good & crazy days…

Today after work I drove to Truth Coffee to get a nice little bag of coffee, had such an awesome chat with the guys there (they are totally up for a philosophical chat). The lady that sells the Big Issue at the traffic light gave me the biggest fright ever (since I looked somewhere else and immediately she was next to my car)… and the weirdest thing happened… two guys in a car next to me begged me for money – never happened to me before like this… plus, it’s Ramadaan and there are two mosques close to my house… the muslims sing/pray like crazy (very loud) in the mornings and at night… I only know the basics… so I read something interesting today on food24.com

“Ramadaan Mubarak!

What does Ramadaan mean to you? Fasting? Praying? It is, for those of you who still don’t know, the Islamic month of fasting in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn until sunset. (Thanks, Wiki).

For me, Ramadaan was always a month of feeling sympathy for my Muslim friends and colleagues because they couldn’t eat or drink ALL day – that and Muneeba bringing me treats to eat all day at the office (so… the opposite of fasting).

How naïve of me to only think about my stomach. Instinctive foodie reaction, I guess.

The fast sounds strict and rather daunting but if you look at it, religious stuff aside, what a great opportunity to cleanse, purge and detox. For a whole month. And that includes no gossiping, no drinking, no nightclubs, no sex. Which to me translates as no hangovers, no guilt, no horries and as for the sex – well who really does it during the day anyway?

I asked Ulpha (Food24’s office favourite and a Muslim foodie) all about the real Ramadaan and boy did we learn some cool stuff:

Suhoor – The pre-fast meal before dawn (imagine here a tomato bredie for breakfast, or if you prefer… dates and water).

Iftaar also known as boeka – Breaking of the fast immediately after sunset. Iftar takes place at Maghrib (the time to break your fast at sunset) as soon as the Call to Prayer (Adhan) is called.

Lailatul-Qadr (15th day of Ramadan) – ‘The Night of Power,’ concealed in one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadaan; the night on which the Qur’an was first revealed by Jibraeel to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and which the Qur’an itself describes as “better than a thousand months”.

A typical iftaar menu (end of the fasting day):

Dates

Vegetable soup

Samoosas

Koeksisters

Dhaltjies (chilli bites)

Mini pizzas

Flap jacks with strawberry jam or caramel and fresh cream

Falooda

… and this is why we love Ulpha so much… she has given us two of her Grandma’s recipes to enjoy this Ramadaan: fritters and pancakes with coconut filling. Yum!

So even if you’re not fasting try some of these delicious recipes and you too can enjoy Ramadaan. I know I’m going to.”

Well… do what you want. This is just what I “read” … the images… Des and I took at a muslim wedding in January.

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