Good Evening all, Tonight, would have been our meal out, but instead we celebrate the culture of India whilst in the comfort of our own homes. We have some beautiful Indian music, a quiz, some wonderful photos from Sumita, a video of how to make paratha by Sumita’s sonJivan, some recipes and cultural facts. We hope you will enjoy your evening.
Let’s start with some music
Instrumental – Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai (Sitar, Flute & Santoor)
Below are some very special family photos from Sumita
• a family photograph
• Sumita’s parents by the Taj Mahal
• Sumita’s mum in 1955 when she got engaged to her dad.
And some pictures of Shimla where Sumita grew up, taken last year whilst
visiting her homeland.
And now for some more music
Eternity – Call Of Divine – The Inner Soul – (Sitar – Shehnai – Tabla – Flute ) by roothmens
Now for a quiz
- When did India get independence from Britain?
a.1945 b.1947 c.1950
- How many states does India have?
a.15 b.25 c.28
- How many languages are spoken in India?
a.15 b.25 c.28
- What is the national flower of India?
a. lily b. marigold c. lotus
- What is the national bird of India?
a. peacock b. flamingo c. mynah
- In which city would you find the Taj Mahal?
a. New Delhi b. Mumbai c. Agra
- What is the Indian film industry known as?
a. Gollywood b. Bollywood c. Mollywood
- India is famous for which fruit?
a. mango b. lychee c. papaya
- What is roti?
a. curry b. rice c. flat bread
- Where was Balti cuisine invented?
a. Mumbai b. Manchester c. Birmingham
- What is the meaning of “Shenai”?
a. a musical instrument b. good food c. welcome
- What is the meaning of “Sumita”?
a. a good friend b. a star c. a musical note
- What is “Diwali”?
a. a festival of flowers b. festival of colours c. festival of lights
- How many countries does India share a border?
a.4 b.6 c. 3
Can you name them?
- What is “Kulfi”?
a. a drink b. an ice-cream c. a fruit
Some more music
“Sandhya Raga” by Ravi Shankar.
A tribute to Ravi Shankar a famous Indian artist performed by his students
Next, some photos of Indian food followed by a cookery demonstration by
Jivan which was made for his niece Mia, and some recipes.
This dish is called a Thali
Link to a video of Jivan cooking – https://photos.app.goo.gl/Fz3hijUdaK2WsyZm7
and here is the recipe for paratha:
100g (4oz) wholemeal flour plus 100g (4oz) plain flour or 225g (8oz) chapati flour
Additional flour for dusting
½ tsp salt
About 9 tbsp vegetable oil
Instructions to make dough
Put the flour and salt into a bowl.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the flour and rub it in with your fingertips.
Slowly add about 175ml (6fl oz) plus 1 tablespoon water,gathering the dough together into a ball as you do so.You should end up with a soft dough.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes and then make a ball.
Put the ball in a bowl and cover the bowl with a damp cloth.
Set the dough aside for half an hour.
Knead the dough again and divide it into six parts.
Keep five parts covered with a damp cloth as you work with the
Chicken Karahi Curry
• 500 grams Boneless Chicken Breasts
• 1 kilo chopped tomatoes (no need to peel)
• 1 medium red onion finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 teaspoon minced ginger
• 1½ teaspoon red chili powder
• 1 teaspoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon white cumin powder
• ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
• 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
• ½ cup water
• salt to taste
• 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
• 2 – 3 green chilis (optional)
• dash of lemon juice
1. Cut chicken breasts into chunks.
2. Roughly chop the tomatoes without removing the skin and mince garlic and ginger.
3. Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to turn golden.
4. Add ginger and garlic and cook for one minute while constantly stirring.
5. Add the chicken to the pan and sauté (until the chicken has turned white).
6. Add all the spices (red chili powder, garam masala, white cumin and turmeric) and cook for 30 seconds while constantly stirring.
7. Immediately add ½ cup water to the pan to prevent the spices from burning and follow it with the chopped tomatoes.
8. Leave to cook on medium to low heat for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have completely dissolved.
9. Add more water and cook for 5 minutes longer if the chicken isn’t tender yet. All the spices will infuse into the chicken and by the time it’s tender they’ll be infused into the chicken – yum!
10. Taste and adjust spices. Add salt to taste.
11. Garnish with green chilis and coriander before serving as well as a dash of lemon juice.
12. You can use garlic and ginger paste instead of minced ginger and garlic.
Add a little water and cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer if tomatoes haven’t dissolved completely before taking off the stove
Another beautiful photo, of Indian hand decoration:
Some facts about India
1. There are a whopping 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous places in the world, but India has 31 other UNESCO World Heritage Sites within its borders. The US, by comparison, has 23. Testament to India’s diversity, these sites include hill forts in Rajasthan; mountain railways in Shimla, Darjeeling, and the Nilgiri Hills; the Western Ghats mountain range in the southwest of the country; the Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Maharashtra; the Sundarbans mangrove forest of Bengal; and many other national parks and wildlife reserves. And still, UNESCO sites only scratch the surface of India’s cultural, artistic, and natural wonders.
2. All the major world religions are represented in India Although around 80% of Indians are Hindus, the country is home to large, well established communities of all the major world religions, as well as some smaller ones. Christian communities and churches are visible throughout Kerala and Goa, the latter housing the remains of Catholic Saint Francis Xavier at the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The long history of Judaism in India can be seen in the Jewtown area of Fort Kochi in Kerala. Parsi Fire Temples and Towers of Silence are spread throughout Mumbai. Elegant Jain temples, with their marble statues, are common throughout Delhi, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. Important Buddhist pilgrimage sites are spread around Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, near where Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was born and lived. Sikhism began in the Punjab area of India (and present-day Pakistan), and Amritsar’s Golden Temple is one of the country’s most peaceful, beautiful, and spiritual sites. The marble Baha’i House of Worship, or Lotus Temple, in Delhi, is one
of the most visited buildings in the world. And although Muslims constitute just 14% of the population, mosques, mausoleums, shrines, and imambara are spread throughout the country. (In fact, India has the world’s second-largest Muslim population, after Indonesia.)
3. India has the largest population of vegetarians in the world. Although not all Hindus are vegetarian, and not all Indians are Hindu, vegetarianism is an important part of traditional Hindu beliefs and practices. Between 20% and 40% of Indians are vegetarian, meaning vegetarian travelers are never far from delicious dal (lentil), sabzi (vegetable), or paneer (cheese)-based dishes. (Vegans will have more trouble, as dairy products are used in abundance.)
4. There are some weird and wonderful post offices here. With the world’s largest postal system, India has post offices in some pretty unusual places. The town of Hikkim, in Himachal Pradesh, has the world’s highest post office (as well as the highest polling booth) at over 15,400 feet. Dal Lake in Kashmir has a floating post office, with an attached philatelic museum, built to resemble Srinagar’s famous houseboats. In the ‘70s, some Rajasthani towns were serviced by mobile camel post offices, with the mountainous Darjeeling area of West Bengal featuring mule post offices.
5. Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. The holy city of Varanasi was first settled over 3,000 years ago and has been inhabited ever since. Hindus traditionally believe it’s even older, created by Lord Shiva over 5,000 years ago. Varanasi (also known as Benares) is situated at one of the holiest points of the River Ganga. Many Hindus aim to die here, because doing so is believed to free a person from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Nowadays, a large modern city also spreads out from the riverbank.
6. India is the second largest English-speaking country in the world. The number of English speakers in India is second only to that of the USA. English is one of the 22 official languages of India, and the joint official language (along with Hindi) of the Central Government. Only around 10% of Indians know English, and just a minority know it as a
first language, but in a country with such a huge population, English speaking travellers can count on being able to communicate almost everywhere they go.
7. The northern state of Uttar Pradesh would be the world’s fifth most populous country.
Uttar Pradesh has a population of more than 200 million — that’s more people than in Japan, Mexico…even Russia. UP is home to the Taj Mahal and Varanasi, but it’s so large (at almost 94,000 square miles, it’s about the size of Michigan) and densely populated that so much more can be enjoyed here: There’s the old Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri,
wildlife sanctuaries, the imambara complexes of Lucknow, the Buddhist sites at Sarnath…
8. India’s Kumbh Mela is the world’s largest human gathering. The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu pilgrimage that keeps getting bigger. It’s held every three years and rotates between Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain, but the Allahabad Kumbh Melas — held every 12 years — are the largest and holiest. For the last Kumbh Mela, in
Allahabad in 2013, an estimated 100 million bathed in the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers over the course of 55 days.
9. The country has long been a centre of fashion. Since ancient times, Indian textiles were traded all around the world, and the country has long been known as a producer of the finest cotton and silk. One of the effects of British colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries was the impoverishment of Indian textile manufacturers, as Britain deliberately destroyed the industry in order to dominate the global textile market themselves. Nowadays, the Indian fashion industry is booming once again, with fashion weeks being held in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, and a design aesthetic that combines traditional items and fabrics with more modern features. Many traditional techniques have been preserved — such as hand-loom weaving and block-printing — and are available all over India and the world.
10. Padmanabhaswamy Temple is the richest in the world. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, in Kerala’s capital city, Thiruvananthapuram, is not only the richest Hindu temple in the world, it’s also believed to be the richest place of worship ever to have existed. In 2011, the temple’s vaults were opened for the first time in over 130 years, and
hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver, and precious stones were found inside. Only Hindus are allowed to enter the 16th-century temple, as is the case with Hindu temples throughout Kerala, but non-Hindus can check out the view from the walkway leading up to Padmanabhaswamy, and can visit the adjacent Kuthiramalika Palace that belongs to the Travancore royal family.
11. There are more than 140 types of traditional Indian dessert. Every region of India has its own specialty of sweet, spiced dessert: petha, a boiled pumpkin dessert from Agra; daulat ki chaat made from the foam of churned milk and only available in Delhi
in the winter; rosogollas, Bengali milk-based balls soaked in syrup; gajar ki halwa, made from shredded carrots and popular in the north; kheer rice pudding; pistachio or saffron-flavoured kulfi, India’s answer to gelato; laddus, made from chickpea flour, and a common offering left for Hindu gods; jalebis, deep-fried dough squiggles soaked
in syrup…Indian desserts are often very sweet, rich with ghee, and heavily flavoured with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, coconut, rosewater and/or nuts.
12. Delhi’s Khari Baoli is the world’s largest spice market. Located in the winding back streets of Old Delhi, you know when you’re getting close to the Khari Baoli by the intensifying smell of spices and the overflowing sacks wheeled past on cycle and bullock-pulled carts. The market is at least four centuries old and sells wholesale dried fruit,
nuts, and ingredients needed for sweets, as well as spices.
We hope you have enjoyed our Indian evening. We will leave you now with some Bollywood dance music…. join in if you can!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX1vP2FhR7E P.S. Quiz answers will be sent out on Monday!