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6 Indian States and their special Dishes that will leave you hungry for more!

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines making the exquisite Indian Cuisines more tempting and relishing.

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Indian Food, Wikimedia

April 23, 2017: India consists of many cultures under one roof and each and every culture fills the air of this nation with the beautiful aroma of their cuisines. Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to India.

Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices and traditions. Also, Middle Eastern and Central Asian influences have occurred on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal rule.

Indian cuisine is still evolving, as a result of the nation’s cultural interactions with other societies. No wonder, the delicious delicacies of the country are an integral part of its culture and the culture is very well reflected on a single plate of food. Here is a list of popular Indian cuisines which will leave you hungry for more-

Rajma Chawal;the comfort food of Punjab,Source-Wikipedia

1. Punjab : The cuisine of Punjab is known for its diverse range of dishes. The state, being an agriculture center, is abundant with whole grains, vegetables, and, fruits. Home-cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisines can vary significantly. Restaurant-style Punjabi cooking puts emphasis on creamy textured foods by using ghee, butter and cream to accustom various kinds of guest taste preferences; while, home-cooked equivalents center around whole wheat, rice, and other ingredients flavored with various kinds of masalas.

Try the makke ki roti and sarson da saag, which is a popular combination of a Punjabi flat-bread and gravy made of mustard leaves and spices. Also, the popular chhola-bhatura, rajma-chawal, amritsari machhli (fish) and lassi (sweetened buttermilk) find their roots in this region.

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Khaman Dhokla,the speciality of Gujarat,Source-Wikipedia

2. Gujarat- North Gujarat, Kathiawad, Kachchh, and South Gujarat are the four major regions of Gujarati cuisine. Many Gujarati dishes are simultaneously sweet, salty (like vegetable handva), and spicy. In mango season, keri no ras (fresh mango pulp) is often an integral part of the meal. . Try the dhokla, which is a well-known snack or breakfast item that is both healthy and delicious. Other popular delicacies include the thepla (flat-bread made of fresh fenugreek leaves and flour), khandvi, dhansak and Gujarati kadhi.

Pav Bhaji,A famous snack found in streets as well as restaurants;Source-Wikipedia

3. Maharashtra- Maharashtrian cuisine is an extensive balance of many different tastes. It includes a range of dishes from mild to very spicy tastes. Bajri, wheat, rice, jowar, vegetables, lentils, and fruit form important components of the Maharashtrian diet. Popular dishes include puran poli, ukdiche modak, batata wada, sabudana khichdi, masala bhat, pav bhaji, and wada pav. Poha or flattened rice is also usually eaten at breakfast. Kanda poha and aloo poha are some of the dishes cooked for breakfast and snacking in evenings. Shrikhand, a sweet dish made from strained yogurt, is a main dessert of Maharashtrian cuisine.

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Litti:Bihar’s speciality;Source-Wikipedia

4. Bihar- People don’t know enough about the typical cuisine of Bihar even though it is excessively rich in taste and austere in the way it is prepared. Bihari cuisine is wholesome and simple. Litti chokha, a baked salted wheat-flour cake filled with sattu (baked chickpea flour) and some special spices, is well known among the middle-class families served with baigan bharta, made of roasted eggplant and tomatoes. Among meat dishes, meat saalan is a popular dish made of mutton or goat curry with cubed potatoes in garam masala. During the festival of Chhath, thekua, a sweet dish made of ghee, jaggery, and whole-meal flour, flavoured with aniseed, is made.

Rajasthani Thali, Source-Wikipedia

5. Rajasthan- This state is not only illustrious because of its vast deserts, beautiful palaces, and vibrant history—it is also famed for the scrumptious indigenous cuisine. The region presents a variety of delicacies when it comes to food. One of the most appetizing dishes is daal-baati, which consists of hard balls made of wheat flour and additives fried in ghee, and a special daal made of different types of pulses. It is usually served with churma, a sweet dish prepared by crushing baatis and adding ghee and sugar. Also try the pyaaz kachori, malai ghewar, gatte ki sabzi and kalakand.

Bengali authentic full meal, Source-Wikipedia

6. West Bengal- During the 19th century, many Odia cooks were employed in Bengal and they took several dishes with them. Bengali cuisine is the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once. Bengali cuisine differs according to regional tastes, such as the emphasis on the use of chilli pepper in the Chittagong district of Bangladesh. However, across all its varieties, there is predominant use of mustard oil along with large amounts of spices. The cuisine is known for subtle flavours with an emphasis on fish, vegetables, lentils, and rice.
Fresh sweetwater fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengalis prepare fish in many ways, such as steaming, braising, or stewing in vegetables and sauces based on coconut milk or mustard. Shondesh and Rasgulla are popular sweet dishes made of sweetened, finely ground fresh cheese. In fact first ever Rasgulla was made in West Bengal.

The interaction of various Indian diaspora communities with the native cultures of their domiciles have resulted in the creation of many fusion cuisines, which blend aspects of Indian and foreign cuisines making the exquisite Indian Cuisines more tempting and relishing.

– by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6

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Heroin worth Rs. 100 crore seized by BSF in Punjab

22kg heroine was recovered during a combat between Pakistani smugglers and BSF troopers

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22kg heroin seized in Punjab
BSF recovers heroine worth Rs. 100 crores from Pakistani smugglers. Wikimedia Commons.

In a joint operation, Border Security Forces (BSF) troopers and the Punjab Police have recovered 22kg of heroin in Punjab’s Ferozepur sector following exchange of fire with Pakistani smugglers near the international border, a BSF officer said on Saturday.

The encounter took place late on Friday following a tip-off that smugglers were trying to send heroin consignment into India.

At least one Pakistani smuggler was injured in the exchange of fire as blood stains were found during search of the area on Saturday, BSF officer D.S. Rajpurohit said.

The BSF recovered a pistol and one Pakistani Sim card.

The BSF also arrested three Indian smugglers who were waiting close to the border fence to collect the heroin consignment.

The smugglers were trying to smuggle the heroin consignment using a plastic pipe across the border fence.

The heroin is worth nearly Rs 110 crore in the international market.

The Ferozepur border is around 275 km from here.

Punjab shares a 553-km-long barbed-wire fenced international border with Pakistan. (IANS)

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The Fall of the poster boy of Indian politics – Nitish Kumar

How Nitish Kumar gave his career a downfall drift

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Chief Minister of Bihar
Nitish Kumar

Amulya Ganguly

At one time, he was the poster boy of Indian politics. Not only did he slay the villain of Bihar’s “jungle raj” in 2005 by rounding up lawless elements after winning an election and launching social and economic development projects, he also scored another resounding electoral victory in the company of a new set of friends, including the “villain”, in 2015.

It appeared at the time that he could do no wrong. So much so that he was seen as a possible prime ministerial candidate of the “secular” front.

But, then, the rise and rise of Nitish Kumar came to an abrupt halt. He remains Bihar’s Chief Minister, but the halo round his head has frayed.

The reason is not only his switching of friends in what is seen as an exercise in crass opportunism, but also his pursuit of policies which are out of sync with the modern world and threatens to reinforce Bihar’s reputation for backwardness by turning the entire state into a virtual dehat or village.

The first step in this bucolic direction was the imposition of prohibition which has robbed Bihar’s clubs, hotels and intellectual watering holes of cosmopolitanism. Now, Nitish Kumar has taken yet another step backwards by demanding 50 per cent reservations for the backward castes in the private sector.

To begin with the second step, it is obvious that by threatening to take the quota system to such an absurd level, the Chief Minister has scotched any hope of industrial growth in a state which is crying out for investment.

In 2012, Bihar received investment proposals worth Rs 24,000 crore. In the post-liquor ban period, they have dropped to Rs 6,500 crore.

If his new ally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had any hope, therefore, of making Bihar the beneficiary of his Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas goals, he can bid it goodbye.

Nitish Kumar’s latest pitch in favour of the backward castes is all the more strange because he cannot seriously expect that his proposal will pass muster at the judicial level.

Like most Indian politicians, he is more interested in posing as a champion of whichever group he is courting at a given moment than in adopting measures which have a reasonable chance of success.

He merely wants to impress his targeted audience by showing that he did make an honest effort, but was stymied by the “system”.

Whether it is prohibition or reservations, Nitish Kumar’s ploys tend to underline crafty political manoeuvres rather than any genuine intention of acting in the state’s interest.

Unfortunately for the Janata Dal (United) leader, his gambits are too palpable to deceive anyone. In the case of the reservations, it is clear that Nitish Kumar is still battling his old adversary-cum-ally-cum-adversary, Lalu Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

Since Nitish Kumar belongs to a numerically small and politically less influential caste — the Kurmis — than the RJD’s powerful Yadavs, he has never been at ease in Lalu Prasad’s company whether at the time of their camaraderie during Jayaprakash Narayan’s anti-Congress movement or when they were a part of the state government after the 2015 election victory.

The focal point of Nitish Kumar’s political career has been to establish himself as the foremost leader in the state. Lalu Prasad’s conviction in the fodder scam case enabled Nitish Kumar to be the No. 1 in the Janata Dal (United)-RJD-Congress government.

But he appeared to be forever looking over his shoulder to check whether he was being undermined by the RJD which has more MLAs than the Janata Dal (United).

Prohibition was the policy which he embraced to win over the lower middle class and rural women to his side. But, predictably, the liquor ban has led to an increase in drug abuse with 25 per cent of the cases in de-addiction centres now dealing with the users of cannabis, inhalants and sedatives.

Unlike prohibition which is not aimed at any caste, the demand for the 50 per cent reservations is intended by Nitish Kumar to bolster his position vis-a-vis Lalu Prasad since both are intent on playing the backward caste card.

It is also a message to his partner in the government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), about the importance of the quota system for the Chief Minister, especially when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, is in favour of doing away with reservations altogether.

Nitish Kumar's self demolition
Bihar’s chief minister gave his political career a U-turn.

When Bhagwat expressed his views during the 2015 election campaign, the BJP quickly distanced itself from them for fear of losing the backward caste and Dalit votes. Even then, the BJP’s reputation as a brahmin-bania party remains intact. Besides, it is now more focused on playing the nationalist card than on wooing the backward castes.

Nitish Kumar must have thought, therefore, that the time was ripe for him to up the ante on the caste issue if only to let the BJP know that he cannot be marginalised as the BJP has been tending to do since tying the knot with the Janata Dal (United).

But, whatever his intention, Nitish Kumar cannot but be aware that his position is much weaker now than when he was in the “secular” camp. Nor is there any chance that he will regain his earlier status any time in the near future.(IANS)

 

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)