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There are animal welfare vegans and animal only-fight-against-other-vegans abolitionist vegans. V-EGANISM is neither. Just as there are positive things and negative things about conservatives and liberals, there are positive things and negative things about welfarists and abolitionists. V-EGANISM avoids all 4 "political parties", and remains as an independent in thoughts and actions, only choosing what is right and just for animals, humans, and the environment. V-EGANISM however does have a mission statement which is how the founder of veganism, Donald Watson, originally coined the word's definition. It was a perfect definition then and it still is a perfect definition now! So the following paragraph is V-EGANISM's official Mission Statement--and nothing more, nothing less, we are simply called, "Vegan Activists", with no additives:

"V-EGANISM educates people and helps people and animals regarding the political and social justice cause, Veganism, which is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude--as far as is possible and practical--all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, cosmetics, household products, entertainment, service or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals, and the environment."

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Healthy Body, Mind & Spirit Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Love & Peace Maneki Neko Cat

Friday, September 6, 2013

Modak Recipe for Ganesha Chaturthi

Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of Lord Ganesha the son of Shiva and Parvati, which will be September 9.
It is believed that Lord Ganesh bestows his presence on earth for all his devotees during this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods, barring Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva and Parvati. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel. The festival, also known as Ganeshutsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
The main sweet dish during the festival is the modak (modak in Marathi modakam/kudumu in Telugu, modaka  in Kannada and modagam in Tamil). A modak is a dumpling made from rice flour/wheat flour with a stuffing of fresh or dry-grated coconut, jaggery, dry fruits and some other condiments. It is either steam-cooked or fried.
Here is a Modak recipe to celebrate Ganesha Charturthi:


For the dough:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup rava (cream of wheat)

2 tbsp transfat-free vegetable shortening

Enough soymilk to knead

Mix the ingredients together into a stiff but pliable dough. Cover and set aside at least half an hour.

For the filling:

In a heavy bottomed skillet, mix together:

1 cup shredded coconut (I used the pre-shredded kind from Whole Foods)

1 cup finely grated jaggery (found easily at Indian grocery stores)

Toast on a low flame until the jaggery is almost melted through. Keep stirring because coconut burns very easily.

Now add:

3 tbsp canned coconut milk

1/2 tsp ground green cardamom seeds

1/4 cup finely chopped cashew nuts

Stir together well, mashing in any lumps of jaggery that might remain. Once everything is well-mixed add 1/2 tsp of lemon juice, then turn off the heat and set the mixture aside to cool.

Break off a piece of the dough, about 1 inch in diameter. Roll into a ball and then, using very little flour, roll into a disc as thin as possible, about 3 inches in diameter.

Place a tablespoonful of the filling in the center. Now gather the edges of the on the top and pinch to seal into a pointed tip. Moisten with some water if needed to ensure a tight seal because you don't want the modak to come apart while it's frying.

Heat enough oil to cover the modaks in a skillet. Once the oil temperature reaches 375 degrees, deep-fry the modaks, a few at a time, until they are golden-brown all over. (Frying at this temperature ensures that the food will absorb almost no oil.)

Remove to a dish lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease. Cool to lukewarm before eating.

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