Our Daily Chapati
Not only was the spring weather finally showing its sunny face, Jai and I had a really interesting day in Cheetham Hill yesterday. We began bright and early at the Dashmesh Sikh Temple on Heyward Road, where we were invited to watch the chapati making for the meal made every week for the 100 strong congregation at the end of their ceremonies.
Mr. Bilbar Singh and his colleagues at the Temple were incredibly kind and hospitable to us, as were the woman cooking the meal. We learnt that the woman were creating the meal in memory of their departed mother and mother-in-law and that all the woman in the family eventually showed up to help with the preparation.
Despite the mouth watering smells of of frying onion and okra it was the chapati that Jai was most interested in. Very quickly a production line formed. From the mixed dough, which is just chapati flour and water, the dough is made into balls, rolled flat and then baked on the hot plate. Eventually the hot brown disks are buttered and added to the pile. Within 30mins 100 chapati’s for the meal were made.
We were also invited to spend time in the temple itself and was introduced to the philosophy and ways of the Sikh religion, which is an exemplar lesson in equality, humility and understanding.
We were invited for the meal, as central to Sikh religion is the sharing of food to all, no-one is excluded or turned away. However we had another stop on our agenda and had to reluctantly leave the smells and good people of the Dashwesh Temple.
I don’t want to speak too soon by we looked at a potential space today to house the project in….its looking hopeful….I find out today…
In the afternoon we were joined by Alison and went on the Jewish Museum Heritage Trail led by long-standing historian of the Jewish community in Manchester, Bill Williams and Merton Paul. The tour which was due to be 2 hours extended to 3 as we all engaged in further discussion and information about this fascinating trail of the Jewish quarter.
Many of the buildings I had been looking at on my own walks around the area resulted in being key institutions and cornerstones for the Jewish community. Slowly the fabric of these buildings are decaying and the markings of their original uses are being worn away by new occupants and redevelopment. Only fragmentary in places. the history still seems so vibrant and tangible.
The museum hosts this tour every month please check out the events page for their dates.