Posts Tagged ‘food’


One of the issues that perturb me is how technological determinism and scientific reductionism is so pervasive, and appealing to so many. The idea that if we can use technology in a certain waywe should, and that science is the solution to all of humankind’s problems is the stance that capitalism seems to propose.

This is particularly so today in the field of corporatized biotechnology industry, with corporate agro-giants such as Dow Chemical and Monsanto (both manufacturers of Agent Orange in the 60s), with their spawn of businesses. The idea that genetically modified seeds are more pest-resistant, safe and sustainable than organic products is a hype that is sold to farmers in what some people have deemed highly exploitative.

Yet,  despite past and pending lawsuits, these firms operate fairly openly in the developing world.  Monsanto is present in countries such as India, Vietnam and Indonesia offering their biotech seeds largely to poor illiterate farmers who have little knowledge of what they are buying into.

I present to you a compelling interview with the Indian political activist Dr Vandana Shiva which  I found on Youtube – I did not create it nor do not own any copyright on it – that exposes the myth of genetically modified products.

An excerpt from the interview:

“I see tremendous hope, first of all I see hope in the seed, for me seed is my teacher, there is a wonderful poem that captured it in Palestine, it said “you can drop bombs on my villages, you can destroy all my books, you can rob us of our culture, and you can create a landscape where no bird no insect, nothing can hide. But I do not despair ever, I have hope because I saved one seed that I will plant and grow again.” That power of the seed is the beginning of hope but the seed is not just the biological material. The seed is a metaphor for everything that grows, the seed of an idea, the seed of liberation, the seed of freedom, the seed of democracy… for us seeds have become all of this.”

– Vandana Shiva

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We all love comfort food, especially if we live away from home. We yearn for comfort food that evokes the aroma of younger years. The delectable alchemy of our mothers’ loving culinary creations simmer on the stove and conjure savoury messengers that lure us into the kitchen, and embed the moment into the secret chambers of our psyche. We travel back in time – as Anton Ego did in the animation movie, Ratatouille – seduced into the memories of  our childhood and the loving sustenance in the care of our mothers.

I sometimes cook a traditional Sindhi dish, Macchi Sayal and Sava Chawar (Fish in Cilantro and Coriander  Rice). My mother always makes it better (don’t mothers always do!) and it is best served with dhal (lentil stew), in my opinion, as the flavours go really well together.  The recipe is fairly simple, and I will add the recipe for dhal in another blog.

STEPS

  1. Marinate thin slices of any white fish (1kg  of snapper or mackerel, thin slices) with turmeric and fairly generous amount of salt for a few hours or overnight (wash off  the salt and turmeric before cooking).
  2. Grind a decent bunch of cilantro with five to seven cloves of garlic , an equal portion of ginger, 3-4 green chillies, one or two red chillies into a rough paste. You could add a pinch of chilli powder to the fish as it cooks, like I do. Some like it hotter and they may add more chilli.
  3. Sautee until fragrant.
  4. Add a cup of water, and add a decent pinch of salt to taste and a quarter teaspoonful of turmeric and add a similar amount of coriander powder.
  5. Place the fish in the pan, and let the fish cook. Indians are famous for overcooking. The fish slices should be crumbly soft, and it is okay to separate the segments from the bony centres.
  6. Turn the slices over.
  7. Check for salt.
  8. If you prefer more gravy add a little more water.
  9. As for the rice, sautee the 2-3 tbps paste and a little salt and stir it into uncooked polished rice right before cooking it in a rice cooker.

OPTIONAL CONDIMENT

Additionally, one could squeeze a lime over it. I simply slice onions with a lime squeeze and it’s a simple Indian condiment that goes with the dish (or simply use pickled onions, but that usually has preservatives).