Floods everywhereThese days the news is mostly on the floods in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and how people are getting to work and back home. Traffic delays, flooded main roads, water in homes, power station shut down because it gets flooded, resulting in some areas going without power for hours or even days. Everyone is busy blaming the County. While that is true that the county did not prepare for the rains by cleaning out the drainage, its our fault too. Rubbish which includes plastic bags, plastic bottles, paper, cigarette boxes, food packages etc are all thrown mindlessly on the roads and the roadside. So many times I have seen hawkers leaving dirty and used plastic bags on the roadside, people having lunch or dinner and throwing plastic cups and plates on the roadside. Where does all this rubbish land up? In the drains and as a result blocks the drains. Blocked drains means water cannot pass through. Yes it is also true that more and more buildings are coming up and the sewerage system cannot cope with so much waste. But doing our little bit would make a huge difference. Don't throw rubbish on the road and roadside. Construction companies do some sort of building work, be in homes, offices or roadwork.After they finish, they do not bother to clear up the rubble. This lands up in the drains and the rubble blocks the drains. This year some areas in Nairobi have faced flooded roads and homes. People have to incur huge losses as water has damaged their furniture and homes.Many of these people do not have insurance to cover the loss. However in true Kenyan spirit some people have made others laugh by posting humorous pictures. Where can you and I begin to make that small change? By simply trying to use less plastic. I shop for my groceries at Nakumatt. I think they need to re educate their workers on how to pack grocery using less bags. When I insist on packing my own stuff or using my own bags, I still get a look of disgust! Today if I would not have intervened, butter would have got its own bag, milk another and yogurt another! When I just put all this in one bag (my own), the man walked away offended! In spite of all the problems, as 2 of the pictures show, people do have a sense of humour. Pool party is at one of the flooded areas of Nairobi, and innovation at its best.
I want to share a link with you. Watch it to understand what happens to all this plastic.
The story of the 3 bottles
Today's recipe is a simple Mexican Bhel. Yes you read it right. Its amazing how Indians love to indianise every international dish. However, I just love it, adding variety to our daily diet with a bit of the Indian touch. I had a bit of corn and beans left and a few home made tortilla which would not have been enough for quesadilla or enchiladas. So the left over ingredients were used up to make a filling, somewhat healthy and delicious bhel.
1 cup boiled red kidney beans
½ cup cooked sweet corn
¼ cup chopped sweet pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped spring onion
¼ cup cheese cubes (tiny)
8 -10 olives cut into rings
1-2 jalapenos or green chillis, finely chopped
½ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup diced carrot
1 large tomato, finely chopped
½ - ¾ cup thin sev
¾ -1 cup guacamole
¾ - 1 cup tomato salsa /sauce
oil for deep frying
- Heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat. Cut the tortilla in thin strips or squares. Fry the tortilla pieces till they are crispy. Keep them on the side till required.
- Just before serving, mix beans, corn, onion, spring onion, pepper, olives, chillis, cheese, cucumber, carrot and tomato in a big bowl. Add the tortilla pieces and mix.
- Serve in individual bowls with sev sprinkled on top.
- Top with guacamole and salsa.
- Can use ready made nachos.
- Thin sev ( a gram flour snack) is available in most Indian stores or sweet shops.
- Its best to use cooked tomato salsa sauce for this preparation.
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