12 February, 2009

Lobia-Mushrooms & rants on "Some" Campaigns

Lobia Mushroom
Am I a feminist? Not really!
Am I liberal in my thoughts and deeds? Oh, yes!
Hear me loud and clear! I am not a feminist but I do consider myself liberal. Not hard to digest this fact as I am born and bought up in the world’s biggest democratic country and I have always been thought by my parents to stand for what I think is right and never get scared of opposing something which I feel absolute bulls%$t. I have been accused of being too feminist for my thoughts and actions by some people who hardly know me. Do I really care about it? Nada… Do I know what feminist really means? I think I know. And no, I don’t belong to the category of people who link them with bra burning. But if it to believe that the feminist are women who are fighting for their rights to be treated equal among other members of the society, especially men then I don’t think I belong to that category. It is because I believe and I know it for sure that I have been treated and seen as equal by every individual in my life who matter to me the most. So the question of fighting for something that I already have doesn’t make any sense to me!

Why all this rant you may ask! The reason is the Pink Chaddi campaign!!! Yup, you heard me right. The whole idea which I found silly, childish, and to some extent bit gross! For those who are unaware of this campaign, this a campaign to send pink undergarments to goons of Sri Rama Sena who have self appointed them selves as moral police in India, especially in Karnataka to protect and preserve the Indian culture from being tarnished by modern Indian women. They are the same people who barged into a pub in my native Mangalore and shamelessly molested and then beaten the girls in a pub for going against Indian “culture”!!! Wow, how brilliantly they have demonstrated the Indian “culture” to the whole world! So this is the campaign by the women to assert their rights on the eve of Valentine’s Day by sending their pink underwear these goons of Sri Rama Sena. Nothing is wrong with fighting for your right but hello, why would anyone want to send their underwear to these good-for-nothing goons?

Now let me come to the point that has been bothering me for few days. Why pink chaddi? Is pink undergarment is the symbol of feminity or womanhood? You must be kidding right? Why not something else? Why not perfumes to clear their sticking thoughts? Why not pink dupatta that they can tie to a ceiling fan and hang themselves? Why not hand kerchief to wipe clean their minds? Why not send them safety pins to burst their ego? And why not send them 2009’s calendars to show which century they are living in? Why not pink ribbons to tie to their, ahem, tails? After all they call themselves members of Sri Rama Sena and we all know that Ram’s Sena was consisted of Vanaras (monkeys). Why not pink rose or pink flower for that matter? Why not chappal or sandals that is considered as most insulting thing in India (Remember, even Bush and Chinese PM’s were not spared)? We women who have never hesitated to take our sandals from our feet in lightening speed when it becomes necessary to protect ourselves from lechers. But will we be able to do the same with our undergarment without hesitating? I wonder…. And I can’t help but ask this again “Why pink chaddi”? And most importantly, why are you calling yourself loose and forward? Is it only loose and forward women who visit pubs? I am sorry, but you have lost me here.

Sorry, dear friends. Although I fully support the reason and thought behind this campaign I will not part with my pink underwear even if I have one. Why would I want to spend my hard earned money on buying some pink panties with lace or no lace and send it to some strangers? Hell, isn’t it the whole point of wearing undergarment is to cover yourself with dignity? And even if I decide to gift my chaddis, it would be to my husband as I consider it to be too intimate gift to give. I simply can’t fathom the idea of sending my pretty undies to some goons like Pramod Mutalik and his Goonda Sena who doesn’t even wear one! For one, I find this idea of sending pink chaddi to be funny than serious. And for second, these goons don’t deserve to get any kind of publicity because that is what they want and got when they went for pub thrashing. They wanted all media attention at first place when they attacked those girls in Mangalore pub and knowing all those buffoons on TV and Radio they got more publicity than they ever dreamt of. With in few hours whole country came to know about the existence of Sri Rama Sena and with in few days it was known to the whole world.

So your Pink Chaddi campaign is just adding good dose of spices and Tadka to their existence and I have no desire to assist them in PR. This is the easiest possible way for these Goonda’s to become “somebody” from being “nobody” and do you think they deserve this kind of publicity? We have seen enough of these dramas where these politicians have tried to divide us based on caste, religion and region. I don’t wish to be a part of another sick game of dividing the society based on gender. I believe in living in a world of dignity and treated with respect for what I am, rather based on my caste, region, religion or gender for that matter. No one can just come and tell me that I can’t dress the way I like or drink and eat what I want or can’t be with the person I love. If some men feel that way then they really need some serious help. What are they scared of? Are they scared of the women working along them? Doing things what they do? Behaving the way they do? If the answers to these questions are yes, then they surely need some serious help. And I don’t believe that your pink undergarment or condoms are going to help them in their journey of discovery!

Lobia Mushroom with Chapatti

That’s it folks. I am done with it and feel much better now. And I know most of my blog readers come for recipes and not for my rants. Don’t worry my friends; I am not going to disappoint you. Today I have one of the simplest recipes for you which uses very few and basic ingredients. This recipe of Lobia Mushroom is adapted from my favourite cookbook, 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. Nutty black eyed peas stir fried along meaty mushrooms and fresh herbs ginger and coriander leaves has no fancy ingredients. But that’s what makes this Lobia Mushroom interesting and special. The taste is simply earthy, fresh and wholesome. I served mine along with Dal and Chapatti on busy weekday for dinner and had it with toasted wholemeal bread on next day for lunch.

Lobia & Mushrooms

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Lobia Mushroom (Black eyed Peas with sautéed Mushrooms)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Source: 660 Curries
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat bread or flavoured/steam cooked rice

1 cup Black Eyed Peas
2-3 cups of Mushrooms, sliced (I used Button Mushrooms)
1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder or combination of Paprika and Chilli Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
1 inch Ginger, grated or finely chopped
¼ cup Coriander Leaves, finely chopped (use it’s stems also)
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds (Optional, as original recipe doesn’t use it)
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida (Again optional)
1 tbsp Oil (Original recipe calls for 2 tbsp)
Salt to taste
Lobia Mushroom

Wash blacked eyed peas properly and place them in a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to boil. Skim the foam formed and closed the lid. Cook for 15-20 mins on medium heat till the beans are cooked thoroughly. Let the pressure release completely before opening the lid.
Mean while, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing to it. When cumin starts to sizzle and turn reddish brown, add sliced mushrooms and mix well. Stir fry it continuously till mushrooms start to brown and cooked well. Mix in chilli powder, grated ginger, coriander leaves and salt to taste. Cook for another minute or two for the spices to blend well.
Now add cooked beans and mix well. Adjust the seasonings and cook for another minute or two. Serve Lobia Mushroom hot with bread or rice or chapatti and enjoy.

PS: Just when I finished writing this post, I came to know about the existence of another campaign called Pink Condom Campaign where the campaigners are urging people to send pink condoms to pink chaddi campaigners. Now I wonder how many other pink or other coloured campaigns will be initiated to oppose other campaigns. This whole thing is turning out be nothing but a circus, but at least circus is entertaining to some extent!!!

PPS: You are welcome to write your thoughts as I have expressed mine. I have said all I wanted and please don’t expect me to further argue or debate on this topic. And special message to “special” readers, offensive comments will not be entertained and will be deleted then and there.

PPPS: I have intentionally not linked those campaign websites. You can Google search with key words if you want to read more about these two “pink” campaigns.

PPPPS: If you really want to be a part of some meaningful campaign then why not visit www.helpgaurav.com and help Gaurav Tandon and his family to raise money for his operation? Gaurav, 34 year old working in an IT firm in Mumbai was diagnosed with AML (a type of blood cancer) in November and needs to get his Bone Marrow Transplant done as soon as possible. His wife Anuradha and his friends and well wishers are trying to raise a fund of Rs. 1.5 Cr (approx: 333,000 US dollars) for his operation. Please visit his website to get more information and contribute. Thanks Dibs for bringing this to my notice.

Have a lovely weekend, friends. I leave you all with this beautiful video.


  1. Looks very delicious!.

  2. Ha ha..This whole pink thing is so hilarious..cheap publicity stunts..Really wonder whether these people(read it AH.:D) dont have any meaningful stuffs to do..!!
    The dish looks soo tempting..I am drooling..u r an excellent photographer Sia..May I know which cam u r using?SLR?

  3. I saw the assault on a woman who was coming out of the pub in Mangalore on Asian TC Aaj Tak and I was surprised to know that happened in Mangalore of all the places and by people called "Rama Sene"!! Kannadiga taliban? That is so sad. Hope they strangle themselves "you know where" with their pink chaddis! India is supposed to be the biggest democratic country in the World, doesn't sound like one now with all these!!

  4. I perfect agree with you..As a pub hopper myself, I am thoroughly appalled.
    Pink Chaddi to Demons? what crap. That is so gross..sort of stooping to the level of those demons.. I also read about this girl who committed suicide because she was again harassed by these goons. What is it all about, i know not. I really wonder how many gullible unemployed young men are wandering in Karnataka and there are enough people to misguide-misuse their brute power. I am more than certain that if any one needs to know about 'Indian culture' it is the goons themselves.. And the Pink Chaddi idea is so pathetic, so when did women of India run out of ideas so badly?

  5. tht is a new combo for me. mushroom and lobiya, looks good.

  6. oh i didnt know about the pink condom campaign! what a joke?!

    I read a good view on this, similar to yours, on suchitra's site (www.suchitra.com). i think i agree more with you both, but the thing is, i dont think the creator of the campaign intended it to be such a roaring "success". you are right in saying it just gives the goons some extra publicity!

  7. oh how i agree with you sia, i feel its just a overhyped and these campaigns are all helping them to get all the media attention they are looking for. The main aim of those goondas is to show themselves are powerful and get attention....now with these campaigns in town even a lil kid knows about sree ram sena :) mission accomplished :)

    its crazy how our system works...

    and lovely pic and recipe looks delicious will try..:) Thanks for sharing :)

    have a fab weekend

  8. Sia - Thank you too. and oh.. I love pink...but it is somehow loosing its charm!

  9. Hi Sia,

    I think perhaps you missed your calling, you express yourself with power and eloquence combined :)

    Peas -- fresh or dried -- are a natural with mushrooms... your dish is so easy and so healthy!

    Have a great weekend :)

  10. I heard it.. & i support ur rant.

    Nice idea to use the lobia.. i love them. i use peas, peas & peas. with mushrooms... & could not think out of that..

  11. If i burn my bras, my two melons or Lemons will go straight to my belly :-)))
    I jus saw about this pink chaddi in Bees place too, actually i only came to know about it that moment.
    Loves the lobia mushroom curry.

  12. The lobia curry looks yummy Sia and I love love the video you have shared. Thanks.:)


  13. Hi, I am a regular reader of your blog and had to delurk today.
    You are not just a good cook but a sensible woman too.
    I absolutely agree with you on this one. And I wondering why are only women concerened about the ram sena? I think they beat men up too, why are men not doing something. Why do we end up fighting so hard for something. We have the right to do whatever we want to do even as women, we dont have to do anything to prove it, just do it.

  14. Goondas like those threaten the integrity of a democratic nation.I'm glad you spoke against them,bravo!
    The Mushroom with peas makes a delicious side for parathas.
    please trail back to my blog for a
    token of gratitude:)

  15. Lovely dish and great pics as usual!

  16. Those whatever "senas" are short of issues to work on, what were they doing in the pub first place instead of singing Bhajans
    And sending them "pnk chaddis", I am not sure of the origin, but why watse energy, money etc. on a foolish cause which I am sure will go wasted on those "vanara senas"

    Lobia with mushroom...now that is a worthy cause :)

  17. I really liked reading your post! Yummy curry. Looks so lovely Sia.

  18. Hey, you really vented out your frustration.. I guess the pink chaddi campaign is to gross them out and this might them provoke them even more... You are right, if women protest even more, it will give them an opportunity to retaliate.. Its just for personal purpose, i personally believe it has nothing to do with culture.. because if it was, then they would have stopped the pub owners from opening these places.

    Work from home

  19. Hear you Sia.
    Absolutely, the campaign has given them more publicity than they can ever imagine.

  20. Wonderful pictures. Lovely dish...

  21. Lobia mushroom looks very delicious. Very well written post on the pathetic campaign. i couldn't have said it better.

  22. I came across your website searching for some recipes. Your effort and creativity is commendable.

    I couldn't help but notice your comments on feminism and the pink chaddhi campaign. Most people I have come across have a very strong reaction and aversion to the word "feminist" because people often associate it with bra-burning, equality-with-men fighting women. The fact is most women who believe in equal rights of women to live in a society with dignity and participate equally in the social, economic, intellectual and political process are feminist.

    It is important not take the privileges and support we have got from our families belittle the efforts of many activist who are fighting to bring equality in the society. The privileges we enjoy today as "liberated women" are due to the efforts of many women who came before us, fought and paved the way.

  23. This sounds to be a unique combination. Mushrooms looks so good and YUM! Lovely pictures...

    Belated Valentine's Day!!!!!

  24. Sia, of course everyone has their opinion and both sides seem to have different views - thank's for taking the time to tell us yours.

    I just wanted to ask you why "hell no"! to being a feminist?

    I'm not sure since when being a feminist took on such negative overtones but I have heard this from others too. There were bra burning feminists and others who are very very extreme in their views - as with every cause. But, I think we are all beginning to forget, that it was the first feminists who got us the right to vote, to work , to be paid and all the other things that we take for granted today. We didn't have to struggle for these things but others did and we could take some time to remember that.

    I feel that everytime we go to work,vote, go to school and college, are able to get an equal share in property, able to get alimony for divorce and custody right for our children, able to file a police complaint for harassment or abuse or just even walk into any club or institution - we are asserting the power of feminism. I may or may not think of myself as a feminist because I am not a megaphone wielding morcha leading woman - but just because of the fact that I believe in gender equality and basic human rights - I am a feminist.

    Hope I have not intruded in your blog. I am an avid follower of it - both your recipes and your thought provoking rants :)Thank you!


  25. In perfect synchrony with the thought stream!

    What lovely pictures! Thank u for stopping by my blog.

  26. I dont think ive had beans and mushrooms together. Looks absolutely mouth watering. Love your pics :)

  27. Tried the Lobia Mushroom dish yesterday for dinner. Me and my Hubby just loved it!!!....Its such an unheard combination, but the dish was yummy..

    Sia, I have recently started following your site, and the dishes are quite different from the usual recipes posted on most of the sites. esp.. the pictures are awesome...

    Thanks for creating monsoon spice, I have even introduced this to some of my foodie friends:-)..Myself being a vegetarian, I think i'm going to love it..!!


Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and feedback. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

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