Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cooking with Mindfulness and Love

Mumineen house holds are blessed to be receiving the barakat of 'Thali' and with each passing day, more and more mumineen are partaking the barakat. For the elderly living all by themselves, for those with permanent disabilities or constrains of any kind, for college students, working professionals, school teachers with family to tend, specially in big metros, it is a boon from heaven.

The good fall out of the 'Thali' is that many home makers are having more free time at their disposal to pursue their hobbies, give more quality time to their children, in many cases to supplement their family income. The common refrain is ' thali thi ghani rahat thai gayee'

However, in this blog I would like to share a very important aspect of cooking for your family with Mindfulness and Love. It has its own joy and pleasure, and the home maker surely earns great sawab and boon, for doing her duty. There is an apt proverb - ' the surest way to a man's heart ( and her entire family) is through his stomach' -  so very true.

For a home maker cooking for the family is an integral part of her life and the well being of her family. 'Thali' gives the home maker, more space and energy, more time to learn and cook nutritious food for her family. It should not be an easy way out.

I just came across a very interesting article by Debra Moffit on Intent Blog, which motivated me to share some nuggets with my readers, and my wife Rabab co-operated whole heartily in our effort to better understand this concept of Mindfulness and love by cooking the local Maharashtrian cuisine - 'sabudana (sago) kichri' which is full of starch and great for a quick boost of energy.  It is also very low in fat. However, it takes a great deal of time to prepare it, and here plays love and Mindfulness.

It has to be soaked in water for 3 hrs, after draining the water, the sabudana has to be dried for another 4 hrs. Then starts the cooking. Hope readers got the 'drift' as to why Rabab chose to make this dish, and  it was being made for the  first time.

Sabudana Kichri with Bangkok Soup 

As sabudana (sago) is low in protein and does not contain any mineral or vitamin, Rabab made Bangkok soup, to balance the diet. Believe me it turned out great, and in the cooking and partaking of it,  a great lesson learnt. 

Debra Moffit  is an award winning author of ' Awake in the World : 108 Practices to live a Divinely Inspired Life'

Excerpts :
The kitchen offers one of the best and most creative places for practicing Mindfulness. Turn a meal into meditation experience. Cook with Love.

 In ancient traditions it is said the cook is able to transmit subtle properties of his or her thoughts and emotions into food.

Food cooked with Love and Mindfulness provides nutrition for body, mind and spirit of the family.

She gives an example of Walter Danzer - founder of Soyana a natural food company located in Switzerland, their quality of food is very different from factory processed food.  

So ladies, try making a conscious meal at home - it does not have to be elaborate, it can be simple, but having the delectable energy of love. As you cook, be  fully aware, be mindful, and have positive thoughts, enjoy your cooking, and for sure,  your dish will have the soul nutrients - very subtle, it cannot be seen nor proved scientifically, but its effects will be evident, once it is served. You will surprise your self.

Give it a try. Set out a date, shortlist a meal to cook, enter the kitchen with a positive mind set, and see for your self as to what Debra says is true or just another crap.

'Dil thi jamara - dil thi jaman banayu' is well known. It means the meal has a delectable energy of love and soul nutrients, besides the required ingredients. In those old days, many have gone for Kathiawar ziyarats, and stayed at many small towns, where the musafirkhanas, generally in those days were entrusted to a family, who looked after the needs of the zuwwar.

One noticeable thing, and every one who has experienced it first hand will surely agree that, though the meals were basic, it tasted great. Even if you reached at odd hours, and if you had missed your lunch or dinner, they would be ready to rustle up a meal for your family.

We had such an experience many years ago, and as I write this I vividly recall the love and affection with which, we were served - a group of 14 - lunch at very short notice by a mumineen family  at Barod on our way from Rampura to Ujjain.

We had halted for Namaz and to freshen up at Barod masjid and asked for some hotel where we could have our lunch. The bhai who escorted us to the masjid said that, as it is a small town, no good eating place is there. Shortly he came with his family members and offered us izan, and within a short time of 30-45 min: we were taken to their home, and served piping hot zaman.

Such memories stay with you for ever. The above are just two examples and personal experiences of cooking and serving with delectable energy of love, having soul nutrients.

But please do not take my word, just try it out your self. Give one try, cook a conscious meal and see if there is a difference. It would be great, if you can share the experience. Click on the comment, so that all those who read the blog will also benefit. If you are not comfortable to go public, you can mail me at : and I will keep it under wraps, all to my self.