So It Happens


Question: What am I reading?

Answer: Anything written by Ravindra Svarupa.

I enjoy his writing. You might like to check out his website, So It Happens.

(Ravindra Svarupa Dasa (William H. Deadwyler) joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1971 in Philadelphia, PA where he has served for most of his devotional career. He is an initiated disciple of ISKCON

Daily Red Meat Raises Chances Of Dying Early

Daily Red Meat Raises Chances Of Dying Early

By Rob Stein,

Washington Post Staff Writer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

would you like a coffin with that:

Eating red meat increases the chances of dying prematurely, according to the first large study to examine whether regularly eating beef or pork increases mortality.

The study of more than 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who consumed about four ounces of red meat a day (the equivalent of about a small hamburger) were more than 30 percent more likely to die during the 10 years they were followed, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Sausage, cold cuts and other processed meats also increased the risk.” More…

Circle of Life #7: True Colours

There are hundreds of chilies slowly ripening on my eight large bushes. The four smaller plants are a bit behind their big brothers. I think because they don’t receive a lot of morning sun, but rather noon to 4pm sun, they are ripening slowly. Perhaps that’s speculation. Anyway, I am in no hurry.

hello habanero!:

It appears they are either Yellow Habaneros, New Mexico Suave Yellow Habaneros, or maybe Red Savinas (if they go red). We shall see. I cut one off a week ago and tried it while still green. Blisteringly hot!!

lettuce, pray:

My mixed lettuce is growing amazingly fast. Some display a rusty tinge, since that is their natural complexion. They are planted very close together, so I decided to thin them out by pulling up small plants when I need them, allowing the rest to grow large and then picking leaf by leaf.

rocket, man:

And as for my rocket – well – it’s just shooting up, like….a rocket. I can hardly pick it fast enough. Neither my dad nor my son really enjoy it’s bitterness, so it’s just me. The leaves are very large (as opposed to the wild rocket leaves, which are tiny), so a few eaten raw with every meal really gets the digestion moving. We don’t eat enough bitter herbs, so I feel blessed to be able to go out and pick them on demand. Such are the joys of the home garden.

Sugar-free Gulab Jamuns

Don’t laugh, now it’s possible.


Umesh Patel from USA wrote me a letter yesterday, and I’m sharing the contents with you:

“Hare Krishna Kurma! We all love Gulab Jamuns but my mom has diabetes so I was searching for a
sugar substitute.

I tried so many things but it didn’t work well.
But, I tried Agave Nectar and it worked as good as sugar. Agave nectar
doesn’t boost your blood sugar level like sugar, and at the same time it’s 4
times sweeter than sugar.

On the top of that, you don’t have to make sugar syrup because it comes in a
liquid form like Honey. Hope you will try this and share with other people.”

Any comments, dear readers?

Kitchen Buddies

kitchen buddies:

This is my dear friend Shanti Parayana, who was my ‘main man’ in the kitchen last week when we prepared our special feast for 800 at the North Sydney Here Krishna Temple.

Shanti came to one of my very first cookery classes in Melbourne in 1980, became a regular devotee and has spent many a long day helping me in the kitchen since then.

Shanti divides his time between the holy city of Sridham Mayapur (West Bengal), and Eastern Europe.

in Mrzezyno:

Here’s Shanti and myself in our (bright orange) tent kitchen at the conclusion of my 17 classes on the Festival of India Tour 3 years ago in Mrzezyno, Poland. From left to right: Next to Shanti is Mirek from Czech Republic, Magda my translator from Poland, and Ganga from Siberia.

Wauchope Weekend

Lyn Withers runs the successful cookery school Cooking with Company in Wauchope, near Port Macquarie on Australia’s Northern Central East Coast.

Wauchope Saturday afternoon:

I recently spent my third weekend there cooking (and sharing my very self) with 22 eager cookery aficionados.

Wauchope Saturday lunch:

Our Asian Banquet was quite a treat, with the menu as follows:

The Asian Banquet Table

Fragrant, Tomato-laced Hot & Sour Masoor Dal Soup (Rasam)

South Indian Lemon Rice with Cashews & Fresh Coconut

Cream-infused Panir, Fresh Chili and Dried Fruit-filled Croquettes (Malai Kofta)

Gujarati Fenugreek-scented Pumpkin Curry

With Flame-toasted Pappadams

Herbed Fresh Tomato and Yogurt Salad (Raita)

Fresh Crisp and Puffed Fried Wheat Breads (Poories)

Indonesian Fruit Skewers
With Peanut, Lime & Chili Dipping Sauce (Rujak Manis)

Wauchope Sunday Morning:

A very pleasant culinary exercise! The pumpking curry was my best ever, steaming hot from the wok.

gujarati pumpkin:

Soft, crispy poories wrapped around saucy morsels of tender, sweet fenugreek-scented, chili- and lime-drenched pumpkin nuggets. A divine experience!

puffin' poories:

Divine Taste

Divine Taste:

Anushruti has been corresponding with me for years regarding all things culinary.

I’m happy to note that she has commenced a very nice cookery website. Check it out!

The Komola Kheer recipe really caught my eye. I haven’t cooked or tasted that since 1972, when I was being trained in the arts of Temple service and cookery by Chitralekha devi dasi, wife of Upendra, and my first kitchen guru. A very special Bengali Sweet. I remember Chitralekha spending hours dissecting each individual orange cell from each orange segment. The result was a work of art.

Dinner for 800

Alas! I forgot to press the “Post to Home Page” button yesterday, and so this never went out into Blogland:

Sri Caitanya:

The sun’s rising and I’m off to the North Sydney Hare Krishna Temple (Corner Miller and Falcon Streets) to cook a 13-course dinner feast for 800. Yes, of course I’ve got some helpers. Many, in fact. And there’s room for more if you wish to assist.

And dinner is free of charge, though any contributions are welcome. It’s the culmination of a day of chanting, fasting and festivities celebrating the yearly full-moon birthday celebration of Sri Caitanya, the most recent avatar of Krishna who appeared in West Bengal in the fifteenth century.

See you there, 5.30 pm culminating with the feast at 8.00pm! Chant and be happy!

Postscript: The feast was a grand success, well over 700 guests attended, and I spent today getting myself back into shape for a busy cookery weekend. ‘No rest for the wicked’.

Eat Your Vegies!

Pip from Alexandra in Victoria writes:

“Hello. My children will eat most raw vegetables and salads, but
dislike nearly all meals that I make with cooked vegetables. Can you recommend
any of your recipes that I can try to get them interested again? Thank you.”

vegie barbecue:

My reply:

“Thanks for your letter. Without knowing what the children like and your specific circumstances it is a little hard to exactly answer your question. But if you go to my website, and visit the RECIPES page, then scroll down, all the titles listed there are linked to a recipe.

I’ve selected some vegetable-based recipes from that list that I would strongly suggest you look at. Go to the recipe page, and click on any of these for some sure-fire kid-pleasing vegetable fun.”

Assorted Crisp Vegetable Fritters (Pakoras)

Barbecued Haloumi and Char-grilled Asparagus with Salsa Verde

Barbecued Idaho Potatoes with Parsley Pesto

Barbecued Pumpkin with Mango Salsa

Barbecued Skewered Baby Okra with Sage Butter

Barbecued White Sweet Potato with Fresh Corn Chutney

Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes & Peas with Sour Cream

Cauliflower and Potato Curry, North Indian-style

Creamed Spinach with Fresh Curd Cheese (Palak Panir)

Crusty North Indian Masala Potatoes with Cashews

Eggplant & Panir Cheese in Spicy Tomato Glaze

Green Curry of Vegetables & Fried Tofu

Khichari (Melange of Seasonal Vegetables, Lentils and Basmati Rice)

Mixed Vegetables in Creamy Gujarati-style Karhi Sauce

Oven-roasted White Sweet Potato with Fresh Corn Chutney

Panir Cheese Steaks with Salad Greens on Crusty Bread

Pumpkin Soup

Simple Carrot and Ginger Soup

Succulent Gujarati Pumpkin

Succulent Mixed Vegetable Balls in Herbed Tomato Sauce (Kofta)

Sweet & Sour Dal Soup with Mixed Vegetables

Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Salad (Insalata Caprese)

Vegetable Soup