May 202010

PRAAG is Denver’s first South Asian rock band. The band was formed two years ago in Denver with music enthusiasts around the city with South Asian origin. Drummer Rashid states “we are the first ever South Asian Rock Band in Colorado and our songs encompass several South Asian languages in addition to English, such as Hindi, Urdu, Bangla as well as Thai and Laotian. Our aim is to bring the sentiments of Asian roots and blend them with the rhythm and melody of rock style of music.

We are currently working on our original music project which we will bring to the stage soon. An original album is also in the works. We also cover popular songs from artists and bands from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos who have gained international fame. For now we want to take PRAAG out to the diverse ethnic population as well as the local Coloradans with live shows around Denver and surrounding cities.”

PRAAG’s current line up is as follows:
TANVIR ISLAM – Lead/Rhythm Guitar
ANG SINGHARATH – Lead/Rhythm Guitar
MASHFIQUE IQBAL – Bass Guitar/Vocals

The group recently presented a show April 25 at the Auraria Campus for free. The next event is on June 19th at South Middle School, 12310 East Parkway Drive, Aurora, CO 80011. It’s part of a cultural event that starts at 2 p.m. and PRAAG starts at 4:00 p.m. They will be performing as part of a larger cultural event organized by the West Bengal community of Denver called MILONI.

Check out this innovative and unique band! For more information, email the group at They can also be found on Facebook and MySpace as “PRAAG.” An official band website is also in the works.

Sources: Yelp, Rashid Alam

May 192010

Improvised Indian Fried Rice

I’ve been busy lately and felt like eating some Indian food and also felt the need for some comfort food. I also wanted to use up some leftovers at the same time. I had some leftover rice and some cooked potatoes that were a recent breakfast side dish. I decided to make some improvised Indian fried rice.

I started with a little asafoetida, some cumin and diced red onion that I sauteed in a little sunflower oil. I added some mustard seeds, a little turmeric, mango powder and maybe some coriander. Sometimes my powdered spices look a little similar and I just go around in my steel spice holder getting about a quarter tsp of each using my tiny spice spoon that sits in the container. The kitchen was starting to smell wonderful with the Indian spices cooking, a scent that is very familiar, comforting and appetizing to me.

I added a can of washed kidney beans, the potatoes and then the rice, adding some water to get the consistency I wanted. I added some salt, garam masala, and a little Brewer’s Yeast for added nutrition.

I heated some saag I made previously and had the rice mix with that. However, having it by itself with a little pickle and yogurt would have been just fine as well. I topped the Indian fried rice with a little diced red onion I had set aside. Yumm! I was done just in time for my daughter to wake up, who shared it with me.

After finishing my meal, I discovered some left-over broccoli that I could have used. I just added it to the leftover fried rice for next time.

May 122010

Recently, I worked out to “Masala Bhangra” on Fit TV. The Indian folk dance work-out routine was created by Sarina Jain, combining Bhangra and Bollywood moves. It is a good cardiovascular work-out, allowing one to lose weight easily while having fun. Sarina is considered to be the “Jane Fonda of India.”

It’s great to see an integration of traditional Indian dance with the Western culture. Indian dances are fun and I enjoyed doing plenty of folk dances for my community while growing up. It’s nice that there is a work-out like Masala Bhangra to still get a taste of that love, along with the familiar, up-beat music.

Source: Masala Bhangra Workout

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