1)How long did the Hundred Years War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get catgut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel’s hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI’s first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

(1) 116 years
(2) Ecuador
(3) Sheep and Horses
(4) November
(5) Squirrel fur
(6) Dogs
(7) Albert
(8) Crimson
(9) New Zealand
(10) Orange, of course.

Well? It seemed easy enough – what do you mean you failed?! Just see the dangers of QUICK ASSUMPTION.

Practice what you Preach

begging bowl:

“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion”
– Mahaparinirvana (Mahayana Version)

I saw a travel documentary snippet yesterday on Thailand, noting the saffron-robed monks begging for food, then ‘chowing down’ on a meat-and-rice lunch.

It reminded me of a letter I attended to on the subject of Meat Eating & Buddhism. Check it out.

Fremantle Festival

Attended the Street Parade yesterday as the grand finale of the annual Fremantle Festival. The grand Rathayatra Cart of Jagannatha, commemorating millenia old celebrations in Puri, Eastern India, was drawn through the streets of the seaport City of Fremantle on Perth’s southern coastline by devotees chanting the ever-fresh Hare Krishna Mantra.


The beautiful cart was presided over by the ancient forms of Jagannatha in a miniature version of the original parade in India which attracts millions of faithful every year.

Nitai Sacinandana:

When, in the 1800’s, the British witnessed the sheer overwhelming size of the carts and the awesome hugeness of the event they coined the term ‘juggernaut’, meaning ‘a large heavy and overwhelming force or object’, their approximation of the name ‘jagannatha’.


I was fortunate to lead the 2 hour-long call-and-response chanting, and thoroughly enjoyed spiritual bliss, accompanied by pounding drums, melodious accordion, fizzing cymbals and sweet voices.


The 10,000 onlookers were stunned by the beauty and spiritual presence of the parade and responded by spontaneously raising their arms and cheering. It was one of the nicest little Ratha Yatra Festivals I’ve been on for long time.

happy campers:

Tom Yum

Christopher L. Boyd from Memphis, Tennessee wrote to me a while back:

Hi Kurma, love your recipes in ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’, its near worn-out, the wife and I have used it so much. Was wondering, what’s Tom Yum?

tom yum:

Hello Christopher,

Glad to hear you’ve been putting my book to good use.
Tom Yum is a famous Thai soup. I’ve got a version in my latest book “Vegetarian World Food”. Allow me to share it with you.

In a Pickle

Commenting on my Team-Building Luncheon, Sudakaran Sangaran writes:

“Your class participants are always a happy bunch.
Care to share the recipe for the hot and sweet eggplant pickles?”


Here it is:

Hot & Sweet Eggplant Pickles

This tender and delicious pickle from Maharastra is simultaneously hot sweet and sour. Select firm fresh eggplants for best results. Makes 3 cups.

450g eggplants, about 3 medium

½ cup peanut oil

2 teaspoons finely minced ginger

1 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

½ cup apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds

Wash and dry the eggplants. Cut them into wedges, ensuring each wedge has some skin on it.

Heat the oil over moderate heat in a wok until fairly hot. Drop in the ginger and saute for 1 minute, or until aromatic. Sprinkle in the yellow asafetida powder, saute momentarily then add the eggplant, salt and cayenne. Stir-fry the eggplants constantly for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplants are soft enough to pierce with a knife.

Add the vinegar or lemon juice, and the sugar. Reduce the heat and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the eggplants are very tender. Sprinkle in the ground cumin seeds, and remove the pickle from the heat. Allow to cool then serve.

Season'd with Love

Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,

When season’d with love, which no rancour disturbs

And sweeten’d by all that is sweetest in life

Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!

But if, out of humour, and hungry, alone

A man should sit down to dinner, each one

Of the dishes which the cook chooses to spoil

With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,

The chances are ten against one, I must own,

He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.


– Lord Lytton (Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton) (“Owen Meredith”)
Source: Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 27)