kababs, Biryanis, Bedmi Aloo Kachori, Halwa, Benarasi Chaat

Jharkhand – Thekua, Pittha, Marua-ka-Roti

Bihar – Litti (baked balls of wheat), Sattu (ground gram), Khaja, Khubi ka Lai, Anarasa, Tilkut

Sikkim – Momos, Thukpa, Gundruk, Phagshapa and Sael Roti

Manipur – Iromba, Kabok, Chakkouba

Nagaland – Momos, Rice Beer and Cherry Wine

Assam – Maasor Tenga, Pitha

Arunachal Pradesh – Apong (local beer)

Meghalaya – Jadoh, kyat (local beer)

Tripura – Chakhwi, Mwkhwi, Muitri

Mizoram – Zu (a special tea)

I know some of the names do not mean anything right now but am sure enthusiasts would take the trouble to find out what each means.

Disclaimer: This data was NOT painstakingly compiled by yours truly. This was sent to me by someone who knows me well. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

7 Things I Abhor!

This is not really a tag I picked up from someone. This is just a summing up of certain things that get on my nerves; some things that make me want to do what some bratty kids do, i.e. lie down on the floor in the middle of some shop and cry loudly along with beating their arms and legs just because they want something which their parents may not necessarily want to buy them.

1. People in big, luxurious cars like Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen and others rolling down their windows and throwing litter out on the roads. You would have thought that with the kind of money they have, they’d be able to buy a little civic sense as well.

2. Someone pushing past you and getting in front of you in a buffet queue. Come on, it’s a buffet. Its not as if the food is going to get over and the last person to eat is the person in front of you.

3. Guys (and some girls too!) in those abnormally low waist jeans that look as if they are going to land around their ankles any minute now. I agree good underwear is expensive but that does not mean you need to flaunt it all around the place especially in public. As long as you know its there, its good.

4. When in a movie theatre and the National Anthem is being played, some people have the habit of taking their own sweet time to get up, some of them yawn, some talk amongst themselves or laugh and there are some who HAVE to talk on their mobile phones at that very moment. At this I can only go grrrrrrrr……………

5. Someone walking past your stationary vehicle (either at a traffic light or in parked position) and running a sharp object along it or knocking against the sides with fingers covered with rings or even knocking the rear-view mirror awry! Meri jaan jalti hai yaar!!! :(

6. Gropers – one of the worst menaces that exist in every modern society ever. These sickos don’t even spare teenaged girls, they perpetrate their acts in broad daylight and then walk away with innocent faces leaving behind a young girl / lady feeling humiliated all the way to the depth of her soul. It is positively hateful to see that only Indian girls / women walk in public with their bag / book / file / purse held against their chest as a form of protection. They say that in Arab countries and in medieval times, cutting off the offending organ was a common punishment. Wish that could be the case here as well.

7. Imagine this – there is a humungous traffic snarl ahead of you on the express highway; you are frustrated as your car literally inches forward; it takes you exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes to cover the 200 meters after which the traffic suddenly lets up. And all this for what reason? Just one, mind you, ONE car broken down and already pushed to the left of the road and every driver passing it has to slow down and see what has actually happened. And this is not seeing with the objective of wanting to help, just plain curiosity!

While this was not a tag for me, let me be mean and make it a tag for others! I tag Shruthi, Triya, Lak and my new blog mates Smi, Pixie & Lemonade. And of course anyone who wants to take it up of their own free will is welcome as well.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Being Indian

Yesterday we celebrated our 61st Independence Day, the 61st occasion when we celebrate our so called "independence". Why do I use the qualifier (or rather dis-qualifier) of "so called"? Do I seek to dampen the whole idea of Independence Day, one of the most important days in the year? No, actually thats not the idea at all.

But having said that, today there are so many thoughts that come to mind as August 15th approaches us. Instead of the usual good feelings that used to fill my heart when I was at school, now the topmost thing is whether this year would see some terror attacks before and around Aug 15th. Every time I travel in the local train, my eyes automatically look at the racks above and scan the space under the seats. Every time we enter a shopping mall, movie theatre or even parking lots, there are long queues waiting to get in one by one post a metal detector scan or car search. People live bordering on the edge of paranoia - they leave their house in the morning not knowing what could happen during the day.

Even this year was not much too different - the approach to Independence Day saw serial blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad with large quantities of explosives being seized at Baroda and even at some key entry points into Mumbai city that gave the idea that much worse things had been planned. With such things brewing all around, there is a part of our freedom being taken away from us. It is as if some vile forces are holding us hostage with our own freedom as ransom.

And in spite of all of this, we time and time again prove what it is to be Indian. Ignoring all of the above happenings, people still flocked to all the malls dressed in their best representation of the Indian flag. Yesterday I was waiting in the crowded market area at Jogeshwari - one of the most heavily Muslim dominated area in Mumbai for a friend. People were crossing the railway crossing there in droves. About 3 in every 5 people who passed me were proudly (and I say proudly because of the way they walked) sporting a miniature "tiranga" on their clothes. Some people even smiled at me which I later realized was because I too was wearing one on my shirt, one which also had the words "I love my India".

All over the city, I saw the common man, including hundreds of rickshaw and taxiwaalas had at least 1 small tri-colour fluttering from their vehicles. Such people, I am sure would not think about this being a style statement - they do it only because of their love for their country. It was really heartening to see so many instances of saffron, white and green everywhere around me.

When I was younger, I-day used to be a fun day for me, just another holiday. But now I realize what it signifies; I realize what it means to have this country left to our care by those people about whom and about whose deeds we have only read or heard about; what it means to be a free and sovereign republic; how when at the Olympics or the Cricket World Cup, the national anthem is played, it manages to bring a lump in my throat; how I feel when I hear about how our armed forces exist in sub zero conditions in far flung border areas like Kargil and still manage to get the kind of strength and determination required to carry out their duties; how promising things seem when I see the kind of attitude today's youth carry, forward looking and yet steeped in Indianism; how people today are more prone to reacting to injustice of any kind.

Whew, I suddenly realized this list is endless and that makes me very happy! Congratulations on being one of my most favourite persons: an Indian! Jai Hind!