Iftar – to fry or not to fry…………….

2014-07-07 18.13.14 I’m a member of a chat group which has over the past week posted oodles of pix of absolutely delicious looking fried foods – baajia, pakoras, samosas etc. to break fast. When I migrated here, I kept hearing about the preparation for Ramadan – this meant preparation for meals, and I was boggled! Of course, that was probably also predicated on everyone’s stereotyping of me – “You’re of that ethnicity and that nationality so obviously you know how to make dhalpuri and doubles – tell us! tell us!” :(:( My cooking skills have not necessarily taken well to that stereotyping and while I have tried to make a handful of recipes mine (like pineapple upside down cake which BelovedDaughter has now poached!) I am more comfortable outside of the kitchen than in it. (I did cook the stir fry pictured above – onions, carrots, christophene, kale, broccoli, mushrooms – added to egg noddles and served with rotisserie chicken – not pictured is BelovedHusband’s version of carrots and noodles:)) Iftar, in its purest sense, is the immediate breaking of the fast before the dinner a little later in the night. Growing up, breaking fast in my home was very simple, although the community iftars in the mosques usually revolved around a tea plate of a sahina or baiganee, with some fried dry legumes (channa or black eyed peas) and ginger TEA. On my recent trips home, I’ve seen things like puffs, and pholorie, and fruit added to the plates in some variation or the other.  Grown up, I have kept breaking fast simple. At the mosque we attended when BelovedDaughter and Number One Son were toddlers, breaking fast was usually a date, sliced fruit, and water. The Prophet (s.a.w.s) broke his fast with a date, and sometimes with just water. At home, BD and I break with a date and a beverage (H2O for me and chocolisto or Nesquik for BD). Number One Son and BelovedHusband break with something sweet ranging from (halaal) gummy worms to fudge to kaaja (made by a friend) to chocolate to cake. Youngest will choose from whatever’s available. To be fair, Number One Son will have fruit if we have some. BD has done some trifle with jello meant for her grandmother, week old cake and homemade custard – I was a little perturbed to get home and find the box of corn starch down on the counter with BD asleep and some concoction in the pot – who knew custard was made from corn starch? – and last night presented rock cakes from a recipe and method shown by Aunty Cheryl from Grenada (which cakes were shared with Aunty Cheryl’s sons and grandsons who appeared when summoned). Tonight’s menu is curried egg and eddoes, a spin on http://caribbeanpot.com/tag/curry-egg-and-aloo/ egg and aloo Trini style, but with two differences. One, eddoes instead of potatoes. Two, we’re using my mum’s recipe, so the peeled boiled eggs are fried whole first before being added to the curry at the end of the cooking time. BelovedHusband gets beef and lentils. We will see which the Children will eat. Both being served with Trini paratha – that I CAN make, but didn’t – my preparation was to order some and freeze, thaw when necessary and oven warm or on the tawa. Oh shucks! Forgot we had fresh pineapple and golden melon (something like cantaloupe) last night too. Should have posted a pic of that!

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