Archive: Ramadan

A Nod to Indonesia

Last night's sunset was religiously momentous on two accounts; it marked Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, as well as the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that includes, among many things, daily fasting. Although it's a little late in the game to offer up Rosh Hashanah menu ideas, I'm dedicating next Tuesday, Sept. 18, to a forum on breaking the fast, in time for Yom Kippur, which takes place on Friday, Sept. 21. It will be your chance to exchange tips and ideas for Saturday's repast after the 24-hour fast, so mark your calendars. I had other plans for today's blog space, but immediately scrapped them when I learned of yesterday's seismic rumblings on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, which has spawned three earthquakes and a resulting -- albeit small --tsunami. (How the words "small" and "tsunami" can be in the same sentence is beyond me.) Indonesia isn't...

 

By Kim ODonnel | September 13, 2007; 12:13 PM ET | Comments (3)

Sweet on Ramadan

Having spent the past few weeks delving into the dishes of Ramadan (which continues until Oct. 23), I earnestly wish I could speak Arabic. (Maybe it's time for some lessons.) Instead, I turn to Pierre, a dear friend who's studying the language. In the process, I've learned that written English translations vary, depending on the country. For example, Tamr, tamur and tamer are all the same word for date. A mountain of date fingers. (Kim O'Donnel) The date is the fruit of the date palm tree, an ancient desert plant native to the Middle East. It's oblong in shape and contains a slender, woody pit. The flesh is thick and sweet. The word "date" is thought to have come from the Latin word for "dactylus, " which literally means "finger." High in potassium, the date offers a decent amount of fiber and, with a 55 percent sugar content, is literally...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 11, 2006; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (13)

Kneading Khubz

In Arabic, the word for bread is "khubz," a general term to encompass all kinds of bread baked in the many countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Similarly, the Italians have "pane," but when it's time to get more specific, they've got words such as foccacia, ciabatta, grissini and piadina. Arab flatbread. (Kim O'Donnel) Americans may be more familiar with the word "pita," a pocket of slightly leavened dough that is filled with falafel and chicken shwarma at Middle Eastern restaurants or torn for dipping into a mound of hummus or baba ghanoush. No matter what you call it, Arab bread is flatbread or a lot flatter than the loaf-style breads of the Americas and Europe. I recently tried making khubz for the first time and the experience was eye-opening. First, I was surprised at how easy it was to make. The dough was clean and unsticky when...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 2, 2006; 11:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

Ramadan Soup for Everyone

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, began this week and continues until Oct. 23. A month of fasting does not mean abstaining from food for the entire time; rather, fasting is observed daily, from sunrise to sunset. In spite of the focus on fasting, food plays a key role in Ramadan, when the fast is broken, at the evening iftar meal. Light fare is the emphasis, as the body needs gradual sustenance rather than a huge feast, after a day without food or drink. Although dates and other dried fruit are often served first to replenish the system, soup is a staple on the iftar table, offering nourishment without glutting the body. To that end, I offer a "how-to" for a soup that pays tribute to late-summer produce. For inspiration, I turned to "The Real Dirt on Vegetables" by Farmer John Peterson, an Illinois farmer and sustainable agriculture advocate who's...

 

By Kim ODonnel | September 28, 2006; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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