Obama Vows Sanctions against Iran

Our Nobel “Peace” Prize Winner is threatening Iran (Obamaspeak Translated by a friend of mine):

“Because you didn’t do as we commanded, I vow significant sanctions against you, which will starve your children and elderly people, deny them necessary medicines, and generally make life a living hell for your country. After all, the USA can have nuclear weapons even though it HAS used them. Israel can have nuclear weapons and demonstrate outrage at even being ASKED to undergo inspections. MANY other countries are permitted by us – the arbiters of behavior for the entire world – to have nuclear weapons. But not you.

In fact, you cannot even enrich to 20%, although 90% is required for nuclear weapons. Why? Because the USA does not like to be disobeyed and tends to react harshly to that IF the offender does not have nuclear weapons! Which is probably one of the reasons why you might be trying to develop them in the first place, eh?

Well, nothing doing. You play ball with the west, on the terms delineated BY the west, or we will destroy you. And we won’t face much in the way of public pressure over here either: we got that covered with the slickest promo package you can imagine, 24/7 in all media. Peace out.”

Here’s the link to the article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8507168.stm

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Monsanto: The Food Mafia

Monsanto - The Food Mafia

Here’s an article from Vanity Fair magazine titled Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear.

It is about Monsanto (the world’s leading producer of genetically modified seeds). Monsanto is known for many unethical and immoral practices such as employing child labor in India to handle poisonous pesticides while paying them half a dollar a day, dumping toxic waste in the UK and bribing officials in Indonesia. Also it sells the “Terminator” seeds – which if used will prevent farmers from replanting their crop’s seed, and force them to purchase the seed from Monsanto for every planting.

The article is very informative. It is very relevant in today’s times with food shortages and rationing going on – who controls the food supply?

Monsanto doesn’t allow reuse of its seeds (which people have been doing since the first farms began in Mesopotamia, present day Iraq- 10,000 BC), but forces farmers to buy new seeds each year – increasing food costs. They hire investigators to spy on farms and make sure no one is re-using – if they do – they get sued.

Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) is actually where agriculture began – but today in Iraq – former US dictator L. Paul Bremer already outlawed seed re-use of “protective kinds” – so Iraq farmers once they buy Monsanto’s seeds will get stuck with buying them from Monsanto once and for all.

If a farmer doesn’t use Monsanto’s seeds – Monsanto will target and sue him too. As the articles states one of the guys wasn’t even a farmer or a seed seller. They are also buying up the smaller seed companies – this way they drive out the competition.

Now it is going after milk and is taking aggressive steps to target and sue those who don’t want to use Monsanto hormones on their cows so they are forced out of business – another dirty trick they use is claim on the internet that these companies are lying about not using hormones.

Monsanto has the F.D.A’s support and the F.D.A will come after you (another reason why F.D.A. should be abolished). Your milk is probably already tainted with their hormones but pretty soon you will not be able to buy even milk that claims it is free from growth hormones if Monsanto has its way.

Monsanto succeeded in getting Pennsylvania, to begin February 1, 2008, to ban labels claiming their milk products are free from hormones on grounds that it implies the competitor’s milk is somehow unhealthy. But people started writing, emailing, calling the Agriculture secretary of Pennsylvania and he had to reverse the decision.

Click Here to read the Vanity Fair Article.

Cendol

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Another roadside vendor dish; it reminded me of Falooda. The five star luxury of Hotel Istana was great and the hospitality was superb, but being a typical Bongolander I found the roadside hawkers preparing satay, noodles, cendol, smiling and inviting “Selamat Datang” (welcome) more fascinating. The sights, sounds and smells were definitely more zestful and aromatic.

Ingredients:
400ml cold water
7-8 medium pandan leaves
50g Hoen Kwe (green bean) flour. This is a pre-mixed flour made from moong dal.
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 pandan paste
1/4 tsp alkaline water
1 cup coconut milk
Crushed ice (as needed)
Palm sugar syrup (Take some jaggery or gur and dissolve in a cup of water to make a brown syrup – you can add regular sugar to make it sweeter).

Directions:
Blend the pandan leaves with water and strain to get the pandan juice. Add pandan paste and blend well. Put the flour and salt in to a pan. Add the pandan juice in (1) and alkaline water. Use a hand whisk to stir well while adding cold water. Make sure the flour is dissolved into a smooth batter. Cook the mixture over a low fire. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes transparent and thick and remove from the fire.

Prepare a bowl of cold water. Then you can use a colander or a strainer with large holes and pour some of the mixture onto it. Push the Cendol mixture with a spoon so it drop into the water (if you’ve seen how they make ganthiya or sev at City Hotel or Purnima – you’ll know what I am talking about). Repeat until all green bean mixture finishes.

Serve the Cendol in a dessert bowl or tall glass with crushed ice and rich coconut milk and palm sugar syrup.

Nasi Lemak

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The unofficial “National Dish of Malaysia”. Nasi Lemak is served anytime, breakfast, lunch, dinner, even as a snack. It’s cooked in coconut milk, with pandan leaves, a few cloves, ginger and a stalk of lemon grass. The coconut milk makes the rice texture creamy and fluffy. It is similar to “Wali wa Nazi” but a little more fragrant because of the herbs and spices.

Nasi Lemak is available on almost every street vendor and in almost every Malaysian food restaurant. It can be served with everything – from vegetable curry to fish. A perfect companion for the Malaysian Chicken Curry.

Ingredients:
1 cup rice (preferably Basmati)
1 tbsp olive oil (vegetable or canola oil is fine too)
3 screwpine (or pandan) leaves
1 stalk lemon grass
1 inch pc ginger root (peeled and shredded)
3-4 cloves
salt to taste
2 cups coconut milk

Directions:
Wash the rice several times and drain. Add 2 cups of thick coconut milk with screwpine leaves,ginger and lemongrass to the rice. Put some salt (maybe like ¼ teaspoon or less), the oil, and the cloves and cook the rice like you normally do – I leave mine to boil until the coconut milk is almost gone then stir it up, cover it and put it on lowest setting for a few minutes. Usually served with some accompaniments; spicy red hot sauce (sambal), sliced hard-boiled egg and slices of cucumber.

Malaysian Chicken Curry

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This dish is the Malaysian version of Kuku Paka. Tender pieces of chicken delicately simmered in a flavorful coconut gravy. Great with Nasi Lemak or Roti Canai.

Ingredients:
2 Onions, ( 1 chopped and 1 sliced)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1-inch piece ginger, crushed
1 chicken skinless cut in small pieces (Original recipe calls for on the bone – but I make it boneless)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 teasp ground cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamoms
1 star anise pod
4 teasp curry powder (mix with a little water to form a paste)
2 cups coconut milk (For a healthier version I substitute yogurt instead)
1 lemon (just the juice)
cold water

Directions:
Place the chopped onion in a food processor together with ginger and garlic and process until smooth. Rub chicken with onion paste and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the remaining sliced onion, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and star anise and fry over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the curry paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add in the chicken and seal on all sides. Add the coconut milk and enough water to cover the chicken by about a couple of inches, bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes, add lemon juice, checking the liquid level throughout the cooking time and adding more water or coconut milk if necessary. I prefer the gravy a slightly thicker consistency.

You can garnish the dish with some coriander and green or red pepper cut in strips.

Mee Goreng

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Mee Goreng is noodle dish popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It was probably invented by some desi muhindi who was hungry and decided the Chinese style noodles were too bland for his/her taste buds or was missing some ingredients and so added some curry powder, garlic and chilli (ebu lete pili pili hapa) and the rest is history. Street vendors (mama ntilie) usually make this the best.

Ingredients:
1 lb (or 500 gms) “mee” noodles (egg noodles will do but cook them according to the instructions on the packet and drain).
2 cups bean sprouts
4-5 pcs firm tofu, cut into strips and fried.
2-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red onion diced
1 tomato, wedges
(optional) ½ lb ground chicken (or meat) marinated in some curry powder.
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ tbsp red chilli powder (more if you want spicy)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 egg, beaten
1 medium potato, boiled and diced
2 stalks green onions, or ½ cup chopped Chinese chives
Dash of fresh lime juice (optional)
Cooking oil
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the wok (pan or karai – whatever you prefer) and add about 2 tbsp oil. Add the onion, then garlic. Stir fry until onion is golden and then add ground chicken or meat (optional). Stir fry until chicken or meat started getting cooked (brown), add ketchup, soy sauce and chilli powder. Add tofu, stir fry, then the beaten egg in and stir it into the mixture. Add the noodles, tomato, potato, green onions or chives and mix well. Salt & pepper to taste.

Garnish with a lime wedge, the tomato wedges and maybe little coriander.

Satay Peanut Sauce

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Although you can buy this at an Asian grocery store (or even whip something up from peanut butter), it is nothing when compared to making it fresh. There are many different versions of the peanut sauce. This is the Kajang style (Kajang is near Kuala Lumpur – famous for its satay). You can make it hotter or tangier by adding extra chilli or tamarind juice.

Ingredients:
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup canola or peanut oil
2-3 cups water
2 Tbsp sugar
salt to taste
4 Tbsp tamarind paste juice

Spice Paste:
6 – 8 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
6 cloves garlic
6 shallots
3 macadamia nuts (the original recipe calls for Kemiri or candle nuts)
3 lemon grass stalks
1 inch piece of ginger (the original recipe calls for galangal)
2 Tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin

Directions:
Crush peanuts coarsely. Put aside.

Chop spice paste ingredients and blend until fine.

Heat oil and fry paste with tamarind juice until fragrant on medium high heat. Add water slowly to thin mixture. Add sugar, salt and peanuts and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or longer, stirring every few minutes until oil begins to separate. Taste and don’t be afraid to add any extra ingredients to make it hotter, sweeter, or tangier – they way you prefer.

Serve sauce with sticks of satay and sliced cubes (yes that’s right cubes) of fresh cucumber and red onions.