Tag Archives: food

Eggless – Food and Religion

Food is an important aspect in many faiths and many religions have specific requirements. Religions from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism all have religious requirements. Depending on the how strictly you follow your own faith influences the extent to which you will follow these regulations. Christianity includes the faiths of Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant and each of these faiths have varying food influences and requirements. Catholic and Orthodox Christians observe several fast and feast days during the year and Protestants celebrate Christmas and Easter. Even the ritual communion celebrated by Christians involves food and drink which represents Jesus through bread and wine.

But imagine coming to live in a country where you are alien to the culture and language and then having to maintain your religious food requirements. In Islam, Judaism and Hinduism, all of these faiths have foods which are forbidden. In Islam the concept of Halal and Haram is applied. Halal means ‘lawful’ or ‘permitted’ and this concept is applied not just in food, but all aspects of a Muslim’s life. Halal foods are allowed and those prohibited are Haram meaning ‘not permitted’ which includes pork and alcohol.

Judaism follows a similar requirement with regards to food and Kashrut refers to laws permitting food in the Jewish religion. Kosher means food ‘fit’ or ‘permitted’ and foods which are not permitted include pork and shellfish. Kosher and Halal foods have specific religious requirements at the time of slaughter and it is this which differentiates Halal and Kosher meat from other meat.

To access Halal food in the 1960’s in Yorkshire was a challenge and many people resorted to undertaking the preparation and animal slaughter at home just to be able to eat meat once a month and maintain their religious beliefs. Now walking about in Huddersfield, Bradford, Dewsbury, Leeds and many other Yorkshire towns, you will be hard pressed not to be able to find any Halal meat shops or grocery stores catering to the needs of the South Asian community, but there are still some gaps in the food market that are not being met and are still not catering for all religions or faiths.

Hinduism believes in the interdependence of life and people who practice the Hindu religion don’t eat meat from any animal or any food that is involved in the taking of life. Many Hindus are vegetarian, which is not compulsory and most Hindus do not eat beef or beef products, as the cow is sacred. This belief in life means that many Hindus do not eat eggs. So if you were celebrating an event, where would you go to get an eggless cake? London, Birmingham, but what about locally? Why do you have to undergo challenges to maintain your faith? Understanding the role of food in cultural and religious practice is an important way of showing respect and responding to the needs of the people from religious communities, from which we will be able to avoid assumptions about a person’s religious beliefs and culture.

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How to cook a Traditional Chicken Curry

                                
   
Traditional chicken curry recipe   

 

 

 Place roughly 3 tblsp of oil in a pot and add the         

1lb chicken boneless1tsp chopped ginger1tsp chopped garlic (4-5 cloves)½ tsp Chilli powder1tsp Salt1 tsp Garam masala

¼ tsp Turmeric

½ tin chopped tomatoes

2 fresh green bell chillies

Fresh coriander

½ green pepper

Squeeze of lemon

3 tbsp Oil

2-3 medium sized onions

ginger and garlic and heat. Dice the onions and pepper into cubes and add to the heated oil, lightly brown and add the spices and salt. Mix through then add the chopped tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon and green chillies (pierce chillies to stop them bursting) heat the mixture until the onions have become soft and the tomato sauce slightly thickens now add the chicken. Mix through and place the lid on the curry. Keep the curry on a low heat stirring every so often to make sure the curry doesn’t burn. Once the chicken has sealed add 2 cups of water and replace the lid.

Let the curry cook for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then. Once the curry has a texture to your taste, dry or with a thick sauce, take of the heat and add roughly 3-4 stems of chopped fresh coriander.

Enjoy with naan or freshly boiled rice.

 

                                                                                                                                      

     

                          
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wedding – All that glitters

 

Wedding Bouquet

Wedding Bouquet

So the day finally arrived, the day of the wedding, the day that we had spent months preparing for… co-ordinating clothes, shoes and accessories, the day our brother was getting married 🙂

 

Now we had matched up the groom’s outfit to go with the bride, who was wearing the sherman which I quote he said “sounds like someone herding sheep” LOL. Anyway a sherwani, paag; which is a traditional hat and kusay; which are hand-made leather shoes, embroidered with gold thread and turned up at the front (these can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes). He also had a red and gold scarf over his shoulders to match the bride.  
 
 As we were on the boys side, the wedding part was hosted by the girls side of the Newcastle. We arrived in convey outside the hotel  and entered with two Dhol players heading the front of the procession from which we were greeted with flower garlands,  the sisters were given a single red rose each and then were then lead to the stage area. The colour theme was red and gold and everything was beautifully co-ordinated, somehow even the guests were!!
Groom's Side

Groom's Side

 

Live Classical Indian Music

Live Classical Indian Music

Classical Indian music was playing in the background, a live sitar and tabla and the dinner was a four course silver service feast (five including the cake). So the setting was perfect.

Now for the important stuff the Nikkah. Muslim ceremonies have a nikkah which is the religious part of the wedding and basically like the vows at a Civil Ceremony. The bride is separate from the groom and is asked by an Imaan (Muslim priest) if she consents to marriage, this is asked three times and she will reply “I do” or “Kabool Hai”. Once the bride agrees she signs the marriage document and the Imaan asks the groom the same three times if he consents to marry his bride to be. Once agreed the groom also signs the form and the Imaan prays that they have a happy life together and the congratulations begin.

It is traditional for the Groom side to bring Shewaray; dried dates, coconut and other things which are given out straight after the Nikkah (like wedding favours). After everyone has congratulated the groom the bride comes into the main hall and sits with her husband…awww.

The eating begins and finishes with a three-tier wedding cake, after which gifts are

Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake

given to the groom’s family from the bride’s family and we finish the wedding by the Rukhsati…taking the bride home.

 

See website www.asianvoices.org.uk/galleries for more wedding pictures x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys mehndi – food and more food

Even though the family is from Huddersfield and lives in Huddersfield, the boy’s Mehndi was the only event actually held in Huddersfield. Now firstly, there was a big debate about where we should hold the event; my dad wanting to hold the mehndi at the Pakistani Community Centre on Clare Hill and I wanting it at the Hudawi Cultural Centre on Great Northern Street. Both venues are completely different size wise and atmosphere, most people now choose the Hudawi centre as it is bigger and hall like, but no matter how hard I tried to persuade my dad, like always dad stuck to his guns and won – his argument was that I had my mehndi there, my brother had his so it was now tradition ??!! So this was where the boy’s mehndi was held.

We started off at my mum’s house dipping strawberries, grapes and various other fruits into milk and white chocolate…mmmm for the rasom (in which aunties, cousins feed the groom traditionally Indian sweets, but we replaced them with a fruit assortment [only as many of us don’t have a taste for them] then the guests place henna on the palm and give small amounts of money, which will be given to charity). Once we had everything for the rasom we made our way to the Community Centre to set up the stage and general décor. We had a green and yellow balloon arch with a green, yellow and gold back drop and yellow chrysanthemums on each table setting. Yellow and green are traditional mehndi colours…

So my brother came in dressed plainly and the sisters and cousins walked him in carrying a red deputta (scarf) over him. The reason for this I don’t know but I think red signifies marriage as this is the traditional colour for the bride’s outfit. Once he was seated, we brought in our henna plates and did a little dance before placing the plates with tea lights in front of him… photo opportunity… next the rasom again more photos and after the food… no pics here everyone was too busy enjoying the food LOL.

After this we all went home to carry on with the dancing and merriment on the last day of singlehood….

Countdown to the wedding begins x