By Colleen Taylor Sen
Exploring the traditional indigenous vegetation corresponding to lentils, eggplants, and peppers which are principal to the Indian nutrition, Sen depicts the country’s agricultural bounty and the fascination it has lengthy held for international viewers. She illuminates how India’s position on the middle of an enormous community of land and sea exchange routes led it to develop into a conduit for crops, dishes, and cooking ideas to and from the remainder of the area. She exhibits the effect of the British and Portuguese throughout the colonial interval, and he or she addresses India’s nutritional prescriptions and proscriptions, the origins of vegetarianism, its culinary borrowings and concepts, and the hyperlinks among vitamin, health and wellbeing, and medication. She additionally deals a style of Indian cooking itselfespecially its use of spices, from chili pepper, cardamom, and cumin to turmeric, ginger, and corianderand outlines how the country’s delicacies varies all through its many regions.
Lavishly illustrated with 100 photos, Feasts and Fasts is a mouthwatering travel of Indian nutrients jam-packed with attention-grabbing anecdotes and scrumptious recipes that would have readers devouring its pages.
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Additional resources for Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India
English translations in the mid-nineteenth century made an enormous impression on Western intellectuals, including the writer Henry David Thoreau and the philosophers William James and Arthur Schopenhauer, the latter of whom said that they laid the foundation of his philosophical system. 2 The Rig Veda consists of 1,028 poems or hymns organized into ten books (mandalas). Although centuries elapsed between their composition and transcription, scholars believe they are very close to the original because of the elaborate mnemonic techniques that were developed and the care with which they were transmitted from father to son or from teacher to student.
Unlike Buddhists, Jains did not actively proselytize. In the south, the religion was patronized and, paradoxically, even espoused by militaristic kings who admired its emphasis on striving, discipline and self-control. In urban areas Jainism was patronized by merchants, artisans, jewellers and even courtesans, and today some of India’s wealthiest business families are Jains. Some Jain kings later returned to the traditional Vedic fold and even persecuted the Jain community. Today, there are only around 4 million Jains in India, mainly in the state of Gujarat and in the Indian diaspora, plus an estimated 300,000 Jains living abroad.
It became one of the most important terms in Indian philosophy and culture and, in recent times, was central to the political philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and other advocates of non-violent political action. e link between ahimsa and vegetarianism is complex. While the Upanishads do not overtly advocate vegetarianism, compassion for all living beings tops the list of the virtues to be cultivated by renouncers. 5 Ascetics who were mendicants could not produce, store or even cook their own food, but had to obtain it by begging.
Feasts and Fasts: A History of Food in India by Colleen Taylor Sen