Myths are as much a part of the world of gastronomy as aromas and flavours. The rules of the table are not just about the rigid separation between savoury and sweet courses, they are also about identities and power structures.
Given that Vijayvargiya is from Madhya Pradesh where poha is a veritable staple, he could have been forgiven for confusing it with muri, which Bengalis generally snack on. But this was no momentary lapse of culinary reason..
This year, according to records of the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College and Hospital, the main centre for treating the disease in the area, the overall encephalitis cases dropped but 22 of the 105 cases at the hospital were of JE at the beginning of the season.
Compiled by the Bihar government, these figures substantiate what experts have been saying for long: that one underlying, common factor in the mortality of AES is the poor economic and health conditions of the people it strikes.
Brearley's latest book, On Cricket, traverses 50 years of the sport with palpable intellectual curiosity. It’s the work of a person who delighted in the aesthetics of the sport even when he was competing.
Like Inspector Montalbano, the solitary eater will endorse that a table for one is often a deeply satisfying affair. In popular and academic literature, meals are about love, bonhomie, gifting, making friends, cementing social relationships.
The annual flooding of the basins of rivers like the Brahmaputra is difficult to prevent. Not so the increasingly common deluges in India’s biggest cities — manmade disasters only exacerbated by unusual rainfall.
Activities of kings, nobles, farmers, traders and scientists have contributed to the oeuvre of Indian summer fruits. The Grand Trunk Road once was lined with mulberry trees by the Mughal rulers and their feudatories.
Communal politics around the biryani has scant respect for its fabled history or diversity. Is it the Persian pilao, improvised and transformed? Is it the result of avant garde experiments in royal kitchens? Or is it a plebeian dish, shaped, like India, by trade and cultural interaction?
On August 4, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti told Lok Sabha that the government was planning to create “fish ladders” in the Ganga near the Farakka Barrage to help hilsa travel upstream to spawn — hopefully improving the catch.