Friday, October 17, 2008

One bibimbap too soon: weird diet continues

Two weeks ago I heartily accepted the challenge of a priest somewhere in India. His requirement - Swati and I eat no meat, onions or garlic as part of a religious ceremony to bless my future marriage. I wrote about it in an earlier post.

However, the past two weeks have been tough. Especially since reading the New York Times Salmon Bibimbap recipe earlier in the week. We could hold out no longer. And on Wednesday evening we declared an end by enjoying this tasty dish, even though we were technically early. "It was Thursday in India," Swati countered (the official end of the fast).

salmon bibimbapIt seems though we may have jumped the gun. The next day I received a call from my mom apologizing for her earlier miscommunication. Apparently, "the diet is suppose to last one month, not the two weeks," she said matter-of-factly.

I was outraged. My immediate reaction was anger, "You don't realize how hard this is to be gluten-free and also not eat fish!" Then negotiation, "Okay, well technically fish is not meat."

Now I've come to accept it. The way I figure, you don't want to anger the universe, especially when the happiness of your marriage is on the line. Although it bugs me that no explanation was ever given. Or any warning.

But in terms of the diet. The no meat part is relatively easy as its straight-forward. The real challenge to the diet is avoiding the 'sneaky' stuff, garlic and onions, especially when eating out. I've just accepted the fact that I can't be perfect on this one.

The good news - I have been cooking more and finding inspiration in unexpected places. Like the website Manjula's Kitchen, featuring an Indian 'auntie' that shares how to prepare delicious vegetarian dishes according to her Jain diet (yes no onions and garlic). Her spicy okra recipe was a personal favorite.

If only Manjula could setup shop in Brooklyn. That would be nice.

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