Kichuri, I suppose

I struggle to begin sentences, paragraphs, thoughts, very recently. Oh, woe; yeah, I hear it.  Don’t blame you. When all starts to become one, then much tends to become invisible.

And if you can’t see, hear, feel or touch something, even if it is a sentence, a concept, a previously clear idea that’s merely a reply to several questions of a similar nature, then it’s tricky to begin to talk about it. No, no, tricky doesn’t touch it; it’s soul scratching, looking into the sun pointless, like watching a loved one get joy out of crushing an ant, that sort of ‘oh no, there’s nothing to be done about all this really is there, we’re not taking care of the pennies and now the pounds are gonna slip away, we’re done for and you’re smiling and I love you, for all that matters, but I also love the ant, which offers me a big dose of isolation, confusion, take your pick, it’s all much of a muchness when you muscle down to the feeling…’

Sidestep; I’m pleased with myself; I only referenced the trinity once in that second paragraph. I’m progressing. Less than silent pat on back; praise is welcome, thanks. On the day of the 6th mass extinction I might just get a decent essay out.

This won’t be pretty, the muse – if it were ever present – seems to have giggled up and gone. I’ll stick to the ropes and hope the basic nature of the writing and thinking doesn’t send too many scurrying before the point hits its mark. If only so many of our finest thinkers didn’t lay their heads at the feet of Jesus, Elvis or Beckham, depending on their fancy, it wouldn’t be up to blockheads like me to fritter away your time like this. But they do, and I feel like I must – and why I feel like I must could be the subject of a yet more boring and disjointed page of scribble, another time perhaps –  so here we go.

I’ve done well in my running the past few months. I’ve taken part on (on? in, surely? well, no, maybe) 4 races and run faster than ever before in each one of them. Some have asked about the reasons for my stark improvement, and naturally diet is spoken about. I’d said I’d share some recipes, and I shall. First, though, a few thoughts.

Having lunch with my parents recently, in a pub – there were 6 of us in total – including my Mum’s cousin, who is about the same age as Mum, nearly 80, I listened as they spoke often of my Uncle Brian, no longer here, died of cancer a while back, probably due to his diet of meat and few veg and love of smoking and drinking. I say ‘probably’ because we’re told that 2 out of 3 cases of cancer are self-inflicted, so it seems likely, considering his lifestyle. I thought as they spoke, I wonder, if Brian had been given the choice between eating as he did, and smoking and drinking, on the one hand, and being there at the table with his sister and cousin, on the other hand, I wonder which he would have chosen. It might not have been an easy choice because for all he knew he was doing nothing wrong so how could he get his head round this dilemma and have faith in it, if it seemed so odd? He was at the very centre of British working class society with his way of life; almost everybody did as he did in the old days. It was considered ok, perhaps almost healthy, to eat meat, to drink, to smoke. A little of what you fancy can’t kill you, right?

So that led me to think about the things I believe right now. Can I tell you all, enthusiastically, that you simply must include Turmeric, Pineapple and Apple Cider Vinegar in your daily diet, without fear or concern that in 30 years somebody might look back sadly and say, ‘How foolish he was to make the lifestyle choices that he did. It made him run faster, sure, but given the choice, would he have traded a few minutes off his marathon running time then for a few more years on earth now, if only he had known?’

Often it seems to me that my choices are merely the best of a bad bunch, that I’m just trying to work out the least-worst pathway to take and that the act of eating itself is archaic. Putting stuff in our mouths to power our bodies seems so out of date, and harmful; can’t we just mutate so as to be able to soak up the sunlight like plants do, through our skin? Surely all is one, no? Can’t you feel that too? Don’t you sometimes lose sight of your loved one because you see them so clearly and you’ve no choice but to accept that they’re you, like everybody and everything is, and that because you can’t see you, I mean, how can you see you, you can’t, right? So you can’t see them, even though they’re right there, you just can’t and you worry momentarily that they’ll think you’re ignoring them when it’s very much the opposite in fact you see them as clearly as they can be seen, but then you hope that they see you too and get it, get you.

You don’t see them and through them you see you and that’s when life gets really 100% A1 and if only we could sit at that stage all the time and be content at it then we might be able to deal properly with a better way of how to fuel ourselves.

One day maybe.

So, all that is to say I’m not pretending that I sit on any seat of knowledge when I talk of recipes, or fitness, or health. I thought I did a short while back but having thought about it, that was foolish of me. I have no idea about all that. But I said I’d offer some advice on how I ran faster, and perhaps food is part of all that,

Is this lazy of me? Just a way of writing badly? Cobbling together a cut up beat early 20’s style and throwing in a few far out references and thoughts because it’s late, I’m frustrated, bored with my limited human ability to converse or at least my understanding of it and, and IDK I just can’t say for the moment. So I’ll start to upload recipes, starting with this staple of mine that I’ve been eating all winter. I cooked big batches of it up and took it to work several days a week. It’s filling, supposedly healthy and you can make it as tasty/spiced as you want it to be. It seemed to work for me and it’s cheap, and by today’s standards it won’t give you inflammation/cancer. And it’s vegan so no animals would have died so you could eat. Except the ones that die during the farming of vegetables and rice and lentils. But you can’t see them and nobody speaks about that much and do I blame them?, no, it’ll drive a human of the 21st century crazy to go down that rabbit hole although I do hope if there are people around in the 22nd they’ll have matured enough to handle it.

Kichuri

This is the base recipe; once you make it a couple of times you can increase or decrease pretty much any ingredient to suit your tastes.

Put a tbsp. of coconut oil in a large wok and heat.

Once it’s hot add 1 chopped onion and 3 chopped garlic cloves and fry for 5 minutes. If you don’t like garlic add an inch of chopped ginger. Fill a kettle up and start boiling it.

Add a tsp of turmeric, cumin and coriander, and half a tsp of chili powder and black pepper. Stir.

Add 3 cups of brown rice and 3 cups of brown or red lentils. Stir them around a little and add the water, up to an inch above the level of the rice and lentils. Stir until it doesn’t feel like any of the mixture is stuck to the bottom of the wok.

Add a few tbsp. of soya sauce and the same of agave, maple or coconut palm syrup. I’ve also added a big squirt of tomato ketchup or puree on top of this if I felt like a sweeter taste. Sometimes I add a bay leaf or 2 but to be honest, if you’re going to go for a winter type kichuri then you’ll probably have it so spicy, as I do, as to make the subtle taste of bay undetectable. But if you’re not such a savage or you feel lucky, add bay.

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Have the heat on low/medium and let it bubble away for 40 minutes. Add more water as and when you need it. In the end, the mixture should be a little wetter than you’d expect rice to be, as it will harden when it cools. Have a taste just before you turn the heat off, the rice should be soft-ish, add salt if needed.

To add taste or texture, after 30 minutes of cooking you could add shredded coconut, and veg such as spinach or anything else you fancy. I also often add the juice of a fresh lime.

More coming soon.

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