Chapter 6 Ramadan An event to share

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Assalamoalykum. Ramadan An event to share is not only about bloggers sharing their recipes and experiences about ramadan in their specific countries. It’s about connecting with each person who loves food and want to share their experience. This platform has given me an opportunity to interact with many people  here as well as other social media. I came across Leila from Sudan  in one of the interactions on social media. She has her roots in different part of Africa. A medical student with a passion of cooking , today she is sharing her experiences with us .

Ramadan 2016

Assalaamaleykum, hope you are all fine. I am Leila Salah Mohammed, 23years old Sudanese undergraduate medical student currently living in Khartoum.

Firstly, I would like to thank Huma Kalim, for this wonderful opportunity. As a mixed cultural background and ethnicity, I have given it a lot of thought to reach to the decision of choosing which recipe to present, it was not easy.

Born and brought up in Zambia by a Sudanese/Somalian dad and Kenyan/Tanzanian mom sounds very cool right?and not forgetting my 2 brothers and 3 sisters. My parents showed us so many different dishes, and each dish came with a history lesson, this made me have this rich international taste of food, making me ready to accept any food for what it is, so almost everything I ate or came across my travels was edible but living in a foreign Christian country was not easy, Ramadhan spent in usual school hours and all our ‘Eid holidays were celebrated indoors since there was no masjids then, we would congregate anywhere and make our prayers then head back home, dad would slaughter the sheep and I helped to skin it. After that, all we did was cook heavy, dress up and feast. Small family we were, but we made memories…we would all (siblings) sit on a date-straw mat and make a circle, anxiously waiting for our first breakfast together after a long Ramadhan. It was a thing we did every ‘Eid breakfast mom would make Mandazi(Tanzania) also called Mahamri in Kenya served with Maini(some kind of liver fajitas) and cup of spicy milk tea. These Mandazis were made with coconut but since Zambia is a landlocked country, coconut wasn’t easy to come by so on regular days she made them with ground cardamom powder. They were delicious, sweet, soft and air filled triangles (but any preferable shape is fine) eaten with any stew or even just alone but mostly eaten with grilled meats.

Story doesn’t end here, dad would make his Sudanese delicacy umm fitfit (raw meat salad kidney and liver mixed with hot spices) that’s an after breakfast snack. Yeah, I know sounds weird and unhealthy but it’sSunnah, so I have read. Let me not bore you with tales of raw livers….

Mandazi

mandazi

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. instant yeast

7 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. ground cardamom powder

3/4 cup heavy coconut milk

Light coconut milk (just enough to make a soft but not sticky dough. So approx. 1/2-3/4 cup, add slowly) If unavailable use warm water instead

Oil for deep frying

Method:

  1. Sieve the flour, add in the yeast directly into it and the sugar and cardamom.
  2. Start kneading with the coconut milk adding a little at a time until you have a good soft (but firm, not sticky) dough.
  3. Knead it for about 15 good minutes, pounding it as much as possible. To check that it’s been kneaded enough, roll it into a ball and using a sharp knife, make a deep slit through it, it should look slightly bubbly on the inside, then let this dough stay covered outside for about a couple of hours for it to rise before starting to make balls and roll.
  4. It makes about 16 average sized mandazis. Roll out each ball separately into circles and cut each circle into 4 triangles or quarters
  5. . Place the mandazi pieces on a floured surface so they don’t stick. Cover with paper and let them stay like that for another 30 minutes. They’ll rise some more.
  6. Then fry in hot oil. Don’t let it rise too much in the oil before turning otherwise it will bubble or burst and it won’t have a perfect shape. The minute each starts rising in the oil, turn it over. Remove from oil when both sides are a nicely browned colour.
  7. And serve.

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