Saturday, May 24, 2008

Of the bowl of Chili...

For today just enjoy the image above. It is a bowl of Chili that my spouse prepared for dinner. It is a complete vegetarian dish and very nutritious. The first time we tasted it was at a dinner in New Haven, Connecticut when we were living there some years ago. A group of students which includes our youngest daughter, who was studying for their Master degree at Yale invited us to their party. Among the many dishes that the students had prepared is the one call Chili. It has nothing to do with our meaning of the word Chilly, a hot and spicy dish. This one is totally prepared with all kind of beans and it is the tomato which creates that color of red chilly. Thus it looks hot and spicy. It is not hot or spicy at all, but it taste as great. All the ingredients that made this wonderful and delicious food are vegetarian. And because all the foods that were served at this party are vegetarian, I ask why! And soon found out that almost all the students at that party are Vegetarian as well. They all say that they got converted to vegetarian because of the knowledge that they had acquired when studying for their degree on forestry and the environment. Thus they are convinced that one could live a healthy life on this planet by been vegetarian. No white or red meat, only vegetables which includes all the edible green, vegetable oil, the beans and cereals. I am indeed please to get such information from these group of social scientists and with that I am convinced that it is indeed a good way toward a healthy living.

They explain in detail to me that we all need energy to live and that energy comes from the sun. And since our species has not found the way to convert the sun energy direct for our consumption, to get the energy we had to go to a third party. That third party is the plant. Plant is the only species that could convert energy direct from the sun; no other species on this planet could do so. So it is the plant that convert that energy from the sun and stored it for other species to consumed, thus we get the energy to live on this planet. So those students thought that it would be best for them to became vegetarian and get their energy from the plant, the first source of energy and not from the other sources like animal and fish who ate plant to get energy. And not to consumed any meats to get their nutrition. After thinking over it I found how true what these students said. It is a simple logic that we go to the direct source, the plant for our energy need instead to the animal or fish, like us cannot convert the sun energy direct but had to rely on the plant to get their energy to survive on this planet.

On returning to Malaysia my spouse after looking at the recipes and additional input from our daughter and with her culinary expertise, try cooking the Chili and over time she got it perfect and now loved by all members of the family. Guests who came to dinner were at time served with this dish and they seem to enjoy it too. So friend this bowl of Chili is not only a vegetarian dish but nutritious as well, for it contains varieties of beans, tomatoes and the this and that which come with a good culinary culture. Of course with a pinch of Love, that Chili became a yet another wonderful food for the family. Try it and I am sure you would enjoy this wonder complete food and it is vegetarian.

As for vegetarian food, my first encounter and a wonderful experience was when I was living in Chandigarh, India in the mid seventies. A colleague, a local professor of the University where I was a faculty member invites me to his home for dinner. He is a vegetarian thus the food were vegetarian. We sat at the dinning table in his home and on it are spreads of varieties of dishes that look tempting and all are vegetarian. To go with these spreads, is the Indian bread or Roti. The one we refer to here as chapatti. It is served hot and his Mrs. kept preparing it while we eat. It was one of the best meals I ever had and it is vegetarian.

So as one can see that vegetarian food if done well are good if not better then those foods that of white or red meats. Because of all these experiences we are slowly been converted to go vegetarian. At present not totally vegetarian but for a start we would go for white meat rather then red meat. I would still go for red meat from time to time like before. As for my spouse she has completely taken red meat out of her menu. We soon found out that we are more healthy now and I believe it is because of the kind of food we indulges ourselves at this period of our lives. Anyways in our golden age we had to take everything into consideration in order to continue to enjoy living. Have a nice day...


Anonymous said...

Dear PI,

Ha ha... you got me this time. Immdeiately ater the title of your posting, I zoomed to the image to find out why I have not seen such chilli sauce before. Red beans, green beans and corns with chilli sauce?

A special recipe that you got there. A timely reminder to all of us on the benefits of vegetarian food.

Thank you.

Pak Idrus said...

anonymous, thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting.

Actually there are no Chilly sauce in this recipe. It is the tomatoes that made this dish look like Chilly.

Have a nice day.

svllee said...

Fine dining and living indeed!

Actually, some chilli dishes from Mexico are very spicy! I guess there are variations to the theme.

I must however disagree with the Harvards! I love meat too much! If the Almighty did not intend for us to eat meat, why does meat taste so good! That's my logic!

Pak Idrus said...

svllee. thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting. As well sharing your thoughts on the Chili dishes. Yes, the Mexican food are hot and spicy indeed. Remember the chilly was from that part of the world before it was brought by the Portuguese to the East.

Steven. Those students were from Yale not Harvard and it was their personal belief and well!! that is our world. I too enjoy red meat from time to time. The ribs at Tony Roma is simply fantastic. Remember the Kambing at NZ. It goes well with the Roti Canai.

Have a nice day and take care.

louis said...

Hi Pak Idrus,

Over here there's a big organization that sponsors "Chili Cook-Offs" in several states. These are competitions to find the best-tasting or most creative dishes of Chili. Your bowl looks good enough to win. These are big events and the winning cooks and dishes enjoy considerable fame in Chili circles.

I would caution you though that at least in the Southwest, Chili can be quite hot (peppery that is), and often contains beef.. It originated in Mexico, where the word for peppers is "chilis".

Sometimes it is called "Chili con carne", which, translated from its original Spanish, means "chili with meat (beef)".

As you discovered, "Chili" makes a tasty vegetarian dish too.

Pak Idrus said...

louis, thanks for the visit and the additional information on Chili.

Like you said there are variation of this Chili. Even when ordering food here, we ask about the ingredients before placing an order. One reason is that my spouse no longer take seafoods. As for me it is still anything eatable under the sun that I choose to eat.

Have a nice day and take care.

NaNa said...

Pak Idrus,

I love chili con carne. Have never tried the vegetarian chili but I'm sure it is as good.

My first encounter with chili was also in US. Tried it when I went to Texas and I love it the minute I had my first spoonful.

Your posting makes me mengidam for it now.

Pak Idrus said...

nana, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the Chili.

Well like Louis said in his comments there are many variation of the Chili. Like you we got to liking it, thus my spouse tried and got it made for the family.

I am glad that it trigger your thoughts to crave for it. It is not that difficult to do or maybe you could get it at the Dome.

Have a nice day.

Salt & Turmeric said...

Thts 1 of those thing tht i still dont kno how to enjoy even after almost 4 yrs here and not to mention living in southern cali where theres a lot of spanish ppl. Michael on the other hand, loves this dish.

Pak Idrus said...

salt & turmeric, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this subject.

In food one had to be a bit adventurous. Try and it is either you love it or you don't. Nothing venture nothing gain.

Have a nice day and take care.