All year round, we look forward to the month of Ramadan. The opportunity to be a better Muslim and do good deeds is a major reason but the other reason is the absolutely scrumptious food that is served.
Yes, we might not admit this in public but who doesn’t love having pakoras, samosas and chaat on a daily basis. However, cooking all this food on a daily basis can lead to major exhaustion especially in the scorching summer heat. To make your lives just a little easier here are some cooking guidelines for this Ramadan:
Make your freezer your best friend!
Forget about any other friends you have because this month the freezer is your best buddy.
Make sure you give it lots of attention aka clean it before Ramadan starts. You DON’T want to serve the Peri bites you made last year.
If there’s even a slightest doubt that it will mess up call an electrician ASAP. Else you might just be throwing an impromptu iftar party with lots of semi-frozen food.
Take out a day and make all your frozen items in bulk; samosas for iftar, nuggets for the kids and kebabs for dinner. Make sure you store them properly with cling-film and in trays so they are easy to fry when needed.
Prepare your meals ahead of time
With this heat no one wants to cook in the afternoon. It’s a formula for ruining your skin and your health. So focus on meals that can be prepared in the morning (when it’s cool) or the night before. Make lasagna in the morning, cover it with cling-film and you can have garma garam cheesy goodness on the table without slaving in the kitchen an hour before iftar. Or freeze some mutton quorma, paye or karhai – just thaw and heat when needed.
Stock up your pantry
You have invited your in-laws over for an iftar party – major izzat ka sawal on your cooking. You are about to start frying pakoras AND suddenly you realize there’s no besan. IF ONLY you had a packet of chatpata pakora mix.
In order to avoid such potential ‘naak katwanay walay’ incidents, make sure your pantry is well stocked. National Foods has a fantastic variety of recipe mixes, which are life savers for jhatpat cooking.
No more smelling of garlic, buy your lehsan ka paste from the store
Gone are the days when we had to make lehsan ka paste by spending hours in the kitchen peeling garlic or make chutney by grinding dhaniya pudina on a sil batta. Now all you need to do is go to your regular store and grab these kitchen staples right off the shelf whether it’s a bottle of green chutney or a jar of garlic paste. The fact that your hands don’t smell of garlic is a major PLUS.
No more crying, it’s time to give your puffy eyes a rest
The process of cooking would be so much simpler if we didn’t have to cut and fry onions. The tears, the sniffling, the mascara running down our cheeks and the fact that it is absolutely impossible to get the smell of onions out of our hair and clothes.
But wait – there is light at the end of the tunnel. Brown onions available in packets at the supermarket, which can be added in gravies or used as a garnish to add, flavor & texture to our favorite food.
As much as we love the crispy masaledaaar AND chatkharaydaar food on Ramadan remember that it takes a lot of effort especially when you are fasting in this heat!
Make your life simple – fast and feast healthy at the same time.