Monthly Archives: June 2013

Food of Pakistan, Episode:5 Food of Baluchistan(South-West Pakistan)

The last instalment in the series from Bilal Umer about food of Pakistan! Thank you for sharing Bilal.

The Baloch have two meals a day, in the morning and evening. The food for the whole family is cooked together. The most important grain is wheat, but millet and rice are also eaten. Grains are ground into flour and made into unleavened bread (flat bread, without any ingredients to make it rise), which is baked in mud ovens.

Meat is an important part of the Baloch diet. Sajji is a favorite dish that is often served to honored guests. A sheep is killed, skinned, and carved into joints. The meat is sprinkled with salt. The pieces of meat are spitted on green twigs, which are stuck into the ground in front of a blazing log. Once cooked, this dish is eaten with a knife, although Baloch usually eat with their hands.

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Milk is drunk and also made into fresh cheese, buttermilk, and butter. In summer, a sherbet (lassi) is made with milk, molasses, and sugar. Dates and wild fruits and vegetables also form an important part of the Baloch diet.

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Traditional Dishes- Commonly Available in Gilgit-Baltistan

Maltash-chay-Giyalin ( Gral, Roɣ̌n, Qnda)

Prepared by

Muhammad Bilal Umer

bilalumer_1@yahoo.com

Episode:5 FOOD of Baluchistan(South-West Pakistan)

The Baloch have two meals a day, in the morning and evening. The food for the whole family is cooked together. The most important grain is wheat, but millet and rice are also eaten. Grains are ground into flour and made into unleavened bread (flat bread, without any ingredients to make it rise), which is baked in mud ovens.

Meat is an important part of the Baloch diet. Sajji is a favorite dish that is often served to honored guests. A sheep is killed, skinned, and carved into joints. The meat is sprinkled with salt. The pieces of meat are spitted on green twigs, which are stuck into the ground in front of a blazing log. Once cooked, this dish is eaten with a knife, although Baloch usually eat with their hands.

Milk is drunk and also made into fresh cheese, buttermilk, and butter. In summer, a sherbet (lassi) is made with milk, molasses, and sugar. Dates and wild fruits and vegetables also form an important part of the Baloch diet.

Traditional Dishes- Commonly Available in Gilgit-Baltistan

Maltash-chay-Giyalin ( Gral, Roɣ̌n, Qnda)

Prepared by

Muhammad Bilal Umer

bilalumer_1@yahoo.com


One Man, Two Guvnors – Brilliant Play

So this is terribly late, as I was there on Opening Night of the wonderful play “One Man, Two Guvnors” and tomorrow will be closing night. But here it is – This show is fantastic, a must see!

This is actually the end of the shows World Tour here in Melbourne. A brilliant show from the UK, it was slapstick, sharp, witty and hilarious!

I was honoured to attend the opening night with my friend who was photographing the evening, and very excited to be there for the opening night as there were more than a few A-listers around. Quite the thrill. It also meant a packed house and an amazing crowd for the players to perform to.

For me it was lovely as it reminded me of my high school drama days. The style of play and that british humour was something we put on for our end of year performance-  great fun to rehearse and something that most audiences will enjoy.

One Man Two Guvnors

“The original West End production of one of the most successful comedies ever staged by Britain’s illustriousNational Theatre tours to Melbourne, directed by Nicholas Hytner.” – See the Melbourne Theatre Company website for more details.

The season was extended to…. tomorrow! 29th June. Apologies for the late notice but definitely one to watch out for in future. Thumbs up from me, a brilliant performance and wonderful night out.

Playing at the Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

Arts Centre Melbourne

Arts Centre Melbourne

 


Sharing a beautiful moment with a stranger in Sri Lanka

When visiting Sri Lanka recently, I went to my favourite place to see the Elephants roaming around in the wilderness at Pinnawala.
 
Last time I was there in April, I had lunch with my driver at a little restaurant and was so surprised and delighted when the herd of elephants came charging down the street to take their bath in the river.
 
 
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I had lunch at this restaurant and had a very sweet old man as a waiter. My dad had seen my photos of elephants going down the street whilst I was eating lunch and looking over the balcony to them charging below. He wanted the same experience so we visited this restaurant in the main street of Pinnawala which leads to the river, and yes where all the tourists go.
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We again had this same little old man. So sweet, so mild in manner and most accomodating. Our meal wasn’t as good as last time, but he was very helpful. After we received the bill, I spoke to the old man about my last visit and said I’d seen him then. He said thank you and told us a little bit about how he had come to work there- how he travels 2 hours to get there from his home. There is no work where he lives, he’s in his 60’s, he needs work. He has to live there for a month and then visit home. He very humbly and matter of factly told us this story. He then nodded and smiled and went off about his business.
 
I had no money on me but asked dad for 500 Sri Lankan rupees straight away. I said I would pay it out of my own pocket later. This is the equivalent of $A5 or $US5. About the same cost as our entire meal.
 
We walked down and I walked straight up to the man and held his hand and placed it in his hand (I didn’t want his employer to see in case they took it.) I said “Sir, this is for you. Thank you.”
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What a beautiful man – his sweet nature and smile had melted my heart. It wasn’t a lot for me to give, but I hope it helped him a little. He was so humble and kind – he expected nothing, this is why I gave it to him.
 
On our way back from viewing the elephants again, I came back and asked the man who was now standing on the street for a photo. Look at his beautiful smile! 
 

Random acts of kindness

 
 
Thank you sir! You made this a wonderful experience.
 
 
If you are ever in Pinnawala, visit this Hotel Elephant View Restaurant & Bar in the high street. 
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Food of Pakistan. Episode 4: Kashmiri cuisine (Pakistan North)

These posts are part of a fabulous series on “Foods of Pakistan” from my friend Bilal Umer. Thank you for sharing your culture with us!

“I wrote about Pakistani places in my last episode in February 2012. Food focuses the culture and weather of the region. Here I decided to write about the rich food of Pakistan in different cities. This is also a gift for Emma Lovelly to enjoy untouched Pakistani food. ” – Bilal Umer

Episode 4

Kashmiri cuisine (Kashmiri: کشور خیون; Kashur khyon, Urdu: کشمیری کھانا Kashmiri khaana) is based on the ancient tradition of this area. The Rigveda mentions the meat eating traditions of this area.The ancient epic of Kashmir, namely the Nilmatapurana informs us that Kashmiris were heavy meat eaters. This habit persists in today’s Kashmir.

The most notable ingredient in today’s Kashmir cuisine is mutton, of which there are over 30 varieties. Also to be noted are Balti curries, popular in the United Kingdom for their exotic tastes, that have spread from the Baltistan region of Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

Wazwan

Wazwan, a multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition, is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, fish).Beef is generally not prepared in the Srinagar region,but is popular among the other districts. It is considered a sacrilege to serve any dishes based around pulses or lentils during this feast. The traditional number of courses for the wazwan is thirty-six, though there can be fewer. The preparation is traditionally done by a vasta waza, or head chef, with the assistance of a court of wazas, or chefs.

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Wazwan is regarded by the Kashmiri Muslims as a core element of their culture and identity. Guests are grouped into fours for the serving of the wazwan. The meal begins with a ritual washing of hands, as a jug and basin called the tash-t-nari are passed among the guests. A large serving dish piled high with heaps of rice, decorated and quartered by four seekh kababs, four pieces of meth maaz, two tabak maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, and one safed kokur, one zafrani kokur, along with other dishes. The meal is accompanied by yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri saffron, salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips. Kashmiri Wazwan is generally prepared in marriages and other special functions. The culinary art is learnt through heredity and is rarely passed to outside blood relations. That has made certain waza/cook families very prominent. The wazas remain in great demand during the marriage season (May – October). The essential Wazwan dishes include:

  • Safed kokur or zafraan kokur
  • Meth maaze
  • Ristae
  • Rogan josh
  • Dhani phul
  • Aloo bukhaar: chutney made with fresh plums, onions, sugar, lime juice and spices
  • Gaade kufta
  • Tabak maaz: Fried lamb ribs
  • Daniwal korma: lamb in a yogurt-based gravy
  • Aab gosht: Lamb curry cooked in milk
  • Marcha-wangan korma
  • Sheekh kabab: spicy ground lamb on skewers
  • Gushtaab: Chopped lamb with spices cooked in oil, milk and curds
  • kebab
  • maach kebab

Kashmiri beverages

Noon Chai/Sheer Chai

Kashmiris are heavy tea drinkers. The word “noon” in Kashmiri language means Salt. The most popular drink is a pinkish colored salted tea called “noon chai.”It is made with green tea, milk, salt and bicarbonate of soda. The particular color of the tea is a result of its unique method of preparation and the addition of soda. The Kashmiri Pandits more commonly refer to this chai as “Sheer Chai.”

Noon Chai/Sheer Chai is a common breakfast tea in Kashmiri households and is taken with breads like baqerkhani brought fresh from the Sufi, or bakers. Often, this tea is served in a large Samovars.

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Kahwah

At marriage feasts, festivals, and religious places, it is customary to serve Kahwah, or Qahwah (originates from a 14th century Arab coffee, which, in turn, was named after an ancient beverage of the Sufis) – a green tea made with saffron, spices, and almonds or walnuts. Over 20 varieties of Kahwah are prepared in different households. Some people also put milk in kahwah (half milk + half kahwah). This chai is also known as “Maugal Chai” by some Kashmiri Pandits from the smaller villages of Kashmir.

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Prepared by

Muhammad Bilal Umer

bilalumer_1@yahoo.com


Bastille Day in Melbourne with Eureka 89 Events

Bonjour

Another year and another Bastille Day fast approaches. The french National holiday provides us with an excuse to enjoy delicious french foods and incredible wines. Why not do it at the Eureka Tower where the team from the Eureka 89 events consistently put on wonderful food and drink?

This is the best way to celebrate Bastille Day in Melbourne and say Salute (cheers) to our French Friends across the foreign seas!

bastille

 

Eureka 89 & Laurent-Perrier welcome you to celebrate Bastille Day with a French inspired champagne brunch at the top floor of Eureka Tower.

Enjoy a morning of fine food, champagne and glorious views, all from the highest vantage point in Melbourne!

Indulge in a two course French brunch complimented by Laurent-Perrier champagne.

Sunday, 14th July 2013
10am – 11:30am
$65 per person

Download the flyer here.

Make your booking for this Fabulous French Feast by contacting the Eureka 89 Events Team –

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Conquering my last territory in Australia, Northern Territory!

After years of travelling to far away lands and foreign places,I felt it was time I started to explore my own backyard. Australia is an incredible travel destination and I’m proud to say that I’m now just 1 state/ territory away from visiting all 7 of Australia’s territories. Northern Territory is the last one I’m yet to have stepped foot in and I’m so excited to say that in 2 short weeks I’ll be doing the most Aussie trip you can get -Uluru by 4WD in the outback!

Uluru

More than half of Australians have identified the Northern Territory as a bucket list destination. However with cheap international airfares making Bali, Thailand and Japan super accessible, we are favouring foreign destinations over our home soil.

This year I’ve been to Sydney 3 times, Adelaide twice and now off to Northern Territy. Last year I got to Tassie for the first time and got up to visit friends and family in Queensland 3 times when I hadn’t been for 5 years! I’m loving living in Melbourne, my adopted city of 2 years and exploring Victoria whenever I get the chance.

Northern Territory

So now – The Red Centre! The desert, the outback, the heart of Australia! I can’t wait. I’m off on 6th July on a tour with 2 American friends. We’re doing the luxury package with 4WD tour, fixed camping, Olga’s visits and Uluru. I must add – I will do a post specifically with the itinerary for our trip – I just haven’t even had a chance to focus on it – and to be honest, sometimes I like the surprise!

After years of recommending the Northern Territory to overseas family and friends, even myself working on 2 promotional campaigns for NT, I’m finally going. You never never know, if you never never go! That stuck with me since I was a kid – the old tag line from Darryl Somers.

Check out the latest Advertising Campaign from the NT. These are always my favourite promotions in Australia as they really embrace the Australian spirit. Now at least I’ll be able to say “Yes, I’ve been there”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y27TynhCp1M&feature=youtu.be 

NT logo

For more information, visit the Travel NT website:

www.travelnt.com 

To book your own great holiday, visit:

www.territorydiscoveries.com 

Watch this space for many more posts about the Northern Territory, Australia!


The beautiful elephants of Sri Lanka

There are 100 posts I could write on these beautiful creatures and my wonderful visits this year, however I just wanted to share some photos quickly.

Elephant Orphanage

This year I was lick to visit Sri Lanka and the Elephant Orphange not once, but twice in a space of 2 months. This is something I’d been waiting 12 years to do! My father visited in 2002 and how amazing that for both of our second visits, we were united there!

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We drove 2.5 hours from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to Pinnawala, the home of these gorgeous creatures. There are still wild elephants in National Parks in Sri Lanka however this is a famous place for protecting and educating people about the amazing creatures.

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We first visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which has more than 80 elephants. Here is the place where you can feed them fruit, give the babies milk and walk down to the river after them to see them bathe for 2 hours twice daily. We went twice in the one day to do this and thoroughly enjoyed just watching the herd of elephants paddle in the stream and enjoy this gorgeous environment.

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The other incredible place, just 5 minutes down the road, is the Millenium Elephant Foundation. I was so happy to visit this wonderful organisation as I had seen some Elephants who appeared to be privately owned nearer the river going for rides and I didn’t like the way they were treated.

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This is an educational facility for teaching people about the elephants, bringing in sick elephants, and helping those in the wild that they find who need care.

With Kapela, the wonderful guide there who helped me on both my visitors. Stuhti!

With Kapela, the wonderful guide there who helped me on both my visitors. Stuhti!

We got to ride the elephant bare back (Howdah’s are not accepted here as they can hurt the elephants greatly). We then walked into the river and shared a lovely bath with this beautiful animal.

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Spending a whole day in this area is a minimum and if you have the time, stay over night and enjoy the beautiful rainforest surrounds.

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Expect more posts on this as I plan to share more photos and videos of these wonderful creatures!

Please visit the http://www.millenniumelephantfoundation.com/ and give generously to support the work they do. If you have a spare week or two, why not volunteer here!

Feeding the baby elephants

Feeding the baby elephants

 

Photos all from visit 2, June 6th 2013

(More photos to come from Visit 1 in April 2013)


Just taking my Porcupine for a walk

I’ve never seen a Porcupine in my life.

I’ve certainly never seen one crossing the road.

Nor would I expect to see one on a leash crossing the ROAD!

But low and behold…… here they are, 2 little funny porcupines on a lead being walked across the street by this woman.

I was in hysterics!

porcupines sri lanka

“Touch it madam” She says

“Oh no thank you, that’s ok” I politely reply.

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“Madam it ok! Touch it!” She insists

“EMMA!!! Do not touch those things!” My dad screams from the back seat of the car.

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I take photos of the hilarious little(well huge rather) things as she tries to get them into place for me and they shoot their spikes off their back.

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I’m pretty sure – this is one of the craziest things I’ve seen in a while on my travels! Great laughs!

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Food of Pakistan, Episode 3: Sindhi delicious food and Drink’s (South-East Pakistan)

These posts are part of a fabulous series on “Foods of Pakistan” from my friend Bilal Umer. Thank you for sharing your culture with us! 

“I wrote about Pakistani places in my last episode in February 2012. Food focuses the culture and weather of the region. Here I decided to write about the rich food of Pakistan in different cities. This is also a gift for Emma Lovelly to enjoy untouched Pakistani food. ” – Bilal Umer

Episode 3

Sindhis daily food that is usually eaten by the sindhis, consists of flat-bread that based on wheat with the rice and two dishes accompanied one gravy and other is dry. Sindhi food is also famous today in many countries especially in India, where the majority of sindhis are migrated when indo-pak partition occur.

When islam arise within south asia the changes occur in a variety of manners. As in islam Muslim are forbidden to eat Haraam, and the Halaal dietry eating and food strictly observed. Muslim sindhis used to eat beef, lamb, fish,chicken and vegitable included fruits and dairy.

The list of food that mostly eats by sindhis is given below:

  • Snacks
  • Desserts, sweet, drinks
  • Pickles
  • The combination of different food items make Snacks it would be a
  • Mashed Roti mix with butter and sugar(Kutti)

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Fig. Kutti

If anybody gets suffered with chicken pox, then sweet koki or called Lolo or Mithi Loli is made in Sindh.A sweet roti made with sugur, butter, and milk called Maal-apuroo Mithai Maani. A sindhi food that is like a porridge dish mix with rice and served with yogurt (Ku-ini Kich-anee). Baked bread mix with chick peas and thick gravy (Chhola Dhabal). The different kinds of biryaani served with variety of things and food in sindh. These have their different taste and very delicious. Sindhi recipe of spices mixed with boiled steamed rice called Sindhi Biryaani. Vegetables mixed with chick pea flour form Sindhi Curry.

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Fig. curry

Chapatti made in green sauce and tomato, coriander and other spices (Seyal Mani).Bhugi Bhaji.Mixed vegetables that cooked with the paste of Garlic.

Yellow daal mix with rice (Sabu dal Chawar).

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Fig. Daal

Desserts and sweet drinks, that usually sindhis made and baked are also very delicious and tasty.

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Fig. Thanda gola

Drinks

The famous sindhi drink that specially made from Almond, khashkhaash(Thadal).

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Fig. Thadal

A big pede’ made with wheat and sugar chaashni.

Hot drink that made with milk with cardamoms and Saffron flavor.

A drink made from Sandal wood called Sherbat.

Other many more drinks that sindhis serve, and enjoyed.

Pickles are famous all over the world; the city of Shikarpur is famous for the item. Every kind of pickles they produce included:

Carrot, chili, mango, mix fruit, green chili, murbo is like in the sugar syrup sweet grated mango mix)

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Fig. achaar(pickel)

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Fig. Student Biryani – Soghat (Famous Food) of Karachi


Journeys Storytelling – Felix Bar, St Kilda, Thursday 13th June 2013

A brand new, free storytelling show in the heart of St Kilda!

8pm @ FELIX BAR (11 Fitzroy St, St Kilda). Thursday 13th June theme is “JOURNEYS”.

 

cock and bull poster

 
Come along and hear some of Melbourne’s and the world’s best storytellers tell their best stories based on a different theme on the second Thursday of every month.

Telling stories will be:
Jonathan Schuster
Claire Sullivan
Arielle Conversi
Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall
Rose Callaghan
Sean Bedlam
Stuart Daulman
Briggsly Edwards
Mathew Walkerden

Hosted by Martin Dunlop

This is an incredible night of entertaining storytelling, held fortnightly in St Kilda at the Felix Bar.

 

If you love storytelling, you should also download the Cock and Bull Podcast from Itunes.


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