Saturday October 21, 2017

Fifteen Unusual and Bizarre Delicacies that People in India love to have on their Plate!

India has always been a land of diversity and that is relevant in its cuisine

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Indian food. Source: Pixabay

Sept 17, 2016: When it comes to Indian food, first thing comes to mind is rich, delicious cuisines, spices, finger-licking curries, hot tandoori chicken, butter naan, rich flavours etc. Have you ever heard India could also have bizarre foods that are second to none? If you used to believe that Indian food is all about curries, vegetables, and spices, keep reading to get your facts right. We strongly believe that your perceptions about Indian food will change!

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India is truly a land of surprises. The following list of bizarre foods available in India will truly surprise you:

  • Jadoh– This dish is popular with the Jaintia tribe of the North East, predominantly Meghalaya. It consists of rice being cooked with the blood and entrails of either pigs or chicken. It is like your regular Pulav, but with blood and intestines.

    Jadoh. Flickr
  • Nahkham-Garo tribe is known for having this delicacy. The dish includes a curry made of dried fish which is well-blended with vegetables and distilled ashes. The dish smells actually bad, sometimes even worse than expected. But dried fish is well known in several parts of the country.

    source: Pixabay
    Nahkham                                                                                                                                  source: Pixabay
  • Doh Khileh– Another one is from Meghalaya makes it to the list. If you’ve ever had pork and onion salad, this is very similar to that. But of course, there is a catch here. It’s the garnishing it comes with. This delicacy is garnished with steamed pig brain; yes you read that right. Pig Brain, anyone?

    Doh Khileh. Pixabay
  • Dog meat– All you dog lovers can stay away from this one! Though unheard of in rest of the country, Nagaland has delicacies that include dogs, spiders, pork, beef, crabs and even elephants. Dog meat prepared in different ways and is a favorite amongst the tribal communities of Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur.

    Dog Meat. Flickr
  • Frog Legs– In Sikkim’s Lepchas community, having a few pieces of frog legs is really very exotic experience. The tribal people relish on frog legs as their delicacy for their whole life. According to them, frog legs have medicinal values and they can treat various stomach ailments and dysentery.

    Frog Legs. Wikimedia
  • Sorpotel– When it comes to food, Goa has Portuguese inclinations. Goa is offering bizarre food known as Sorpotel. The pork offal is the ingredient which makes it so bizarre. Offal is actually the internal organs and entrails of animal which is used as food or waste material.

    source: Pixabay
    Sorpotel                                                                                                                                     source: Pixabay
  • Eri Polu– Made of silkworm pupas, Eri Polu is one of the delicious yet bizarre foods in Assam. The main ingredient in this delicacy is Eri silkworm. Its cocoon is spun and used to prepare it. Usually, it is served with another exotic dish, “Khorasan” It is prepared using fermented bamboo shoots. This traditional condiment is used in Assam.

Eri Polu. Wikimedia
Eri Polu. Wikimedia

  • Red Ant Chutney– Chapra is the hottest favorite meals of the tribe in Chhattisgarh. It is actually the tribal state where this type of food is common. Chapra is chutney made of red ants and their eggs. It has the spicy and pungent flavor which gives the amazing experience. It looks weird at first. These ants are used for garnishing the dishes to add some spice and heat.

    Chapra. Flickr
  • Baby shark curry– This one was a complete surprise to me. If you’re in Goa, you’ll find that this is a star dish of the Goan cuisine. Just think of it like any other fish, really. Since it’s very difficult to catch and also very well-loved by the locals, this is one curry that won’t come for cheap. Who is afraid of sharks, anymore?

Shark meat. Wikimedia
Shark meat. Wikimedia

  • Hilsa Eggs– Llisha or Hilsa is a fish species found in the Bay of Bengal. It is also one of the popular foods among the people of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Hilsa eggs in Bengal are made with turmeric and mustard oil.

    Hilsa Eggs. Flickr
  • Buffalo Spleen– Tilli is actually the spleen of buffalo which is marinated in spices and char-grilled. It is the delicacy in Pune. It has a great nutritional value of protein and iron and it is low fat. It is a tasty and aromatic street snack in Pune.

Buffalo Meat, Pixabay
Buffalo Meat, Pixabay

  • Rat Meat– Restaurants in Bihar are used to serve rat meat. The rat curry or roasted rat is the main delicacy in their menu. It is locally known as Patal Bageri by the Musharar community in Jharkhand and Bihar.

Rat Meat. Wikimedia

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  • Fermented Pork Fat- The unbearable smell will make you leave the food therewith, but some Indians enjoy the fermented pig fat known as Gradook and find it delicious!

    Source: flickr
    Pork fat                                                                                                                                Source: flickr
  • Grated Bamboo Shoot– As it sounds , Khorisa is tasteless and spices free, but is eaten in some parts of India in Pickled form and fermented too.

    source: flickr
    Khorisa                                                                                                                                source: flickr
  • Paya– The word “Paya” , though famous, has the taste of hoofs of cow, buffalo, horse or lamb and is cooked over coal to give it a smoky flavor!.

    Paya. Flickr

India has always been a land of diversity and that is relevant in its cuisine. If one community disapproves a dish, the other community finds it delicious. Different cultures, different areas and thus different, unique and sometimes bizarre is what describes our food habits best.

-by Arya Sharan of NewsGram. Twitter: @NoOffense9

 

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The Solution to Racial Politics in Guyana and Trinidad

It is believed that the PNC was instrumental in the Wismar massacre on May 26, 1964

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Trinidad and Tobago
Indentured Laborers taken from India. Wikimedia

– by Dr Kumar Mahabir

Tobago and Trinidad, August 10, 2017: A noted Anthropologist from Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Kumar Mahabir has brought to attention the racial politics in Guyana and Trinidad. The article is an excerpt from a research paper presented by him recently at the First Diaspora Engagement Conference in Guyana organized by The University of Guyana.

There is legitimate suspicion, fear and insecurity among East Indians of the ruling APNU+AFC regime in Guyana. The President of Guyana, David Granger, was a former Commander of the African-dominated Guyana Defence Force under the PNC regime (1964 -1992), which is the major partner in the current APNU +AFC coalition government.

It is believed that the PNC was instrumental in the Wismar massacre on May 26, 1964.  USA non-Indian historian, Stephen Rabe (2005) of the University of Texas, reported that in the massacre, 200 persons [mainly Indians] died, 800 were injured, 200 houses were destroyed and 1,800 persons were left homeless.

Dr Kumar Mahabir

Non-Indian sociologist Stephen Spencer at Sheffield Hallam University (UK) stated: “While the police and special volunteers looked on passively, the African Guyanese engaged in an orgy of violence against the Indian community, involving rape, arson, beatings and murder” (p. 52).

Indians have no faith and trust in the African-dominated Government of Guyana led by a PNC former military commander. And indeed most Indians in and out of Guyana believe that the APNU+AFC came to power through a rigged election.

Their belief is not without factual and historical basis. The Latin American Bureau, a human rights organization, reported that the PNC “has been responsible for massively rigging every election that has occurred since the country gained independence.”

Indian Diaspora in Guyana has no Faith in African-dominated Government Click To Tweet

Indians would have no faith in the Diaspora Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs unless it is staffed by 40% Indians appointed by the opposition PPP. Contesting the 2015 election as a single party, the PPP barely lost the fight against the united forces of the APNU+AFC alliance.

The result was a narrow victory for the APNU+AFC party with 207,201 votes (50.3% = 33 seats). The PPP followed very closely with 202,656 votes (49.2% = 32 seats) (GECOM, 2015). PPP lost the opportunity to become the government by a mere margin of 4,545 votes. The APNU+AFC collation government is in power by a mere one-seat majority.

General elections were held in racially-divided Trinidad and Tobago on September 7, 2015. The Afro-based People’s National Movement received 52% of the votes and won 23 of the 41 seats in the House of Representatives. The Indo-based People’s Partnership (PP) coalition led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar got 40% of the votes and won 18 seats. Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, his Cabinet Ministers and Ambassadors are mainly Afro-Trinidadians and the PP Opposition consists mainly of Indo-Trinidadians.

For the Guyana’s Government’s diaspora engagement programme to succeed, the ghost of the Wismar massacre has to be put to rest. This can only be done if the APNU+AFC government establishes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) modelled after the restorative justice court in South Africa established after the abolition of apartheid. The APNU+AFC government also has to initiate action to take the surviving assailants of the Wismar Massacre to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Holland.

Guyana’s State polices and programmers can work only if the APNU+AFC government shares power. In his book entitled, Ethno-Politics and Power Sharing in Guyana (2011), David Hinds wrote: “Ethnic groups living side by side have always been suspicious of one another. That suspicion turns to fear and insecurity when the issue of who controls power – decision-making (political) and resource allocation (economic) – invariably arises.”

Hinds added: “In other words, groups fear domination by the other and act out that fear through choices they make both at the community and national levels…. What compounds this fear is that both groups have had a taste of domination by the other” (p. 173).

Attempts by the APNU+AFC government to entice Indian figures to give the semblance of ethnic equality is an exercise in futility. The faces of Moses Nagamootoo, Khemraj Ramjattan, Rupert Roopnaraine, Amna Ally and Ronald Bulkan are used as ethnic window-dressing.

In Guyana, David Hinds noted: “Such leaders bring little tangible benefits to the party as they are often ridiculed by their own group as traitors. They are often forced to either endorse ethnic attacks on their group or remain silent” (p. 176).

Hinds observed that parties accept the solution of power sharing when they are in opposition, but reject it when in power. Power sharing with the Opposition is the only solution for development in racially-divided Guyana and Trinidad.

The concept of consociational democracy was developed in 1968 by the political scientist Arend Lijphart from the Netherlands. The political system is intended to reconcile societal divisions along ethnic and religious lines. In consociational states, all groups, including political minorities, are equitably represented in the political and economic arena.

Dr Kumar Mahabir is an assistant professor of Anthropology in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

 

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Looking for Best Healthy Snack Ideas For Tea-Break? Here is a List!

An array of best healthy snack ideas are here to cheer you up

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Healthy Snacks, tea
Best Healthy Snack Ideas For Tea-Break. Pixabay

New Delhi, July 31, 2017: A tea break is imperative for every Indian. Equally significant is to have the best healthy snack ideas to accompany your favorite cuppa. Be it crispy, sweet, fried or spicy we all look for easy to make snack ideas to add some more delight to our chai-break!

Here are some of the best healthy snack ideas to implement in your tea break. Deck up your tea time with some of the most awesome nutritious snacks. Get a glimpse here of some of the snack ingredients and try them out-

  • Kaju Kothimbir Vadi is very popular among the Maharashtrians. With cashew nuts you add up its nutrient level. also, it is an amazing admixture of crisp and soft. The best part is, you can finish cooking them within 10 minutes.

Roadside snack vendor. Pixabay

  • There is Mirchi Bajji, a spicy recipe made with green chillies, tamarind and coconut. It is best served hot with some chopped onions. If you are looking for something sweet and spicy, treat yourself with Aloo Boonda – a spicy potato filling tastes best when served with coriander chutney.

 

Mirchi Bajji. Wikimedia

  • The variety largely depends on which part of India you are in. For example, if you happen to be in U.P or Bengal, make sure to have some Khasta Kochuri. It is made with flour and moong daal stuffing. It tastes palatable when deep fried. You can also have it with tamarind chutney to make it all the more delicious.

Kochuri served with curry. Wikimedia

ALSO READ: Prolonged Depression can change the structure of the brain 

  • There is again Murukku, all the way from South. Thanks to the diversity of Indian cuisine. Murukku is basically fried lentil snack. It is considered one of the most nutritious snack in Tamil Nadu. Murukku is best if you are considering something crispy and crunchy with tea.

Murukku. Wikimedia

 

  • If you are urging for something sweeter, Pinaca is a very traditional sweet and is filled with the goodness of coconut. Pinaca, a sweet dish hailing from Goa, is also known by the name Pinagr or Pinac. You can enjoy its flavor by storing them in a jar for upto a week.

Pinaca. Youtube

  • Nimki, last but not the least is a Bengali dish. It is quite simple and convenient to prepare, made with a mix of wheat flour and maida and Carom seeds.

Fried nimki. Wikimedia

The list is for you to treat your taste buds while sipping tea and trust me, you will never run out of choices!

–  by Puja Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter @pujas1994

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Here are 5 Indian Dishes that are Popular Across the Globe!

The five Indian dishes that even foreigners swear by

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Indian dishes and their unique spices
Indian spices and flavors. Wikimedia

New Delhi, July 25th, 2017: Reflecting the divergence of cultures; a perfect blend of zillion spices, creating in one’s taste bud, a blast of various flavors; leaving you wanting for more, that’s Indian cuisine for you!

With a country as diverse as ours, it is very much expected of India to maintain this diversity, when it comes to food as well. India doesn’t disappoint, as it contributes to the world, some of the best of food. Indian dishes have had, not just Indians, but the people around the world craving. According to a survey conducted by CNN Travel, recently, India has secured a place among the top 50 cuisines of the world. Here are five Indian dishes that are enjoying the global reputation.

Here are five Indian dishes that are enjoying the global reputation-

BIRYANI

Biryani enjoys global reputation
Biryani. Pixabay

Once you taste the Hyderabadi Biryani, there’s no going back. It is a dish made of rice, meat and is loved by people, India and abroad.

SAMOSA

Indian cuisine enjoying global reputation
Samosa. Pixabay

No one says no to Samosas, EVER! This is a fried snack stuffed with potatoes, and tastes best in combination with pudina (mint) chutney and chai! 

DHOKLA

Indian dishes enjoying global reputation
Dhokla. Pixabay

This soft and spongy snack is a delicious dish coming from the Indian state, Gujarat. It is made of fermented rice and chickpea batter and is perfect to begin your day with if you’re someone who likes their breakfast light yet tasty.

CHOLE BHATURE

Indian dishes enjoying global reputation
Chole bhature. Wikimedia

Chole bhature or the most popular dish in north India includes fried flour bread and curried chickpea. It can be eaten and enjoyed anytime of the day, as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chole bhature when it rains, is hands down, the best idea.

DOSA

Indian food enjoys global reputation
Dosa. Wikimedia Commons

Because who doesn’t love Dosa? This is a dish that South Indians, North Indians, Non- Indians, everybody swears by. It is a South Indian dish made of rice batter and served with Sambhar and Coconut Chutney. 

These are the five Indian dishes that not only Indians but foreigners drool over as well.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha