Photo compliments SAJPICS
Photo compliments SAJPICS
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)
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:
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:
Post-maghrib, we had:
This really sounds like a lot, but really, portion sizes were reasonable, variety was good, and there were enough leftovers to share.
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).
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.
I was on my way home, having turned onto that dreaded narrow road where the bole of the massive tree curves into the roadway. I am ever certain that there is insufficient space for two vehicles to traverse alongside each other. And I am ever wrong.
So there I stood at a standstill, wondering why the driver who approached from the opposite end did not wait for me to clear the tree before beginning his approach. He approached, veered towards the treeside, and flagged me. For an instant I wondered whether he meant for me to go left, because I thought that that was impossible to do safely. Then I glimpsed the topi and as he drew alongside, I rolled (powered?) down my window.
“Salaams, this is for you.”
Tears sprung to my eyes as I said jazakallah and accepted the container of dates.
Our friend A telephoned yesterday to say that she was providing us with dinner. These are the pic’k’s: onions, tandoori chicken with fries sprinkled, and thin rotis (Gujrati cuisine). The eggplant in the composite photo was courtesy of our home (Trini cusine). The cucumber pickle was courtesy of our helper’s St. Vincent roots. By the way, this was spicy spicy spicy – burned the outside of the lips – but a meal you couldn’t stop until you finished every bite. Alhamdulillah for good and thoughtful friends.
This Ramadan, we’ve found ourselves eating lots of different foods. Five different palates in my household, and five different tastes.
This morning for sehri, Youngest, BakerDaughter & Number One Son ate (ewwww), hot dogs. The toppings are horseradish mustard, cheese, sweet relish & ketchup.
I saw ewwww because I really cannot abide the sight or the smell. Although I know it’s vegan. At school, I would remove myself from the vicinity of anyone eating hot dogs. The smell would make me quite nauseous. Having disgusting children who actually like the stuff, I forced myself to cook them. The scent still sets me off though. Thankfully, BH does NOT like them either. (And I have acclimatised myself to his like for corned beef).
Soup is a filling iftaar meal. Pictured here is cow heel soup – cow heel, sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash (which together with the gelatinous cow heel lends to a thick soup), and flour & baking powder dumplings. Adding a slice of bread will amp up the carbs, but with this soup, it is unnecessary – it’s already thick and filling.
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