Cooking With Kurma

Kurma Dasa

Kurma's South American Tour

Cooking With Kurma > Travel Diary > South America

Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile

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No larger image available - Kurma's Book Seventy guests packed into the small temple and graciously offered me the speaker’s raised seat. I had chosen to read some of  my favourite culinary pastimes of Srila Prabhupada tonight, since my spiritual master was not only an empowered transcendentalist, but also an accomplished cook and connoisseur of fine Vedic cuisine. The audience settled, and I read, with the aid of my Swiss-born translator and friend Chaitanya Bhagavata:                

click for larger image“Melbourne Australia, 20 May 1975.  After the evening program, a feast was served in Parampara Hall. One of the items cooked—apple crumble—had become the centre of an on-going controversy. Apple crumble consisted of a layer of thinly sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins, topped with a mixture of oats and brown sugar combined with melted butter.     

click for larger imageThe whole thing was baked until the apples were soft and the topping crisp and golden. It was the oats that were the object of critical scrutiny. Some devotees thought that oats were “meant for horses” that they were a bit too "Anglo-Saxon", and thus were a “low-class” grain, not fit to be offered to the temple Deity or Srila Prabhupada. Despite the divergent opinions, Dvaipayana liked to cook apple crumble regularly. 

click for larger imageThis night, Dvaipayana had set aside a portion of each preparation cooked to offer to Srila Prabhupada for him to try. Srutakirti came down to the kitchen, collected the assortment and brought it upstairs along with some hot milk. Not long after Srila Prabhupada had started eating, Srutakirti came rushing back down to the kitchen. “Prabhupada really likes that apple stuff,” he said. “He just said to me, ‘Bring me more of that crispy apples.’” Well if Prabhupada liked it, we reckoned, it was good enough for us.Thus ended the oats controversy; apple crumble was on its way to stardom.’             

The translator was doing well, and the guests were enjoying the mood, so I read some more.

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