Assalaamu alaykum (Peace be upon you)!
Let me first start by saying… WOW! It has been an eon since I have come onto the blog! It’s certainly not something I am very pleased with myself about. I have really and truly missed blogging and updating the site regularly but I have just been caught with a number of things in my personal life which have meant blogging has had to temporarily take a backseat for the time being.
One of those ‘things in my personal life’ is a very exciting news I’d like to share with you all – WE’RE EXPECTING A NEW ADDITION TO THE FAMILY! Yes, InshaaAllah this September me and my husband will be welcoming a small bundle of soft and tiny cuddliness into our lives and we could not be anymore excited! Of course, pregnancy comes with it’s own vast array of side effects and I happened to receive the brunt of it 🙂 I experienced the most horrid morning sickness up till 20 weeks pregnant and without going into too much detail, lets just say my goal for those 20 weeks was simply ‘survive’ and ‘not vomit the contents of my stomach out for the third time today’. Regardless, I am so incredibly happy with the blessing of pregnancy and now that I am feeling much more human, I feel like I can resume with a lot of things that were on hold in my life, this blog being one those things, alhamdulillah. Perhaps I will save my pregnancy woes for another post sometime soon!
This time last year, my circumstances were very different! It was my first Ramadan as a married woman and I had just recently graduated and was due to start working from September. I was in full swing RAMADAN mode and at this exact moment in time last year was most likely rolling and wrapping samosas, spring rolls and preparing a variety of chutneys and dips to serve them with! This year, things are much different now and since my pregnancy has gifted me with a horrid aversion to onions, oil and meat, I’m pretty much out of the game!
Ramadan is a beautiful time, subhanAllah. Food is not the main purpose of Ramadan however it is a very much enjoyed aspect of it. Before the start of Ramadan, it is essential to clear our minds and to remind ourselves that the purpose of this month is not to eat till our bellies swell, or to prepare a buffet for the duration of the entire day leaving us with no time for prayer. The purpose of this month is to connect our souls with our Lord, to slow down and engage in purposeful, meaningful worship. I wrote a piece last year on how to eat well and avoid overdoing it in Ramadan which you should definitely check out here!
Having made clear that the main purpose of Ramadan is not to have a month-long food party, it also goes without saying that the food does add a huge element of enjoyment to Ramadan. Without going overboard, it is very possible and fun to have one or two tasty dishes everyday at the Iftar table to break your fast with. Me and my brother have been fasting since we were very young – about 7 years old, and my Mother would always ensure there was at least one thing on the Iftar table that would make us excited about fasting and. by default, breaking our fasts. This is something she’s continued to do for my younger siblings till this day. Some recipes are tried and tested, traditional no-fail recipes that you will see on virtually all Iftar tables, such as the glorious pakoras and samosas, however there are also plenty of other things to add variety to your Iftar menus. I’ve sourced out some of the tastiest, yummy-est and most enticing recipes on the web for your own reference and mine, from FatimaCooks and around the web – to keep our ideas flowing without having to spend too much of our valuable Ramadan time thinking ‘What shall I cook today?’ These recipes are all from sources I trust or are all recipes I have personally tried out, so rest assured that even if you make these on a day you are fasting, your results will be grand! Have fun, enjoy and remember me in your duaa’s this Ramadan. xoxo
Mixed Vegetable Pakoras – Fatima Cooks – An absolutely essential Iftar companion
Aloo and Keema Fillings for Samosas, Parathas etc – These two recipes continue to be one of the most popular on my blog. Indeed, they are delicious used as a stuffing for those quintessential samosas!
Shami Kebabs – For The Love of Yum – Shami Kebabs are a weakness of mine. I love how you can make and shape these and freeze them till needed, so handy for guests!
Onion Bhajis – This Muslim Girl Bakes – The perfect desi version of onion rings
Falafels and Red Pepper – A recipe I’ve been using for years and make at least once every Ramadan
Mango Lassi – Jamie Oliver – Good Ol’ Jamie
Chana Chaat – Bajias Cooking – A video from my favourite YouTube cook who I trust with my eyes closed
Namkeen Dahi Barrey – Flour and Spice – A favourite at my in-laws
Meethe Dahi Barrey – Veg Recipes of India – My Fathers favourite and the sweet equivilant of the aforementioned Dahi Barrey
Nunor Bora – Recreating Recipes – I love Bengali cuisine! Nunor Boras are a fantastic vessel for chutneys, dips, fillings, you name it!
Seekh Kebabs – This Muslim Girl Bakes – Much loved at my house served with mint chutney, salad and a crispy naan
Tamarind chutney – Red Lychee – A delicious, tangy chutney that goes beautifully with crispy fried goods
Mint chutney – My Ninja Naan – A chutney my husband adores and cannot have his pakoras without
Plum chutney – Fatima Cooks – If you’re looking for something with a sweet and tangy kick, much like the tamarind chutney, this is the one