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Many people cringe at just the thought of eating pumpkin. But one can give it a tasty twist in a hassle free way, say experts.
Matt Preston, who judges “MasterChef Australia” — which is aired in India on Star World and Star World HD, experts from salebhai.com and chevon.in, list down some food ideas for the Halloween party.
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Pumpkin Soup with a twist
- 1 kg Kent pumpkin, cut into 3 cm thick wedges, deseeded
- 1 onion, peeled, cut into wedges
- 1 granny smith apple, cored, cut into wedges
- 3 garlic cloves
- 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Half teaspoon nutmeg
- 1.5 l – 2 l chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch sage leaves
- 50g bacon batons
- 50g pepitas
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180C.
Place pumpkin, onion, apple and garlic into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over cinnamon, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and grate over nutmeg. Toss vegetables to coat.
Bake vegetables in oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked and softened.
Remove tray from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, remove skin from pumpkin and squeeze garlic from its skin, then transfer vegetables to a large saucepan.
Add stock to pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove pan from heat, then using a stick blender, puree until smooth, adding more stock if necessary. Season to taste. Alternatively, you can use a blender. For a very smooth soup, strain mixture through a fine sieve.
To serve, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and cook until crispy, then remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Add bacon and cook until light golden, then add pepitas, and cook for a further minute. Add sugar and stir until melted and caramel is sticking to bacon and pepitas.
Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with pepita mixture and crispy sage leaves. Season to taste.
Recipe for Pumpkin and goat cheese risotto
- 500 g mixed mushrooms (shiitake, chestnut, field, button, porcini, slippery jack, pine, king brown, as you like)
- 5 cups vegetable stock (to make your own see recipe in the panel or use salt-reduced store- bought)
- 110g butter
- Olive oil
- 1 medium-size brown onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 cups carnaroli or vialone nano rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and cracked black pepper
- 50g hazelnuts, skin removed
- Zest of one orange
- Bunch of parsley
Trim the mushrooms and wipe them clean if necessary. Keep any clean trimmings. Warm the stock in a large saucepan but do not bring it to the boil. Throw in any mushroom trimmings.
Place a large heavy-bottom pan on the heat and melt 30g of butter with a slug of olive oil. Cook onion gently in this pan. Soften, but and this is important do not let it colour.
In a separate pan, put the cut mushrooms with a little butter. Braise these mushrooms gently over a medium heat to soften slightly and go golden. Do not overcook or let the mushrooms lose too much liquid so they boil. Cook the mushrooms in batches if necessary.
Turn up the heat and add the white wine to the rice. Bubble this away until the rice and onion mix looks slippery rather than wet.
Add four cups of the stock and stir through the rice. Pop a lid on the pot and turn down the heat. Leave for 12 minutes to simmer away. Don’t touch it.
After 12 minutes, check the rice. To do this, crush a grain of rice with your thumb on the back of a wooden spoon. If it squidges outwards leaving a little white star at its centre then it needs to cook longer, add 1/4 cup of stock and stir until absorbed. Use the squidge test again and continue adding more stock if needed. If you see three tiny white stars, then the rice is ready.
Spoon in some of the butter and some of the parmesan and vigorously stir the rice with the sort of enthusiasm you might use if paddling away from the lip of a tall waterfall.
Some other handy tips and recipes are:
* Fruit pulp candy: Indian-made fruit pulp candies can offer a healthy and tasty alternatives to high-sugar and low nutritional value candies available in the market. Often available in gluten-free forms and using tasty fruits such as jamun, guava, strawberry, mango, and even wood apple, flavoured fruit pulp candy can be a delight for children.
* Turkish sheekh kabab roll: Pan fry thawed Turkish sheekh kabab with some oil till slightly brown and keep it aside. Take hot dog roll/bun cut it lengthwise place some shredded iceburg lettuce, tomato-onion slices and pan fried sheekh kabab. Squeeze some mint mayonnaise (Mint leaves + green chilli + cumin powder + salt + mayonnaise + grind) and serve as is or by cutting into two.
* Italian cocktail sausage puff: Take Italian cocktail sausages thaw it in refrigerator and roll whole sausage in ready puff pastry sheet. Bake it in oven at 425 degree F until puffed with light golden colour. Remove and serve with tarter sauce.(IANS)
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
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Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.
The Mysore kingdom became a popular tourist destination after India became an independent country. The Wodeyar dynasty who succeeded Tipu Sultan are still royalty, but they do not rule the state. Their heritage and culture have become what Karnataka is famous for.
Among the many things that Mysore offers to the state of Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is one. In north India, various cultures have their own headgears. They wear their traditional outfits on the days of festivities and ceremonies. Likewise, in the south, especially in Karnataka, the Mysore Peta is worn.
Made of the traditional Mysore silk, the Peta is usually a white turban decorated with a gold silk thread. It is worn by the Maharaja of Mysore during Dasara, or any other public appearance. This tradition has been preserved and is used all over the state by prominent leaders.
Politicians who want to appease older, more experienced politicians, offer a peta as a sign of honour. International guests are welcomed into the city with a peta and silk shawl. In universities, the peta is worn as a replacement to the black caps, as a sign of graduation and scholarship.
Even today, in the court of Mysore, petas are worn and given out as tokens of honour. The peta of the king varies from the ones a courtier wears, and even among them, there is a difference according to status. Petas are made by a particular family and passed down from generation to generation.
Keywords: Mysore kingdom, peta, silk, Wodeyar
Renowned feminist activist, author, and a face of the women's rights movement in India, Kamla Bhasin, passed away today morning at the age of 74.
The news of the same was shared by activist Kavita Srivastava on Twitter. The tweet said, "Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women's movement in India and the South Asian region. She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief."
Bhasin, since the 1970s, has been an advocate of women's movement not just in India but other South Asian countries as well. In fact, in 2002, she founded a feminist network named as 'Sangat', which only motive was to work with underprivileged women from rural and tribal communities, often by using non-literary tools like plays, songs, and art.
Having a Master's degree in literature, Bhasin has written many books on gender theory and feminism, and interestingly, many of them have been translated into more than 30 languages. Another quick fact revolving around Bhasin is that the chant of 'Azadi', which is often heard at protests and rallies, was first popularised by her as feminist slogan against patriarchy.
Bhasin was awarded with the "Laadli Life Time Achievement Award" in the year 2017 for her commendable work.
Keywords: Kamla Bhasin, Feminism, India, Patriarchy, Literature, Feminist, Women, Rights