Food for thought and soul?- The New Indian Express

Food for thought and soul?- The New Indian Express

  14 Jan 2024

Express News Service

Today, my Japanese friend took me for an Uyghur lunch. I am vegetarian this week and I was a little sceptical about what the options could be. I was delighted with the array of vegetable options. I happily tucked into string beans with crunchy garlic and tofu in dried chilly sauce on a bed of udon noodles.

Over lunch, my friend and I talked about the Uyghurs. Native to the Xinjiang province of China, a large number live in Turkey. We discuss their situation with compassion. But then there is this restaurant and this meal. And I realise again how much we share of ourselves as we share our food. I had a colleague Frida who once told me that sharing her lunch was a very intimate act for her.

Almost all indigenous cuisine is healthy and perfect for the climate and lifestyle of the land. Designed to give heat, coolness, and alertness along with nutrition. Freshly-cooked food is mostly the fuel we need in our daily lives. But every local cuisine uses at least some different, unusual ingredients and food from place to place varies – even from village to neighbouring village.

Food boredom comes easily to urban humans. And the pleasure of tasting new food is a memory, the brain quickly stores up as a good one. From here there is no looking back. Not only is this a highly pleasurable path but also a learning experience. Most people agree that travel is a big game changer for widening perspective. Food works in pretty much the same way.

I have always considered food to be medicine. It is wonderful how the world has tuned in to celebrate the Indian cuisine. And this has made us pay attention to these little gems that we have always used but never noticed fully. Beyond flavour, aroma and colour. Cinnamon for diabetes, turmeric for anti-inflammation, clove for heart health, cumin for digestion, fenugreek to stimulate insulin and so on. Remember how important this region has been in the spice trade!

May we all continue to share, adapt and celebrate the wonderful world of cuisine. And tune in to our innate intelligence to naturally select only what is good for us and nurtures our deeper selves. May humanity choose soul food for its growth and vitality.

Anupamaa Dayal
This fashion designer is about happy clothes and happy homes for happy women

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