One of my friends turned Vegan this year which was a total surprise for me, once a meat-lover to the core and suddenly this paradigm shift. She now feels she has to shed those extra calories to fit into her latest trousers and also that a particular, so-called celebrity happens to be a vegan, with inspirations like that near her panorama, people like her always tend to copy and look after those big branded faces, isn't. Now I know there are many like her who are much more aware and cautious of what they should eat and what they don’t eat, nothing wrong in that, it’s absolutely justified. I think choices what ever people make about their eating habits, is personal but one should always look for the pros and cons before jumping in to be trendy or try to follow a celebrity blindly.
As far as I have understood and thanks to her giving me inputs about ingredients, to be a Vegan, one needs to omit any animal products technically. But if you just see all around you, everything is an animal by-product or partially or wholly extracted from animals, not only the eating habits-honey, milk, butter, ghee etc from your leather bag, shoes and fashion accessories, wool clothes, silk clothes, even the glossy lipstick that we are fond of wearing, whenever we go out for evening parties, is an animal sorry fish product. And if you happen to tell them all these, one becomes a self-centered egoist person who thinks rather bizarre, can say crazy!! What basis one decides on certain principles is up to ones own decision, but just to be called trendy and fashionable; one shouldn't get confused between what is good and what is bad. It’s like twisting things for ones own personal gains and need.
Eating a non-vegetarian diet or a vegetarian diet or for that matter a vegan diet depends on many factors, I would say please don’t let external factors influence you or you shouldn't get carried away about choices you make, just trying to copy a celebrity or following the latest fashion trend. It is wise to follow and consider internal factors, the factors which regulate the requirements of your own body. After all come to think of this health food business, flourishing in every corner of the world and we are pumping in, our hard earned money into it. But seriously when I ask myself, where are we lacking that we have to so depend on additional supplements for which we pay hefty sums? I would say perhaps we should recall how our mothers have been feeding us when we were kids, remember, and perhaps the answer lies some where there and that’s just the way things should be.
If you crave for milk shake, then go for it as milk is essential for nourishing our body– yes one can always choose between whole milk, semi skimmed milk and skimmed milk. Skimmed milk to be the least fatty milk. I have known some people who are lactose-intolerant; soya milk is a great alternative too. Again drinking soya milk doesn’t make you Vegan, it’s the requirement of the body. But then on one hand who tag along branded luxurious leather bag, wear leather shoes, then one goes on calling oneself a Vegan, I really don’t know if this justifies the cause or not.
To be a “Vegan” is a philosophy, a complete package, and way of life and in reality I would assume it’s difficult, very difficult to adhere on to it.
And if somebody thinks one can shed those extra calories just being a vegetarian or for that matter a vegan, seriously they should get a real grip or a vigorous shake of their sleeping brain. There are ways one can shed those extra calories-yoga, Pilates, aerobics, walking, cycling or swimming, but certainly not starving your body of the daily essential food requirements. Excercize and eating well goes together and for that you don't need to starve your body of essential, daily nourishing food requirements.
Well I have failed to make my friend understand that all she needs now is to get out and be active, or reducing the dependency on automobiles ,but who is listening. Are you??
Now the recipe.Today's recipe is palong shak’er bori ghonto with chayote or chow-chow. This ghonto recipe is made with chayote, spinach and bori and beet leaves.Since palang shak and bori ghonto is a very popular recipe, I dont need to add on it anymore.This time I had chayote and beet leaves to tag along well.Then there were brinjal, potato, radish which added some texture to the usual Palang shak'er ghonto.
Palong shak’er bori ghonto with Chayote/chaw-chaw
- 2 bunchs of spinach shak/tender spinach leaves
- 1 chayote/chaw-chaw
- 1 medium size potato
- About half a brinjal/eggplant
- Half a radish
- Beet leaves-about 2 cups
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder
- ½ tsp of red pepper powder
- 1 tsp of coriander powder
- ½ tsp of salt or as per taste
- 1 tsp of panch phoron
- 2-3 dry red pepper
- 2 tej patta
- 2-3 tbs of mustard oil+ more to fry bori/wadi
- 1 cup of small dried lentil dumplings/wadi/bori
- Take out tender leaves from spinach. Chop chayote into cube pieces. Chop beet leaves and spinach leaves roughly. If using tender baby spinach leaves, no need to chop them. Cut and chop potatoes, radish and brinjal.
- Heat up a saucepan, add in mustard oil, and fry the wadi/bori well till it gets browned well.Take out and let it cool.
- Add in rest of the oil and temper- phoron - it with dry red pepper, tej patta and panch phoron
- Now add in potatoes, brinjal, and radish and chayote pieces.Fry well for 3-4 mints at med-high flame.
- Add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder, coriander powder and salt. Just splash some water and mix well, enough to coat well the vegetables with spices.
- Add in spinach and beet leaves to it. They will release ample water so no need to add water. Cover it and let it cook for 5-6 mints. After this add fried bori/wadi to it and cover again. Let it slowly cook all, about 10-15 mints at medium flame.
- Open the cover, and let it cook some more time, if the water is not absorbed, occasionally stir/fry it and ixing all the vegetables well.Take care not to break the fried bori while stir/frying the vegetable medley.
At the time of taking it off, add in 1 tsp of ghee,two pinch of sugar and half teaspoon of garam masala.If you don’t like the strong flavors of garam masala then don’t add it.
Serve with warm cooked rice.
Happy Cooking Friends