II Edition of Ramadan An Event to Share – Chapter 5

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Continuing our journey today we have Nazeeha from ChilliesandLime from the beautiful country Maldives. Lets check what Nazeeha has to say about her country and how they celebrate Ramadan.

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My Name is Nazeeha, Nammi for  my friends and fellow bloggers. I live in Male’ City , capital island of the Maldives.   Maldives is a muslim country, incase you dont know already.  Ramadhan is a very special month in my country.  As Ramadhan approaches shoppers put up sales and people stock up on food and clean up their kitchens and living rooms, sometimes even give fresh coats of paint and redo the furniture even.  During the last week before Ramadhan there is a small feast called Maahfun, people have pot lucks and just talk about what they are planning for Ramadhan. 
During Ramadhan the working hours are shorter, work starts at 9 am and finishes by 2pm.  My home  is a  big family home, even though my family and my two sisters with their families live in the same house we have our own living quarters so we cook separate and have separate lives. But come week ends we always break fast in our parents  quarters.   The Ifthar meal usually consists of  dates,  Maldivian flat bread , roshi, very similar to chapatti,  a fish curry with gravy, one or two shorteats or little pastries filled with fish and coconut fillings, a sweet dish  and of course fresh water melon. All  this washed down with a freshly made  juice ( usually made with some local fruit ) and lots of tea.
After tharaaweeh my mum usually has  a rice porridge  called baipen , and some of the left over  pastries. Suhur is usually rice with fish broth ,garudhiya with salad.
As Eid approaches shops are packed with shoppers busy getting new clothes for eid. During the old days my mum stays up late at night to prepare the eid feast but now adays she just prepares  the sweet dish and goes to bed early. After Eid prayers  the kids are given presents , everyone hangs out at my parents.  These days its me and my sisters who prepare the eid feast and my mum enjoys the day off  with her grand kids and calling up friends and receiving visitors.  Traffic is stopped during the late afternoon so everyone heads out for a leisurely walk and visiting and just enjoy the day.
I want to share with you  a little sweet dish that is loved by the kids and adults alike in my family. Its called sago bondibai, or sago pudding made with sago pearls .  Hope you like it.

 Sago Bondibai/ Sago Pudding


150g  tiny sago pearlswater
125 ml (1/2 cup) condensed milk
2 tbsp rose water or ½  tsp rose essence
2 pandan leaves, knotted.
½ -1 cup sugar ( depends on how sweet you like it)
1. Heat   about 2 Litres of  water in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.  Add the sago pearls  and cook , stirring occasionally, till they start to go translucent with just a faint  white dot in the centre. 
2. Pour the sago pearls into a colander and wash the pearls several  times to remove the excess starch.
                
3.  Add the sago pearls, ½ cup sugar, condensed milk ¼ cup water and knotted up pandan leaf in  large saucepan or cooking pot  and place the pan back on the  stove, over a medium heat.  Stir to dissolve the sugar , and cook  till the mixture thickens. Taste, add more sugar if you want it very sweet.
5. Finally  stir in  rose water and stir  for about 1-2 minutes , taste add more rose water if you you think it needs an extra teaspoon or  two, as sometimes different brands have various strengths of the rose perfume.   Switch off, remove from the stove top  and keep covered for about 5 minutes. It will cook on its own, and  the liquid level will reduce. 
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