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Hindu Press International

A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide, courtesy of Hinduism Today magazine's editorial staff


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INDIA, March 4, 2015 (by Roberto A.Fredman, Washington Post): Indian food, with its hodgepodge of ingredients and intoxicating aromas, is coveted around the world. The labor-intensive cuisine and its mix of spices is more often than not a revelation for those who sit down to eat it for the first time. But behind the appeal of Indian food -- what makes it so novel and so delicious -- is also a stranger and subtler truth. In a large new analysis of more than 2,000 popular recipes, data scientists have discovered perhaps the key reason why Indian food tastes so unique: It does something radical with flavors, something very different from what we tend to do in the United States and the rest of Western culture. And it does it at the molecular level.

If you were to hold a microscope to most Western dishes, you would find an interesting but not all-too-surprising trend. Popular food pairings in this part of the world combine ingredients that share like flavors. On average, there are just over 50 flavor compounds in each food ingredient. A nifty chart shared by Scientific American in 2013 shows which foods share the most flavor compounds with others and which food pairings have the most flavor compounds in common. Chefs in the West like to make dishes with ingredients that have overlapping flavors. Many Asian cuisines have been shown to belie the trend by favoring dishes with ingredients that don't overlap in flavor. And Indian food, in particular, is one of the most powerful counterexamples.

Researchers at the Indian Institute for Technology in Jodhpur crunched data on several thousand recipes from a popular online recipe site called TarlaDalal.com. They broke each dish down to its ingredients, and then compared how often and heavily ingredients share flavor compounds. The answer? Not too often.They examined how much the underlying flavor compounds overlapped in single dishes and discovered something very different from Western cuisines. Indian cuisine tended to mix ingredients whose flavors don't overlap at all.The takeaway is that part of what makes Indian food so unique is the way flavors rub up against each other. Combining ingredients with like flavors is a useful (and often delicious) strategy, but it might be a somewhat misleading rule of thumb. Indian cuisine, after all, is cherished globally, and yet hinges on a decidedly different ingredient pairing logic.

      

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They alone dispel the mind's distress who take refuge at the Feet of the Incomparable One.
-- Tirukkural

      

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It cannot be seen by the eye, and yet it is the eye within the eye. It cannot be heard by the ear, and yet it is the ear within the ear. It cannot be smelt by the nose, and yet it is that which makes the nose to smell. It cannot be uttered by the mouth, and yet it is that which makes the mouth to speak. It cannot be grasped by the hand, and yet it is that which makes the hand to grasp. It cannot be reached by the feet, and yet it is that which makes the feet to walk. It cannot be thought by the mind, and yet it is the mind within the mind. It is the Primal One without past or future. Its form is free from age and sickness. It manifests as father and mother. It blossoms as the Self-Existent. It cannot be described as one or two. No artist can portray It. It is That which lies 'twixt good and evil. It ever abides in the hearts of the wise. It permits no distinction between Vedanta and Siddhanta. It is That which dances at the zenith beyond the realm of sound.
-- Satguru Siva Yogaswami (1872-1964), Sri Lanka's most renowned contemporary spiritual master

      

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UNITED STATES, March 1, 2015 (USA Today): Nearly 10% of U.S. adults and 3% of children participated in yoga in 2012, up from 5% of adults and 2% of children a decade earlier, says a new survey from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Another survey, from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, says more than 24 million U.S. adults practiced yoga in 2013, up from 17 million in 2008. That makes it roughly as popular as golf.

Other signs that yoga is a growth industry: The Wall Street Journal recently reported that some yoga classes are so overcrowded that peace-seeking yogis are getting into fights over mat space. Yoga Journal, a print and online magazine, is celebrating its 40th anniversary and "business is booming," with a growing print readership of 2.1 million and more than 5 million online page views a month, says editor in chief Carin Gorrell.

Since 2012, Medicare has covered cardiac rehabilitation programs that include yoga. The programs also include a vegetarian diet and meditation. "I've always thought that it's not a matter of if we are going to include yoga and mindfulness techniques in healthcare, it's always been when, and the when has arrived," says M. Mala Cunningham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia who founded a program to certify yoga instructors and medical professionals to use such techniques with cardiac patients.

More at source.

      

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WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA, February 27, 2015 (YouTube): "We are all Hindus Now" was an article published in Newsweek Magazine, August 24, 2009 [http://www.newsweek.com/us-views-god- ... e-are-turning-hindu-79073 with the title interestingly changed to "U.S. Views on God and Life are Turning Hindu]. Hindu practices have creeped into American society. In the spiritual landscape we are becoming more Hindu like. 65% of Americans now believe that there are many paths to one truth and another 14% believe in reincarnation. The Rev. Jennifer Ryu, a Unitarian Universalist, gives a nice talk on Hinduism to her congregation on this topic in this informative YouTube video.

      


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