India: Samosa Recipe

A samosa /səˈmsə/ or samoosa is a fried or baked pastry with savory filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils Samosachutneyand also with ground meat (lamb, beef or chicken).[1] They may or may not also contain pine nuts. The samosa originated in the Middle East (where it is known as sambosa[2]) prior to the 10th century.[3] They were introduced to Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan) during the Muslim Delhi Sultanate when cooks from Middle East and Central Asia migrated to work in the kitchens of the Sultan and the nobility. Its size and consistency may vary, but typically it is distinctly triangular or tetrahedral in shape. Indian samosas are usually vegetarian, and often accompanied by a mint sauce or chutney.

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Food History: Tamarind

1024px-Tamarind21024px-Tamarind_candyTamarind (Tamarindus indica) (from Arabic: تمر هندي‎, romanized tamar hindi, “Indian date”) is a leguminous tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon, having only a single species.

The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are used extensively in cuisines around the world.

Tamarindus indica is probably indigenous to tropical Africa,[1] but has been cultivated for so long on the Indian subcontinent that it is sometimes also reported to be indigenous there.[2] It grows wild in Africa in locales as diverse as Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania. In Arabia, it is found growing wild in Oman, especially Dhofar, where it grows on the sea-facing slopes of mountains. It reached South Asia likely through human transportation and cultivation several thousand years prior to the Common Era.

In the 16th century, it was heavily introduced to Mexico, and to a lesser degree to South America, by Spanish and Portuguese colonists, to the degree that it became a staple ingredient in the region’s cuisine.

 

The Multi-Ethnic Hannah Simone

When “New Girl” came on the scene.  Everyone was curious of about the new girl actress, Hannah Simone.  The sitcom Hannaheven decided to address the issue of her physical question mark of ethnicity.  The beautiful actress said in an interview with openchest.com:

“I’m a multi-ethnic person so I think most people are surprised by any part of the puzzle. My father is Indian, my mother is half German-Italian and half Greek-Cypriot. More people are surprised by where I grew up! Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, India, England and Canada isn’t a normal answer to that question. Being raised as someone who is multicultural and multi-ethnic has been the greatest gift to me.”

AD Puts Spotlight on Dark Skinned Indian Women

Lowe Lintas India created this ad with filmmaker Gauri Shinde in order to shine a light on the stone age-esque views of marriage in India, as well as their prejudices toward darker skin tones. Historically, divorced or widowed men are outcasts in Indian culture. So this ad is a palpable break from Indian tradition .  Read More

What’s so Exotic about Padma Lakshmi?

One of the definitions of exotic according to Webster’s dictionary is defined as “strikingly different” which also describes when Padma Parvati Lakshmi came into prominence in the culinary world.  She brought a different point of view to the mainstream.  Lakshmi is an Indian American cookbook author, actress, model and television host. Her debut cookbook Easy Exotic won her the “Best First Book” award at the 1999 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She has been the host of the US reality television program Top Chef since season two in 2006, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. In 2010, Top Chef won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. READ MORE

 

 

Film and Foodie Review: Cooking With Stella

Cooking with Stella is a zany film directed by the acclaimed Dilip Mehta. It is co-written with her sister.  The story is a bit disjointed but the leading lady played by Seema Biswas is a delightfully mischievous character.  However, the expectations of the title and what is actually delivered left me disappointed as a foodie.  In films like Eat Drink Man Woman, Tortilla Soup, and even Godfather’s Three(The Gnocchi scene), the food was memomorable.  This film generally falls short, there is no invitation through the cinematography to devour the food with your eyes. (READ MORE)

What Bollywood Actress Mallika Sherawat Has To Say

If you get past looking at her cup size, the sexy actress really has some things to say.  Just in case you don’t know her work, she is one of the top Bollywood actresses.  However, her road to stardom includes jumping over some hurdles.  In fact, she is estranged from her parents and family, who are very religious and don’t agree with Mallika working in the movies.

Quotes from Mallika:

“I have always wanted to be an actress. In spite of strong opposition from my orthodox family, I came to Mumbai in 2002 on completion of my graduation from Delhi University. In fact, I ran off from home to pursue my career. I knew my parents would never let me be an actress, so I had to take the bold step. However, I have a strong support from my kid brother Vikram, whom I love more than anything else in this world.”

“I would like to say I handle criticism well. In fact I enjoy reading the comments of the critics. It’s great to have critics blasting you all the time. It keeps you on your toes, spurs you, challenges you, makes you want to get better. I take everything positively. There’s so much to learn and do.” (Movie Mag International, September 2004)

On her film, The Myth (2005): I may not be here to titillate, but I am not sorry if I have that edge. People aren’t coming to the theaters to see me in a burqa”. (Movie Mag International, September 2004)

You can also see Mallika in an American romantic comedy  called the Politics of Love  co-starring Brian White.

MCCN caught up with her at the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles- SEE VIDEO

Spotlight on Beauty Secrets of Women of India

Ramya, a young woman from Bangalore, India, says some use homemade remedies to beautify themselves. On her wedding day, an Indian bride may use a mixture of turmeric, lemon and honey on her skin to achieve a glowing complexion.

Ramya says brides also wear special clothing and jewelry, including a forehead chain, on their special days. A dot of red powder on the face—known as a kumkum—is also thought to make a woman more attractive.  READ MORE