Food Democracy Now! Petition – Ask DOJ and USDA for more competition and fair practices

As I’ve said before, while HUSH is primarily about culture and cuisine, there will be times when food politics become part of the larger story. I would like to influence the way we think, purchase and consume, but a few suppers a month will not a revolution make. For that, we need to vote daily with our forks, wallets and mouse clicks. To that end, I signed a petition to ask the Department of Justice to help poultry farmers have a voice against monolithic companies who intimidate farmers into remaining silent.

We need to vote daily with our forks, wallets and mouse clicks.

I will let the superb organization Food Democracy Now! explain the rest. Please consider signing the petition.

Food Democracy Petition, click here

Food Democracy Now! website


Chickpea Flour Recipes You’ll Want to Spread Around

For me, the nutty scent of chickpea flour is inextricably linked to a bathtub. No, you have not accidently found yourself reading some kinky sex blog involving naked bodies and food fetishes. The memory is of a nurturing kind, with my mother as masseuse and chickpea flour, turmeric and milk as the healing paste.

Mothers across the Indian subcontinent begin the baby massage ritual as early as 6 weeks of age, combining almond oil and chickpea flour to stretch the baby, soothe the skin, and even remove hair. I can see my six-year-old self irritated and impatient as my mother would make a paste for me to use on my skin after a sunburnt romp at the swimming pool. She’d run the bath, cover me in dough, and scrub. Like so many souvenirs, the annoyance fades, and the love of mother to child shines through.

For me, the nutty scent of chickpea flour is inextricably linked to a bathtub. No, you have not accidently found yourself reading some kinky sex blog involving naked bodies and food fetishes.

Most Indian women use chickpea flour (also known as besan, gram flour and chana dal flour) as a common ingredient in homemade recipes for all manner of beauty regimes. The pursuit of loveliness involves besan, milk, yogurt, rose water, lime juice, almonds and turmeric in various combinations. The recipes are endless, but besan and a liquid are always the base with the other ingredients added depending on the moisture of the skin, freckles, acne, wrinkles, skin lightening, and hair removal.

Skin Cleansing

  • One teaspoon of besan
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Half teaspoon of honey
  • Half teaspoon of olive oil
  • Mix it well and apply.

Sunburns –

  • One teaspoon besan
  • Two teaspoons yogurt
  • Apply to face and let dry for 30 min
  • Remove with plain water

Skin Whitening One of the more disturbing recipes, but a common one in a fair-skinned obsessed India

  • 2 teaspoons of besan
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • A few drops of milk
  • Make a paste and apply it on the skin
  • After the paste dries, scrub off

Do you have any yummy beauty recipes in your family? Feel like trying the recipes above? Please share your thoughts with us.

HUSH Storytelling

HUSH is where supper and storytelling meet, yet supper has outspiced storytelling at No more. Today marks a change in style, content and frequency at HUSH.

Frequency – HUSH is now a daily blog, adding an exotic aroma to your morning chai Monday-Friday. Whether your interest is the cuisine, culture, religions or politics of India, your curiosity will be catered to. Apart from all things Indian, thoughts on writing, food politics and design will also occasionally appear.

Content –  Along with a daily dose of all things HUSH, the new ‘Ask Geeta’ page will be answered the first of every month.  Questions come from readers and HUSH supper guests.  Any question is welcome, regardless of its simplicity.  I will try to get to all questions, depending on the number received.

HUSH Alumni –  Those of you who have dined at the HUSH supper table are invited to add an anecdote about your dining and storytelling experience on the ‘Your Story’ page.  Was there a particularly funny or fascinating fellow diner, or something else you enjoyed about the evening?  Don’t keep it to yourself. Share!

Style –  The HUSH website is going through a three part face-lift.  Part one came last week.  Next week, a new header, removal of the offending black font and other eye-pleasing additions will be added.  A contest in search of a new logo design will also be announced.  At HUSH, design is delicious.

Readers, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


New June Dates and a More Organic HUSH Supper

An early summer is upon us, and the June menu will reflect the need to cool the palette in the heat.  A new cocktail in need of a name, rose petals and ice cream in a glass, mangoes galore, minty chutney, and corn with a twist.

Also, HUSH has decided to up the organic ante with as many organic, local, and freshly picked ingredients as possible.  The HUSH garden has been planted.  This summer mint, tomatoes and bell peppers will be harvested hours before each meal.  HUSH uses only organic dairy, but will be adding organic cilantro, corn, carrots, and other vegetables, grains and legumes whenever possible.  All organic ingredients will be listed on the menu.

The new dates:

Friday June 4 at 7 PM.  Donation $75

Friday, June 18 at 7 PM.  Donation $75

These dates are confirmed.  HUSH mama might be making another celebrity chef appearance the last weekend in June.  We’ll post more dates next week once flights are confirmed.  Please complete a questionnaire on the reservations pages to request a seat at the supper table.

Please Share Your Thoughts on the New HUSH Website Design

HUSH and WordPress spend a lot of time together late into the night. So it is tonight.  It’s 2 am, and I’ve decided to switch up the template.  HUSH is all about saffron, and I wanted to represent that on the blog.  The black font is too heavy-handed, but since I don’t know how to rewrite code, it stays for now.  Overall, it’s meant to be a fresh new look.  Do you like it?  Do you hate it?  Did you even notice? (Gentlemen, fess up.)  Please let HUSH know by voting with the up or down thumb.  If you have comments or suggestions on the new web design, please send us your thoughts in the comments section.

HUSH Supper Seats this Friday, May 14 and Sunday, May 16 at 7 pm

(Photo – Vanity Fair cover June 2010)

We have a few spots left for supper tomorrow evening, May 14 at  7 pm.   There are also 2 seats left on Sunday, May 16 if you can prove you are a gentleman.  (Actually, if you look anything like this week’s Vanity Fair cover, you needn’t be gentle…)

This week we continue to add some urban taste to our menu with pav bhaji.  Classic Gujarati street food with all the flavor, but none of the unpleasant side effects!

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