Fried squash blossoms are my favorite summer snack. I can never find them in farmer’s markets so I grow them myself. The fresh flowers are so fragrant, you might even find a honey bee inside on a warm sunny day. Be careful while you’re picking pumpkin flowers as the stems are covered in tiny prickles. Try to use them on the day they are picked as they are easily spoilt and do not last long in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin flowers contain Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B3 and B9. They also supply a small amount of iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Pumpkin flowers are 90% water so you will need to eat quite a lot of them to meet your nutritional needs. 

Farsi ko Phool Taareko

Fried Squash Blossoms

12 Phool (Blossoms)

Dry Ingredients

2 Cups of Besan (Chickpea flower)

2 Hariyo Khursani (Green Chillies) minced

1 Tablespoon Aduwa (Ginger) minced

1/2 Teaspoon Besar (Turmeric) powder

1/2 Teaspoon Jeera (Cumin) powder

1/2 Teaspoon Dhaniya (coriander) powder

1/2 Teaspoon Khursani (Chilli) Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Marich (Black pepper) Powder

Salt to taste

Wet Ingredients

1 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Cup Water

Gently rinse, remove bugs that might be inside and pat dry on a paper towel.

Cut off the stalk of each flower and remove the stigma (the rod inside the flower).

Optional: Cut off the green bottom (sepal) of the flower. It tastes very bitter. I like to leave these on so I have something to hold onto while I eat the flowers.

In a medium sized bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. 

Stir in the water to make a thick batter.

Set aside for 20 minutes so the batter can thicken a little bit more. If it becomes too thick, add a little water. If it becomes too thin, add chickpea flour.

In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Test the oil by dropping a teaspoon of batter into the hot oil. It is ready if the batter bubbles and rises to the surface of the oil.

Dip each blossom into the batter and lower into the hot oil.

Fry until golden brown on all sides

Drain as much oil as possible when removing the blossoms.

Place on paper towels and serve immediately.

This is best enjoyed with tamarind chutney.

NEPAL, Kathmandu : A Nepalese Hindu Sadhu (holy man) paints coloured paste onto his face during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu on February 17, 2015. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering prayers and fasting. Hundreds of sadhus have arrived in Pashupatinath to take part in the event. AFP PHOTO / PRAKASH MATHEMA                        

Shiv Parivar. The Hindu Trinity. 1940s.

Shiv (Shiva) :: The third member of the Hindu trinity representing godhead in its aspect of annihilator, in charge of the “constructor–destructor” in the continuous process of creation, preservation, destruction and recreation or transformation. He is the god of austerity. He is clad in deer-skin, besmears his body with holy ash, has matted hair, and is adorned with snake around his neck and arms. It is said that he has consumed a cup of poison, which has made his neck blue in color giving him the appellation “Neel Kantha” the blue-necked god. He is said to be seated in deep meditation on the top most point of the world on Mount Kailash in the Himalayas.

He has a third eye in the center of his forehead, the eye of wisdom and annihilation. When the eye of wisdom opens, the universe of names and forms and duality must stand annihilated. Supreme knowledge cannot but be followed by austerity. The deer-skin, holy ash, matted hair are all symbols signifying supreme renunciation.

Uma (Parvati) :: This divine consort of Shiv, Uma or Parvati, the daughter of Himavan, is the Shakti or power that supplies the supreme energy to Shiv. She manifests herself in various forms such as Uma, Kali, and Durga. As Uma she did severe tapasya to obtain Shiv as her lord and husband. As Mrudani she mothers Ganesha, Kartikeya and Saasa though she never conceived any of them. It is significant that among the three “Shaktis” Saraswati, Lakshami and Uma, it is Uma who is known as Jagatmata, the mother of the universe, and as such represents the primal source of all.

Ganesh :: The Lord of the Ganas, the commander of the spiritual forces, also called Vighnaraja, the remover of all obstacles, is represented in a very peculiar form with a human trunk and elephant’s head, with a mouse for his vehicle. There is high symbology underlying this representation. 

-Hindu Jain temple dot org

"When we first studied PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] treatment in Nepal, we realized the way that [foreign] social workers had translated PTSD was stigmatizing," Kohrt says. Counselors would often use the phrase maanasik aaghaat or “brain shock” to describe the condition. But in Nepal, India and Pakistan, people distinguish between the physical brain — or dimaag — and what they refer to as the mann, or “heart-mind.”

"If the brain is damaged, they feel it’s permanent: There’s no chance for recovery," Kohrt says. "But if the heart is distressed, that emotional distress can be fixed." People in rural Nepal weren’t showing up to PTSD treatment, Kohrt found, because they were confused by the terms used to describe it. "It was this sort of Eureka moment," Kohrt says, when he realized why attendance was so bad.