Bollywood Cafe







A Taste of the Orient
Experience Indian cuisine at its most sensual. Our aromatic and flavorful dishes are artfully created to present you with a colorful, tasty and multi-textured dining experience. India is a mélange of many different peoples and cultures that have come together over the years and evolved into a vibrant culture that is unique. Indian cuisine draws its variety and strengths from all these different cultures and culinary influences and is characterized by its sophisticated use of spices and herbs to enhance and bring out flavor.

Owner and chef, Arvinder Singh, is a big fan of Bollywood – the world of Indian films and music. The film world of Bollywood creates an extraordinary audio-visual sensory experience that has captured the hearts of audiences everywhere. At Bollywood Café, he creates a culinary experience to capture your hearts and leave you with a taste that lingers and has you coming back for more.

Arvinder’s commitment and dedication has created a loyal customer base that extends from Bollywood’s home grounds in Lexington to beyond the Route 495 area.

“We first ate at Bollywood Café in 2001. Since then they have catered several events at our home. The food and service are always excellent” MN – Lexington Resident.

“Bollywood catered 3 company meetings for us in two years. Our people love the food and it offers a nice option.” SVP of large organization, Woburn.

  • Dine in or Take-out – seven days a week
  •  Free delivery in Lexington, Arlington and parts of Waltham, Belmont, Burlington and Woburn (min $25)
  •  We cater private parties, events and corporate meetings – call Arvinder Singh at (781) 267-5972


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Playing with Fire: Noted primatologist and Harvard professor to visit Lexington

Professor Wrangham in Tanzania with Hadza hunter-gatherers.

Professor Wrangham in Tanzania with Hadza hunter-gatherers.

By Laurie Atwater

Sometime between the origin of Homo habiline (2.3 million years ago) and Homo erectus (at least 1.8 million years ago) evolving man learned to cook.

That’s right. At some point, and it’s unclear just when that was, our ancestors learned to control fire and thereafter they began to barbeque.

It’s at that time, when our ancestors harnessed the power of the flame and cooked their meat, posits Richard Wrangham, that we “become human.” Because food was softer and more digestible more energy could be directed to evolution: Bigger brains, smaller rib cages and guts, less prominent jaws and smaller teeth. Precisely because of cooking. So kiss the cook, because without her (and he also thinks it was the female of the

catching fire richard wrangham cooking food diet evolution science book review

Wrangham’s book Catching Fire will be available for sale at his appearance in Lexington.

species that cooked) we would never have evolved into the amazingly complex creatures that we are.

Wrangham is the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and his research group is now part of the newly established Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. He has made a career of observing and studying chimpanzees in the wilds of Africa. He is the co-director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, the long-term study of the Kanyawara chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda. He has always been fascinated by the effects of the environment and ecology on animals and by extension on humans. Specifically he has been captivated by explaining the evolution of human social systems through the observation of primate behavior.

In his book Catching Fire (Basic Books, 2009) Wrangham presents this theory of evolution and cooking. It has become a controversial and exciting topic in the scientific world. For Wrangham it seems so logical that he can’t believe that it’s “new.”

The traditional line of thinking says that it was simply the transition from a diet of berries and veggies to eating raw meat that allowed the chimp-like australopithecines to evolve into the pre-Homo erectus habilines. Accepting that, what accounts for the huge biological leap between habilines and Homo erectus? Is it the cooking of meat that tipped the balance? Wrangham says cooking allowed humans to get more calories and nutrients from their food spurring the huge biological changes witnessed in Homo erectus. And then there are the sociological changes that arose from cooking—organizing the community around the fireside, the family around feeding of the young and protecting the food and the relegation of women to the “kitchen.”

In Catching Fire Wrangham takes us on a journey that begins with raw foodists and ends with a discussion of the modern diet in this age of plenty. With humor, keen observation and plenty of science along the way, he makes his case. From fascinating factoids about the amount of time early humans would have spent chewing fibrous foods just to get enough nutrition to live, early experiments on a man with a visible colon and discussion of the social norms around food preparation in various parts of the world, Wrangham entertains and educates. This is a book for everyone; it is accessible and fun.

In advance of his appearance in Lexington I was able to chat with Professor Wrangham from his office and his enthusiasm and humor are contagious.



Q. Just how did you happen upon this topic and begin to develop your new ideas about human evolution?

A. I was home in my house in Weston and I was thinking about the lecture that I was giving the next day on Homo erectus. The context that I was thinking about it—I was sitting in front of my fireplace with a fire going and the lights out—reminded me of what it was like sitting around a fire in Africa. I started thinking about how long into the past people would have been sitting around fires just like that. Then I started thinking about my experience eating chimpanzee foods and I suddenly realized that there’s no way a human could survive on that diet. Within a half hour I was developing the idea. I wrote it down that night and it had all of the essential elements that I ultimately came to think about.

Q. At the time did you know anything about food and how it changes through cooking?

A. No, that was all intuition! I went into the department [at Harvard] the next day and I was grabbing my students and my peers and saying, ‘all of a sudden it appears to me that cooking should have this huge importance in evolution.’ I was motivated to burrow into the literature and find out what the story was and I was AMAZED to discover that there was no systematic information on the impact of cooking on the energy values that we get from food.

Q. This seems to undermine the idea popularized by the raw foods movement that raw food is nutritionally better for humans than cooked food. According to your theory raw foods would not have yielded enough calories for the huge evolutionary jump between habilines and Homo erectus. You spend a lot of time discussing the benefits of cooking—how it made all food, and meat specifically, safer and more digestible.

A. It seems to me absolutely vital and one really has to get the fact that cooking has huge effects on the food and therefore on our bodies. When I present raw foodies with this evidence they don’t like it. It undermines a philosophy that is quite dear to them!

Q. Most anthropologists accept that meat eating made a difference in evolution, but not meat cooking specifically.

A. I think that people have failed to spot the fact that the raw meat argument doesn’t work very well and I think they have accepted it because they couldn’t think of anything better. Raw meat is incredibly tough and hard to digest. Now, I feel there were two transitions. What has always been accepted, that cooking was not important, is not the case. Whether we are talking about plants or meat, eating cooked food provides more calories than eating the same food raw.

Q. You also contend that cooking became the basis for pair bonding and led to a sexual division of labor—where men protected a particular woman’s food and he gave her meat in exchange for cooking.

A. Once the females are able to provide so much food that a male can rely on her to feed him, the male goes off and hunts. He stops being a gatherer and he can devote more time to hunting. If he has a bad day hunting, he goes off with the rest of the guys in the middle of the camp doing stuff like telling jokes, but he still eats. Overall one has to say women are starting from a disadvantageous position!

Q. Your critics say there is little archeological proof of controlled fire going back far enough to support your claims.

A. We certainly can’t currently make the case on archeological grounds, but something was going on. I imagine that they were pounding away with stones for tens of thousands of years and regularly starting little fires. And that’s where I imagine the young picking it up and playing with it and eventually realizing that other animals are afraid of it. It’s as good a story as any.

Q. And eventually cooking over it?

A. Yes. It’s hard for me to underestimate the control of fire. Once you have an animal that is smart enough to use fire constructively—it’s huge. It’s a fascinating area and if there’s a question of not knowing something, well let’s put it out there so that people will find out what the answer is.

Q. I can’t let you go without thanking you for introducing me to another Atwater—Wilbur Olin Atwater.

A. Ah, yes. The Atwater convention which is still used today, totally misses the impact of food processing on food, but nobody has thought of a way to replace it with anything that is cheap and convenient.



In the final chapter of his book Professor Wrangham discusses the Atwater convention—a system for measuring calories in food that was developed in the latter part of the 19th century. The USA still uses the Atwater Convention for assessing calories in food despite its known flaws. Highly processed foods require less energy to digest. Yet, the Atwater system is based on calculations that do not take this energy factor into account. The more processed our diet becomes the more net calories we absorb. Obesity is becoming prevalent in cultures where food is plentiful and over-processed.

Once we struggled each day for enough food; now we suffer the consequences of abundance. As a species we are still evolving. What’s next? n



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At Your Side


AT YOUR SIDE is a caring, confidential, and cost-effective private patient advocacy service that provides personal attention and support to simplify your health care experience. We help you prepare questions to ask your doctor; take notes during your doctors’ appointments; research medical information and resources; guide you through the insurance maze; visit you in the hospital to provide advocacy; and help you communicate with your family members about your medical situation.

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In addition to working with individuals, Myra delivers presentations to community organizations on a variety of healthcare-related topics including Understanding Your Health Insurance, Preparing for Your Doctor’s Visit, and Being Your Own Patient Advocate. In 2009, she was a guest speaker at the Lexington Senior Center and an instructor for Lexington Community Education. She is a member of the Massachusetts Consumer Health Quality Council, a volunteer with the Lexington F.I.S.H. organization, and a candidate for a Board of Directors position on the Lexington Council of Aging.


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Arlex Oil





We’re Your Trusted Neighbors
For over 68 years, through war, recession and fuel crisis, Arlex Oil has earned the trust of the people of Lexington and surrounding communities with dedication and expertise. We deliver the best product, service and value for your comfort and peace of mind. Arlex also provides air conditioning installation and service, as well as removal of septic systems and underground oil tanks to meet towns and cities Title V requirements.


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 Family owned and operated for over 68 years, Arlex oil is here.

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Welcome to Cake., a custom-design shop specializing in spectacular cakes for memorable occasions. We work closely with each client to create a delectable, breathtaking cake in any shape from a basket of edible flowers to an intricate sculpture. If you dream it, we can create it.

Been to the movies lately? Michelle Ryan, the owner of Cake., was chosen to design and decorate the spectacular cakes featured in The Pink Panther 2 and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

We create every cake and cupcake from scratch, using only the freshest and purest ingredients in your favorite flavors: chocolate, gold, vanilla, red velvet, carrot, and fudge. And every Cake creation can be adorned with your choice of delicious whipped buttercream icings and fillings.


With over 33 years experience you can depend on Cake. for:

  • Perfect cakes for weddings, birthdays, showers, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, holidays, and corporate events
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