Saturday, 7 November 2009

Let them eat dhall...

... for many years now I have eaten dhall at least 1 day a week; with naan and without, and mostly without rice. At one time it became an almost compulsory meal - 1 st Day dhall. Now, now as I write, I'm eating chick peas with veggies.
Part of it is because I like it but the significant part of it is because the majority of the world has to do this without choice. Am I creating a hairshirt for myself or just pretending? An affectation? I don't know but in a sense I am sharing with many; on the days I don't eat I'm sharing with many more.
Perhaps I am like Oscar Wilde, being artificial in just making a gesture but does sometimes the gesture make sense?
And the rest of the time I keep my caviaar on ice...


Nadine Wills said...

So where's your recipe :-)?

I'm a bit lost here though. You eat daal as a way of showing solidarity with whom exactly? Is it a specific recipe? A kind of in-between fasting?

I suppose in some ways it's like the Catholic idea of fish on Fridays which is actually quite a nice idea.

Maybe more specifically, related to halal and kosher practices in some way because this is an ascetic practice you are taking on.

Read a book recently about orthodox Jewish observances of kosher called "Foreskin's Lament". The writer was traumatised by the whole experience (this was part of his childhood and he found it very confusing). However, think like the Muslims (or at least some) thinking about Allah every time they take a drink of water (they are supposed to drink water out of their lefthand if I am correct) is a nice way of remembering.

I'm veggie too and have been thinking through seasonal recipes and eating for the past couple of years. Making positive eating choices as well as choices not to partake in certain things as well. This is an interesting idea and way of tying you to the rest of the world. Will think how/where could do this in my life.

Peter Lawless said...

The recipe comes from what you have in but assume you have various types of lentils. peas, beans etc. floating around ( always a major problem in zero gravity). Onion, garlic and whatever spices.
A gesture yes but how soon is it a main way of being - don't wash the lentils they may be better for you in that state than you think - but beware your fillings.
The issue is re-thinking protein as well as the gesture to show solidarity - apparrently some meats were re-classified as fish to avoid any possible theological issues.
I don't see this as ascetic - are you sure about the left hand which is not the clean hand or so I understood.
Soon people will be thinking of Q veggie ways of keeping Christmas - but is that a Q way or a way of fitting in without explaining no festivals?
For children who have expectations a hard one but is it really that hard for Friends?

Nadine Wills said...

It's interesting the emphasis on eating meat here in England at I right? I just don't feel it was such a big deal not to in Canada.

Perhaps it was the forced multicultural identity that came in in the 1970s which became a way that we defined ourselves (fusion cooking!)...but it was accepted that families all across the nation would be eating different things on Christmas Day (yes, including dhall Peter) it wasn't a big issue if turkey or ham weren't on the menu.

Is it really such a big issue for people here? What do you eat on Christmas Day? Do you even celebrate it?

Last year I went on a veggie retreat for Christmas because it's just not a huegly important day for me.

But if I do cook something special I like to make an eggplant parmesan and basil casserole thingie (cause it's red and green) and maple walnut pie (cause it feels sort of Canadian and takes 23 minutes to make approx).

ANd yes, I could be wrong about the Muslim thing, I vaguely remember hearing about it on a BBC archive show that had Christians, Jews and Muslims having in-depth Interfaith dialogue with an atheist interviewer, let me see if I can find it. Was a very good series (must have been 2008).

Unfortunate, was a good week to remember but can't find it. Anyway, didn't necessarily agree with what was said (and obviously can't remember their points exactly) but found it an interesting series. This is why I'm so disappointed with BBC radio, poor archives and stuff that gets taken down too too soon. A pity. Will keep looking for it and post if I find it though.

Peter Lawless said...

What forced multiculturalism of the 1970's?

A great part of the time was involved with ani-facism etc but I remember nothing forced. The tandard practice, even amongst the working class, if poss., it was a bird on Christmas Day and the pork on Boxing Day: and, even though it was only then coming in as a Bank Holiday, there was another bird on Ist Jan.
My experience leads me to believe that most eat meat for breakfast (plus Buck's Fizz etc.). Meat at lunch then about 4/5 hours later - if that - pork pie, ham etc along with the pies etc. they have just been suing as a 'biting on' during the day. V similar on Boxing Day but with more alcohol because the space has been created by the relative lack of meat.
This is not even considering the bacon, sausages etc used a 'trimmings' and 'stuffings' for the birds.
When teaching I learned that most overseas students who could not afford to go home found Christmas a big disappointment given its build up.
There again I always did like humbugs! Well don't all shout agreement at once.

Nadine Wills said...

Was talking about the official adoption about multiculturalism as a policy by Prime Minister Trudeau in Canada in the 1970s. It worked very well in some ways and is an aspect of national identity many Canadians would point to as something special about themselves but can be superficial which is why I made the joke about cooking. So perhaps less issues about food in Canada than here, for example pork would never be served at events because so many cultures and people do not eat it.

Find England wonderfully tolerant and practically multicultural in some ways Canada is not.

Didn't realise that people ate quite so much meat on those days. Lived in Denmark for awhile, very similar there.

Peter Lawless said...

Just seems that we may have both dhalled the wrong number to some extent.
Just blame the technology shall we?

Peter Lawless said...

I was going to finish this with another pun about the potential misunderstanding of an alloo chatt but there has been something worrying me for a while about being veggie.
As a child I eat chitlings, liver, heart, kidney, tail, trotters, brawn, lights etc. but what I could not face was brains. This has raised, over the last few months, the issue of whether - or wether depending on what's eaten - waste.
I am not proposing this as an alternative way to being a veggie without a consciencious but in terms of how it it is:
1.mechaically recovered
2.still the product of a limited life would we....(fill your own gaps
3. And in terms of eating fish roe not just caviaar but deep fried roe (it's dead so what? with chips and peas please.
This without regard to tuna etc.
Basically as a veggie I am now wondering that when I started in 1978, and have at times liked as a vegan and totally limited milk products, I now find that I am doing more damage now in 2009? How? The usual piece of cheese I've had an Wednes. was the last piece and I limit my buying to about a quarter of a pound a week, if not less because of what it is supposed to provide.,
A strange question? Yes or no? Are these items best going to human food ( as whole) or pet food (as slurry from the practices they use)? Sorry offensive I know - too much Peter Singer et al you say -but surely given my post about fertisers etc don't they have to be considered?
No Peter shut up. Bhjajing in with this chatt. Totlally out of order!

Muslimah said...

I try and do a similar thing as a Muslim. Often times, Muslim fast on Mondays and Thursdays--similar to the fast in Ramadan (no food/drink from sun-up to sunset.) Although fasting isn't possible for me on those days, we do choose to eat simple, vegetarian food--and more times than not, choose fuul... an Egyptian fava bean stew which is often "the meal" of the every day Egyptian. It's simple, healthful, and filling.

You can purchase cans of fuul in most Middle Eastern grocery stores, as well as the dried beans. To make the actual dish, sautee some onions in olive oil, and then add a few chopped tomatoes. Sautee some more, and add in 2-4 cloves of garlic...stir a few seconds...then add in the drained can of beans. Mash them with a fork into the oil... add salt, pepper, cumin (optional), and tahini (optional). Add a bit of lemon...and serve in a pita or bowl... with salad (typical Arabic salad...cucumbers, tomatoes, onion) and a hard boiled egg (also optional). Yum. :)

And Muslims always eat/drink with the right hand...even if they are left-handed. The left hand is used when going to the bathroom.