Friday, 4 March 2016

Zoolbia and Bamieh - زولبیا بامیه

Sugar ... We all know it's bad for us but how bad is it really?  We all grew up on eating sugar in some form, whether it was sprinkled on breakfast cereals in the morning or in a cookie in the afternoon or in sauces we've made for a wholesome family meal... we've had in all possible forms too ... honey, brown sugar, caster sugar, maple syrup, glucose in lollies and all other forms hidden in packaged foods ... you name it, we've had it!  We are all surviving but can we blame sugar for all our ills and aches?  I don't know the answer but having been sugar free for 9 months now, I can tell you what happens when you eat a little bit of sugar.

After enjoying something delicious, you'll notice a dull headache and then suddenly it hits you! Like you've just walked into a power pole (I have so, I know). The headache intensifies into a massive throbbing headache and you feel like a giant soft marshmallow then you can't decide if you want to go to bed or if an alien has just taken over your body.  As you try to decide, you'll realise your body and mind are no longer connected and you simply cannot function.  Going to bed and sleeping it off, is probably the wisest action you'll take except you lie in bed in physical pain feeling your intestines jumping up and down. If you've ever experienced a surgeon placing an anesthetic mask on you face and asking you to count then this is the exact same experience without ending up with stitches. 

The next morning you wake up feeling as if you've been discharged from the surgery ward! You'll probably spend the entire day wondering what happened to you and regretting every bite of sugar you've enjoyed the previous day!  You'll end up soon back in bed for a long nap and waking up again promising yourself to stay away from sugar for as long as you shall live and you can't actually wait to tell the whole world that sugar affects your brain the way cocaine does (not  because you've tried cocaine but because now you believe sugar is just as bad) and retell your story to every poor soul who doesn't give a damn about sugar! 

The Baha'i fast started a few days ago and  it's customary in our household to eat zoolbia and bamieh at least once during the fast. Bamieh is deep fried  choux pastry soaked in sugar syrup. Zoolbia is a starch and yoghurt batter fried in a lattice shape and soaked in sugar syrup. Most cuisines have a deep fried sweet dough but these are a cross between South African koeksisters and Indian gulab jamun.  

I strongly don't advise you to eat any of these if you are sugar free but if you are not then live dangerously.