Author: Lily Swarn

Shukto: An Essential Bengali Cuisine not Influenced by the Portuguese Cooking

Reading Time: 3 minutesThe Portuguese arrived very late, in the 16th century in India, but the medicinal value of eating bitter at the start of the meal was laid down by the great sages and physicians of Ayurveda in ancient times. Susruta, Charaka, Dhanwantari were a few of them. Bengal was most probably the last bastion of the Ayurvedic […]

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Litti Chokha: Relished by a Peasant, the Rich and Famous and the Royalties

Reading Time: 4 minutesLitti Chokha is an inexpensive proletariat diet that even the rich enjoy. It played an important role in the First War of Independence in 1857. The freedom fighters virtually survived on it. Its simplicity endeared it to many including Tantia Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai. Lily traces the history of this humble cuisine from Bihar, […]

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The Valiant Ones

Reading Time: 1 minuteLily pays tribute to teachers in a poem, as a special feature, in Different Truths.    They are the valiant ones  Teaching life by leading  Holding hands as toddlers  Walking you through the woods  Putting smiles on faces Frowning at your insecurities  Boosting up sagging spirits    They are the valiant ones  Showing you a […]

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Patraani Machi and Macher Paturi: Parsi and Bengali Styles of Making Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

Reading Time: 3 minutesThe Parsi dish Patraani Machhi, which literally means fish cooked in a leaf, has an almost identical cooking process as the Bengali favourite known as Macher Paturi. The spices were definitely different in their typical avatars. Lily tells us the similarity and differences of the two cuisines, Parsi and Bengali, in the weekly column, exclusively […]

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Indian-Chinese Cuisine: A Unique Marriage of Fiery Fusion

Reading Time: 4 minutesEighty-five years ago, this new-fangled merger of Chinese ingredients like vinegar and soya sauce with garlic, ginger and chillies began. A unique amping up of flavour profiles kickstarted a new yummy dance on taste buds! Chinese ingredients were adapted and manipulated to suit Indian preferences. Lily traces the beginnings of Indian-Chinese fusion cuisine, in her […]

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Celebrate with Wine!

Reading Time: 4 minutesThe well-known earliest traces of wine are from China in 7000BC. Georgia had wine in 6000 BC and Iran in 5000BC. The earliest winery that we know of is 6,100 years old Areni-1 winery in Armenia. It travelled to Balkans in 4500 BC and was consumed in Greece, Rome and Thrace. Lily traces the origin and […]

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Mushrooms Have Come a Long Way from Ancient Rome to the Present Times!

Reading Time: 4 minutesA mushroom is basically a fleshy, spore-bearing, fruiting body of a fungus. As early as the Roman times, fungi were popular in Europe and were also consumed many centuries ago in Middle and South America. Lily tells us about the antiquity of mushroom, in the regular column, exclusively in Different Truths. The enchanting toadstool that […]

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With a Pinch of Salt: Pickles are in the Indian Cuisines for Four Thousand Years

Reading Time: 4 minutesPickles are an almost essential part of a complete meal in the sub-continent. Cucumbers that are native to India were first pickled in the Tigris valley in BE 2030. These grew in the foothills of the Himalayas. Indians were eating pickles 4000 years ago. Lily tells us about the antiquity of pickles, its history, and […]

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The Many Legends, Tales and Travels of Coffee

Reading Time: 4 minutesDating back to the 10th century or even earlier, coffee has legends and stories galore surrounding its origin. The undomesticated nativity of coffee seems to be of Ethiopia. Evidence of drinking coffee dates back to 15th century in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. By the 16th century, this wonder drink had reached Coorg in South […]

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