FOODLORE


How many of you remember eating a spoonful of sweet curd from your mother's, grandmom's, or from any loved one's hand before going out for any exam or job interview? Eating sweet curd or "dahi-cheeni" is supposed to be part of Indian student's life since time immemorial :) And if by chance, this dahi cheeni ritual is missed and the exam was not as per satisfaction, whole blame can easily be put on missing the dahi cheeni before going out for exam.

So what is sp special about a spoon of curd and sugar that our parents would not let us leave without? Sugar helps the supply of glucose to the brain which can help raise energy levels. The stressful hours before the exams drain the energy and having something sweet may provide a quick flow of energy. 

The curd is a prebiotic and known to have a cooling and soothing effect on the body and mind.  When you are calm you are able to retain and recall things better as opposed to when you are too worked up. Being energetic and in control will help in recalling all that is learned which may result in better performance. So, next time when you go out for an exam or an interview, eat a mouthful of "dahi-cheeni" for better performance.

The spilling of salt is also seen as a bad omen. Once it happened at one of my friend's home and her mom told us that whoever has done this will have to pick up the salt with her eyebrows in the next birth. It was a very forbidding thought. After that, I was looking for someone who is picking up salt with eyebrows. When I could not see someone, I get confused. that means that no one has spilled salt in their earlier birth. As a young child, my mind was unable to process this. I asked my mom. She explained to me that since salt is produced by the evaporation of seawater and it's very tough for salt workers as many times they also lose their limbs. Hence it's precious and we should be careful while using it.  

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The "nimboo-mirchi nazar battoo" is seen hanging inside the trucks, buses, cars, and also at the entrance of homes. Seven, nine or eleven green chilies and a lemon tied off a thread is supposed to ward off the evil eye of Alakshami, the evil sister of Goddess Lakshami. Alakshami is considered inauspicious and brings misery and poverty. A new nazar battoo is tied on every Saturday morning. The old Nazar Battu is thrown away every Friday night somewhere far from the house or office. 

There is a story behind this superstition, which goes like this - Once Lakshmi and Alaskhmi came to a merchant’s house and asked him to describe their beauty. The merchant answered very diplomatically. He bowed to each of them and replied “Elder sister Alakshmi looks beautiful when she is seen exiting the house and younger sister Lakshmi looks beautiful as she enters the house.

According to another folklore, wherever Lakshmi goes, Alakshmi comes along. Lakshmi likes fruits and sweets as offerings, and so in Lakshmi puja sweets and fruits are offered to the Goddess inviting her to stay in the house. Alakshmi, on the other hand, likes sour and spicy food like nimbu and mirchi. So if nimbu and mirchi are hung outside the house, Alakshmi takes the offering and leaves from there as per belief. Thus to get rid of the evil eye of Alakshmi, nimbu mirchi is tied at the entrance. It is believed that after consuming lemon and green chilies, Alakshmi loses her urge to enter the premises. She will turn around without casting her malevolent eye.

Such belief or practice resulting from ignorance or a misunderstanding of science. It is usually attributed to fate or magic and perceived as a supernatural influence, or fear of unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, charms, astrology, fortune telling, and certain paranormal entities. As society evolves, they become part of folklore and since these are related with food, we call it foodlores. :)



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