The coronavirus outbreak has changed our lifestyle; children are being homeschooled, people are encouraged to work remotely, social distancing is being practiced and several restrictions by the UAE government have been put in place.
With 465,939 cases and 1502 reported deaths, the pandemic continues to spread. There is no doubt that the holy month of Ramadan which is two weeks away, will be similar to the Ramadan we’ve seen in the past. In the UAE, Ramadan is expected to begin on Monday, 12th April and end on Wednesday, 12th May. On the first day of the holy month, UAE residents will be fasting for 14 hours and 39 minutes.
The pre-celebrations have already been put to rest. According to Khaleej Times, special police teams are set to crack due gatherings during Ramadan. These teams will also provide free food so that there is no gathering at any place.
Furthermore, the UAE Fatwa council has declared that getting the Covid vaccine does not break the fast.
The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf has suspended prayers in the mosque until further notice. Taraweeh prayers this Ramadan will be offered in mosques with SOPs intact, where as women mosques will remain closed. Iftar meals will not be allowed inside the mosques. Ramadan tents and donation campaigns are prohibited.
Social distancing and other preventive measures put in place mean no inviting a large group of relatives and friends to house lunches and dinners either. But, all is not lost. This Ramadan, we’ll be praying together as a family and eating scrumptious home-cooked meals.
Here are five tried and tested, finger-licking easy recipes for you to try this Ramadan:
Note: These are Hakeem specials, you won’t find them on the internet!
1. Parathas Rolls for Iftar and Suhoor
Not only is the treat fulfilling, but it can be made for both suhoor and Iftar. They’re super easy to make, and they’re loved by children.
· Frozen parathas or homemade wheat ones
· Store-bought barbecue sauce
· Marinated chicken (Use 1kg boneless chicken, cut into small pieces, and add paprika powder, soy sauce, and black pepper. Freeze for future use. Marinate at least 3 hours before using.)
· Cheese slices (Don’t use them at suhoor time because they can increase thirst.)
· Finely chopped onions (optional)
Fry the frozen parathas or make the homemade ones in minimal oil. Apply the barbecue sauce on them. Fry the chicken and place it in the middle of the paratha. Add cheese and onions on top. Fold from both sides. Serve with fries during iftar and lassi during suhoor!
2. Nutella Date Trifle for Iftar
With everything savory on the table, we all crave for something sweet after iftar. This sugary delight will surely win hearts.
· Any packed cupcakes
· 1 can condensed milk
· 1 jar Nutella
· 4 packs simple cream
· 4 packets biscuits of your choice
· Sliced dates
Take a flat dish, crush your favorite biscuits by putting them in a plastic shopping bag and using a rolling pin over them and then assemble the first bottom layer. Mix two packs cream with the condensed milk and the other two with the hazelnut spread. Add the condensed milk cream layer on top of the biscuits. Now using your hands (washed!), crush the cupcakes and create the third layer. For the fourth layer, add the Nutella cream layer. Garnish with sliced dates! Refrigerate for an hour and then serve! You can also repeat all steps and make it in little glasses as individual servings!
3. Fluffy Sausage Omelet for Suhoor
Breakfast is incomplete with a good omelet in front of you. With this twist, you’re bound to have a great suhoor. It serves three!
· 3 eggs
· 2 thinly sliced fried sausages
· 2 tbsp. milk
· 2 tsp. salt
· 2 tsp. white pepper
· 2 tsp. red chili powder
Separate the egg whites and whisk them separately. Whisk till peaks form. You can use an electric beater to speed up the process. Now add the yolks to the mixture and mix with a spatula. Add the spices and milk. Put the mixture on the stove on low heat, sprinkle on the sausages and cover with a lid. Flip when cooked from the bottom. Fold and serve for a melt in the mouth experience!
4. Butter Chicken for Iftar
Not always is fried food the way to go. For a healthy iftar that leaves you feeling energetic and content, butter chicken is a splendid dish. You can also use the leftover for suhoor the next day!
· 1 kg boneless chicken (marinate with yogurt, and black pepper)
· Salt as per taste
· 3 tbsp. garlic ginger paste
· 2 chopped onions
· 3 diced tomatoes
· 1 tbsp. black pepper
· 1 tbsp. red chili powder
· 1 pack cream
· 5 tbsp. butter
Add the butter in the pan and let it melt on low heat. Fry the onions on low heat until golden brown and then set them aside. Add the spices, ginger garlic paste and tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and paste-like. Add the onions and the chicken. Cook until the chicken is tender. It can take up to 30 minutes on medium flame. Keep stirring at all times. Then, on low heat add the cream and mix. Garnish with coriander and serve with parathas!
5. Cinnamon French Toast for Suhoor
This is a personal favorite because not only is it so easy to make, as compared to pancakes, but it can be done multiple ways!
2 tsp. cinnamon powder
1 tbsp. honey (or powdered brown sugar)
1 tbsp. milk
Beat the egg, powder, honey, and milk together. Pour in a plate and drench the toast from both sides in the mixture. Fry in olive oil on low heat! You can also add a cube of your favorite chocolate or lotus spread on top to sweeten things up more!
It might not be safe to go outside this Ramadan but we can surely bring the restaurant-style dishes to our house this Ramadan!
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