What does Ramadaan mean to you? Fasting? Praying? It is, for those of you who still don’t know, the Islamic month of fasting in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn until sunset. (Thanks, Wiki).
For me, Ramadaan was always a month of feeling sympathy for my Muslim friends and colleagues because they couldn’t eat or drink ALL day. How naïve of me to only think about my stomach. Instinctive foodie reaction, I guess.
The Fast sounds strict and rather daunting but if you look at it, religious stuff aside, what a great opportunity to cleanse, purge and detox. For a whole month. And that includes no gossiping, no drinking, no nightclubs, no sex. Which to me translates as no hangovers, no guilt, no horries and as for the sex – well who really does it during the day anyway?
I asked Ulpha (our Muslim foodie friend) all about the real Ramadaan and boy did we learn some cool stuff:
Suhoor - The pre-fast meal before dawn (imagine here a tomato bredie for breakfast, or if you prefer... dates and water).
Iftaar also known as boeka – Breaking of the fast immediately after sunset. Iftar takes place at Maghrib (the time to break your fast at sunset) as soon as the Call to Prayer (Adhan) is called.
Lailatul-Qadr (15th day of Ramadan) - 'The Night of Power,' concealed in one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadaan; the night on which the Qur'an was first revealed by Jibraeel to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and which the Qur'an itself describes as "better than a thousand months”.
A typical iftaar menu (end of the fasting day):
Dhaltjies (chilli bites)
Flap jacks with strawberry jam or caramel and fresh cream
Here are two other recipes to enjoy this Ramadaan: fritters and pancakes with coconut filling. Yum!
So even if you're not fasting, try some of these delicious recipes and you too can enjoy Ramadaan.
- Cathrine Shone
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