The hubby is fasting for navratra. He has one full meal in twenty-four hours, intercepted with fruit, tea and juice. On Sunday, the first day of the fast, I planned for his lunch and had a scrumptious meal ready. The only thing missing in the menu was a home-made drink or shake to make it a complete seven-dish meal. The lunch menu included:
Fried Colocasia (Arbi) patties with homemade mixed spices (salt, coriander powder, red chilly powder, mango powder, and fennel powder)
Mixed red and yellow lentil (Arhar and Massoor dal)
Fried Ladyfinger (bhindi)
Orange flavored jelly
Of course, all the above was prepared sans-onion-and-garlic. While cooking, I wondered why we cannot use onion and garlic in the meal preparations. For the matter, orthodox Jain families do not use the two vegetables in their daily cooking also.
Needles to say, I googled my question and finally came up with an answer. Apparently, these are rajasic and tamasic food and promote virility. Navratra is a time to cleanse your body and your soul, and hence your meals should provide you only with vitality and not virility. But if vitality is the key, then how do we explain a menu with fried potato chips, sabudana papad and vada, kuttu atta puri, rabri, kheer, and all the carbohydrates that we load into our digestive system, in the pretext of fasting! . For more detailed inquiry, you can visit the Cooking with Kurma website: http://www.kurma.net/essays/e19.html/