Category Archives: fasting

Ramadan – the red beans recipe

Following on from the last post, here’s the recipe for Trini style red beans –

red kidney beans (dark red preferably)

garlic (finely chopped or minced)

green seasoning (ha! got you there)

pumpkin (I have not yet gleaned the reason for this ingredient)

onion

tomatoes

hot pepper (scotchbonnet, or habanero or any other hot pepper)

(I might add coconut milk & spinach)

I am adding two links to two chefs whom I find invaluable when I’m looking for a Trini recipe:

http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/red-beans-and-rice/

http://caribbeanpot.com/tag/trinidad-red-bean-recipe/

Ramadan – Trini style red beans for iftar

Unfortunately no photo. But that may be intentional – I have sort of decided to refrain from snapping photos of food for a bit.

Last Saturday, we joined brothers and sisters at Masjid e Quba, in Barbados, to share in the breaking of the fast. A centipede or two also joined us! Masjid e Quba is set along the base of a hillside and amongst cultivated gardens of vegetables. There are few trees, if any, and the …. easterly seaborn breezes (I wanted to use zephyr but apparently that is a westerly wind) sweep across those fields (pastures would be a more Barbadian colloquialism albeit rooted in Her Majesty’s English) with pure majesty to perpetually cool the masjid. Well, the brothers’ section and the L shaped patio at any rate. We have adequate sisters’ space (almost equal to the brothers’) but the partitions are to be modified to give us more air:). At this time, we are less green but adequately compensated by whirling fans electric.

While in the past, we have sat at dustakhans (sheets of newsprint unfurled in long lengths and set on the floor) of the masjid to share in the breaking of bread, this Ramadan we have utilised tables set along that L shaped patio.

So, you remember the mixture of ethnicities and nationalities in my family. What type of menu emanates from that melting pot of persons? (I have a non-Muslim friend who was horrified that the menu was not ‘Indian’ and I had to laugh – Islam and Ramadan span across all races). I had a Muslim friend who was looking forward to Trini roti and red beans. And we had a brother and sister who were allergic to milk (I have not quite classified their allergy – evaporated milk and coconut milk but not mayonnaise or cheddar cheese). You see the dilemma.

So, dinner yielded:

  • Dates
  • Pholorie & cocktail aloo pies with tamarind chutney
  • Water
  • homemade Chai
  • Pleasant surprises of watermelon, strawberries & sweet cherries

Post-maghrib, we had:

  • the ubiquitous macaroni pie
  • potato salad using mayonnaise & apple cider vinegar (elicited from a you tube video on recipes over the weekend)
  • chicken pelau without coconut milk
  • red beans Trini style (with some red stalk spinach thrown in)
  • grilled fish
  • orange cranberry cake (store bought by BH who dislikes store bought cake)
  • mint cheesecake brownies (this was delicious and made by BD but totally offset me by its fully chocolate appearance – I expected swirls)
  • homemade sorrel
  • homemade ginger beer
  • home mixed mauby

This really sounds like a lot, but really, portion sizes were reasonable, variety was good, and there were enough leftovers to share.

 

 

 

Gohst Part 2

I am 4th generation Trinidadian of East Indian extract, married to a Barbadian who at some time in his genealogy must have had Caucasian interspersed with his African heritage. We are Caribbean.

Persons who see me expect me to know how to make dhalpuri & curry. (I can hear my children snickering in the background). I can talk the talk but I don’t always do the walk.

Because of the majority of visible Muslims in Barbados being of Gujrati descent, the cuisine with which we have become familiar is theirs. Hence, gohst. A most delightful disturbance of the palate and olfactory senses. BD has tried making it, as have I. BD rewrites recipes, I do some times. We have captured the scent, but not quite the taste. We believe the missing ‘ingredients’ are the quality and perhaps quantity of spices which we are using. (I have to teach my nose how to know the difference between the spices, and to discern freshness or strength).

Below is a recipe for Punjabi gohst (from daring gourmet) which I have used (minus the spinach as BH is known for his anti-vegetables stance, and I was not cooking 2 pots, and minus the yogurt as BD insisted (rather emphatically) that none of the recipes which she has gotten from her local culinary Gujrati-extract experts show yogurt).

Punjabi Beef and Spinach Curry (Saag Gosht)

Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds beef chuck (or lamb), cut into ½ inch cubes, patted dry and sprinkled with salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter) (paleo: use grass fed or substitute more oil)
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plain whole fat yogurt (paleo: omit)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven or heavy pot. Fry the beef until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Saute the onions for 25 minutes until caramelized. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 3 minutes. Add the spices, except for the bay leaf and cardamom pods, and saute for another minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and the tomatoes and deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up any of the browned bits. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt.
  4. Add the beef cubes, beef broth, bay leaf, cardamom pods and salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add salt to taste. Serve with steamed Basmati rice.

Gohstly suprises for Ramadan (and haleem)

Sometime yesterday I read a comment on one of sheenmeem’s posts on Perfume, that unexpected gifts are much more appreciated than expected gifts (think birthdays, anniversaries). I don’t necessarily agree but I know that unexpected gifts received in Ramadan make me very grateful to our Lord.

Yesterday, BD whatsapped (is that a recognised verb as yet?) that Brother S was passing by to drop off haleem for her from his mum, Sister Zulie. The excitement conveyed in her whatsapp message was evident. What is haleem?

Haleem is a stew composed of meat, lentils and pounded wheat made into a thick paste. It is originally an Arabic dish and was introduced to the Hyderabad State by the Chaush people during the rule of the Nizams (the former rulers of Hyderabad State).

When I got home from work in time to take BD to work, the haleem was there and dished for BD to take with her as her iftar. Off, NoS and I went to drop her off, returning immediately after BH & Youngest returned from Youngest’s football practice (while fasting – insert omg emoji here). Sped up the front steps, hurrying NoS to unlock the door to allow me to pray Asr, and there on a chair on the patio is a blue plastic bag with a food container – BH insisting it was the haleem, we trying futilely to explain that Brother S had been and delivered. We pick up the package and take it into the kitchen. Its contents reveal hot gohst. What is gohst? Wikipedia says:

Gosht refers to tender meat, cooked for a long time, and used as an ingredient in a number of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Several South Asian languages have adopted the Persian word gosht گوشت (also spelled ghosht), meaning “meat” or “flesh”, especially that of goat

The number of persons who could have dropped off the gohst (never for a moment did we think it was not meant for our home) were limited, but …………….. nobody had whatsapped us, think, think, think………….. Post iftar and in that post iftar moments of rest between iftar and leaving for isha & taraweeh salaah, BH reads his phone and the gifter is revealed!

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.” [Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh].

May Allah swt reward the gifters, the gifts, and the recipients this Ramadan.