April 18, 2015


At the 2015 Surrey Vaisakhi Parade attended by around 300,000 – the largest Vaisakhi outside India, I saw many men wearing an outfit that I picture any man, regardless of nationality, could wear in cities like New York, Manila, or London and be regarded as common elegant wear, not just for cultural occasions.

Called Kurta Pazam, it is so stylish, practical and comfortable.  Kurta pazam is a South Asian outfit for men: a loose fitting, simple cut with or without buttons, shirt that falls beyond the knees, with matching trouser or as younger guys do so in a very modern take, with a pair of jeans.

The Kurta Pazam also known as Kurta-Pajama comes in a wide range of fabrics like silk, cotton, linen, dupion, brocade, jacquard, and many more.  But the linen version comes out downright sharp.

Some guys wear the Kurta Pazam with a  Nehru jacket - a hip-length tailored coat with a mandarin collar – more like a vest – which makes the whole ensemble so manly man, so Cary Grant.   Ironically, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1964 rarely wore the jacket named after him, preferring the more traditional sherwani or achkan or an American style jacket.

Draping with a shawl gives a very chic look.

And if you really want to look special in a party, wear a pair of Aladdin-like Mojari or Khussa shoes, Rajasthani style - a man's closed shoe with an extended curled toe and no left-right distinctions between them.

The more observant of the Sikh men wear a dastaar or turban – see separate article.

April 11, 2015


No it’s not a code.

There are two Vaisakhi Parades in British Columbia.  One is in Vancouver and the much larger one in Surrey.

On April 11th’s Vancouver’s Vaisakhi Parade, many homes had tents pitched in their front lawn and giving away (yes for free) food and drinks to anyone.  I chanced upon a house which was handing out vegetarian sandwiches (#348 at an avenue corner Fraser Street).

The sandwich had no name but when asked – they dubbed it as SMS (probably the initials for the 3 ladies making it).   Well SMS it is, and it was good from an unexpected set of fillings.

Sliced cucumber in circles as thinly as you can
Tomatoes again sliced cross-wise as thinly as you can
Red onion in rings as thinly as you can

Spread Philadelphia light cream cheese (see bucket on picture above)  on both sides of the bread (they were using Dempster’s white)
Layer the cucumber,  tomato and red onion to your desire
Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Cut the sandwich into 4 squares

Unexpectedly appetizing. SMS

April 4, 2015


What to do the Saturday before Easter Sunday if you are at home?

Shelley and Jaewin, sisters, showed me how to make the tasty Mango Float - a Filipino dessert.  And it was easy as ABC.  You can even just look at the images and know the ingredients, proportions and directions. But I will be more generous than that.

What you would need
1 can evaporated milk (the regular can)
1 condensed milk (the regular can)
2  small canned whipped cream (see image)
1 ripe Philippine mango, also Ataulfo
27 square Graham crackers
And a square dish

Mix the condensed milk and 2 cans of whipped cream in a bowl thoroughly which you will use to dress the graham cracker squares later

Soak the Graham crackers in evaporated milk for 2  to 3 seconds

Spoon the condensed milk/whipped cream for the every layer of graham crackers (you will have three layers including the final top)

Sprinkle the top with crushed graham crackers

Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight (with cling wrap cover) before serving.  Best with just plain cold water.
Estimated cost per dish CAD$10.00 or US$8.00 as of April 4th, 2015

Shelley said she slightly modified the recipe from

Shelly, Jaewyn and I were brainstorming on how to upgrade the flavor or spin a variety.  Here are some of our ideas:
  • Sprinkle the top with crushed cashew nuts ala Sans Rival dessert
  • Used riped peaches or bananas or a mix with mangos

Any ideas from you?  Submit a comment.