Sunday 6 July 2014

Ramadan Begins + Salted Chocolate + Fruit Overload: 28 June - 4 July 2014

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Today is the 8th fast of Ramadan, and we have officially been blessed with a whole week already.

 The fasts started off quite enthusiastically but now I think the cracks are beginning to show. Yesterday I felt like I was just going through the motions which I think is probably due to the fasts being so long.
If you're feeling the same, then I encourage you to take a break, have a nap or a lie-down, and I promise it really will help, inshallah.
But what we are experiencing with the long fasts and all is nothing compared to our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Living in war zones, refugee camps, having members of your family murdered yet still being able to fast and thank Allah for the blessings that He has given to you is commendable. 
Whenever I've felt a little tired or not with it this week, I've always tried to think of people who are far, far worse off than me. This has taught me to be grateful for the little things in  life. The things that others may think nothing of, but to you, they mean the world. Thank Allah for the small moments and the big, and be grateful for all He has given to you, and He will give you more, inshallah.
 Saturday: We started off the week by decorating the house in preparation for Ramadan. These are just simple paper lanterns hanging through the banisters on the stairs.
I also hung up this Ramadan bunting which you can buy here!
I tried fresh fennel for the first time this week. At lunch, I made a Quick Salmon and Potato Al Forno.
I was a bit wary of fresh fennel and as I'm not really a fan of fennel seeds because I find them too aniseedy. But the fresh one, when roasted, was absolutely delicious!
Potatoes and fennel were sliced.
They were roasted with fresh parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, butter and olive oil. Then, salmon fillets stuffed with more parsley and fresh mint were placed on top and roasted with them.
This week has really been all about the fruit. Starting with this sweet watermelon.
Fresh strawberries, doughnut peaches, and my favourite - cherries!

 Sunday: An early morning start with the first fast of Ramadan!
I am not very creative when it comes to Sehri. I like normal breakfast food - Soft Scrambled Eggs with Wholemeal Toast.
The place where I learned how to make the best scrambled eggs ever was here!
Mango, passion fruit and papaya yoghurt with chocolate chip cookies
During the day, I baked Chocolate Chip Cookies for the family.
Brown sugar is the secret ingredient in this recipe which I will be sharing with you soon, inshallah.
Update: Here is the recipe.
I couldn't enjoy my usual cookie dough due to fasting.
Mum was cooking a Lamb Curry.
The kitchen just smells so much better during Ramadan.
Here is a fresh strawberry mixture I made to fill a few cupcakes. 
And, I finally got my hands on Pakistani mangoes.
Best mangoes in the world as far as I'm concerned.
Cream being whipped for cupcakes.
Update: Here is the recipe.
Since it was the first fast, we decided to cook up a few Pakistani Samosas but instead of chicken, we filled ours with a Lamb Filling.
Here is our first little Iftar spread (sorry about the lighting, it is after sunset).
Dates, Lamb Samosas, Chicken Laksa Noodles, Keema, Gosht Masala, Roti, Salad, Green Yoghurt Chutney, Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes, Mango Milkshake, Water
 Monday: Iftar for the second fast was:
Dates, Chicken Manchurian, Boiled Rice, Chicken Laksa Noodles, Salad, Watermelon, Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes, Mango Milkshake, Water
This chicken manchurian was so good and you can find the recipe here!
 Tuesday: Iftar for the third fast was:
Dates, Chicken Manchurian, Boiled Rice, Laksa Noodles, Spicy Fish Pakoras, Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes, Mango Milkshake, Water.
Spicy Fish Pakoras
Wednesday: Sehri for the day was American Pancakes.
Indian tea is always on the go in our house for both Sehri and Iftar.
The batter for the pancakes was made.
Mum was making the usual roti.
The most simple thing with pancakes is golden syrup.
During the day, a tonne of fresh fruit arrived in our house.
Fresh mangoes - not from Pakistan though!
Not really for eating but perfect for milkshakes or smoothies.
Melons, grapes, peaches
And, my favourite, Cherries!
And, a tonne of fresh strawberries.
A delicious Banoffee Pie made by my cousin ready for Iftar.
These are a few fruit boxes that I packaged up for family - think I could start a business doing this!
The kids loved the cherries and strawberries!
We used some of the strawberries to make a Strawberry Milkshake.
Strawberries, Vanilla Ice Cream, Milk, Ice
Perfection! And, I love the natural pink colour.
Mum had some leftover batter from the fish, so she fried sliced potatoes in it. Waste not, want not!
More fruit ready for Iftar!
Another day, another Iftar:
Dates, Chicken Manchurian, Boiled Rice, Spicy Fish Pakoras, Spicy Potato Slices, Strawberry Milkshake, Banoffee Pie, Mangoes, Peaches, Cherries, Water
Thursday: Little girls raiding the cookie tin!
Thursday turned into a day filled with chocolate. I got to try the new chocolate from Dairy Milk - Strawberries and Creme! It tasted really good - full of the summer flavour.
But the real treat was this Salted Chocolate and Banoffee Pie sweets that my cousin got from a sweet shop. The salted chocolate was my favourite - anything that is sweet and salty is fine by me!
For Iftar, my mum made these Egg Rolls with leftover keema and eggs.
And, a mango milkshake!
But the main event was Chicken Enchiladas.
Chicken Enchiladas, Pico De Gallo Salsa, Egg Rolls, Watermelon, Cherries
Pico De Gallo Salsa was made by mixing together chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeno chilli, lime juice and salt.
Friday: Mum made Seekh Kebabs.
And popped them into burger buns with salad.
The month of June came to an end this week - can't believe we are already halfway through 2014!

On the blog this week:

Spicy Scrambled Eggs

Yes, the little things! For me this week, they have been:

1. Decorating the house for Ramadan!

2. Trying fresh fennel for the first time!

3. Ramadan starting!

4. How sweet watermelon is right now!

5. Fluffy scrambled eggs at Sehri!

6. Baking my new favourite cookies for the family!

7. Tasting a Pakistani mango for the first time this year!

8. Trying Chicken Laksa Noodles for the first time!

9. Making my cousins' recipe for Chicken Manchurian again!

10. Black dates - enough said!

11. An abundance of fresh cherries, peaches and strawberries!

12. My 2 and 1/2 year old niece wearing her apron and chefs hat - if you know, you know!

13. An amazing Banoffee Pie made by my cousin - best thing about Wednesday's Iftar!

14. Salted Chocolate bought by my cousin - words cannot describe!

15. A vase filled with the most amazing smelling fresh flowers picked from the garden on my window sill all week!

16. My 5 year old niece demanding to know whether cherries were the ones with rocks in!

I hope that you guys have all had a beautiful week whether you're fasting or not, and I pray that you have an even better one to come. Keep me and the whole ummah in your prayers, 


Spice Enthusiast
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