Showing posts from April, 2009

The Malabar Biryani

Hari Nair in his blog mentions about his newly acquired taste of the ever famous Malabar or Calicut Biryani and wondered about its origins and preservation. Thanks to CKR for the link. Well I do not want to get into the cooking aspects and recipe preservation part myself; others like Indiandoc have done quite a bit of that over the years. Youtube has some hotel or cooks doing it (mass production). But really, it is very difficult to replicate the taste one gets in hotels for various reasons though the general Malabar Biryani cooking methods can be found in Ummi Abdullah’s books.

My sons maintain that the Sagar (next to KSRTC stand, not the new one) version is the best, my brother in law states that The old ‘Bombay hotel’ near the Calicut Beach is the best, others say that Sain-ithatha’s at the Beach has a better variety, yet others mention versions by the Paragon near the P&T office or the refurbished Top Form on SM street. Anyway sitting many thousands of miles away from those div…

Himmler and his Aryan theories

It was after 1936. Heinrich Himmler, the one man responsible for the murder of over half a million people, had become the Reichsfuhrer and had just founded the Ahnenerbe (Ancestral heritage) department in the Nazi machinery. The purpose of the institution was to promote the glorious Aryan heritage of the German people. He had modeled SS on the Kshatriya Hindu Warrior caste and had been carrying the leather bound Bhagavad Gita in his pocket for guidance, reading it every day night before sleeping. He even considered Hitler the reincarnation of Krishna.

Do you think all this sounds preposterous? It is true. Read on to understand how an evil man manipulated a sacred text convincing himself and many hundreds of people who worked with him.

Having this mystic understanding of the Aryan origin, during his early years, Himmler found a man to check out the soundness of his theory and look around the Himalayas. That man was Ernst Schaffer and his task was to go to the highlands of the Himalayas a…

July 20th, 1969 >39 years ago

We were a little late to school that day. I used to take ages to eat and mom’s insistence that I eat the entire heap of rice and curry before we took the 1130 KBS bus from Koduvayur to Palakkad, was sure to make us miss the bus. My brother had already finished his food and was waiting for me to finish. After that was done, we would pick up out aluminum school cases (you don’t even see them today – cases that effectively shut out the rain and held our books safely!) and rush up the street to the side of the TSM Beedi making shop in the middle of Koduvayur town, a location which also served as the bus stop.

The street was full of activity when we got there, as a retail market place where carts and lorries from various other smaller towns had congregated to collect their quotas of commodities. Tamil and Malayalam were freely used, with a smatter of the special ‘rowther’ brand Malayalam from the Muslims left behind by the Tippu’s horse brigades. They were traders now, I guess. If you crane…