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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ragi Malt ~ Finger Millet Drink

At times, a lot of sadness engulfs the heart and the mind. Unnecessarily, unknowingly, catching me off guard. Being the month of Ramadan, I am trying to create and thrive on a lot of positive thoughts but at times, I do break and as human, it is normal. Somehow, I am reminded of this Hadith today:

There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a man whose heart is attached to the mosques; two men who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allah’; a man who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a man who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears. 
[Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

At times, we need to continously keep reminding ourselves that we do a lot and leave a lot for the sake of Allah. Maybe things may not show as of now, but InShaAllah during the course of time, it becomes visible but not necessarily in this world. A detailed description of the above Hadith can be found in this link, for those who would be interested to read. :)

During Iftar, we normally make something to drink right after breaking the fast. Normally, it is the Tharikanji, but now I am trying more varieties into it. At times, I make oats, or Kooka Kaachiyathu and sometimes even the Paal Vaazhakka in a more flowing form by adding some water. Now I have discovered that the men are starting to like this version of a nice filling drink that I am already putting it into my list to make it at least a couple of times before Ramadan ends. Raagi or finger millet is well known for its benefits, and personally I never liked it before till I tried making this malt, and I must say I am hooked. The only other way I would use raagi was to make this puttu, but now I have found one more way to use it! Hopefully I will try to use it more into my cooking - hopefully, that is! Hehe... Off to the way this healthy drink is made...

Ragi Malt ~ Finger Millet Drink
Serves 2

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Parippu Curry ~ Kerala Style Daal (Lentil) Curry

Many of us fasting forget that there is great reward in the duas (prayers) done closer to the time of Iftar. Therefore, sisters are always advised to finish off their kitchen work and close the kitchen at least fifteen minutes before the time of Maghrib. The below Hadith must be motivation enough to do it:

"Whatever is prayed for at the time for breaking the fast is granted and never refused." 

Think of the matters that are the most important to you - your spouse, your parents, your children, your financial difficulty, anything that will ease your life here as well as your aspirations for the hereafter and ask for it. I already have my little list that I have been asking for during this time and InShaAllah, we have to be sincere and hopeful that He will accept our prayers, provided that our requests are Halaal... :)

At time during Ramadan, we do crave for a meal of rice, curry and fish, even though it is not something regular during the time. I always go for curries that I can whip up in no time, like moru curry or umma's tamarind rasam. Today I am sharing this parippu curry, which is sadya style. For those who don't know, sadya is a platter of variety of vegetarian delicacies along with rice that is served during the festivals of Vishu and Onam in Kerala, India. I found this recipe in between the humongous collection of cut-outs I had and looking at the ease of it, I had to try it. Hardly any work and pleasing to the tummy as well... :)

Parippu Curry ~ Kerala Style Daal (Lentil) Curry
Serves 3

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Healthy Banana Coconut Bread

A few days back, I saw this little slide shared on FB. Somehow, this Ramadan, I have been specifically asking to Allah for a lot of Sabr - patience to wait, patience to do good, patience to control myself, patience to deal with my children (which I am still trying to learn despite being a parent for more than 8 years), patience to take as things come by, patience to be calm, patience to know where to react and where not to... In fact, it seems to be the only characteristic required for a calm and successful life, yet the most difficult to attain. I was browsing through a few articles and found this one which so nicely explained "Sabr" in a nutshell. I also found another article that caught me at the mention of Asiya (RA), the wife of Pharoah who was shown her house in Jannah while she was being tortured, SubhanAllah, and she smiled her way through her death. Whatever followed in that article was worth thinking about. Allah will keep testing us till we are fully clear to reach His Jannah. If we keep that in mind and take into our stride the good and bad in life, we will indeed be the winners in the eyes of our Lord. May He bless us in our striving towards His Jannah with a lot of sabr and thaqwah (piety)... Aameen...

Baking takes a complete backseat during Ramadan, even though I would love to bake once in a while. At times, the preparations, even though minuscule may feel so intimidating thanks to the really hot afternoons and nights, that standing in the kitchen becomes a nightmare. So I am always out of the kitchen as fast as I can and I don't seem to get the mood for baking as such. For those who do bake during this month, this is one bake that is so healthy for a couple of pieces for Suhoor along with a cup of milk! That makes me tempted to bake a loaf of the Moist Banana Cake like I have been doing at least once during the last two Ramadans... Moving on to the recipe...

Healthy Banana Coconut Bread
Makes a big loaf
Recipe adapted from here

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Watermelon Mint Salad

As the days of Ramadan fly by, we need to take time to ponder why fasting has been prescribed. What the Quran states is this:

"Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness" (Surah Al-Baqarah:183)

The ayat is crystal clear - fasting is supposed to teach us two important factors in life - piety and righteousness. If it does not help you achieve it, then we will be at loss. Every Ramadan must be a stepping stone of making you a better human being and more mindful of your duties towards the Creator and towards yourself. In the mad rush called life, we tend to forget to be mindful of a lot of matters in life. May Allah give us His Mercy to discover more piety and righteousness, as He requires us to during this Ramadan and help us carry it forward till we die... Aameen...

Watermelon is one fruit that is always on our Iftar tables. A large plate cut vanishes in minutes, thanks to the kids who are big fans of this delicious watery fruit. Even though I do like it plain, at times, I like it with a mild minty taste and like a little salad, so simple yet gives a nice twist to this delicious fruit...

Watermelon Mint Salad
Serves 4