Thursday, October 27, 2016

Is it OK to consider stealing & addiction as 'disabilities' and give the thief and the addict Disability Pension?

I have cut and pasted this article here to highlight The ridiculous rules people are forced to follow...which leads to  inability to fire bad workers.
If you don't have time to read the whole article, scroll down and read the highlighted paragraph to know what I am saying.

From The Globe and Mail Newspaper, dated 27th October 2016, Toronto edition

Tip from addiction clinic led to murder charges against former nurse

TORONTO and WOODSTOCK, ONT. and TORONTO — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 1:14PM EDT

Last updated Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 10:19AM EDT

The tip that led to the arrest of a former Ontario nurse on eight first-degree murder charges came from a Toronto clinic that had been treating the accused for addiction, according to a source – the latest development in a case that has captured the nation’s attention and could prompt a review of nursing-home oversight.

The information provided to police on Sept. 29 explains how an investigation into a spate of alleged homicides, which spanned nearly a decade and straddled two jurisdictions, could culminate in an arrest within just one month. Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 49, was charged Tuesday.

The source said Ms. Wettlaufer made comments that caught the attention of staff at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, who alerted the Toronto Police Service. “She said things that caused concerns,” the source said. Toronto authorities then contacted their counterparts in Woodstock, Ont., where seven Caressant Care nursing-home residents were allegedly killed between 2007 and 2014. The eighth death took place in 2014 at Meadow Park nursing home in nearby London, Ont.

As Woodstock residents digested the news that a serialkiller may have been in their midst, working with some of society’s most vulnerable, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told the legislature that a review of government oversight of nursing homes may be launched “at some point” if deemed necessary.

Ms. Wettlaufer’s family, friends and co-workers were perplexed at her arrest, saying the allegations do not jibe with the woman they knew to be kind and good to her clients. On Wednesday, new details emerged about Ms. Wettaufer’s life that suggest she was struggling with addiction and mental-health issues, and, at least recently, seems to have had bouts of short-term employment.

While Ms. Wettlaufer worked at Caressant Care from 2007 to 2014, she appears to have bounced from one nursing job to the next in the years since. Since 2014, she worked at Meadow Park nursing home, then with Lifeguard Homecare and, most recently, with Saint Elizabeth Home Health Care. The latter two employers offer in-home care.

The Globe has made numerous attempts to obtain comment from Lifeguard Homecare, both by phone and in person. A representative from the company confirmed to the CBC that Ms. Wettlaufer had been employed part-time for just over a year, and had not worked with Lifeguard Homecare since the summer.

Saint Elizabeth’s head of public relations, Madonna Gallo, said Ms. Wettlaufer worked with the company out of its Oxford office, not far from Woodstock, for six weeks in July and August. Citing the continuing police investigation, Ms. Gallo declined to comment on whether Saint Elizabeth knew about Ms. Wettlaufer’s employment history or whether she was involved in any professional incidents while with the company.

On Oct. 6, Ms. Wettlaufer agreed to the terms of a peace bond, a protective order sought by law enforcement when there are reasonable grounds to believe a person appears likely to commit a serious crime. Among the conditions was that she continue any mental-health treatment with her family doctor or any other doctor to whom she was referred, including by CAMH.

“To protect the personal health information of our patients, CAMH does not disclose the names of its clients,” the centre said Wednesday in a statement. “Nor does CAMH comment on any ongoing police investigations.”

Health-care professionals are generally bound by patient confidentiality requirements; however, there are exceptions. Ontario law, for example, says doctors must contact authorities if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a resident of a nursing or retirement home has suffered harm or is at risk of harm due to “improper or incompetent treatment or care, unlawful conduct, abuse or neglect.”

Wade Messenger, who lives next door to Ms. Wettlaufer in an apartment building, said his neighbour was an erratic opioid addict who told him last month that she had been fired from two nursing jobs – one for stealing medication, and another, he said, for giving a patient the wrong medication while she was under the influence. Mr. Messenger was struck by his neighbour’s tone, saying “she was very nonchalant about it – like it was nothing.”

He said the conversation came after Ms. Wettlaufer apologized for a years-long campaign of harassment toward him, which he said, included rubbing banana peel on his door and cutting the beard off a Christmas elf decoration hanging from his door. “It has been a nightmare,” he said. “Everyone perceives her as being this sweet, innocent, tiny little lady. But they haven’t lived next to her.”

Mr. Messenger, who said he was interviewed by police as part of the investigation, said he was surprised that Ms. Wettlaufer had been able to continue working in home after home. “Where did the system fail?” he said.

Medications, especially narcotics, are supposed to be strictly controlled inside nursing homes, but there are people who will find ways to obtain drugs if they want them badly enough, said Miranda Ferrier, the president of the Ontario Personal Support Worker Association, which represents more than 22,000 PSWs.

Ms. Ferrier said the association has received an “astounding” number of reports about personal support workers being under the influence while on duty. She described a case, from about a year-and-a-half ago, in which a worker at a long-term care home was found to have been removing fentanyl patches from patients’ arms and putting them on herself. She said her understanding is that the woman had an addiction.

In one recent case in which a nurse was dismissed from a Toronto hospital for stealing drugs, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the woman suffered a disability in the form of addiction and, therefore, could not be discriminated against because of that disability. The tribunal ordered that the employer rehire the woman.

Ms. Ferrier said her association plans to approach the province about instituting mandatory drug testing for personal support workers upon hiring, as well as periodically after that. “[Clients] have every right to have a safe home environment with … accountable employees,” Ms. Ferrier said. “That’s what they deserve. It’s common sense.”

With a report from Rick Cash in Toronto, and The Canadian Press
A very close friend of mine was a manager in a mental health organization in Ontario and he could not fire an employee who was stealing psychiatric drugs meant for patients. This thieving employee was suspended . A few months later, she applied for disability and was given disability i.e. she gets her pay while enjoying her stay at home. Apparently 'stealing' is a disability!!!(Actually this case is exactly like the case highlighted above...she clamed she was addicted to the drugs and that her addiction was a disability and ehr employer could not fire her...she went on disability leave and is now receiving 75% of her salary while sitting at home...paid holiday from work, thanks to her theft at the's like being rewarded for stealing!)
This woman steals drugs meant for patients and then she's rewarded instead of punished by  getting to stay at home and getting a monthly  'disability pension'.

Monday, October 24, 2016


I am a voracious crime fiction reader and have read several books, thanks to the Toronto Public Library.
Since the last 3-4 years, I started looking out for crime fiction from various countries; Learning about a country and it's culture is most enjoyable if I learn by absorbing  it from  crime fiction books set in that country! Also I don't ever forget when my learning is so full of thrills and excitement.
I have made lists of books from various countries in my blog. This article has a list of crime fiction books set in Russia which I have read and enjoyed.

 Stuart Kaminsky : He is one of my favorite authors. The 16 books below are by him
I adore the characters in this series especially Rostnikov.  I admire the fact that the inspector is so honest, though he's living such a difficult life and surrounded by corruption. He is living just above poverty level, yet has neither anger nor envy about his lot. I always think of India and Indian police, who are such a contrast to him. In India, the people I have come across are ashamed of shabbiness and poverty; yet they are not ashamed of corruption!A person who is earning little through honest hard work and cannot afford smart clothes in India feels ashamed of his shabby clothes; the guy who takes hefty bribes and can afford a lavish lifestyle is not ashamed of his corruption but proud of 'looking great'! This drives me insane with anger but all I can do is swallow my anger and shut up!
Rostnikov's lack of anger and his calmness in the face of frustrating circumstances; his absolute disinterest in accolades, his dealings with his boss, the space he gives the people working under him and the fact that he took in the two little girls and their grandmother into his home are things, despite his limited means are his many admirable features. I know he's a fictional character  but I also have had the privilege of knowing people like him! 
I had placed 3 fictional characters on thrones in the past but now I am considering adding him to the throne!( The 3 are Atticus Finch, James Green (Sudden series of westerns) and Modesty Blaise) 

Inspector Rostnikov series

  1. Rostnikov's Corpse (1981)
    (also published as Death of a Dissident)
  2. Black Knight in Red Square (1983)
  3. Red Chameleon (1985)
  4. A Fine Red Rain (1987)
  5. A Cold Red Sunrise (1988)
  6. The Man Who Walked Like a Bear (1990)
  7. Rostnikov's Vacation (1991)
  8. Death of a Russian Priest (1992)
  9. Hard Currency (1995)
  10. Blood and Rubles (1996)
  11. Tarnished Icons (1997)
  12. The Dog Who Bit a Policeman (1998)
  13. Fall of a Cosmonaut (2000)
  14. Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express (2001)
  15. People Who Walk in Darkness (2008)
  16. A Whisper to the Living (2010)   
I have all of these books (the Rostnikov series) and bought most of them  on Amazon. com. I was sad to see that some books were stamped with a seal stating,'discarded from library due to poor circulation'. I was appalled that people did not read this wonderful series and the libraries were discarding them! I reread these books once in a while as they are so good!

Martin Cruz Smith is another favorite of mine. However his first book is the best and the last two are not really so great. They seem a bit shallow but I read them anyway as I am a fan. I think he developed a neurological problem while writing the last book and I really admire him for finishing the book in spite of his problems!

Arkady Renko series

  • Gorky Park
  • Polar Star
  • Red Square
  • Havana Bay
  • Wolves eat Dogs
  • Stalin's Ghost
  • Three Stations
  • Tatiana
Tom Rob Smith is another favorite and he has written three books set in Russia which is a trilogy.
The books are 
Child 44
The secret speech
Agent 6

I finished reading "Agent 6", the  last book  of the triology authored by Tom Rob Smith today. It was fast paced and I read it till one am i.e. until I finished it. This is  the most exciting book I read recently and I had waited for this book (on a waitlist  at Toronto Public Library) for almost 6 months!

I recommend this trilogy to anyone interested in  fast paced, well written set of three books, set in Stalin Russia, communist Russia in later times and in Soviet occupied  Afghanistan.

Reading this book, I started thinking about China, the last of the communist countries left in the world today. I wonder, when China's communist party will be toppled...if it is ever going to be toppled at all.

 Alex Dryden has written these books set in Russia or related to Russia
Red to Black
Moscow Sting
The blind spy

 Michael Hetzer is another author whose book  The Forbidden Zone  I read.
Set in the USSR, 1983. It is set mostly in Siberia and is about the search for his twin brother by a Russian scientist, who is loved and aided by an American woman and pursued by the ruthless Russian KGB. The story ranges from time of the World War to the times of the cold war between the USSR & USA.
Hope this author writes more books set in Russia. His readers will love them.

I hope there are more such books, set in Siberia. Vicarious chills are better than actual chills dont you think !

The last red August by Alexi Malashenko

This book was okay. It could have been much more gripping. The style of writing is not to my liking but I did finish it...I would not have finished if it was really bad.

Petrovka 38 by Julian Semyonov :Bought this book at Value village in Feb 2016 for 4.00$. It's available in TPL but not for issue. The blurb on the cover says  'the first thriller out of Russia', meaning that no other thrillers were written before this...I wonder if this is really true. I am enjoying it but not as much as the Kaminsky series. This author has written other books too but they are not available in the TPL.
Another crime fiction, a collection of stories edited by Otto Penzler is 'The greatest Russian stories of crime and suspense' published in 2010 but has stories ranging from those written in 1872. Some of the stories in this book are by Leo Tolstoy, Gogol, Maxim Gorky and Chekov.
Below are books from Russia which I have NOT read
Elleston Trevor AKA Adam Hall's books...oops 2018 april, I am discovering that the books are not based in Russia. I will remove them from this later.

  • The Berlin Memorandum AKA The Quiller memorandum(1965)
  • The 9th Directive (1966)
  • The Striker Portfolio (1968)
  • The Warsaw Document (1971)
  • The Tango Briefing (1973)
  • The Mandarin Cypher (1975)
  • The Kobra Manifesto (1976)
  • The Sinkiang Executive (1978)
  • The Scorpion Signal (1979)
  • The Peking Target (1981)
  • Quiller/Northlight (1985)
  • Quiller's Run (1988)
  • Quiller KGB (1989)
  • Quiller Barracuda (1990)
  • Quiller Bamboo (1991)
  • Quiller Solitaire (1992)
  • Quiller Meridian (1993)
  • Quiller Salamander (1994)
  • Quiller Balalaika (1996)

  •   Julian Semyonov's Tass Is Authorized to Announce (Avon, N.Y., 1988)  
    Alexander Tarasov-Rodionov's Chocolate, ( London, 1933).
    Mikhail. Chernyonok's, Losing Bet, (Dial Press,N.Y., 1984)
    V.V. Lipatov's set of short stories entitled, A Village Detective (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970).
     Nikolai Aleksandrov's Two Leaps Across a Chasm: A Russian Mystery (S & S Trade, 1992)
      Alexei. Malashenko's  The Last Red August (Scribner's Sons, N.Y., 1993) (Anthony Alcott translator)

    Crime fiction from totalitarian countries-fictional countries and real:
    I came across a highly rated set of books by Olen Steinhauer which are set in a 'east European' country; I believe that it means a communist or totalitarian country. That's why I am putting it in this list/article I am planning to read these books as they are highly praised in several reviews. The books are:
    The bridge of sighs 2003
    The confession 2004
    36  Yalta boulevard 2005
    Liberation Movements 2006
    Victory Square 2007

    Other books by Olen Steinhauer but not necessarily of communist countries include The tourist 2009
    The nearest exit 2010
    An American spy 2012
    The Cairo affair 2014
    All the old knives 2015
    Per Wahoo's Murder on the 31st floor is another crime fiction in totalitarian country

    Sunday, October 23, 2016

    The lobster...Movie ...Dystopian...weird....different....

    Saw the movie The lobster just now (Sunday morning, 23 Oct 2016)

    I have never seen anything like this...It's definitely not a movie for those who enjoy mainstream Bollywood and Hollywood  movies or comedies.

    It's for people who enjoy Dystopian, weird, movies.

    I don't want to give away the plotline.

    The acting and screenplay is great. The script is good. For some reason, it strongly suggested me of life under  communist regimes...I think the extreme lack of freedom and the artificiality of the poor souls who are too afraid to be true to their feelings put communism in my mind when I saw this.

    As usual, I am stymied by the reviews which describe this movie as a comedy. I simply cannot find it funny though it did hold my attention and I saw it till the end! A friend of mine had recommended another movie describing it as a comedy i.e. Fargo and that's another movie which did not strike me as a comedy at all. Maybe be my Indian upbringing or my inability to appreciate satire and dark comedies is the root of my inability to see these movies as comedies. It's impossible for me to see comedy in  Dystopia.

    Friday, October 21, 2016

    October 21st 2016

    I woke up today to a cloudy, rainy, coldish morning in Toronto. Today was one of the rare mornings when things went well and I was good tempered for more than 6 hours at a stretch! I hope I don't  to jinx it by saying that things are going well!

    I woke up and read a few pages of pleasant, funny crime fiction book Inspector Singh investigates The Singapore School of Villany. Then, my husband, got me a cup of  Cothas 'filter' coffee in bed...something he rarely does. It's me who goes down to the kitchen, 360 mornings a year to   brew coffee and bring it up to him and my ma-in-law.
     Still in bed, I saw an episode of 'Haters back off' which I loved!

    Then got ready to go to work...breakfast, packing lunches, bath, etc.  
    Three whole hours, awake and  'with' my husband , yet not one single argument, comment or sarcasm from either of us! That is rare and an amazing happening though neither of us made any effort to 'not argue'!

    On way to work, traffic was not bad. Work was not bad. I also got my family in India on the phone and enjoyed a pleasant chat.

    I hope I have more such in bed, good shows on Netflix, good books from the library, a husband who 'zips' it and not comment or argue, interesting clients and friendly colleagues at work.

    Thank you God for making today a nice day for me!

    Thursday, October 20, 2016


    Anthony Alcott-Rough beast-(an Ivan Duvakin novel)-1992
    Hunter Blacke-Kazakhstan Radioactive Jane:Operatives, spies and Terrorists(Hunter Black Chronicles Book4)
    Peter Cave-Invisible enemy in Kazakhstan(SAS operation)-2016
    Peter Cave-Soldier M_SAS-Invisible enemy in Kaz..n-1994
    Yury Dombrovsky-(not crime fiction but a classic)The keeper of antiquities-1969
    Alexander M Grace-Sky Blue-1995
    Ervin Allen Hill -Kazakhstan: A story of mystery and intrigue set in the oil-rich former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan-2016
    Nathan Huffaker-Stranded-2015
    S.M.A.Jano-From England to Kazakhstan-Loneliness, love and crime-2015
    Andrei Kurkov-The good angel of death
    Victor Robert Lee-Performance Anomalies-2012
    Varda Leymore-To the four winds-(Not crime fiction)-2014
    Kyla Maessen-Saqastan-2015
    Abdi-Jamil Nurpeisov-one of the best authors of Kazakhstan.(1)Blood and sweat.(2)Twilight.1961(3)Ordeal.1964(4)Fall1970 His books are NOT crime fiction, but he is
    Russell R Miller and Dr.Robert J Banis-Death on the silk road-2011
    Doung & Linda Raber-Eastern colonies-2015
    Joe Reidhead-Hero of the Steppe-2015
    Allan Spencer -Raiding the Stans(A Central Asian Argosy)(Saga of the Woden born book 17)

    While compiling crime fiction from countries of the previous USSR, for the ten articles in this blog (the articles are titled as crime fiction from  Ukraine, Moldova, etc) I discovered three  themes repeating themselves in the books.
    The most frequently appearing theme is the harassment and murder of Jews in these countries in the recent past. The second is about the World Wars, Stalin's and Hitler's atrocities. The third and more recent themes are about human trafficking for sex ; the race for oil and rare minerals in these countries between the governments of countries (the index country, USA, Russia, Iran, China, etc), corporations and others and terrorism.

    It was heart breaking to read about the killing of Jews from all these countries. The saddest part for me is that people all over the world, outside of this part of the world of course, have either forgotten or are unaware of the events in these parts of the world.

    When I read the news daily, there is virtually no news from these countries! Being a realist, a cynic and maybe paranoid, I strongly suspect that things are probably more rotten here than in the countries which keep figuring in the news all the time.  Tell me , how often do you read about Moldova, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia or Kyrgyzstan in the news? I did not even know there was a country called Moldova or Estonia until recently!
     "No news is definitely not good news" from these countries. I believe that the governments are extremely repressive here and maybe the news does not come out. I also have not bumped into  'immigrants' from these countries in Canada though I have come across a lot of people from other countries such as China, Bangladesh, Greece, Germany, England, Spain, the south American countries, etc.

    To me, crime fiction is the most entertaining  way of getting to know about a country, it's people and culture. The crimes written in the stories, lets me understand the culture and behaviour of the people of the country. Authors are the best people to get to know places, you have never been to!



    Chris Allen-Bibles and Ball bats-2016
    Stela Brinzeanu-Bessarabian nights-2014
    Kim Purcell-Trafficed-2013

    NOT read these books...I came across these googling for crime fiction set in Moldova


    Stephen Collishaw-Amber -2005
    Barry Flanagan-The undeclared war-2012
    Barry Flanagan-Across the green border-2012
    Barry Flanagan-The invisible front
    Ricardas Gavelis-Vilnius poker 2009
    Cule Hinder-The night doctor-2014
    Icchokas Meras & Jonas Zdanys-Stalemate-2005
    Trevor Scott-Gates of dawn-2016
    Ruta Septeys-Between shades of grey-2012 (highly recommended book) about the evil of stalin's oppression
    Ruta Septeys-Salt to the sea(not crime fiction exactly)
    Antanas Sileika-underground-a novel-
    K.T.Tomb-The ivory bow-2014
    Ursula Wong-Amber wolf-2016

    NOT read these books but Googled for crime fiction set in Lithuania and these showed up.


    Ales Adamovich-Khatyn-2012

    Theodore Odrach-Wave of terror-2008

    Victor Martinovich-Paranoia

    I have NOT read these. Found them when I searched for crime fiction in Belarus. Honestly, I did not even know there's a country called Belarus!


    Richard Marcinko-Echo platoon-2000
    Dan Mayland-The colonel's mistake-2012
    Dan Mayland-The levelling-2013
    Daniel Perry-Field Pi9ece-book 2-Azerbaijan

    Not read these books but found them on google


    Jane Haddam- Fighting chance - A Gregor Demarkian novel-2014 (crime fiction set in USA but Armenian characters)
    Jane Haddam-Flowering Judas-A Gregor Demarkian novel-2012 (crime fiction set in USA but Armenian characters)

    Jenny Barbara White-The winter thief-2010


    Dale Brown-Air Battle Force-2003

    Not read this book but found it when I searched for 'crime fiction from Turkmenistan


    Tom Callaghan- A killing winter-2015
    Tom Callaghan-A spring betrayal-2016

    I have not read these two books but found them online when searching for crime fiction from Kyrgyzstan.


    Greg Rucka- Private wars: a queen and country novel -2005
    Not read this but found it on Google when I searched for crime fiction from this country.


    Sidney Iwens-How dark the heavens-1400 days of Nazi terror-(not fiction)
    Boris Kacel-Hell to redemption-a memoir of the Holocaust
    R.Magnusholm-House of Cain- 2015
    Henning Mankell-The dogs of Riga-2001
    Gertrude Schneider-journey into terror-story of the Riga ghetto-1979 (not fiction)

    The above are crime fiction from Latvia and the only one I have read is Henning Mankell's the dogs of Riga which I liked as I like the protagonist i.e. Kurt Wallander.

    Jewish people's suffering seems to be the  theme in majority of the Latvian books... that is what I inferred when I read the synopsis and reviews of Latvian books on the net. The Russian and German atrocities against Latvians and Jews in particular are a theme in majority of the books.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2016


    Alex Dryden-The blind spy-2012
    Alan Furst-The Polish officer a novel-2001
    Lene Kaaberbol-Death of a nightingale-2013
    Garry Douglas Kilworth-The devil's own-1997
    Marek Krajewski-The Minotaur's head-2012
    Andrey Kurkov -The good angel of death-2009
    Andrey Kurkov-Penguin lost-2004, 2011
    Andrey Kurkov-The president's love -2008(NOT crime fiction)
    Andrei Kurkov-The milkman in the night(more science fiction than crime I think)
    Nikolia Lilin-Siberian education:Growing up in a criminal underworld-2011
    Adrian Magson-Close Quarters-2015
    Bernard Malamud -The fixer-1966(award winning book)
    Aleksei Nikitin-Y.T-2016
    Aleksei Nikitin-Istemi-2013
    Herta Muller-The hunger angel-2012
    Ben Pastor -Tin sky-2012
    Martin Cruz Smith-Wolves eat dogs-2004

    I found these books  in the Toronto Public library  and look forward to reading them. The only books I have read of these are Wolves eat dogs and the blind spy. .
     I was amazed at the number of 'great books' from Ukraine. They are not crime fiction which is what I was searching for but classics which have received rave reviews. I have not listed those books here but look forward to reading those books someday!
     I seek out crime fiction and books from communist countries. Coming from India, a truly corrupt country, there is some part of me which is curious about life is in other corrupt and 'poor' countries. I believe that life of the common man  in India is similar to life of the common man in communist countries where there's equally high amount of suppression and corruption. But, reading crime fiction from India disturbs me as it's too close home. A morbid part of my brain, craves to search and understand life of people in other equally corrupt countries. I suppose that's why I want to read these books.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2016


    I am compiling list of crime fiction books from various countries.
    The Toronto Public Library has these 3 crime fiction books set in Estonia. 
    I have NOT yet read these.

    Andy Mcnab- Firewall -2000
    Sofi Oksanen- Purge -2010
    Peter Robinson -Watching the dark-2013

    Saturday, October 15, 2016

    TAMARIND RICE mom's recipe

    I love eating hot rice with  'Hu-ni-sae-kai' 'Go-jju' especially the gojju made from newly harvested tamarind. Here is the recipe from my mom.

    Tamarind-about 40grams
    Green chillis-4

    Cooking oil: two to three table spoons
    Mustard:quarter teaspoon
    Peanuts: about a tablespoon(or more)
    Split channa dhal- one teaspoon i.e. Split Bengal grams(drier and nuttier than the chickpeas)
    Urud dhal:one teaspoon i.e. split black gram
    Jeera:quarter teaspoon i.e. cumin
    Turmeric powder: quarter tea spoon
    Curry leaves:One sprig
    Onion:One small onion or half medium size
    Coriander leaves: two sprigs
    Coconut:(preferably fresh ) quarter cup

    Roast and grind the three i.e. (1)Black pepper:one tea spoon,(2)
    Jeera: Half tea spoon and (3)Fenugreek:Quarter tea spoon

    Wash and soak the tamarind in half cup of water for about 10 minutes and squeeze out the tamarind water and save it in a bowl; or  microwave/heat  the tamarind and water for a minute and squeeze out the tamarind water into a bowl. Throw the tamarind.

    Heat cooking oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, peanuts, urud dhal, split channa dhal, jeera, curry leaves, chillis, onions, turmeric powder. Then add the three roasted and ground ingredients. When the onion has changed colour, add the coconut, tamarind water, salt and take off the heat when it simmers for 5 -10 minutes. Add coriander leaves when it has cooled. 

    Mix this with cooked rice and eat hot. Adding a tea spoon of ghee or butter to the rice and tamarind gojju makes it tastier. Some enjoy eating tamarind rice with a spoonful of curds. 
    If the tamarind Gojju is too sour, you can fix it by adding roasted and ground peanuts or shredded coconut or a bit of jaggery.


    There is a noticible difference in taste between fresh tamarind and tamarind which is more than a year old. For people outside India, such as those in Canada and USA, you may get fresh tamarind(still in green-brown husk) in east Asian stores such as Chinese stores in some seasons, These are labelled as sweet tamarind(I don't know why they are called sweet!) and often imported from far east Asian countries. If it is dehusked, then look for tan or light brown tamarind as that is likely to be new. If the tamarind is chocolate brown or nearly black, then it's old tamarind. You can make gojju with even old tamarind but the taste is different. 

    Note: All the quantities given above are approximations and you can change it.

    Last walk at Sunnybrook park by the stables

    Last walk because I can't take the mosquitoes.  I found this tree unusual... I dont know what these red berries are but th...