Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ready for Ramadan

With every passing day we get closer to the holy month of Ramadan.

The supermarkets start displaying endless 'popular Ramadan' staples and the offers are non-stop.  This will be a common sight at stores:
One time the offer was so tempting I purchased 20 boxes of creme caramel (or flan) just because they were on an amazing sale.  I used one and the rest stayed in my pantry until they reached their expiration date and I threw them out.

I will be regularly posting recipes and tips over the month of Ramadan and I even have an interesting collaboration coming up that will be revealed closer to the date.

For those who know me know that I love lists.  I have a list for everything.  My life revolves around them and without them I am lost.  Literally.

So if this Ramadan you want to have your ftoor at home and not sure where to start, let me attempt to lay it down for you.  Straight up.  Here are some life-saving lists...

Disclaimer: this list is just a guide and I often have to make visits to the store to buy daily stapes (milk, eggs...etc) and also buy some ingredients that I don't currently have.  If you find yourself frequenting the store please don't hold me responsible. You have been warned.
Just to give you an idea of what my ftoor at home consists of, it is light and healthy and usually consists of:
A main dish
A side dish - either brown rice, vegetables, or quinoa
Baked samboosas and/or springrolls
Something for the kids (incase the main is not something they like)
Light dessert
Tea/Gahwa (Arabic coffee)

When I am at my Mom's however that equation changes and my food intake quadruples with the addition of:
Another dessert
Chay 7aleeb

For recipes, I found that the easier/less time required the better.  There are two websites I frequent the most.  Maggi's website and the forever classic epicurious.  Maggi's website is (surprisingly) full of delicious dishes that are super easy to make and take very little time.  They taste like you have spent hours in the kitchen. 

Some of my family's favorite recipes are:
Yemeni Chicken
Okra and Meat Stew
Spinach and Meat Stew
Chicken in Tomato and Lemon Sauce
Light Mahlabia
Rice Pudding with Peaches 

In my pantry, I stock:
White and brown rice
Dates (that I stuff with roasted almonds)
Beans (kidney, lima, chickpeas)
Nuts (which I actually store in the fridge)
Dried cranberries
Fresh batch of spices (I usually stock up on spices every Ramadan so I know that a year has passed)

Dessert ingredients every Bahraini household has: creme caramel, dream whip, Jello 

In my freezer:
Some cubed lamb (ask your butcher to chop for curry or saloona)
Some mince meat
Some chicken breast
Some chicken pieces (with bone) 

In my refrigerator:
Salad vegetables (leafy vegetables, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes)
Cooking vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes)

I hope this guide is helpful.  I will be posting regularly during Ramadan so watch this space!

Images from icnarelief.org and www.samanthajrjones.co.uk

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