September 09, 2009
Fasting or Feasting?
It's always nice when your mind can get off a rut and think afresh. Last few weeks whenever I opened my blog and looked at the keyboard, all my mind was filled with, was the status quo. Now, with the advent of Ramadan, there is a relief in the line of thought. With fasting and fast breaking, the conversation has shifted to food, religion, and consciousness.
Everybody knows the goodness of fasting..every body fasts in different ways..on Tuesdays, Fridays, without grains, without meat, without dairy products..or follow lent.. Every religion has some kind of fasting embedded in it. Definitely healthy to get rid of toxins and change your food habits once in a while. Besides the religious aspect, fasting is a great way to discipline the mind and control cravings.
I am a constant snacker and if anybody talks about any interesting food, I immediately crave it. Fasting actually works for me to get a control on my thoughts of food, and I don't feel hungry all the time......but somehow towards the end of the day, the stomach takes over the mind and even a bunch of broccoli looks so good that you'd think it was chocolate! A food magazine starts looking like forbidden stuff.. and don't ever send me to the supermarket while fasting.
Ramadan more than anything else transports me back home to a table laden with Iftar fried goodies....cutlets, pazham nirachathu, pazham porichathu, unnakaye, kilikude, chattipathiri just for starters. It's interesting to see how we want our comfort food more when we are really hungry and not anything new or healthy to our taste buds. Only the familiar food will do and the tastier, the better.
The early morning meal called "Atthayam" eaten before sunrise is another item all together. Some people cook an entire meal for that and some eat the yummy leftovers that you couldn't eat in the short time after fast breaking and before falling asleep. So much to taste and so little time and only one stomach.:) Some eat bread or even oatmeal or cereal..just making it a real early breakfast.
One of my earliest memories of the early morning meal is at my grandmother's house when it was still a joint family and the whole household used to get up in the wee hours of the morning and a full meal was laid out, rice, cheera, curry, godambu pathiri, complete with shrimp fry, fried at that time. Since every body was up, it didn't feel weird to be sitting down and eating a meal when it was still dark outside. The conversation flowed smoothly and food was eaten leisurely, topped off with a khali chaya/ sweetened black tea.
With the plethora of blogs now, we can see how other Muslims break their fast. I wonder what others eat for the early morning meal. I know a lot of my readers are fasting and it piques the curiosity.. What do you eat in the morning and evening? Can you eat rice and meat in the morning?
I still don't have time to elaborate on my posts so this time I will just start out by listing all Iftar worthy dishes on the blog for ease of use. I know there are a lot more items to be posted and maybe time permitting, I will post some this weekend.
Malabar Chicken Biryani
Malabar Fish Biryani
Calicut Mutton Biryani
Malabar Madikki Pathiri/Roti
Malabar Chicken Fry
Thari Kanchi/Rava Payasam
Paliayakka/ Tapioca Payasam
Idli Vadas In Yogurt
Pazham Pori/Plantain Fritters
Malabar Vegetable Samosa