For people living in an adopted land, just as in many aspects, the food and diet would also require new adaptations. The old maxim, “If you are in Rome, be a Roman” may not be the most convenient. It may not be possible to satisfy your appetite with the food that pleased the taste buds when you were in your motherland. New innovations in the selection and preparation of food are imperative.
Let’s consider the first meal of the day, which is ‘Breakfast’. Adelle Davis has put it back in the 1960s: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” According to another nutritionist, skipping breakfast is like starting a long journey with an empty tank. “Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, ……gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or school. Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.”- webmd.com. It was a common occurrence that some children faint at the morning assembly. This gives further evidence for the importance of the morning neal.
Kiwi breakfast and our breakfast.
A survey has shown that the most popular breakfast of Kiwis is toast with eggs. This is well balanced, nutritious and tasty. This is not something alien to us. Even in the remote villages, bread was quite popular with butter and jam or ‘Pol sambol’ and ‘Parippu’. Here’s a stanza from the carving of a hostelers desk in a school “ Paanuy parippuy, davasaka budu wewa ! Goewai alayi (cabbage and potatoes) Sariyuth Mugalan wewa.”
Especially for vegans and vegetarians avocados are a perfect substitute for eggs. Smash a ripe fruit, season it with chilly, pepper and salt, mix it to a paste by adding any kind of milk and apply on slices of wholemeal bread. You may add some cheese and warm it on a sandwich press.
Chickpeas and mung gram are top favourites for many of us. In addition to carbs and protein, they are rich in fibre and vitamins. Ready boiled chickpea cans are available in supermarkets for less than a dollar sometimes. What you have to do is to heat some butter in a pan, add some chopped onions, season it with chillies and whatever you like and empty the can, with only a little of the juice, and stir. It’s a delicacy when mixed with some desiccated coconut.
Raw chickpeas can easily be boiled in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. It is very important to keep the water level above the grains. I remember some elders drank this drained water believing that it is a remedy for memory loss, especially after boiling mung seeds. You may try this with a bite of hakuru.
Cereals such as cornflakes, oats and Weetabix are ready to eat forms of a high nutritive value. A serving of two pieces of Weetabix is claimed to have the following nutrients. Carbohydrate – 26g., Fat – 0.8g., Protein – 4.5g., Fibre- 3.8g., Salt- 0.1g., Vitamin B1.(thiamine) B2.(riboflavin) B3. (niacin)- 0.8 mg., and a trace of folic acid and iron. The energy content is slightly more than half the normal daily requirement of an adult. This becomes yummy with avocado and a drip of kithul honey in addition to milk.
As the word implies, this is a meal taken instead of two meals: breakfast and lunch. People generally go out to a cafe or a restaurant for brunch. So it has to be on weekends where people can oversleep free from office work. The brunch menu, in most places, is a combination of what they provide for breakfast and lunch. Of course there will be funny names such as ‘Egg benedict’, Belgian waffle with strawberries and powdered sugar, Quiche Lorraine.
Whenever an auspicious event takes place in a house, most Sri Lankans make kiribath for breakfast. In some homes on the first of every month this will be the main meal partaken with lunu miris , kithul hakuru along with a glistening yellow kolikuttu. The Hindus make this as mung kiribath which gets to the table as a sweet dish. It is advisable to take this on holidays as people feel sleepy after a hearty meal of kiribath.
Sri Lanka Seniors Association met last Sunday, 25/10 at the Johnsonville Community centre. This was the first meeting of the new top office bearers, and they were meeting after a long covid rest. The primary purpose of the day was to collect and handover some dry rations to the Foodbank in memory of our deceased members. A rep. from the community centre was invited to accept the donations.
It is customarily a sumptuous Lankan potluck meal of rice and curry. As the members hopped in one’s and twos, the dinner table got covered with appetising aromatic dishes. Members seated around gaily gossiped but the committee got anxious and excited. One person asked. “What are we to do now, there is no rice?” “ Who had to bring it?” “ It’s so and so…” “Where are they?” “ Haven’t come yet.”
The typical accusations started. “ I have always insisted that the system of potluck does not work”. another became more logical and said, “ The organisers should take the entire blame, they should have had an option.” “ We have an option. I was thinking of getting a few loaves of bread. You can eat it with the curries available.” President tried his best to calm down the members wriggling with the pangs of hunger.
Then came the news, the party that had to bring the rice had entrusted it to a third person. That person had delivered it to another hall. There had been a get together there too, but they were not a rice and curry crowd. Thank god, the badu came just in time.