August 11, 2011

30 days of iftars: #10

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. So Ramadhan is 1/3 gone; have you made use of your time? I will admit I have not. This year is a challenge for me and my iman is not at its highest. I can't fast because I was sooo sick this past year and had the rejection episode in March. My kidney function hovering around 30% and I have to keep my little buddy hydrated.

That said of course I am able to engage in other ibadah but I will be honest with you all as I try to always do: I am just not doing it. I have been slogging half-heartedly through learning my new surah (114 An-Nas), I make my fard prayers, stay away from major sins, and that's probably the highlight of my Ramadhan. In short, nothing has changed except now dinner must be at an EXACT time and I get up to make suhoor at an unhealthy hour.

I long for those first 3 Ramadhans when I felt spiritually renewed, recharged, revitalized. I know my personal issues have affected me but I take full responsibility. I know the benefits and blessings of this month and I am letting them pass me by. All I can ask is Allah swt grants me forgiveness and helps me get back to the place I long to be, amin.

Alright so on to the iftar menu. (Pretty-birding, ok? lol) I made a nice marqa (which is shorba, soup, served over couscous or some other starchy thing I guess). I did actually take some pics; I know I've made this before but I tweaked the recipe a wee bit and I liked the pics so here ya go.

Since I've posted this recipe before I'll just go over some highlights. I changed my spice mixture to make it a little more savory. I threw some of this into the grinder:

1 tsp coriander seeds
1 clove (not garlic, just a clove lol)
2 dried red chilis
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cumin
pinch salt, dunno why, just wanted to
1/2 small cinnamon stick.

OK so as always I browned my meat (used beef for a change) in olive oil. At first it will release a lot of steam and liquid so it's imperative you cook it til it's dried with just the oil bubbling around and fragrant. Don't be stingy with the oil; our halal butcher always uses very lean meat so the oil is essential. I cover the bottom of the heavy huge soup pot with about 1/4 inch oil. Yeah, not stingy. :-)

After the liquid evaporates, I added my finely chopped garlic, probably 5 cloves of it. Then 1/2 of a larger can of tomato paste (NOT sauce, nasty) which was about 5 tbsp I think. Anyway brown the heck out of it with your flame or burner on medium low; the pot is very heated from cooking the beef so long and it doesn't need a high temp; don't wanna scorch the tomato base.

See how dark the paste becomes and how the oil separates? Niiiiiice

What happens to your lens when you get too close to steamy, cooking food lol

Then I threw in the peeled "baby" carrots and a can of well-rinsed chickpeas/hummus. Aaminah is a hummus fiend masha'Allah so she snacked on a few straight from the can .

Same pic but the first one developed a weird orange line thru it, interesting. :-)

Then I added the trimmed brussel sprouts; my family loves 'em. Plus you know I love to mix up the color of my dishes. :-)

So then I gave it a good boil maybe 20 minutes then added 2 quartered potatoes and made a bit of couscous. I cheat on the couscous btw; I boil water, add it to my couscous then cover and let it steam that way. It comes out fluffy and yummy so no worries. I hate a lot of prep for simple foods.

Alright here is a pic of a half-eaten bowl of soup. Oh I did add a bit too much olive oil; tasted lovely but there was a slight sheen on the top.


Mona Z said...

Lol@ my little buddy, you have a great sense of humor. :) I need to remember to take pics of dinner, I keep forgetting and just digging in!

Aishah said...


Saad loves chickpeas too! I made chana pulao today for iftar and mashAllah, he was sitting picking the chickpeas out of the rice and chowing down.

Bonnie said...

I have not been able to fast either and I feel so dissapointed since it is my first Ramadan, insha'Allah there will be many more.Keeping you in dua's xxx

Nishana said...

How sad that 1/3 of the month of forgiveness has already gone! Insha Allah, I hope you get better with you health. Thank you for the recipe.

Umm Aaminah said...

Mona, I had to move A's hand away. LOL

Aisha, aren't they the cutest? One day Aaminah came up to me, plucked at my eyebrow like she was grooming a chimpanzee, and said, "chickpea!" and popped the pretend chickpea in her mouth. Crazy... lol

Bonnie, masha'Allah you are about to be a mama again! Don't be hard on yourself and just enjoy the ease Allah gives us. Insha'Allah next year or the next you can fast. :-)

Nishana, thank you so much for the comment, I think this is your first time. :-) Please come back often!

Umm Hamza said...

Hang in there sis! I too had very high expectations for this Ramadan and have barely been able to do 10% of them. I got my period the second day and have only been fasting for 3 days so far. I forced myself to sit down around Asr time (when stuff was busy boiling and the kitchen doesn't need me) and read some English Translation of the Qur'an. It really gave me that extra "Umph" to feel like I am in Ramadan and not just any other day. I guess my point is, sometimes action has to come before motivation. Try to throw something else in there you don't normally do -even if it's small. Insha'Allah you'll get your momentum soon, May Allah bless you and your family. Salams!

Umm Aaminah said...

Jazaki Allahu khair Umm H, that was great advice. Insha'Allah I will try to do a little something different every day. :-)

Stephanie said...

Hey there and Ramadan Mubarak! Is your husband Tunisian? Care to post a brik tutorial? Pretty please? :)

Umm Aaminah said...

Hey Stephanie, yep he's Tunisian. Insha'allah I'll do the brik one day if I can get A to help me with it. He's a pretty good cook.

Thanks for the Ramadhan best wishes and I hope all is going great for you. :-)

Anonymous said...

be aware of new hypocrites.They are dangerous to Eemaan.

Umm Aaminah said...

Anon, walaikum salaam. I am confused by your comment so I cannot really reply to it. If you want to clarify I will be happy to respond.

Ma salaama...

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum my dear sister in Islam.

The hypocrites I mentioned abuse, slander and play foul on Islam, Qur’an and prophet ( s a w s) in their blog page.
Their visit here and greetings make you praise and trustworthy but they are not real.
They “pretend” to be well wishers. You never know unless you trapped in their web when
you visit their blog. They suck your thoughts and mind with their terrible thoughts.

They are chameleon.
Their intention of visiting here is to pollute and sow a seed of poison into your faith in Islam..
Be careful.

May Allah guide you in right path and grant you jannah for your efforts.