When Uzbeks came to Delhi to pay a visit to the King Babur (who was also an Uzbek from Fergana Valley), they were served with rice and meat cooked in Central Asian style (Called “Pulawe”, originally Persian style of cooking rice but in Central Asia, the amount of fried fat added at the end is higher) in the King’s guest hall. The Uzbeks sat on the ground having their boots on and started eating with their hands. When they were eating, their hands were soaked in oil of rice that were dripping back in the dishes. After serving the meal, the Uzbek visited the king in his court. The king asked them, “Tell me if you have any trouble here in Delhi?”. One of the representative replied, “Everything is fine except the food.”….”What is wrong with the food?” inquired the king in puzzlement. “The rice doesn’t have enough oil in it”…..
Though South Asian consumes a lot of oil, sugar and spices in their food but they don’t use much fat or oil as compared to Central Asian people. The consumption of fat by Central Asians look amusing to South Asian people but it is also amusing that South Asian food is too greasy for Westerners. I found several times; my landowners are warning me of eating too much oily foods, while I was skimming the fatty or oily part of my food. Chinese are still more economical in using fat as compared to westerners. The main point is that people are becoming fat and sugar conscious but I think it is more related to fashion and culture than health. Everybody knows that there is no other alternative in the taste and flavor to that of fat (In fact no spice or anything else can match with fat, Fried foods or notoriously popular across the cultures), so it is natural to become addicted to fat. In cold places, people consume higher amount of fat so they are highly addicted to it and in hot places where people sweat a lot, people tends to use spices (and lesser fat) to balance the lost minerals.
Three food items were problematic but their inflation by industrial revolution gave them popular recognition and those are Fat, Sugar and Grains. These three food items are addictive and their addictions are more harmful than cigarettes (They are killing more people than wars and diseases caused by cigarette). They are more dangerous than cigarettes because cigarettes are condemned by culture but they are promoted by culture. The overconsumptions of Fat and Sugar in South Asian sweets were promoted by culture and now the whole region is addicted to it. The use of grains in Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food as bread and pasta were promoted by culture and now the whole region is addicted to the grains. Nobody can think of eating something without bread. It is an essential part of the food in these regions. You might get amused to see some people eating rice with bread. Similarly rice has become a dominant part of food in the Sino-Chinese region.
The reason that I brought all these things is my recent experiences of observing, the rapidly changing trends in eating in our part of world. Consuming Coke and other soft drinks were fashionable at times but seeing widespread use of green tea was a pleasant surprise for me. Similarly the replacement of dry fruits and fresh fruits to that of sweets, pastries and milk tea are another big surprise for me. Though this Eid was a sad Eid because of suicide attack on Hazaras of Quetta, yet increasing awareness gives some hope.
Let's beat the drum!...!...!...!
Yeah, Let's beat the drum...In month of Ramadan, some people beat the drums going street to street to wake up the people in predawn time...I was always fascinated by their jobs; they wake up people from sleep in a time when they are in deep sleep... Socrates were thinking that most of us are in deep sleep like that of predawn time, so he was going from street to street in ancient Athens and cross-questioning people to show them that their lives are un-examined...When we do not analyse our beliefs and world views then it is like living in sleeping mode...The stronger the certainty in unexamined worldviews, the deeper is the sleep.......
As there is no Socrates to stop us on the streets to cross-question our worldviews, keeping diary is way to open yourself for your examination (it is famously known as self-accountability).....so here I have started beating the drums...let's see how much I am going to be committed to my diary :)