From today, for the next 19 days I will be fasting. I will abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. This means that I will not eat or not drink anything, water included, from sunrise to sunset. Why would I put my body through this ordeal you might ask? As an adult Baha’i, I am obliged to fast for these 19 days. It is a period of prayer and meditation for us. During fasting we are tender, more subdued and more compassionate. This makes us spiritually more receptive.
Most religions call on for their believers to fast. Abstinence from food and drink is symbolic materially. But in other religions fasting symbolizes purification of the soul, or strengthens control to gluttony, or commemorates the day the founder of the religion suffered. Medically I read an article recently in the Guardian that it is advised to fast twice a week to avoid calories as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So today when I am feeling a bit hungry now as I write about food and look at the pictures I made about food, I try to remind myself that fasting is good for my spirit and my body – and what is 19 days – it will pass in a jiffy.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
4 large red tomatoes, ripe but firm
2 boiled potatoes
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ cup gram flour
1 tablespoon corn Oil
100 grams parmesan cheese, grated
1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
½ teaspoon garlic paste
- Mash the boiled potatoes and keep aside.
- In a vessel, heat the oil. When hot, add the onions, garlic paste, cumin powder, fennel seeds and chili powder.
- When the onion is brown, add the gram flour.
- When the flour turns a light brown and is mixed well with the oil, add salt and take off flame. Keep this aside to cool.
- Now add the mashed potatoes and the cheese to this mixture and mix well.
- Wash and cut off the tops of the tomatoes.
- Scoop out the seeds and put in the prepared potato mixture and cover back with the top that was cut off.
- Apply oil on a baking tray and arrange the tomatoes. Put into an over at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Serve hot.