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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Even on the Royal Road

(Please note: The articles in this blog are subject to revisions at any time, often without such notice.)

Regarding the noble adherence to one's prescribed duties, Bhagavad gita 3.34 purport by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada warns: "One has to follow those rules and regulations, unattached to them, because practice of sense gratification under regulations may also lead one to go astray- as much as there is always the chance of an accident, even on the royal roads. Although they may be very carefully maintained, no one can guarantee that there will be no danger even on the safest road."

The biggest danger is so much material happiness results that can give rise to false pride, which leads to offenses and rebirth. And also there's the danger of complacency, as described in Bhagavad gita 14.6 and purport:

 "The living entities conditioned by material nature are of various types. One is happy, another is very active, and another is helpless. All these types of psychological manifestations are causes of the entities' conditioned status in nature. How they are differently conditioned is explained in ... Bhagavad-gītā. The mode of goodness is first considered. The effect of developing the mode of goodness in the material world is that one becomes wiser than those otherwise conditioned. A man in the mode of goodness is not so much affected by material miseries, and he has a sense of advancement...Actually, in the Vedic literature it is said that the mode of goodness means greater knowledge and a greater sense of happiness.

 "The difficulty here is that when a living entity is situated in the mode of goodness, he becomes conditioned to feel that he is advanced in knowledge and is better than others. In this way he becomes conditioned. The best examples are the scientist and philosopher: each is very proud of his knowledge, and because they generally improve their living conditions, they feel a sort of material happiness. This sense of advanced happiness in conditioned life makes them bound by the mode of goodness of material nature. As such, they are attracted toward working in the mode of goodness, and, as long as they have an attraction for working in that way, they have to take some type of body in the modes of nature. Thus there is no likelihood of liberation, or of being transferred to the spiritual world. Repeatedly, one may become a philosopher, a scientist, or a poet, and, repeatedly, become entangled in the same disadvantages of birth and death. But, due to the illusion of the material energy, one thinks that that sort of life is pleasant."

Repeatedly, one may become a champion for Vedic dharma out of "familial, social and national affections" and miss out on absorption in and entering into Sri Sri Radha Krishna's divine pastimes in Vrndavana. (Bg 15.5-6)

Another problem is that although we may follow our dharma most carefully, there's no guarantee for always good results. We can expect that disasters must strike. Just look at what happened to King Nrga (SB 10.64) or King Anga (SB .13). Similarly, one may have been most attentive in her domestic duties, but some abuse or other misfortune may befall one or more of her beloved children. Or her good husband may lose their entire life savings in the coarse of his business or again may drift into the world of sense gratification. As a result she may lose her friends, status, health, etc.

But if the woman is fortunate to have followed her Krsna conscious sadhana every day in the mean time, she can then think about how bad things can actually be very good; how these things happen for our purification. Queen Kunti aptly said to let the disasters strike because:

 "My Lord, Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education, and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.26)

So we should not be surprised and lose our faith after all our hard work and many expectations, when things go awry. This should be expected. And varnasrama is meant to help with this gradual and merciful burn out. And steadfast sadhana bhakti gives the power to follow prescribed duties and to be transcendental while doing so, whether in happiness or distress. Like insurance on the road, it makes a safer journey.

Prabhu and Vaishnavi, a Double Standard

ISKCON'S Women's Ministry's (now known as the Vaisnavi Ministry) feels that all women in ISKCON should be addressed as"Prabhu" instead of "Mataji" (Mother). "Prabhu" means "master", and is therefore an equivalent to calling a woman "Mister", but at the same time these same proponents of "Prabhu" like being called "Vaisnavi", a feminine term, rather than "Vaisnava". This is a double standard that makes one wonder what is wrong with being called mother in the first place. And sadly, remembrance of such irreverence ruins being addressed as "Vaisnavi".

Motherhood is a life changer. There are so many lessons to be had that a woman is no longer just a woman when she becomes a mother. And we have so many mothers in our Vaisnava culture from whom we learn the highest standards of sacrifice in their devotion to Krsna.

Needless to say, it's an important service. Childless women often become teachers or nurses or at least adopt a pet to enable that nurturing sense to unfold. In women's magazines like Better Homes and Gardens they have huge, regular adverts referring to the pet as one's child. Or a neighbor may b seen pushing her cat around in a stroller she bought at Petco, It's a part of a woman's life difficult to get around .It can result in physical and mental health problems if not addressed.

We hear that the duty of wife and mother is external or material, but then we are told by the same people that we should get college degrees and careers for our service.

Another observation is that while such persons promote equal rights within ISKCON for a classless, genderless society, they still seem to expect respect if they are senior members, such as when it is time to pass the ghee lamp around.

Accomodation, the Threat to Gurukula Development

A strong division has been emerging in ISKCON between liberals and traditionalists, otherwise known as two ancient oppositions- the working class and the noble class. Working class in varnasrama are the sudras and sudranis. Nobles are the brahmanas and kstriyas and their women. And vaisyas and their wives are somewhere in between. Perhaps it was Krishna's plan all along, since the brahmana class especially is what Prabhupada worked so hard to produce, from which naturally the other classes will follow.

For the sudra class, the liberal mentality is naturally present.  ISKCON historian E. Burke Rochford calls them "accomodationists" in the article "The Future of ISKCON" . Because of sentiments based upon the disposable human body rather than the more important soul, they are the most accommodating and flexible. In a sense, this must be because they are needed to work within all sections of society in the service of all other classes and able to adapt to almost any situation, which also makes their services no less important to keep things moving in all areas of a society.

"Traditional" devotees, on the other hand, match more of the description of what a ksatriya and brahmana should be- upholding the highest examples of religious principles (and or fighting for them).  Rochford calls them "purists", and they are just as important if not more so, as long as they can recognize that not everyone may be able to follow their same strict standards immediately nor even in this lifetime. Traditionalists or nobles are meant to set the best examples, to lead while protecting religious principles and to see that everyone is engaged properly to reach the ultimate perfection.

Since time immemorial, sudra and vaisyas have been the most numerous; in every society they do all the hard work and providing, but they have always needed ksatriyas and brahmanas to look up to. Purity is an important criteria then, and such things like vow keeping, including marriage vows, for recognizing the nobler classes. Srila Prabhupada desired to reinstate the nobler classes to lead people, and Lord Krishna speaks Bhagavad gita especially to them.

Rochford continued: "You know, taken within the context of earlier Vedic tradition, this could all be seen as the unfolding of the varnashrama system. Initially, Prabhupada wanted to create brahmanas, an intellectual class, to guide society and, clearly, a lot of the early devotees did see themselves in this way, even if many of them lacked the necessary qualifications. Then, again, many were qualified, and have shown it over the years. The point I want to make, though, is that this was a natural place for Prabhupada to start: his first and foremost concern was to create a society that had God in the centre. This necessitated the making of brahmanas - people who see spirituality as the most prominent part of their lives. In Prabhupada's wisdom, he emphasised this as the paramount thing, knowing that once he had a class of brahmanas the movement would be established on a strong foundation, and the other classes would grow out of that....

Otherwise, Rochford added, "if devotees assimilate too well they will, in a sense, minimize the urgency of establishing the varnashrama system. There will be virtually no need for it, at least as a formal institution. If devotees take advantage of the already existing infrastructure of the material world, in terms of work etc., they will not find the need to establish modes of employment within the confines of the movement, which will remain a small, economically inefficient society. So that's one potential problem. Related to this is the problem of gurukula. If devotees make use of outside schools, they will never feel the urgency to develop the gurukula system."

Now, in Kali yuga everything is topsy turvy because not much reformation of character is going on in the form of gurukula training. Instead, most people are trained to remain sudra via non devotee schools. The problem is that sudras and women have much power in numbers, and  for positions of leadership, the tendency is to appoint the same- leaders who appeal to their senses rather than doing what sastra says, to establish gurukula training. The solution? Let the "traditional devotees", who by nature not only value such training but also most easily can follow and be examples of, be recognized to take the seats of ministering and managing ISKCON.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

High Class, Low Class, No Class (Parda Part III)

If it isn't the guru issue plaguing ISKCON for years and years, then its the one regarding women. After checking every news source available, practically no other issue receives as much attention and probably even underlies all the others. Because without women, there would be no impetus for material life. So it makes sense to bring about an understanding of what actually is a woman's place in a society.

One extreme has been to allow women complete freedom, ridiculing the housewife and labeling "sexist" anyone who objects to any woman's immoral or questionable behavior and dress. The other extreme is to pigeon hole every woman on the planet as meant for domestic life only. But if one is given a chance to reflect on the reality and necessity of social divisions, basically one realizes that every woman has two areas of life to choose from-whether she wants to be engaged as a society woman or involved in domestic life. But more importantly, among these two divisions, which have the tendency to overlap at times, she must choose from three categories in which women function, how she will function- either as high class, low class or no class.

HIGH CLASS WOMEN
Usually we think of high class meaning wealth or born in an aristocratic family, but Srila Prabhupada gave an example, that he so much appreciated, of what makes a woman truly respectable when he described the shy sweeper woman:

"And woman's shyness is one beauty...And (it brings) command also. We have practical experience in our life. You have seen that my friend came, Dinanath Mishra. They were our neighbor. So one day we were sitting on the corridor of the house. One sweeper woman, she wanted to come within, but very shyful, and with a covering of the head, although with broomstick and bucket, she was waiting because we were sitting both side. So she was feeling little shy not to enter the house. So we decided to move so that she may come. This example is given. She is a sweeper, not very respectable, maidservant or sweeper, but on account of her shyness we had to welcome, 'Yes, we are moving. You come in.' Just see."

Now compare her example with the following:

"In the year 1945 Prabhupada witnessed this scene while traveling on a train: A young girl riding on the train was traveling for the first time to her husband's house. Her face was covered with a veil, as she was observing the ceremony that after puberty and after engagement the girl goes to her husband's house, carrying presentations from her mother and father. But another modernized girl was mocking the village girl and reached over and pulled at her veil. The city girl did this once and then did it again. But when she tried a third time, the village girl slapped her in the face. 'Yes, you have done right,' said Srila Prabhupada, who was seated nearby in the same train car. Years later while telling the story, Prabhupada explained, 'That city girl was thinking, "What is this nonsense?" and she wanted to criticize. But when the other girl gave her a good slap, the whole train laughed. Shyness is the only protection for them. But now there is no modesty left. That is a woman's beauty, but we are breaking that, and so there is not beauty, no attraction.'" ( Prabhupad Nectar 2.139)

What did they have in common, the sweeper woman and the veiled young lady on the train? In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.10.16 purport, Srila Prabhupada describes as follows:

"Shyness is a particular extra-natural beauty of the fair sex, and it commands respect from the opposite sex. This custom (see SB 1.10.16) was observed even during the days of the Mahäbhärata, i.e., more than five thousand years ago. It is only the less intelligent persons not well versed in the history of the world who say that observance of separation of female from male is an introduction of the Mohammedan period in India. This incident from the Mahäbhärata period proves definitely that the ladies of the palace observed strict pardä (restricted association with men), and instead of coming down in the open air where Lord Krishna and others were assembled, the ladies of the palace went up on the top of the palace and from there paid their respects to Lord Krishna by showers of flowers. It is definitely stated here that the ladies were smiling there on the top of the palace, checked by shyness. This shyness is a gift of nature to the fair sex, and it enhances their beauty and prestige, even if they are of a less important family or even if they are less attractive. We have practical experience of this fact. A sweeper woman commanded the respect of many respectable gentlemen simply by manifesting a lady's shyness. Half-naked ladies in the street do not command any respect, but a shy sweeper's wife commands respect from all."

LOW  CLASS WOMEN
Now its important to further understand that historically there always have been working women, public women (as Srila Bhaktivinode called them) or sudranis, as their occupation is included with the sudra varna in assisting all other varnas, often working alongside men or as entertainment for them. Included in sastra alongside the brahmanis and princesses and queens we see these examples also, such as Kubja, the maidservants accompanying Devaki at her marriage or the prostitutes of Dwaraka. Or we hear the glorification of the prostitute Cintamani, who greatly inspired Srila Bilvamangla Thakura's spiritual quest. And as a side note considering these points, it is interesting how Srila Prabhupada expertly engaged the western woman's sudra proclivity for working alongside men. By his great mercy, instead of just ordinary servants, they became the transcendental dasis of ISKCON.

NO CLASS
We've all heard of the "classy woman" or a woman who is classy, but, as already touched upon because of often being misunderstood, wealth and status is not the way to determine this. Even if she is a sudrani that by occupation must mix with men or is situated as a temple servant, she is truly classy if she does not mix unnecessarily. And even if a woman is wealthy and from a noble family or has some other distinction,  she is truly low class in the derogatory sense and classless if she mixes with men carelessly. In other words, unwarranted association, according to varnasrama terms, makes her an outcaste. Prabhupada states in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.12.9 purport:

"Unnecessary association with women, even with one's mother, sister or daughter, is strictly prohibited. This is human civilization. A civilization that allows men to mix unrestrictedly with women is an animal civilization. In Kali-yuga, people are extremely liberal, but mixing with women and talking with them as equals actually constitutes an uncivilized way of life."

For one thing, women are meant to be man's better half, looked to for inspiration and to be treasured as better than him and in ways more powerful and feared even, for simply by raising her eyebrow she can infatuate a materialistic man to lifelong bondage. But when a woman lowers herself to a man's level, she should not be surprised if she is treated like one, as evidenced by so much protest today and sensitivity training (SB 9.14.37). In this way, women become degraded (as well as the men involved).

To avoid this, girls can be taught the value of shyness and encouraged to develop their skills and talents for future domestic life in which sex and romance will be only a part due to their Krishna consciousness. They won't have to suffer the crippling disappointment of becoming a girlfriend of someone who will not be her husband in the future. They will understand that first class women require maintenance, and first class men feel encouraged by their chastity to take responsibility for them.


LOVE FOR KRSNA IS ALL WE NEED
There have been posts earlier in this blog about resurrecting the first class family woman alongside Prabhupada's desire for first class men. And Srila Prabhupada, via his relationship with disciples, showed us how a natural separation of the sexes or parda occurs (internally for all women within varnasrama and externally for the higher classes, as was presented in this post). That is, Srila Prabhupada gave his disciples the path of bhakti first, love for Krishna first, then they naturally followed their prescribed duties in reciprocation. In those days, most the ladies covered their heads in their loving attempts to please Srila Prabhupada. Today new devotee women may be reluctant to do so or even to tie up there long flowing locks of hair, but we can understand from Srila Prabhupada example, that that should not be our focus because Prabhupada's and Krishna's absolute presence should be their inspiration. By regular hearing about them, one can gradually realize how much they both appreciate and encourage modesty in women. And one will one naturally seek out and follow their duties for the Lord's happiness, especially since ISKCON is a preaching mission. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world." (Bg 3.21).   In this way, following varna and asrama becomes joyful rather than something difficult and to be discarded. And for the self realized soul, it is like play acting:

Prabhupada: At least... At least... At least they will see, "This is the ideal." Ideal. We are giving the ideal. We are not going to be a sudra. But to show ... Just like you play in a drama. You are playing the part of a king. You are not a king.

 Hari-Sauri: No.

 Prabhupada: So similarly, just to give them idea, we have to play like that.

 Hari-Sauri: Well, again, that's...

 Prabhupada: Not necessarily that we are going to be sudra. So that is it. That is the thing. We are servant of Krsna. That's all. And as servant of Krsna, we have to execute the order of Krsna.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A NOTE ON WHAT "PRABHUPADA SAYS"

Dear Reader, Often used in this blog are quotes from lectures and books given to us by His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This may be easily misunderstood to mean merely Srila Prabhupada's opinion, but that is not the case; Prabhupada is repeating only what he heard from his spiritual predecessors or what is related to Vedic dharma.

His Divine Grace is coming from a disciplic succession that can be traced back to Lord Krishna Himself. So what "Prabhupada says" is coming from the opinions of Lord Sri Krishna, the supreme goal of all Vedic wisdom, and "Prabhupada's books" are translations and authorized commentaries of Krishna's books, blessed by the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession. Since Prabhupada is a pure devotee of the Lord, he may quote other sources, but that's because he understands the essence of everything and how it is related to sastric evidence.

In short, one must have faith that such a highly qualified soul knows what is what in order to fully appreciate what may otherwise be considered by a nondevotee as controversial statements. And the purpose of this blog was a humble attempt to defend those statements by living them rather than armchair debate. It is based on notes kept during that time.


Consciously or unconsciously, we all follow someone.  Everyone needs direction. Without a doubt, all that Prabhupada has taught has proven to be true to those who follow them. Therefore I offer him my heartfelt respects, taking shelter at his lotus feet.

For readers who wish to get to know Srila Prabhupada: Click here and read for yourself the amazing, transcendental translations and purports on India's wonderful storehouse of Vedic wisdom he singlehandedly and out of love for his spiritual master, brought to the west.
om tat sat


Please note that these pages may be subject to revisions at any time without notice. Recipes, too, since everyday home cooking is such a dynamic activity!

SOURCE ABBREVIATIONS: Bg= Bhagavad Gita As It Is, SB= the Srimad Bhagavatam, CC=Caitanya Cartamrta, NOD= The Nectar of Devotion, KB= Krishna Book, SBB= Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta 


Recipe Abbreviations: t=teaspoon, T=tablespoon c=cup

Banana Cream Pie



CRUST crumbled homemade graham crackers, sugar cookies or banana bread (see below)

OR ground almonds with butter to hold together (for Ekadasis), lightly toasted

FILLING
1/2 gallon milk
1 cup vanilla sugar
sliced bananas

TOPPING
2 cups whipped cream
2- 3 T powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Spread the cracker (or cookie crumbs, or toasted almonds) into a spring form pan or large pie pan. Work up the sides at least an inch.
2. Cook down the milk and vanilla sugar until thick. Test a little drop in water to check what the consistency  will be when cooled. It should not be runny or dry, but thick like pudding.
3. Layer sliced bananas onto the graham cracker crust. Add the filling on top of the bananas. Add another layer of bananas on top of the pudding (OR on top of the whipped cream added next in step 4 as follows, as a garnish).
4. Finish pie with a generous layer of sweetened whipped cream before offering to Krishna.


VARIATION
When I have no time for pie crust and filling, I just put bananas and cream on top of banana bread! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

the elixer

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in any thing
To do it as for Thee.

Not rudely, as a beast,
To runne into an action
But still to make Thee prepossest,
And give it his perfection.

A man that looks on glasse,
On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it passe,
And then the heav'n espie.

All may of Thee partake:
Nothing can be so mean
Which with this tincture, 'for Thy sake,'
Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgerie divine;
Who sweeps a room as for Thy law
Makes that and th' action fine.

This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for lesse be told.
--George Herbert

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crunchy Besan Noodles

These noodles, aka "Chudy Noodles" were found in the old Hare Krishna cookbook, now available on Prabhupada's folio CD.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 t cayenne pepper (or as desired)
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1 t salt 
  • ghee for deep frying
  • a few tablespoons of hot water

PREPARATION:
  1. Mix together in a bowl the besan and spices and salt.
  2. Add the hot water to make a semi firm dough, moist enough to squeeze through a ricer. *
  3.  Fill the ricer with the mixture and squeeze into a pot or wok of hot ghee. Make noodles as long or short as you wish.
  4.  Deep fry until lightly browned and crispy.
  5. Offer to Krishna when slightly cooled.

*Amazon. com sells these to use for this purpose. There are cheaper products than this, but this ricer really does the job, is easy to clean and stainless steel.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finding Joy in Every Day Life

Do you get excited when you wake up and are greeted by a clean kitchen? Your husband comments on how good dinner was?  A small robin is found posing on your fence chirping a spring time song? And with Krishna consciousness, everything- housekeeping, relationships, cooking, nature study...becomes intensely interesting because the soul is naturally joyful in connection with Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the source of everything. There's no need to travel far.


I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.

I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days; a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.

Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things--old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.
~ Grace Noll Crowell

update

This is late posting, some photos that were taken a couple months back:

This years wreathe was made from dried vines from the back yard and leaves. The leaves were painted with gold, copper, and silver paint (at Dick Blick) and then glued to the vines which had been twisted into a wreathe shape and held together with wire.  Some saved ribbon and a splash of white paint for faux snow gave a final touch. 

From India came this collection of skeleton keys that wound up as a tinkling wind chime on the front porch. Same paint as was added to the leaves above. A top coat of varnish can help keep the paint on. The contraption they are hanging from is a busted computer part. That got painted, too. Both these projects kept the grandchildren busy.

Here, nature came indoors as cut spring branches in a vase, supported with pretty stones inside.



OK, this has got to be a best discovery yet. Not wanting to throw anything out without considering how it may be reused, these amazing rags were born. They come from cotton thermal leggings that were too worn to pass on. The fabric is absorbent and has a texture that makes any cleaning easier.
They are cut into useable pieces and kept handy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Remembering the Lotus Feet of Lord Nityananda

Sri Nityanande Nistha

by Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura 

 

nitai-pada-kamala, koti-candra-susitala,
je chayaya jagat judaya
hena nitai vine bhai, radha-krsna paite nai,
drdha kari’ dhara nitaiyera paya
(1) 

Nitai’s lotus feet are more cooling than the shining of millions of moons. Their shade gives solace to the universe. O brother, without a personality such as Nitai, it is not possible to attain Radha and Krsna. So hold on very tightly (drdha) to His lotus feet.

se sambandha nahi ja’ra, vrtha janma gela ta’ra,
sei pasu bada duracara
nitai na balila mukhe, majila samsara sukhe,
vidyakule ki karibe ta’ra
(2) 

If someone has not yet established his relationship with Nityananda Prabhu, his life has been wasted. He is no better than an animal. Not taking the name of Nitai on one’s lips, one becomes absorbed in the so-called happiness of this world. Then what is the value of one’s education and birth in a high family or great nation?

ahankare matta haiya, nitai-pada pasariya,
asatyere satya kari’ mani
nitaiyera karuna habe, vraje radha-krsna pabe,
dhara nitaiyera carana du’khani
(3) 

Forgetting Nitai’s lotus feet, one becomes maddened by the false concept of bodily life and considers the illusory energy as real. Receiving the mercy of Nitai, he can attain Sri Radha and Krsna in Vraja. Firmly catch hold of the lotus feet of Nitai.

nitaiyera carana satya, tahara sevaka nitya,
nitai-pada sada kara asa
narottama bada duhkhi, nitai more kara sukhi,
rakha ranga-caranera pasa
(4) 

The feet of Nitai are real and service to Him is eternal. Always hope and pray for the lotus feet of Nitai. “Narottama is very unhappy! O Nitai, please make me happy. Keep me tucked close to Your feet which are like reddish lotuses.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

beet raita


Found this recipe online.  I steamed my beets the first time and got lots of positive feedback. Steamed or raw the recipe is a good one.  I also used more salt than the original recipe called for.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c raw beets, peeled, grated
  • 2 T ghee
  • 1/2 t bl mustard seeds
  • 1/2 t cumin
  •  1/2 small green chili, chopped
  •  5 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch hing
  • 1 c yogurt
  •  1 T cilantro
  • salt, as desired


PREPARATION:
  1. In hot ghee,  fry the mustard seeds and cumin, chili and curry leaves. 
  2. When the mustard seeds stop popping, add the hing. Pour this into the yogurt. 
  3. Add the beets and cilantro and then salt. 
  4. Stir to mix nicely before offering to Krishna.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

braised brussel sprouts

On busy days at home (which day isn't?) the subjis are often simple. Here's a prime example and a family favorite:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 7 c brussels
  • 4-5 T ghee
  • 1/4 hing
  • 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  •  1 1/2- 2 c water
  • salt, as desired
  • a squeeze of lemon (optional)

PREPRATION:
  1. In a frying pan on high, chaunce in the hot ghee the hing and then the coriander and pepper.
  2. Add the brussels and stir fry a few minutes until they begin browning.
  3. Add water and cover. Cook on high heat until the water evaporates and  brussels are tender and a little brown at the bottom, but moist, not dry.. If not fully cooked, add more water and keep cooking  until done. (the brussels pictures are half way done. They usually shrink more and brown a little more)
  4. Add salt and a little lemon juice as desired and offer.