Tunisia: ‘Menu Ramadanesque’ and other delights

by Rashmee

Posted on May 31, 2018


Ahead of iftar, when the day’s fast ends during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the streets are deathly quiet. In the Tunis Medina (see photographs), there’s hardly anyone abroad. Those same venues will be heaving by 9 pm. In the supermarkets, they start making the zalabiya, the deep-fried syrup-soaked sweets that are faintly reminiscent … Continue reading “Tunisia: ‘Menu Ramadanesque’ and other delights”

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Pakistan has a new self-confidence, and it has Chinese characteristics

by Rashmee

Posted on May 7, 2018


What’s happening with Pakistan five months into a year that began with Donald Trump’s first tweet of 2018 accusing the country of “lies and deceit”? Well, just days ago, Pakistan opened a shiny new international airport and advertised it as a sign of pleasantly evolving prospects. Pakistan continues – stubbornly and successfully – to resist … Continue reading “Pakistan has a new self-confidence, and it has Chinese characteristics”

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How old would little Emma really be? Born in Nov, she was conceived in 1992

by Rashmee

Posted on January 29, 2018


How old would little Emma really be? Born last month, she was conceived in 1992. Little Emma developed from the oldest known embryo to result in a successful birth. The embryo was conceived and cryogenically frozen in 1992. When little Emma was born on November 25, 2017 she might technically be regarded as nearly as … Continue reading “How old would little Emma really be? Born in Nov, she was conceived in 1992”

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How to live to be a be a hundred in five steps

by Rashmee

Posted on January 27, 2018


Fast – five days at a time, at least twice a year Go vegan (and eat some fish) Eat in a specific pattern – only within a 12-hour period Consume coffee and alcohol (preferably red wine) in moderate amounts Exercise That, in sum, is the basic mantra of The Longevity Diet, a new book that’s … Continue reading “How to live to be a be a hundred in five steps”

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As the Buddha said, we aren’t punished for our anger but by it

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2018


My old friend Gurcharan Das recently wrote one of the great truths about which we humans need constant reminding. The Buddha, he wrote, said “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” Anyone who’s ever been angry (EveryMan, EveryWoman, EveryPerson) would know the truth of this. We’ve all experienced … Continue reading “As the Buddha said, we aren’t punished for our anger but by it”

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Food in post-#Weinstein times. Keep the faith and keep cooking

by Rashmee

Posted on January 17, 2018


Sam Sifton, The New York Times’s food editor, offers an interesting reflection on cooking in post–#Weinstein times. It’s worth reading his piece because we face this dilemma in different sectors where women are coming forward with #MeToo stories about celebrated men and their misbehavior. What to read, what films and TV shows to watch, which … Continue reading “Food in post-#Weinstein times. Keep the faith and keep cooking”

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UK’s plastic-wrapped cauliflower ‘steaks’ go to the heart of West’s waste problem

by Rashmee

Posted on January 15, 2018


I return to a UK aghast at the assidously plastic-wrapped cauliflower “steak” sold by Marks & Spencer for nearly five times the price of a whole head of the brassicaceous vegetable. This revulsion at needless plastic wrap (and yet more non-biodegradeable waste) comes at a particularly interesting moment in world consciousness. Britain is a rich … Continue reading “UK’s plastic-wrapped cauliflower ‘steaks’ go to the heart of West’s waste problem”

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Are these really bread riots in Tunisia? Have prices really gone up so much?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 13, 2018


You wouldn’t know it from the international media coverage but here’s the so-called price rise that’s supposedly bringing all these angry people onto the streets: petrol has gone up by 50 millemes per litre. Just 50 millemes. To judge how expensive that is, consider the following: The Tunisian dinar is sub-divided into 1,000 millemes. One … Continue reading “Are these really bread riots in Tunisia? Have prices really gone up so much?”

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India’s patchy record on pollution has led the country to crisis

by Rashmee

Posted on December 20, 2017 / The National


Until Monday, when the Gujarat elections results came in, the air over Delhi was thick with speculation. The Indian capital, always a political cauldron, hissed and bubbled. Was Narendra Modi on the point of that ultimate indignity, losing face in his home state? Would Mr Modi’s BJP cede ground after 22 years in its stronghold? … Continue reading “India’s patchy record on pollution has led the country to crisis”

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A Tunisian/ Maghrebi speciality, the pancake of a thousand holes, is good eating

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2017


Yesterday, I ate a Tunisian/ Maghrebi speciality, the pancake of a thousand holes. That’s not a speciality for Ras el am el Hejri, the Islamic New Year which Tunisia celebrated on September 21. But the crepe mille-trous is called ghrayef or baghrir and is made of semolina. From what I can make out, the ghrayef is … Continue reading “A Tunisian/ Maghrebi speciality, the pancake of a thousand holes, is good eating”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US