Friday, 27 July 2012

Soul Food - Metaphysical Munchies

When you hear the phrase "food for the soul" do you too think of chicken soup and matzo balls? I'm not even Jewish, and yet it's there in my subconscious. Comfort from with a metaphysical twist.

That's how you could describe this set of articles - comfort food with that metaphysical twist!

Buddhism and Lotus Food

This week we will look at Buddhism and find the lotus flower for our souls.

It is important to remember that the lotus flower is important for Buddhism as a symbol of rising above the muddy difficulties of life to achieve enlightenment (or Dharma - the truth of the Buddha). This 'truth' is basically that each individual should take responsibility for their own actions.

"Rest the mind by directing one pointed attention on a specific object."
- The Ninth Gyalwang Karmapa

Buddhism had three 'jewels': Sangha (Buddhist community), Dharma (Buddha's teachings), the mind (calmed by meditation).

"Great wisdom abides in the body."
- Kalu Rinpoche

The Buddha is often depicted smiling and fat to remind us that a happy heart leads to a contented (full) life. Under the teachings of the Buddha each individual must be the best person they can.

Buddhists realise that food is life, but also food was once alive. For a person to live they have to eat - but what they eat and how it was treated has an effect on them. Everything has a life -even our food- so food is of great importance to Buddhists.

Rice being a staple meal, the recipe I have, connects to Buddhists in a round about way. But they are delish...

Lotus Rice Cakes (Steamed)

I n g r e d i e n t s:

    200g Rice Flour
    2 tsp Baking Powder
    200ml Coconut Milk
    160ml Boiling water
    120g Sugar
    1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence

M e t h o d:
  1. Sieve flour, then combine with coconut milk; mixing well.
  2. Once those three ingredients are fully combined add the boiling water and beat well.
  3. Set aside, to cool.
  4. Once cool, stir in 1 tsp baking powder (to form the 'coconut rice') and set aside for 1 hour.
  5. Combine the sugar and the remaining baking powder, then add the vanilla essence (to form the 'vanilla powder').
  6. Pour the lotus rice-cake batter into foil bun cases (each not quite full) and leave 30 mins to rise.

This recipe was adapted from the Opensource Food collection.

These little buns form peaks that are similar to the petals of a lotus flower.

For a more fun version add a little colour (1 tsp of food colouring) to the boiling water.

I hope to see you back here next week for some more Metaphysical Munchies.


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