I'm typing this because I'm hungry. But I need to wait till 12 midnight before I can eat. Coz I was 'fasting' for Janmashtami and this fast is always broken at 12 midnight when Lord Krishna is believed to have been born.
Krishna being a fun God, the one meal you do have on his birthday is actually more of a feast than a deprivation. This afternoon the dining table was groaning under the weight of all the goodies my mother had cooked up.
On the meetha side: kheer, halwa, two kind of barfis
On the namkeen: puri, wadas, finger chips and pakoras
So why is this a fast at all? Because all this stuff is made not from the usual foodgrains like rice and wheat but special ones like: sabudana, singhare ka atta and rajgira. You can also use nuts, potato, coconut and of course milk in any and all forms.
And well, that's what makes it a fast AND a feast. I don't know who decided on this list of ingredients. Is it just an arbit selection ki koi medical reason hai. Ya phir were these actually Lord Krishna's favourite foods?
But you have to admire how imaginative our ancestors were. For example, you're not allowed regular salt but you can use rock salt or sendha namak. I think these were ways they thought up of adding some colour, some novelty to their lives.
And yeah, they did not worry about extra calories back then since most of these goodies are fried :)
While I observe only 2 fasts/feasts a year, there is a large number of people out there who do so every week. The practice is to eat 'fasting food' once in the day and only fruits/ milk for the other two meals.
So there could be a huge potential market for a 'fast food' chain. Many Udipi type hotels in Mumbai offer fasting food, especially on Mondays. But I can see a counter offering only 'upwaas items' doing pretty well even in food courts.
After all, there are as many fasting people in India as there are gods and godesses. And for those who aren't into fasting, the food still comes as a welcome novelty.
Besides which potato chips which are actually 'upwaas approved' could be a good brand extension. Such chips are actually sold in Indore - some local brand - maine dekha hai!
And yeah, speaking of 'fast food', if you ever visit the famous sarafa in Indore, do check out the stall of one Sawariya seth who operates a handcart selling sabudana khichdi. It's so popular, the stock may run out before you get there...
Talk about 'fast' selling items!
Okay, about 10 minutes to go for my bread slice. I generally do not top off with butter but it is Janmashtami... Will make an exception :)