Friday, August 23, 2013

Food, Glorious Food!

  The evenings always look different from this side of the August full moon. The Summer is survived, with endless comings, goings, staying-ins, and outings. I love the hullabaloo; it makes me feel relevant, central, somehow. My fridge bulges with fare I am not allowed to even fantasize about; all seats in the front room are occupied; extra fans are strewn about the front room and the cats have to strew themselves to accommodate uncompromising angles of the re-arranged furniture; the washer-dryer are usually on, and we run around searching for more medium sized victuals to try out reinvented recipes. Today, in stark contrast, my fridge caters only to my dietary regimen; I haven't used the washer-dryer for an entire week; the cats, spooked at the emptiness, perch around me after mewling pityingly, beckoningly at empty bedrooms from where no obliging opposable digits emerge, offering treats; the seats in my front room hold books I am working with, the fans silent; and I have packed away the extra pots till the sun returns next year, when they might be needed.

I have given myself this evening off. The grading is shelved for now, bills abated (for now), reading stalled, and the TV ignored. I haven't felt words on my fingers for a very long time, it seems to me, and even though my fingers have been quenching their need with quilting and embroidery, these words feel fitting in with the quietude of the shortening twilight. It feels familiar again: the increasing haziness of late evenings, the rings around the full moon, the smell of the clear sky and the wind skipping through. It smells and feels like the holidays: Rakshabandhan is past and next week is Janmashtmi. Soon, my child will be back for Navratri (our favorite holiday) and before I know it, Diwali will have passed and the year changed! Certainly, the Summer is past, and Fall strides in. Today, however, is given over to reflection, to catch breath before the whirlwind of the holidays begins to spin dizzyingly.

This brings to my mind the idea of food. I have never been a foodie; I have been content when I am not hungry, or subjected to a certain inborn annoyance I associate with hunger. In fact, I don't even associate holidays particularly with food. So why mention it now, my patient reader might well wonder? The answer lies in the Summer that is just past, that aged not just the year but me as well. Most of my foods are taken away and existing quantities reduced. My kidneys are failing, so I am on an extremely low sodium, low potassium, low calorie diet. For someone who has preferred savory to sweet, this feels like a personal vendetta: no more spinach or tomatoes or just plain yogurt; I mourn when I think of handvo, daal, and dosas!

However, that was Summer; now, I am getting used to my diet and feel confident enough to share a few recipes that I've invented. The problem has been that my dietitian does not understand my food, so I've had to gather material from obscure sources, which makes me feel justified in sharing.

The first of these is a staple. One of the first things to go away were dhebras, and I love radish, so I came up with this one:

1 cup chapatti flour
1/3 cup bajra flour
2 oz. cube of frozen methi leaves (thawed in microwave)
1 tsp freshly ground jalepenos, garlic cloves, ginger, and lemon juice
1/3  tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp low fat yogurt
1 cup freshly ground radish
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cilantro paste (1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro / coriander if preferred)

Knead into dough, make 12 sections, roll and roast like you would a chapatti or paratha. Makes 12 servings.

These dhebras / chapatis / parathas are very low in potassium (in spite of the yogurt, methi, cumin, and the flours!). If this is tried, do let me know! If you like it, I'd especially like to know; hopefully, that'll help me stop fantasizing about pizzas!



  1. I'll try this and let you know! Thanks, mommy. I miss you (:

  2. Oh a thousand thank you's for visiting, Isha! I will make some for you when you come home.

  3. I feel sorry for the loss of your loved food from your diet. I will try this recipe and let you know.


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