Food for thought: An unusual government health initiative
One doesn’t normally associate a health camp propagating home remedies with a government health campaign. But the two came together in Bangalore, with the government Ayurvedic dispensary conducting an awareness camp about the goodness of commonly used kitchen spices and foods. Dr. Veena Krishnamurthy, a medical officer in charge, talked of the importance of including common ingredients like cumin, coriander seeds and leaves, lime, honey, buttermilk and ghee in everyday meals to keep away acidity, headache, joint pain, and a host of other everyday ailments. [I take that as a thumbs up for my blog, as my ‘food for the palate’ posts draw on these and other common-use spices and foods that are part of home-cooked meals in most Indian homes.]
Seventeen-year old Vishnu Sharan jumped from the railway platform in front of the local metro train as soon as it started moving from the station and was crushed beneath its wheels though the driver promptly applied the brakes. Vishnu was a good student and was studying in a prestigious city college. He was doing the first year of the two year pre-university course in computer science. His father is a trader, his mother is a home-maker, and his only sister is married. No one in the family has a clue about the motive for his suicide. He had left home earlier saying he was going for his tuition classes. Vishnu was a loner and had very few friends.
Gundappa, a 30-year old man, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a passenger train. He was depressed and suffering from an illness, according to the police, who allege this to be the reason for Gundappa’s suicide.
Twenty-eight year old Puneeth also killed himself by throwing himself in front of a moving train. Puneeth was said to be dejected. He was a daily wage employee in a cement factory and was staying with his family.
Food for the palate: Carrot-potato kuzhambu
Cook 3 ounces of red gram, 2 ounces of carrot cubes and 2 ounces of potato cubes. Squeeze the juice from a small lime-sized ball of tamarind using about 4 ounces of water. Mix all the ingredients in a pan, add some kuzhambu/ sambar powder [bought off the shelf or prepared as per recipe available at an earlier post], crumple a few dried curry leaves into the kuzhambu, add salt to taste and let simmer for about 15 minutes till a thick, soupy consistency is reached. Season with spluttered mustard, 2 red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida in hot oil.