I was very tired after work a couple of days back. As I reached out for a pepsi for that much needed caffeine induced energy boost, my husband asked me in surprise, "Arent you giving up pepsi this lent?". Grrr !!! I usually do not drink soft drinks during the lent period, but this year I decided I was much too fond of it to give it up. However Gku's question gnawed at me, the way things gnaw at you when you feel guilty, and now I am looking forward to a long caffeine free period.
Lent is observed in remembrance of the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the desert without food, before he began the work of god. "The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer - through prayer, repetance, almsgiving and self-denial - for the annual commemoration durng Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ." As part of self denial, most people observing lent practise vegetarianism, though many also give up things they like most such as chocolates, pastries etc, or forgo one or more regular meals a day.
Fasting in some form or the other is part of a lot of belief systems, and I personally feel this may be God's way of instilling some amount of discipline in man. To see someone gorge on something you love, and to be able to resist joining in would require self control and discipline, wouldn't it?
Even during such periods, there is no harm in eating tasty food if it complies with the rules of the fast. I made a potato curry that could satisfy your cravings (to some extend) and goes well with rice, roti and even bread.
300 grams potatoes
1 cup onion, cut into thin, long strips
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2" ginger, finely chopped
1 tomato, cut into thin, long slices
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
3 teaspoon red chili powder
3/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 mustard seeds
A pinch cumin seeds
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
To taste, salt
2 cups or more of boiling water, 1/4 cup water
Cut potatoes into 8mm slices, then into 8 mm strips. Put the potato strips into boiling water, such that the water covers the strips completely. Add about half teaspoon of salt and a pinch of turmeric to the water, and stand for a minute; drain.
Dry the potato strips. Heat enough oil in a frying pan to come about an inch up the side of the pan. Fry the potato till it turns colour lightly.
Heat about 2-3 tablespoons of the same oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let splutter. Add onions and saute till translucent. Add the chopped ginger and garlic, and continue sauteing till fragrant. Reduce heat to a minimum, and add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and mix together.
Add the tomatoes, salt and fried potato so that the potato is covered with the spice mix. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook for a few minutes till potato is completely cooked.
Finally mix in the coriander leaves.
If you do not like the flavour of coconut oil, you can use other cooking oil.
Enjoy maadi !!!