Parveen The Spice Queen: Do we live to eat or eat to live?

Parveen's onion bhajis
Parveen's onion bhajis
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Here is a question, do you ‘eat to live’ or ‘live to eat?’...I suppose it should be the former and not the latter. However these days, it’s so easy to live to eat, there is so much choice out there.

Food is so readily available to us ALL the time, from a wide range of restaurants, delis and takeaways offering all manner of cuisine from the around the world.

On top of that, when we are not eating food, we are constantly bombarded with images of it, so it’s no surprise that many of us tend to have a decadent diet lifestyle. However, sometimes we just need to take stock of what we are eating, detox and have a cleanse. Do we really need to eat so much?

So, this week I wanted to talk to you about Ramadan, which is all about cleansing and eating less - this is when Muslims all around the world fast from sunrise to sunset - no easy feat, let me tell you.

There is nothing like actually going without food to really make you appreciate it...simple pleasures such as a humble slice of toast with jam taste like nectar from heaven and I am not exaggerating or being a drama queen (which you know I can be at times).

One of my favourite things to do after breaking my fast is to have my first cup of tea with something sweet. You know what they say “have a little bit of what you fancy” well, when I break my fast I have a lot of a little bit of what I fancy!

But seriously, for me personally I believe one of the most important reasons for fasting during the month of Ramadan is to help one relate to those around the world who are not as fortunate as us, have little and their only choice is to ‘eat to live.’

At the moment the fast is from 3.30am to 9pm, so it’s a long time to go without food and water, but fasting is not just about going hungry. It’s also a time to cleanse the mind and spirit as well as the body. Muslims give millions to charity in this month and in some countries the poor are fed for free during Iftar (breaking of the fast time).

In my home for Iftar I prepare special traditional dishes for my family and my friends. First we have dates and some water, followed by my famous onion bhajis as well as some samosas, along with a mouth-watering masala dish and some chappattis...all washed down with a nice cup of tea and something sweet - then, not so traditional but must for me - a Mr Kipling almond slice!

For the recipes for onion bhajis, email Parveen via www.ParveenTheSpiceQueen.com or watch her video in her youtube channel, Parveen The Spice Queen.