Hello friends! If there is a theme now it is getting ready for Ramadan. Many of you have asked me to share things that work for me and I did so in my previous post and will continue along these lines now. First of all let me be honest and say that while my collection of sprinkles is expansive space in my kitchen is at a premium so I generally don’t indulge in trendier foods unless they bring serious nutritional punch and are easy to use. Boncare, or raw date seed powder, hits the mark on both fronts.
I see all these wonderful influencers out there, sharing their countdowns to Ramadan, their beautifully decorated homes, excited for the onset of this holy month and they make me smile every single time. However, about a second after that smile my secondadry reaction kicks in, the “ohmigod how am I going to survive the 17 hour roza” reflex. What’s the Muslim equivalent of a grinch? Well whatever that is, it takes a lot not to devolve into that person. It is more of a personal challenge for me because I have small kids and I am conscious of them not feeling like Ramadan is when mama is extra cranky etc.
Eid Decor Already?
Ramadan may be two months away, but my girls have already started talking about Eid. The little one because that is when she next wears nail polish (insert eye roll and lol), the big because she is an enthusiastic party planner. We have gotten into the rhythm of hosting something on Eid ul Fitr every year. As the girls get older we make a conscious effort to have that something be an event that involves all their friends. Their excitement over their clothes, getting their henna done the day before, the Eid decor, the impatience with which they wait for friends to arrive, that is the best part.
When Lail of With a Spin, a tasteful Islamic products store, sent these adorable camel cutters and favor boxes to me to try out I instantly knew that whatever I did would have to reflect that bright happy joy. I also love the idea of making a fun whimsical tablescape with items that would actually get eaten or used. My girls got such a kick out of the little camel cookie toppers, and I really enjoyed how the sugar cookies made a simple white cake look so festive.
There are few things in life that are as soul satisfying as a masala-licious biryani. You know what I am talking about – the kind of biryani where you can see the gravy clinging to delicate long strands of rice, wrapping themselves around flavorful spuds and permeating the meat. At the end of long Ramadan fasts all I want is for someone to make it and for me to eat it. With lots of raita, of course. This beauty over here, right down below, is extra delicious. Want to know why (Hint: read the title). Because it is made with Canadian Turkey meat which cooks to tender delicious perfection in this gravy. This Turkey Biryani made its first appearance at our Ramadan table this year, but Turkey Biryani, my new friend, it shall not be your last.
I have biryani-ed here a few times before and I am pumped about it each and every time. When the opportunity to be part of this exciting campaign to discuss the benefits of Canadian Turkey came up I knew exactly what kind of biryani I wanted this to be. My usual biryanis rely on tomatoes for flavor, but this time I wanted to marinate the turkey in a yogurt mix and let caramelized onions bring their rich brothy flavor to the Turkey Biryani. I wound up adding a tomato, but should you not have one feel free to skip it. Rest assured that this Turkey Biryani will still turn out yummy.
Desi truth: We love white sauce. Not the milk/cream, butter, nutmeg and a sprinkling of cheese kind, but the fully loaded variety with things in it that would appal French grandmamas. These Chicken & White Sauce Squares are inspired by the memory of another impressive woman. When I was a teenager there was a lady who made part of her living going from house to house making these squares. They were built with samosa wrappers that would shatter ever so slightly when you bit into them and savoured the creamy deliciousness of the white sauce filling.