Vegetarian Dinner at White House

November 24, Cleveland Vegetarian Food Examiner

white house vegetarian menu:

White House State Dinner Features Vegetarian Dishes

“This evening, President Barack Obama hosts his first state dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Because Singh is a vegetarian, the menu will be exclusively meatless with the exception…more…”

Govinda Jaya Jaya – Last Tango in Darlinghurst

My last cooking class for 2009 at Govinda’s in Darlinghurst was a sweet one. A smaller than usual attendance made for more intimate cooking, and a better environment for learning. And the class was almost 50% men! Here’s our group.

lucky last:

Sydney was experiencing it’s hottest weekend for a very long time (it was 41 degrees Celcius on Sunday – that’s 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit) but we were snug in our air-conditioned culinary bubble.

seedless watermelon:

The 12 kilos of icy cold seedless watermelon certainly helped us through the day.
I cooked some of my best pakoras ever with the help of my (once) secret ingredient, soda water in the batter.

be seated:

Until 2010 – farewell Govinda’s!

The Wheel of Time

The seasons come and go, and with every rising and setting, the sun decreases the duration of our life. It’s been almost two years now since I’ve been living with my father, and the passage of time is marked by the comings and goings of the various birds, insects and plants in their brief appearance and disappearance.

You may recall last year’s chili pastimes. Here’s an unripe, new-season offspring of one of the original Yellow Habanero chili bushes that was pruned and lived over into this season.

chili matriarch:

Pretty soon these will ripen and look like this:

the victim:

I diced with death earlier this year with the very same variety of chili. They are exceedingly hot. but very flavoursome.

here goes:

And I have 50 grandchildren chili plants (my favourite Red Savina and Yellow Habanero) newly sprouted from seeds of the second generation chilies, and on the cusp of their 15 minutes of botanical fame.

My Big Red Friends:

Those seeds were dried and saved until 2 months ago when I planted them according to the lunar cycles. And here they are, in their baby pots.


It’s also Gardenia season in Sydney. Our large potted plant is at the perfectional stage of its life, giving generously of it’s large creamy, sweet fragrant flowers.

home grown:

It is the Sun that makes all this possible, season after season. It’s not hard for the broadminded person to appreciate that the Sun is the natural representative of God, operating under His order. This is described in this ancient Brahma-samhita verse that I chant everyday as I see the sunrise.

yac-chaksur esa savita sakala-grahanam

raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-teja

yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrita-kala-cakro

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“The sun, who is the king of all the planets, full of infinite
effulgence, the image of the good soul, is the eye of this world. I
adore the primeval Lord, Govinda, in pursuance of whose order the sun
performs his journey, mounting the wheel of time.”

Le Carnaval Spirituel

Le Carnaval Spirituel is coming to town! I spent a happy 12 days with this travelling concert/circus/carnival back in 2006 on Poland’s Baltic Sea Coast.

just warming up:

You can read all about my tour with Le Carnaval Spirituel here (scroll down to Polish ‘Festival of India’ Baltic Tour, July 2006).


Summer 2009/10 Australian Tour

“Following on from the success of their 2007 and 2008 concert tours, Le Carnaval returns to Australia this summer to entertain us with their colourful

Hot Town, Summer in the City: My KGB Weekend

I’ve returned to my Sydney home base after a back-to-back, double-header cooking class extravaganza in Melbourne.

Saturday was spent at the beautiful kitchen of Kellie (below, top row, second from the left) in Vermont, the heartland of Melbourne’s ‘Burbs’. A couple of latecomers missed their fifteen minutes of photographic fame.

my day in Vermont:

Kellie and Jenny (above, top right) spent many months arranging the day, which was a great deal of fun for all. Number’s swelled for lunch (a common occurence), with husbands and an abundance of good-looking babies completing the family gathering.

Lunch at Kellie's:

It was a big day for Jenny, who completed her full-set of Kurma cookbooks and DVD’s, making her now a full card-carrying member of the KGB (Kurma Groupie Brotherhood). Welcome, Jenny!

Alu vadas were the star of the lunch. Crispy batter, tender soft potato inside, slathered with creamy coconut chutney…my best ever.

alu vadas:

Weekend temperatures soared. At Gopal’s Restaurant in the heart of Melbourne’s downtown, an ultra-enthusiastic group of 26 partook of a day-long cookery workshop. Many a KGB member was present, including a lady who had last attended a cookery class with me in 1983.

say 'panir':

Our youngest attendee was Kieren, aged 14. Did we have fun? The photo says it all.