The Art Of Living:Food For Thought

It's always a pleasure meeting Mrs Vidyatai Ranadive.She is 86 yrs old.She is warm,affectionate and helpful.She can talk on any topic under the sun.She has a wide circle of like minded friends.Earlier a solicitor,she continues to do social work even at this age through organisations such as WIT(Women's India Trust) which has its office at Panvel.She was earlier associated with Women's Graduate Union and Indian Women's Scientists' Association.Having lost her husband(an eminent doctor who was involved in social work) at a young age,she got her four daughters well educated and happily married and inculcated in them confidence and positivity.

Mrs Ranadive is a great cook herself but now takes the assistance of her helpers Sushilabai and Shobha ,who have learnt cooking from her.The style of cooking she uses is CKP...Chandrasena Kayastha Prabhu,the community to which she belongs.Maharashtrians belong to various communities and each of their cuisines is different.Mrs Ranadive's diet over the years has been balanced.Her longevity could be contributed to that and her attitude to for a cause beyond your own,enjoying the simple pleasures of life and interacting with people.

Recently I had the pleasure of dining with her as her daughter had come down from USA to spend time with her.The Beetroot Salad was bright pink and simply delicious.The beetroots had been steamed and then grated.To this yoghurt/curds were added with a pinch of salt and sugar.I had two bowlfuls.

Next was the Cauliflower which had been sauteed with chillies and curry leaves,a light yet flavoursome dish.

The Shrimp Pulao was superb....Garam Masala lended a lovely spiciness and ginger and garlic made it aromatic.

Chapatis were soft and light and I had a couple.

There was Chicken Kheema Curry which had the delicious tanginess of tomato.

Mrs Ranadive also adds a teaspoon of homemade ghee to her food.

At the end of the meal she has homemade curds.

After that she has "supari" which has no betelnut but is made of aniseed,cinnamon and cloves and serves as a digestive.

Talking of longevity,one remembers Okinawa,the island in Southern Japan.The people here have the greatest longevity in the world.Their diet has predominantly complex carbohydrates(listen all you people who are obssessed with cutting down all carbs not just refined).They have lots of fruits,vegetables and fish.At times they also have pork.Karela or Bitter Melon is a common consituent of their meals as is Soy,Seaweed,Bonito(a fish like tuna) and Shitake mushrooms.They believe in enjoying the process of eating,giving it their full hearted attention.They exercise daily.They are spiritual by nature,well mannered,calm and composed and easygoing.They are always eager to help their fellow brethren.They inspired the outstanding book "The Okinawa Program" written by Wilcox and Suzuki that is based on a 25 year old study on the people of Okinawa and gives guidelines to live like them.Until recently Kama Chinen of Okinawa was the oldest living individual in the world.Today Besse Cooper of USA at 114 years of age holds the title and says the fact that she doesn't have junk food has contributed to her longevity.

Mrs Ranadive's daughter Deepa mentioned that she had sometime ago visited Sendai,Japan that was recently struck by the tsunami and earthquakes.She spoke about the loving and gentle nature of the Sendai people and how they welcomed you into their homes.Okinawa being in the South was fortunately not harmed by the recent natural disasters.Our prayers are with all the people of Japan so that they may find strength with every passing day and get back to normalcy.Here's to Japan,the Land Of The Rising Sun....


Great post. :) Nice to know about that lady :)

Popular posts from this blog

Food at a Baarsa...A Maharashtrian Naming Ceremony

A Heartwarming Goud Saraswat Brahmin Meal

Archaeobroma: Back to Summer School