Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fasting in Ramadan: A traditional “iftar” meal in Pakistan

Fasting in Ramadan sometimes gets akin to feasting in Ramadan as people approach the iftar time with anticipation of consuming good food after fasting all day. With changing times, the food preference of people has also changed and many western, Italian, Chinese and Arab dishes have become part of Pakistani cuisine. However, some traditions never change and people of Pakistan still look forward to their favorite iftar meals in Ramadan. Most of these items are prepared at home by women and great planning goes into the preparation of these savory iftar dishes.
Dates of every hue, color, texture and price are consumed in abundance in Ramadan. They are highly nutritious and an ideal food item with which to break the fast. Dates can be eaten plain or they can be seeded and filled with almonds, pistachio, cream, butter etc for enhanced flavor. They can be rolled in desiccated coconut or sprinkled with rose essence for fragrance and aesthetics. Dates are also covered with edible silver foil called “warq” to make them more appealing and giving them a place of honor on the iftar dining table.
No iftar in Pakistan is complete without this triangular, spicy and fried delicacy during ramadan. The wafting aroma that comes from fried samosas is enough to make one salivate and look forward to the iftar time. Samosas can be filled with mashed potatoes, onions, spicy mince meat, cheese, chicken or cooked vegetables. It is usually served with mint, coriander or tamarind chutney. Literally thousands of samosa stalls spring up during Ramadan in every nook and corner of the country where vendors start frying this savory iftar item well before the maghrib prayers to meet the demands of the fasting populace.
Jalebi is a pretzel shaped sweet dish that is generally eaten with samosas to counter their salty and spicy taste. It is also made of fried batter that is poured in concentric circles and then soaked in sugar syrup. It is usually bright orange and yellow due to food coloring.
Another mouth watering iftar itemin Ramadan, pakoras are fried balls of gram flour. A variety of vegetables including onions, potatoes, spinach, corriander leaves, eggplant and green chilies can be cut into tiny pieces and mixed with spicy flour batter. They are then deep fried to make tasty fritters. Onion rings, potato wedges and cauliflower florets can also be coated with the batter and fried to make a heavenly dish. The more adventurous like to dip whole green chilies in the batter and fry them for a very hot iftar.
For the health conscious, fruit chat is a preferred alternative to spicy pakoras and fried samosas during ramadan. A variety of seasonal fruits like mangoes, bananas, apples, guavas, apricots, grapes, pine apple etc. are cut in small cubes and served in juice. A few lemon drops are squeezed over the dish to keep it from changing color and a little salt, chat masala (spice mix)and pepper are sprinkled on the dish to give it a zesty flavor. It is extremely nourishing after a long day’s fast.
Another delicious food item to grace the iftar table inramadan is the chickpea or “chana chat.” This dish is made of boiled chickpeas mixed with boiled and cubed potatoes, chopped tomatoes, onions, green chillies and served with dollops of spicy tamarind chutney. A fabulous dish to tantalize the taste buds, chickpea chat is also quite nutritious and healthy.
Water is the best option for quenching thirst after a 15 hour long fast for most people. In Pakistan a variety of sherbets, sweet syrup-based drinks, are also available that are prepared for iftar. Cold milk mixed with sherbet or soda is also commonly served. Packaged or fresh juices, lemon squashes, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks are also consumed. After iftar, drinking tea or ‘kehwa’ is also a common practice.
Many restaurants and cafes offer a large variety of traditional and international cuisine during Ramadan. However pizzas, burgers, spring rolls etc. still have not gained much popularity as iftar items. Since iftar is a time to eat and rejoice with family and friends, homemade items still hold sway over other foods. While iftar spread at every household tends to reflect the personal tastes and preferences of that family, the above mentioned items remain popular and ever appealing.

Taken From Cuisine Online

Ramadan Flight Offer

As the Holy month of Ramadan is the month of giving, this Ramadan working professionals living in the Middle East can still benefit from our ‘Ramadan Flight Offer’ until 30 September 2010.
This offer entitles students who want to pursue a postgraduate degree online to enrol now for the University of Liverpool’s 2010 intake dates and make their graduation dreams a reality.
The ‘Ramadan Flight Offer’* includes a free return flight for you, if you:
  • Complete your enrolment now
  • Start your studies on or before the 16 December 2010
  • Graduate no later than December 2013

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


based on the viewing statistics that youtube provides i can see that over 90 readers of this blog have viewed the first video attached to my post below.. i must say i was surprised that no one out of the 90+ commented.. :)

either way - tomorrow evening is the jewish new year and then ten days later we will be fasting for yom kippur.. as such it is a holy period for us all.. from this angle i would like to wish us a year full of new beginnings and peace.. a year during which we make room for feelings of trust and beliefs of hope and friendship so that our future generations can live in a worlds that is better than today's and blessed by our cooperation as we face inevitable challenges that none of us will be able to solve alone..

may this rosh hashana and yom kippur along with this ramadan bring us good times ahead..


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

mass jaffan yiftar..

what a shame.. seriously.. i could only stick around for a short while.. an hour and then i had to go to see a dr.. last time i came to the iftar at the arab & jewish community centre in yaffo was two years ago.. its invitation only.. this year i went along with a friend after being cordially invited.. i was flattered and excited.. a room full of hundreds of people.. many from NGOs or schools or community groups.. it was beautiful..

the food was plentiful and abulafia - a local historic baking institution - sponsored the event.. it was attended by the mayor of telaviv ron huldai and a member of knesset (israeli parliament) fouad.. both spoke fluidly about all sorts of big stuff like co-existance and peace and the impending negotiations between israel and the palestinian authority.. bla bla..

for the most part - the most awesome aspect - was just sitting together at tables with pepole who had never met each other before yet share the same community.. suddenly discovering close connections new and old.. smiling warmly and realising that we are a family.. we do share the space and we love that space..

it was just a meal.. and for me just a short meal.. but one of those cherished experiences that inspire you to believe that peace amongst people is possible and even more than that - peace is desirable.. its not a compromise.. its an elation..

ramadan kareem to all.. and shukran ramadan for the opportunity to draw hearts closer together..

for a full collection of photos and comments from the night you can go to a local article about it..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

serene light..

ramadan is in full swing here in my town of yaffo (israel) as well.. the mosque near my house recently changed the guy that calls for prayer.. the new guy has a great voice and his melody is really beautiful.. i may not be muslim but i like how the call dances through the air each time.. you can tell this new guy is trying.. not as many ramadan lights are up as there were in past years - or at least it seems that way to me.. still last night walking past the mosque i appreciated the serenity radiating out of this solitary light.. the surrounds are being renovated by the council and so the streetscape is a bit hectic.. but the people kneeling inside seemed so calm..

as per previous years - i anticipate joining the massive yaffo iftar at the arab jewish community centre.. hopefully ill have some cool photos and videos..

wishing us all a nice day..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ramadan Comedy

A nice video about Ramadan.

Obama Ramadan Adress 2010

President Barak Obama addressing an audience at a dinner hosted at the white house to celebrate Ramadan.

Obama's 2010 Ramadan Dinner

A great post about the Ramadan dinner hosted by American president Barak Obama this year, includes pictures from the now annual Ramadan event.

A Non-Muslim Celebrating Ramadan

Our alarm played classical music at 4:02 this morning, and so we awoke for breakfast before dawn. Though we are not Muslim, this will be my fifth year fasting for the month of Ramadan, and Martin, my husband's, fourth. The morning sky was filled with stars and a few clouds when I went outside for the newspaper. There was no hint of daybreak.

We had a simple breakfast: blueberries and cottage cheese, toast with olive oil and za'atar (Palestinian grandmothers say it makes you smarter!). Most important: a big glass of juice, followed by a big glass of water, then (for me) a cup of tea. It is such a long summer day ahead, and the fast for Ramadan will mean no food and no water until 8:07 p.m. this evening.

When I first decided to fast for Ramadan, I asked advice of two friends who are Muslim. One told me that the decision to fast must be personal and private. He advised me not to write or talk much about it. I choose to set aside his advice now because I would like to share what I have learned and continue to learn through this experience, and use it as a lens in these turbulent times to describe the many ways I will connect with people of various faiths in the month ahead.

Muslim readers will undoubtedly find our Ramadan fasting incomplete. Non-Muslims may be curious. I hope both groups will use this space to post comments and respond thoughtfully to questions.

"Ramadan Kareem" is one of the greeting one offers to Muslims at this time of year. Kareem is an Arabic word with positive meanings: decent, generous, kind, noble, honorable, precious, good, gentle, valuable, respectable, good-hearted and open-handed. I hope to describe how my Ramadan experience has been all of these.

Friday, August 13, 2010

So it's this time of year again. (written 9/8/10)

Ramadan approaches, and muslims worldwide are preparing for their annual (lunar) month-long fast.

To many non-muslims this may mean grumpy corner-shop owners, not being able to get an evening taxi for love nor money, or the almighty shopping exodus towards Eid.
And the not being able to get a restaurant table for love nor money.
But to many muslims, it is a time of reflection, inspiration, sacrifice, focus, family, and of God.

And so it will be for me again, albeit not with the full dedication it takes to not eat or drink (or for some orthadox muslims, swallow their own parched saliva) during daylight hours for a whole month.
My fast will include abstaining from certain food stuffs and drink stuffs, doing a liquid fast once a week (where I will only have fluids during the day), and during the last 10 days of ramadan will be hopefully fasting on alternate days.
Why am I, a non-muslim, doing this? Well for me, it is a time of relfection, inspiration, sacrifice, focus, family, and of God.

I hope to write about this, my struggle to resist that can of diet coke (cool, bubbly coke. Fresh, yummy coke...) , my search for meaning in my spirituality, my quest for a cleaner body and mind, and more focus.

Day 1 starts the day after tomorrow, so my first decision starts tonight at a meal out with friends... do I partake one last time, or get a good start on abstaining??

This time less than three years ago,...I also had the pleasure of being in Lahore, Pakistan just as Eid hit.

Staying in old Anarkali, with a room overlooking food street, I was nightly treated to the constant ebb and flow of people. Lahories love to eat. And talk. Men, families, arriving to eat at the tables set up in the street to meet, eat, and talk (I couldn't get that to rhyme). I roamed in the rush-hour safety of the Anarkali market, absorbed sights, sounds, smells, and sat in a confetti of flies during an afternoon watching families enjoying the Eid fair (to the concern of the hotel manager, Mr Anxious), shaking hands with shy young girls wearing a lot of make-up.
I watched Dawn news whilst escaping the pressing midday heat.
During my stay I experienced the overwhelming hospitalityof some of the locals, beautifully simple kebobs, oddly complex burgers, friendly locals, love-hungry yound men, and a wild west restaurant serving pasta. Was I confused? Yes, yes I was. (But being a bit of a perve, I was also very amused)
And as I explored that amazing city as much as a lone white girl can, perused Lahore fort and the museum, marvelled at shrines and red-brick buildings, dodged traffic, and met people. So with varied results and conflicting memories, I had to move on. But the memory of the Eid festivity on Anarkali and the life of Lahore has stayed with me.

Here are a couple of pictures, firstly one above of food street hazy with the smoke from taktaka pans and general heat.
And the next, one of my favourite ever. Local Muslims deep in prayer.

Please do not use any of my pictures without my permission, they hold some very dear memories and I'd hate for that to be violated. Thx.

From Abskii.

The beginning of another test

Ramadhan - for many of us it is simply a month where we shy away from indulgences; for others it is a period of reflection; for many though it still remains a duty to be performed as a God-fearing muslim.

Whichever category we fall into, one thing is for sure - the very first day is always nervously approached.

A hundred questions come into our wavering minds. Will we keep the faith and make it through the month; will we be able to overcome the pangs of hunger, thirst and desires; Will we prove to ourselves and Allah that we are indeed worthy of a place in his jannat?

And on a more realistic note, we wonder if we will get up on time for the very first Seher; whether the soft mattress and duck-feather pillows can be given up for a token meal which is supposed to carry us through the day?

But all these fears are banished - because we hardly sleep thru the night. Those who are fortunate to attend the Taraweeh are already awake, and the others anticipate Seher with a trepidation.

The first Seher starts with a cup of tea, some wheatbreads, some fruit juice, and last night's biryani. And gallons and gallons of water.

And then the meal is over.

No, you cannot look longingly at the goodies in the fridge for the whole day. Temptation is Satan's first and most powerful card. And he can play it like a charm. Do not fall for it.

As the day goes by you forget that you are fasting as life pulls you into its usual whirlpool.

The first pangs of thirst pinches you after the sun has crossed overhead. The heat under your collar suggests to you that maybe you should quench the fire in your throat with some cool water. Ah ha! Stay cool my friend, the Lohar prayer shall guide you.

Then evening approaches. The smells of coffee next door, fried knick-knacks from the vendor across the street, and your office colleague busily munching away on his potato chips tease your senses. Asr prays with you and leads you away from all this.

At last, Iftaar arrives.

Strangely though, you don't feel as if you have deprived yourself of anything till now.

Contrary to all fears such as dropping like a stone on the way to work, fainting while sitting at your desk, panting with your tongue hanging half-way to your feet, wanting that innermost basal desire - none of all this has happened. You are calm and look forward to breaking the fast.

So comes the small supplication and then the sweet taste of your first drop of precious water since Seher, followed by the sweeter taste of rich dates. And other goodies - Fritters, fruits, Broth and of course more water.

The deed is done. Maghrib takes you beyond this and you thank Allah for giving you the patience, perseverance and piety for making it thru the first day of Ramadhan.

Insha Allah, the coming days shall be no different.

Flood victims desperately awaiting aid as Ramazan begins

Hundreds of thousands of flood victims are desperately awaiting relief as first day of this year’s holy month of Ramadan dawned across the country on Thursday.

The flood water, after inundating most of the Kutcha area in interior Sindh, is now making its way towards the cities while a heavy flood is being feared to pass from Chenab River at Head Khanki in the next few hours.

These people are homeless, have lost every thing and are sick, hungry and looking for help. Please help them in whatever way you can this Ramadan.

We had previously written a detailed post appealing for help for the flood victims of Pakistan you will find contact information for Organization which are there but could use your help. Open your Hearts this Ramadan and help these people in whatever way you can.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan Anywhere

The following was received through email, it is an example of what Ramadan is like for people around the world. It suggested we start a facebook page which I will try to do in a couple of days. If anyone has something to share feel free to email it to us.

Every year Ramzan brings  a new excitement. One year I shared it with some colleagues in Montreal, Canada. The previous year I was in Singapore. Two years ago I was closer home, in Mumbai, India. A year before that I spent the whole of the month in Hyderabad, India.
This year I think I may be home in Chennai.
Every place offered me something new. Every seher was different, every Iftaar was splendid. Wish I could have taken fotos in all the places. Could have shared them with you.
And every year I look at Ramadan Kareem for all the interesting posts. Can't I link up thru Facebook?
I hope to share some experiences this year too.
Ramzan Mubarak to all my fellow brethren.

So, it's this time of year again.

Guest Post By Fasting But Not Furious.

Ramadan approaches, and Muslims worldwide are preparing for their annual (lunar) month-long fast.

To many non-Muslims this may mean grumpy corner-shop owners, not being able to get an evening taxi for love nor money, or the almighty shopping exodus towards Eid.And the not being able to get a restaurant table for love nor money.But to many Muslims, it is a time of reflection, inspiration, sacrifice, focus, family, and of God.

And so it will be for me again, albeit not with the full dedication it takes to not eat or drink (or for some orthadox muslims, swallow their own parched saliva) during daylight hours for a whole month.
My fast will include abstaining from certain food stuffs and drink stuffs, doing a liquid fast once a week (where I will only have fluids during the day), and during the last 10 days of ramadan will be hopefully fasting on alternate days.

Why am I, a non-muslim, doing this? Well for me, it is a time of relfection, inspiration, sacrifice, focus, family, and of God.

I hope to write about this, my struggle to resist that can of diet coke (cool, bubbly coke. Fresh, yummy coke...) , my search for meaning in my spirituality, my quest for a cleaner body and mind, and more focus.

Day 1 starts tomorrow, so my first decision starts tonight at a meal out with friends... do I partake one last time, or get a good start on abstaining???

Ramadan Gift - Mecca Time

This Ramadan there is another reason to celebrate. Saudi Arabia The birth place of Islam is hoping to set a new time standard for the muslim world as a giant clock in the Muslim holy city of Mecca start to tick Wednesday on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Royal Clock, designed by German Premiere Composite Technologies company, is sitting atop a skyscraper just 50 meters of the Grand Mosque in the city. The clock was designed to be the world's largest - six times larger than London's Big Ben.

The 577-meter Mecca Clock Royal Tower will also feature a lunar observation center and an Islamic museum as well as a luxurious 76- storey hotel.

With the giant clock, Saudi Arabia is trying the present an ideal alternate time standard to the Greenwich meridian; the Mecca time.

Muslim scholars at a conference in Doha in 2008 presented scientific arguments that Mecca time could serve as a true global meridian, given that Mecca is actually the center of the world.

"Putting Mecca time in the face of Greenwich Mean Time, this is the goal," Mohammed al-Arkubi, general manager of Royal Mecca Tower Hotel, was quoted by the local paper as saying. 

Ramadan - First Sehri

Just had my first sehri of this Ramadan. The weather has been better the last few days cloudy all day, but there is slight humidity so the day should pass ok. Sehri is supposed to be one of two meals during the day and it should be enough to last you till sundown in Pakistan that's about 14 hours these days. In Pakistan people usually have Eggs, kababs, parathas, yougurt, Aloo Bhujia etc. Lots of water and milk too. Wish you all a happy 1st day of Ramadan.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pakistan Ramadan Moon Sighted

Ramadan moon has been sighted in Pakistan and Ramadan will start tomorrow. We wish all the best and a very happy Ramadan to All our viewers in Pakistan.

Ramadan The month of Blessing and Charity

Ramadan is the month in which we all come closer to God, it is a time to be thankful to God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon us. It is also a month to look out towards others less fortunate than us and open our hearts to their problems. As Muslims we are duty bound to help anyone in need to the best of our ability, especially in Ramadan people all around the world step up and help others as much as they can.

This is an Appeal of help from Ramadan Blog  for those in Pakistan suffering from the worst natural disaster in history. What was till today described as the worst floods in Pakistan’s history has now been termed as the biggest disaster ever to strike the country.  Worse than the Earthquake in the subcontinent as well as worse than the tsunami that hit the region a couple years back. The floods that have submerged most of Pakistan have been the cause of over 1600 deaths, as well as the displacement of 18 million people who have lost almost everything.

Please Donate to this cause this Ramadan and help these poor people who have lost everything, following is a list of some reliable charities you can donate to.

Besides sending cash through the organizations listed below, you can support by providing following commodities (please do not donate old/expired stuff. Make sure edible items are hygienic and properly packed):
* Clothing: Clothes of various sizes, Bedding, Shoes
* Utensils: Jerricans (large plastic cans that hold 20 liters of water or other liquids), Crockery, Buckets
* Toiletries: Tissues, Soaps, Dettol (antibacterial cleaners), Towels
* Food: Rice, Sugar, Flour (Atta), Onions, Potatoes, Cooking oil, Tea, Milk (tetra packs or powder), Safe drinking water, Cooked Food
1. Water purification tablets.
2. Life saving drugs.
3. Vaccines for malaria, cholera, typhoid, influenza.
4. Pain killers including strong ones like morphine derivatives, tremadol, pethadine, kinz .
5. Antibiotics e.g. tetnus, amoxil, gentamycin.
6. IV cannulas
7. IV Drip sets
8. IV drips: normal saline, ringerlactate
9. Local anesthetics (injections)
10. Cotton bandages, cotton.
11. Surgical instruments: e.g needle holders, forceps, tweezers.
12. Suturing materials, Skin staples.

In Pakistan:
  • Edhi Foundation: Donate here
  • Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation
    Title of Account: Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation
    Account #: 0030445261000455
    Name of Bank: MCB Bank (1028), Super Market, Islamabad-Pakistan
    Swift Code: MUCBPKKAMCC
    Tax Exemption: 6043/ATD/2008-09
  • The Volunteers/ Voice of the Civil Society: VOTCS – a registered (No. DSW 3369-K) welfare organization in Pakistan, operating as a Non-Profit, Public Charity in the North America, Inc. – 501(C)(3) Organization(Tax Exempted). Sending provisions to affectees with the help of Pakistan Army. For more info call: Hadia khan @ +92-3018245999 Sadia Haroon @ +92-3218251122 Irum Farooque @ +92-3002332142. (For donations: HABIB BANK LIMITED ACCOUNT NO: 1549-79001393-03)
  • RONAQ-E-QAINAATYoung doctors are in the process of arranging a series of free medical camps in the flood affected areas. First Camp is at Nowshera. Please Contact Ms. Alina Akhyar at, to email you the Trust’s past activities, bank account details and other queries. They have reportedly done some pretty impressive work. (Account number: 00400101065364, account title: Khadija Nadeem; Askari Bank Chaklala Scheme 3 branch Rawalpindi). Khadija is the founding member, handling all donations.
International Charity Organizations:

Start of Ramadan 2010

Ramadan is a festive period in Islam, one of the holiest and most sacred month for Muslims all over the world. Ramadan is one of the most important months in the Islamic calender which is based on the sighting of the moon. This year Saudi Arabia, and most of the middle east countries will start celebrating Ramadan on Wednesday, August 11th 2010. The rest of the countries will probably start Ramadan on Thursday depending on the sighting of the moon in the respective countries. I wish all the Muslims around the world a very blessed month ahead. May all your prayers be answered in this holy month and may you have all the blessing. A very blessed Ramadan to everyone from all of us here at Ramadan Blog.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ramadan Savories - Hot Brinjal Pickle

Do try this recipe, its something i have been making for years.

1 Kg Eggplant
20 Cloves Garlic
1 Tsp Pepper
25 Gms Ginger
1 1/2 Cups Vinegar
1 Tsp Tumeric
4 Level Tbsp Mustard seeds
2 1/2 Cups Mustard oil (heated and cooled)
4 Level Tbsp Salt
3 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chillie powder - freshly ground

METHOD: Dice the eggplant into 1 inch cubes, rub with salt and set aside for 12 hours, in the sun. Take ginger, garlic, cumin seeds and mustard seeds and grind them together, then add vinegar and mix well.
Squeeze out all the salt water from the eggplants, and gently rub the chillie powder, pepper, tumeric and then add the vinegar mixture.
Then put in a glass jar and pour mustard oil on top of it, then cover and put in the sun every day
for 15 days, but remember to shake and stir the pickle everyday with a wooden spoon. The pickle will be ready to eat after 15 days.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Ramadan at Ping Pong (Table) Dubai

Ping Pong the first dim sum restaurant in Dubai and the latest temptation is offering Dubai residents with special fares this Ramadan. Ping Pong has set a special Ramadan menu for its clients after the sun sets down this Ramadan. The new menu offers a wide variety of dishes including starters, varied variety of Dim Sum, side dishes, desert and mocktails, at the end you will enjoy a great selection on tea. All this for a great price of 105 AED. Don't forget to stop by Ping Pong this Ramadan to enjoy this great food at a great price. To book a table call 800-PING-PONG.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Travel Tips for Ramadan

Traveling to  Muslim countries in the holy month of Ramadan can be very different from traveling there at other times. Many Muslim countries have different rules and regulations during the month of Ramadan. These restrictions on eating, drinking and entertainment during the daylight hours can cause some inconvenience to tourist, but this should in no way stop you from traveling to Muslim countries during this holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month in which you will witness a whole insight into the religion and culture of the place you are visiting, it can be a unique experience. Here are some tips that will help you in your travels during Ramadan.
Avoid smoking, drinking and eating while in public. Most locals will understand that you’re under no obligation to fast, but they will appreciate that you are aware of what they’re doing. To be polite, eat your meals and snacks in the privacy of your hotel room.

In some extreme Muslin countries it’s considered illegal to drink/smoke/eat in public during the period of fasting and could result in fines (this is especially true in Algeria).

Some restaurants will only be open after sunset and it may prove difficult to find places to eat outside of the very touristy areas. In some hotel restaurants, there are screens put in place to separate Western diners from Muslim guests.

It’s very common that day-time business hours are shortened. Most shops will close at 14:00, so make sure you do your shopping beforehand.

When the fast is broken, called iftar, each day it can be very hard to find a taxi since everyone is heading to eat with their family or

Take to the night, that’s when the real cultural experiences start. After the meal, many will go about their usual “daytime” activities during the night which means the streets are alive! Take a rest during the day so you can enjoy the boisterous night-life when the sun sets.
After the month of Ramadan there is a 3-5 day festival to celebrate the end of the fasting period. This is called Eid ul-Fitr. Many Muslins travel to see family and friends during these days so if you want to find a cheap hotel at that time, make sure you’ve booked it far in advance.

Ramadan Savories - Hot Beef Chille Curry

1/2 Kg Beef
2 Med Onions
4 Green Chillies
4 cloves Garlic
1 Tsp Ginger
60 Gr Ghee
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Cup of Tamarind pulp (Soaked in 2tbsp warm water)
Salt to taste

METHOD: Dice the beef into 2.5 cm cubes. Heat the ghee and fry the finely sliced onions and the chopped garlic, till lightly browned. Now slow down the flame an start adding the other spices and the green chillies cut lengthwise, cover with lid and let it simmer for 5mins.
Then add the meat, stir fry it on a high flame for 3mins and lower the flame, add 150ml of warm water, cover the meat with foil paper and let it cook 70mins till the beef is tender.
Add strained tamarind juice to the beef dish and stir fry it of 5mins till the gravy is thick.
This beef curry is best served with boiled rice.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ramadan Savories - Anda ka Salan Madrasi style

This egg curry can be enjoyed with zaffrani mughlai paratha. Do try this for sehri my husband really enjoys for his sehri.

6 Eggs
60gr Ghee
3Tbsp Onions- chopped
Salt and Lemon juice to taste
2 Cloves Garlic
250gr Fresh Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Curry powder

METHOD: Take 6 hard boiled eggs and cut lengthwise.
Then take the chopped onions and garlic and lightly fry in 50gr ghee for 2-3mins.
Stir for another 2-3mins after adding the curry powder.
Then add the fresh finely chopped tomatoes add enough water to form a thick like gravy.
Then add the salt and lemon juice and let it cook on a slow heat for 5-10mins.
Now add the eggs and warm on a slow heat for about 10mins and serve.

(Optional you can also serve with boiled rice.)

Samsung Middle East Celebrating Ramadan

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, a leading technology provider in the telecommunications industry, in association with the Red Crescent, today launched "Make A Wish" initiative during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Richard Joo, General Manager, Marketing Division at Samsung Middle East and Africa head quarter, commented:

"In the spirits of celebrating Ramadan, Samsung created "Make a Wish" online campaign designed to increase the public's awareness of the spirits of the Holy Month and the importance of helping the ones in need."

"We invite everyone to make a wish for their loved ones during the Holy Month and Samsung will contribute a specific amount of money for each wish. The proceeds will go towards the Red Crescent activities for Eid dress for orphans, Zakat El Fiter and Iftar," Mr. Joo added.

With every wish made by visiting Samsung - Ramadan website, the individual will enter a draw to win one of eight fabulous Omnia phones which will be given away during the celebration of Eid El Fitr.

Samsung's Omnia otherwise known as i900 brings together high performance business content, top of the range style and a fun, dynamic multi-media experience, to ensure consumers are always connected both at home and at work.

Omnia, meaning 'everything' in Latin and 'wish' in Arabic, goes beyond the current top-of-the-line features available in today's mobile phones. Samsung Omnia allows users to switch seamlessly between Microsoft Outlook email and productivity applications that replicate the look and feel of their PC, with a stroke of their finger.

The Omnia will be available in the Middle East region later this month.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Ramadan Poem

Ramadan, the field of cultivation for the servant has come,
to purify the hearts from corruption and vices.

Therefore, adhere to it’s rights, in word and deed,
And take it as your provision for the final return (Hereafter).

For whoever plants seeds and fails to water them,
Will wail with regret on the day of harvest.
(Taken from Ibn Rajib al-Hanbali’s book: Lataaif al-Ma’arif)

Ramadan Savories - Pyaz Aur Tamatar Ka Raita

2 Med Onions - finely chopped
4 Med Tomatoes - seeded and chopped
5/8 Cup 150ml Water
A Pinch of Mustard powder
2 Cups plain yogurt - lightly beaten
1 1/2 Level Tsp Salt
1/2 Level t Tsp Sugar
1 Level Tsp chillie powder
1/2 Level Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Fresh Coriander leaves

METHOD: Take water, mustard, salt, chillie powder, sugar and yogurt and mix well together, add the tomatoes and onions and stir well.
Sprinkle finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Prep time: 15 mins - Serves 6

Ramadan Savories - Aloo Bhujia

This aloo ki bhujia compliments the zaffrani mughlai paratha try it.

2 Med Patotoes- boiled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp chat masala
1 Tbsp red chillie- kooti
1 Tsp Nigella
A few green chillies - chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 Tsp Tumeric
1/2 T hp Cumin
2 Tbsp Garlic
2 Cubes Chicken stock
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

METHOD: Heat oil and put garlic, cumin and nigella and fry. Also add the patotoes and stock dissolved in half a cup of warm water, and let it cook for 3mins. Then add the green chillies, tumeric and salt to taste. Let it cook for a min or so till nicely mixed and then sprinkle the red chillies and chaat masala and serve.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ramadan Savories - Zaffrani Mughlai Paratha

This is a savory highly recommended by me to be enjoyed at sehri accompanied by aloo ki bhujia, shammi kebabs, eggs, hot brinjal pickle, cauliflower and white radish pickle, onion and tamato raita and sweet and spicy mango chutney.

2 Cups Wheat flour
2 Eggs beaten with 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsps Ghee
1 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Milk
A few strands of saffron (zaffran) dissolved in 2 tbsps warm water
Water for kneading ghee for shallow frying

METHOD: Sift flour,baking powder and salt together. Make a stiff dough, by adding 2tbsps of ghee and slowly add water and then add milk and saffron and knead well. Now take the dough and make 6 equals portions and shape them into round balls. Take each round round ball and roll it out like a pancake 6" in diameter and coat the top side with a tsp of ghee and fold it over into a semicircle. Now repeat the process by spreading a little ghee on the top side and double fold it lengthwise and press it lightly with ur finger tips. Roll it like a swiss roll whilst keeping the folds intact on the outer side. The press it down with the palm of your hand to make a flattened ball and roll into a square 7"x 7". Now brush each paratha with beaten egg and fold all 4 corners towards the center but keep in mind not to cover the center totally. Now your paratha is ready for frying, heat oil in a frying pan or for shallow frying heat oil in a tawa and fry one paratha at a time and remember to place each one on a kitchen towel to absorb the oil.

prep time: 30 - 45 mins - makes : 6 - 8

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Welcoming Ramadan 2010

Ramadan is fast approaching and is being looked forward to by many many Muslims around the world. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calender and is considered one of the holiest months of Islam. It is a month of blessing  and a month which gives Muslims an opportunity to seek forgiveness from God. A month of fasting and worship. A month that brings everyone closer to ones creator. Ramadan is the time for good deeds and charity, a month to be thankful to God for all his blessings. Prayers are answered in this month and your status is elevated because of your good deeds and worship.

Allah bestows so many blessings upon his servants in the month of Ramadan. This is the month of fasting that is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) fasted during this month and directed his followers to do the same. He told us that whoever fasts this month with faith, seeking Allah’s reward, will have all of his past sins forgiven. He likewise informed us that whoever stands in prayer throughout this month will have all of his past sins forgiven.

The month of Ramadan contains within it a night that is superior to a thousand months. Whoever is denied the goodness of that night is indeed deprived.

We should welcome this month and embrace it with happiness and joy. We should have the truest resolve to observe the fasts and the prayers and to compete in doing righteous deeds. During this month, we should ardently repent for all of our sins and encourage each other to engage in virtuous deeds and call to what is right and forbid what is wrong. In this way, we will succeed in attaining the blessings and the great rewards of Ramadan. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ramadan Savories - Dhai Bhendi

A Recipe easy to make and very tasty... I have enjoyed eating it and cooking it for my friends and now even for my do try it out it looks pretty good on the table...

1/4 Kg Bhendi- Okra (cleaned)
1 Cup Yogurt)
1/4 Cup Water) Mix together
1/4 Tsp Garlic)
1 Tsp Poppy seeds - paste
1/2 Tbsp Nigella
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tsp Garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut paste
1/2 Tsp Green Chillie paste
1/4 Tsp Tumeric
8 Whole small red chilllies
Salt to taste

10 Curry leaves
3 Cloves of Garlic chopped
2 Tbsp Oil
6 Whole small red chillies

METHOD: Heat oil put okra and fry for 5mins. Add all the masalas and little salt and little water
and let it cook till the okra is tender with a slight bite and dry, but dont let it wilt. Before serving heat the okra slightly and remove from the pan and lay it out on a flat dish. Spread the yogurt mixed with garlic, on top of the okra.

Then heat 2tbsp of oil in a pan fry 3 cloves of chopped garlic until light brown, then add 6 whole small red chillies, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and then 10 curry leaves any for a minute only be careful it burns very quickly. Then evenly spread it out on the yogurt okra and serve.

Ramadan Savory Recipes provided thanks to SRAK at DumPukht Blog

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ramadan Savories - Chicken Chunks On A Bed Of Lettuce

2 Cups Chicken cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Cup Boiled Carrots (not overdone)
1 Tsp Ginger
1 Tsp Garlic
1 Tsp Mixed Herbs
1/2 Tsp Crushed Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Green onions
1/2 Cup Boiled Green peas
1 Tsp Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Chopped Tomatoes for garnish (optional)
2 Tbsp Mayonaise

METHOD: Mix the chicken chunks in marination of garlic, ginger, mixed herbs, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Heat oil a karhai and add put mustard seeds, brown them and add chunks of chicken and fry and cook till tender. Lastly add the peas and green onions and stir fry for 5mins and mix with mayonaise and serve ona bed of lettuce garnished with tomatoes (optional).

You can also take pita bread cut into half and fill the bread halves with chicken and order to enjoy a more filling meal.

Ramadan Savory Recipes provided thanks to SRAK at DumPukht Blog

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ramadan Savories - Fish Chinese Style

3 Fish- whole, fillets or pieces (you can use sole, salmon or haddock)
1 Tbsp Cornflour mix together with 1/4 cup Water till smooth
2 Tbsp Soya Sauce
2 Large Capsicums- cut into squares
2 Tbsp Green onions-cut finely
2 Tbsp Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Ginger
3 Tbsp Chilly sauce
2 Tbsp Garlic
1 Tbsp Sesame seeds- Roast till light brown
2 Tsp Red chillies (ground)
2 Tbsp Oil

METHOD: Marinate the fish with ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, soya sauce mix well and set aside for 15mins. Fry fish in hot oil add vinegar, chillies, capsicums and green onions fry and add
cornflour and chilly sauce mixed in 1/4 cup water and then add the fish.
Stir fry well and plate it, sprinkle red chillies and serve.

Ramadan Savory Recipes provided thanks to SRAK at DumPukht Blog

Ramdan Savories- Green Chutney

1 Bunch Coriander
6 Cloves Garlic (roast on a flat pan)
1 Bunch Mint
1/2 Tsp Cumin (whole)
4 Green Chillies
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp sugar

METHOD: Grind all this and add lemon juice, mix well and serve with cottage cheese samosas, potato samosa, pakoras and many other kinds of savories.

Ramadan Savory Recipes provided thanks to SRAK at DumPukht Blog

I am a Muslim !

Monday, July 05, 2010

Prophet's (PBUH) Sermon for Ramadan

Baihaqi reported on the authority of Salman Al-Farsi (Radhi Allah ‘Anh) that Prophet (‘Alaihi Salat was-Salam) delivered a sermon on the last day of the month of Sha’ban. In it he (‘Alaihi Salat was-Salam) said,

“O People! The month of Allah (Ramadan) has come with its mercies, blessings and forgivenesses. Allah has decreed this month the best of all months. The days of this month are the best among the days and the nights are the best among the nights and the hours during Ramadan are the best among the hours. This is a month in which you have been invited by Him (to fast and pray). Allah has honoured you in it. In every breath you take is a reward of Allah, your sleep is worship, your good deeds are accepted and your invocations are answered.

Therefore, you must invoke your Lord in all earnestness with hearts free from sin and evil, and pray that Allah may help you to keep fast, and to recite the Holy Qur’an. Indeed!, miserable is the o­ne who is deprived of Allah’s forgiveness in this great month. While fasting remember the hunger and thirst o­n the Day of Judgement. Give alms to the poor and needy. Pay respect to your elders, have sympathy for your youngsters and be kind towards your relatives and kinsmen. Guard your tongue against unworthy words, and your eyes from scenes that are not worth seeing (forbidden) and your ears from sounds that should not be heard.

Be kind to orphans so that if your children may become orphans they will also be treated with kindness. Do repent to Allah for your sins and supplicate with raised hands at the times of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Almighty looks at His servants with mercy. Allah Answers if they supplicate, Responds if they call, Grants if He is asked, and Accepts if they entreat. O people! you have made your conscience the slave of your desires.

Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate yourself before Allah for long intervals, and make this load lighter. Understand fully that Allah has promised in His Honour and Majesty that, people who perform salat and sajda (prostration) will be guarded from Hell-fire o­n the Day of Judgement.

O people!, if anyone amongst you arranges for iftar (meal at sunset) for any believer, Allah will reward him as if he had freed a slave, and Allah will forgive him his sins. A companion asked: “but not all of us have the means to do so” The Prophet (SAAWS) replied: Keep yourself away from Hell-fire though it may consist of half a date or even some water if you have nothing else.

O people!, anyone who during this month cultivates good manners, will walk over the Sirat (bridge to Paradise) o­n the day when feet will tend to slip. For anyone who during this month eases the workload of his servants, Allah will make easy his accounting, and for anyone who doesn’t hurt others during this month, Allah will safeguard him from His Wrath o­n the Day of Judgement. Anyone who respects and treats an orphan with kindness during this month, Allah shall look at him with kindness o­n that Day. Anyone who treats his kinsmen well during this month, Allah will bestow His Mercy o­n him o­n that Day, while anyone who mistreats his kinsmen during this month, Allah will keep away from His Mercy.

Whomever offers the recommended prayers during this month, Allah will save him from Hell, and whomever observes his obligations during this month, his reward will be seventy times the reward during other months. Whomever repeatedly invokes Allah’s blessings o­n me, Allah will keep his scale of good deeds heavy, while the scales of others will be tending to lightness. Whomever recites during this month an ayat (verse) of the Holy Qur’an, will get the reward of reciting the whole Qur’an in other months.

O people!, the gates of Paradise remain open during this month. Pray to your Lord that they may not be closed for you. While the gates of Hell are closed, pray to your Lord that they never open for you. Satan has been chained, invoke your Lord not to let him dominate you.”

Ali ibn Talib (RAA) said: “I asked, ‘O messenger of Allah, what are the best deeds during this month’?” ‘He replied: ‘O Abu-Hassan, the best of deeds during this month is to be far from what Allah has forbidden’.”

Advantages of Fasting

Fasting is not just the state of remaining hungry and thirsty. If an animal or a disbeliever is confined in a room and deprived of food and water, this is not considered fasting. In fact, fasting has a connection with other acts of worship, such as patience, giving thanks to Allahu ta'ala, and disciplining the nafs. Therefore, it is stated in a hadith-i sharif, "Everything has a gate. The gate of worship is fasting" (Ibn Mubarak).

The nervous system has a vital place in the human body. Those whose lingual nerves have been paralyzed cannot talk. Those whose nerves in their legs have been paralyzed cannot walk. Our lives are in danger to a lesser or greater degree as per the nervous system disorder we experience. People who suffer from neurosis are restless and impatient. Most of the fights and murders that occur within the community spring from being nervous and lacking patience. The hadith-i sharif, "Fasting is half of patience, and patience is half of faith," states that a fasting person is forbearing. (Abu Nu'aym)

Thus, it is seen that fasting is also from faith. Those who have faith do not commit crimes or sins in accordance with the strength of their faith. They keep their temper. There is a zakat for everything, and the zakat of the body is hunger. Because the desires of those who remain hungry by fasting are restrained, it is easy for them to show patience. Fasting people remain hungry. Remaining hungry, in turn, is beneficial: It develops one's insight (basirah) and enhances one's ability to understand. As a matter of fact, it was declared in hadith-i sharifs, "The comprehension of a hungry person increases, and his intellect is sharpened" and "Meditation [tafakkur] is half of worship, while eating little is all of it" (Imam-i Ghazali).

Those who eat much sleep much, thus spending their lives doing nothing. They are like drunks. Their brains become sluggish, and their intellects and memories atrophy. However, hunger brings tenderness to the heart. A hadith-i sharif says, "The interior of a person who eats little is filled with lights. Allahu ta'ala loves the Believer who eats and drinks little and whose body is light in weight" (Daylami).

In a state of hunger, desires are curbed. Leaving disobedience, our nafses become submissive. On the other hand, overeating causes negligence. Just as it is difficult to subjugate a wild horse, so it is difficult to subjugate the nafs that had gotten out of hand as a result of overindulgence in food. Hunger facilitates training of the nafs. It was declared in a hadith-i sharif:

(The human heart is like crops in a field, and eating is like rain. Just as excessive rain causes crops to rot, so excessive food causes the heart to die.) [Imam-i Ghazali]

Those who are always full up become merciless and ruthless. They cannot imagine what it means to be hungry. Gluttonous people become hard-hearted. It was related in a hadith-i sharif, "Do not kill your heart by eating and drinking much" (Imam-i Ghazali).

Those who keep their temper experience inner happiness. Hunger crushes one's hankering to commit sins and prevents one from doing evil deeds. A hadith-i sharif says, "Fighting against the nafs through hunger and thirst is like fighting in the way of Allah" (Imam-i Ghazali).

Those who eat much drink much water. Those who drink much water, in turn, sleep much. Since such people spend their lives sleeping, this state keeps them from earning material and spiritual profits. This means to say that hunger keeps nerves agile and energetic. Repletion results in imbecility. It inhibits memorization and keeping something in mind. A hadith-i sharif says, "Eating a meal once a day is moderation" (Bayhaqi).

Having meals three times every two days [that is, morning and evening meals on the first day and lunch on the second day] was reported to be standard. (Tashil-ul-manafi)

Most of diseases result from eating much. It was stated in a hadith-i sharif, "Eating and drinking much is the source of diseases" (Dara Qutni).

Those who eat little will have healthy bodies. "He who fasts will have a good health," was said in a hadith-i sharif. (Tabarani)

The feeling of pity in those who consume excessively will lessen. Their sensual desires will increase, and they will engage in forbidden deeds. It is necessary to block off all the paths that excite unlawful desires. Hunger, in this respect, blocks off Satan's path. A hadith-i sharif declares, "Satan circulates in the body like blood. Make his passage narrow by means of hunger" (Ihya).

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ramadan Kareem Blog

Hello Readers,
Over the last four years Ramadan Kareem Blog has established itsself as the premiere blog on the internet presenting our visitors with information about Ramadan. Our authors from all over the world include individuals who update our readers with news, pictures and recipies from all over the world relating to ramadan. We have pictures that show how ramadan is celebrated around the world.

With this post I would like to invite people from all over to write about their experiences of ramadan on this blog. If you would like to join the panel of great writers sharing their experience with the world feel free to email me at or and I would be happy to send a blogger invite your way.

This blog intends to be a source of information for everyone. A place where people can share their experience and discuss their faith in a peaceful and informative way. All views are welcome and encouraged as long as they are reasonable and informative.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Innovative tech Gadgets eagerly awaited

As technology advances each year, big companies bring products into the market that do not seize to amaze the technology geeks, each year brings something revolutionary for users to use in their daily lives, the two gadgets that everyone is looking forward to this year are iPhone 4g by Apple computer inc. & Playstation 4 by Sony. These great gadgets will be at the top of shopper's lists this year as they are sure to be products unmatched by any in recent times. Last year iPhone 3G by Apple computers Inc. stormed the technology market and captured hearts of people who loved the sleek and innovative phone and its easy to use User Interface. The iPhone 3G won hearts last year and the eagerly awaited iPhone 4G is sure to win hearts this year. A major change in apple's policy is that it intends to cancel its contract with AT&T and speculation is it might go with verizon CDMA for its new device coming out with Verizon iPhone available to the users. Sony is the other front runner whose product the tech market is looking forward to, Sony is touted to be coming out with a new version of the play station which will have real world motion sensor technology. Although the details of these devices are secretive the market is looking forward to a release date by these two technology giants and eagerly waiting to know what their favorite tech devices will cost