We started the Advent period with a meatless dish and followed with a rich traditional Christmas dish. It is now time to close down the holiday season and wish you a happy new year with a special dish we cook for new year’s day: chili lentils.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Why lentils?
The Christian calendar dedicates 31 December to Pope Saint Sylvester (314-335), therefore the name Szilveszter, Silvester, Sylvester for the last day of the year in many countries. However, most of what we believe, do and eat and how we behave on this day has little to do with his celebration.
On new year’s eve people all over the world wish for a happy new year. They want to make sure they will be lucky, healthy and wealthy. In one word: happy.
One way to promote health and abundance is to keep out negative and damaging forces. Fireworks might be a modern invention but there’s a long tradition behind them. Thunder and lightning were traditionally thought to ward off evil, therefore people for a long time have been copying the almost deafening sound of thunder. Cracking whips, lighting fires, shouting, crying out loud and merry-making are age-old practices to scare away evil things and bad luck.
But, there are quiet and simple ways also to ensure wealth in the new year. Eating poultry on 31 December helps putting past worries behind us. Eating poultry and fish on 1 January however is forbidden: your luck will walk or swim away. On new year’s day we in Hungary eat pork and lentils. The pigs dig up luck and abundance for us, the lentils symbolize the many coins we wish for.
Chili lentils: traditional dish with a twist of flavour
For those getting bored with classic cooked lentils and sausages, this recipe will bring an exciting new flavor. An almost Mexican feel to the first day of the New Year. The ingredients include a piece of chili pepper, but you may replace chilis with our hot paprika seed-oil or hot paprika flakes
This is how to make chili lentils: Fry onions and garlic, then add minced meat. If you want other vegetables like carrot or pepper, then add them here at this stage. Add salt and pepper, and for special flavor add cinnamon and cumin. Finally add the previously cooked lentils and some corn. Enjoy,
We wish you a happy – lucky, healthy and wealthy – New Year!
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