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For those that do not know, it is currently Ramadan which is a special month for Muslims, we fast from sunrise to sunset for 29/30 days. As it is summer in the UK, we are looking at no food or water for 18-20 hours (different mosques follow different times due to the fact that during the summer it never really gets pitch black). I am not going to get into why we fast as I have done a post about this previously…this post is all about the food! As we only have a few hours to eat, we need to make sure what we eat is healthy and filling. So I dragged the hubby to Waitrose this weekend to stock up on fruit and vegetables.
We came away with plenty of fruit, and some vegetables, including courgettes, potatoes, carrots, and sweet potatoes. In particular I was quite pleased with the fruit we got as the mangoes were on offer at 2 for £3.
Although some people in Ramadan make lots of food to eat when it is time to open the fast, we personally like to keep things simple. And as the fasts are so long, and this year are one of the longest ever, it it vital to ensure you keep hydrated, and get your intake of fruit and vegetables.
One way to ensure you get your intake of fruit and vegetables is with smoothies. I prefer fruit smoothies and this year my smoothie maker is currently getting a major workout after having been abandoned for quite a while and left in the back of the cupboard. Smoothies are also ideal in the morning (talking 2am here) if you do not fancy eating much. My current favourite is a strawberry, date and almond smoothie.
Date, Almond and Strawberry Smoothie
3-4 dates, pitted (the best ones are the moist ones
1/2 cup strawberries
1/4 cup almonds
1 cup milk
Sugar to taste (if you have a sweet tooth like me, although probably healthier without!
Soak the dates and almonds for at least a couple of hours. Then simply blend all the ingredients together. Add more milk if you want a thinner consistency.
I must admit I can be quite bad at getting my daily dose of fruit. One way to eat fruit, as an alternative or in addition to the smoothies, is to make a fruit chaat. You simply pick the fruit you love, cut it into pieces, mix it together and sprinkle with fruit chaat masala! It give’s the fruit a bit of an extra kick. My favourite fruits to add are watermelon, mango, strawberries and kiwi fruit.
We usually eat vegetables in curries but as the fasts are so long, hubby is not liking anything too heavy in the evening. So an alternative way to get your daily dose of vegetables is to roast some vegetables. Those that know me well know I hate cooking, so this is a nice and simple way and you don’t spend too long in the kitchen.
One of the things I remember when I was fasting at my parents was all the fried foods that would be made. Samosas, pakoreh and then obviously kebabs would be made aswell! The hubby prefers not to have fried foods in Ramadan incase he gets heartburn. And it is probably better not to have too much as it can be unhealthy. However, every now and then I do fancy a samosa so I thought I would have a go at making some while hubby looked on slightly concerned that he would eventually be my guinea pig who was going to have to try them out. (He has no faith in my cooking!)
How to make samosas, simple potato recipe
- Ready made samosa leaves (or you can make your own pastry)
- 3 potatos
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- Ginger (1/2 inch piece finally chopped)
- Green chilli to give it a kick (I left it out this time so the girls could eat the samosas)
- Chilli powder to taste – 1tsp should be enough if you don’t like it too spicy)
- Pinch of tumeric powder
- 1tsp coriander powder
- 1tsp cumin seeds
- 1tsp salt
- Splash of soya sauce (not normal in samosa recipes but I was experimenting)
Note: I also would have added peas and coriander leaves but Munchkin is so fussy she refuses to eat them!
Peel, boil and mash the potatoes.
Take 1tbs of oil and heat it up. Add the cumin seeds and once they sizzle add the onions and ginger. Saute until onions turn transparent. Then add the spices (and soya sauce) and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mashed potato (and coriander leaves at this point), mix and then leave to cool.
Once the mixture is cool you can move on to making the somosas themselves. If you are using frozen samosa leaves then ensure you keep them covered with a damp cloth or they dry out.
To seal the end of the samosa I make a paste out flour and water which acts as a glue to make sure the samosa leaf doesn’t fall apart.
Then all that is left is to deep fry them in hot oil. You can also try baking them but I would recommend you brush them with oil first.
And were they a hit?
Well Munchkin had 3 in one go when normally it is a struggle to get her to even eat one.
I think that says it all!