One week of Ramadan has just gone by and it has been very enjoyable. I'm spending this Ramadan with my siblings, a change from last year when I was alone for half of Ramadan. Our iftaars are filled with laughter and cooking together. My mother who lives in another town worries that we're not feeding ourselves properly. Of course we're not making the typical Indian iftaar which consists of many delicious fried goodness. We don't have the patience of making the pakoras and samosas, choley, and paranthas. Also we've all pledged to eat healthier with the occasional indulgences. Aunty, who is like our second mother called to tell us that she cooked extra food for us. She also worries that we're not able to make a proper iftaar. She asked what we ate and was aghast that it did not include pakoras and samosas. Our meals have consisted of a delicious fruit salad of plums, strawberries, cherries, kiwi, apples, and bananas; a refreshing cold drink made with all the fresh fruit that is in season for the summer; and a main course with meat and vegetables. The menu in my mind in the mornings is much longer and consists of various dishes that I know I'm not going to get around making but sounds so delicious when the first hunger pangs hits around 11am. Visions and smells of biryanis, kormas, fluffly buttery naans, lasagna, enchiladas, and chocolate cake dance in my head. By the time the sun sets around 8:30pm and we take the first sip of our drink and bite of date, all of those fantasies of food dissipate and the simple date seems to be the most gourmet and delicious food ever eaten! By the time we're done with the fruit salad and appetizers, we're so full that we just pick at the main course. The meal takes all of 20 minutes, half of that time we're talking and laughing, our energy restored by the food. Despite the whole family not being together, we manage to make the iftaar a memorable and blessed meal. Despite our hungry stomachs and the younger brother who eats the equivalent of two people, we always have food leftover, a true blessing from God. Mom will be coming next week, we will probably have pakoras and samosas and chicken biryani.... can't wait.
|Roohafza lemonade with a samosa, cucumber and lemon infused water.|
|Watermelon and lime cooler with mint, lentil soup with beef kabob and fruit salad, chicken tart on puff pastry with cucumber and tomato salad.|