This month kicks off a riot of festivals in India and around the world.I will showcase some of them as the year progresses.First of all 'Ramadan Mubarak' to all.A billion hearts in devotion, thirty glorious nights and 30 days of food and festivities. Although fasting is about abstaining from food and drinks (sunrise to sunset) yet food does become a focal point with so many parties, Iftar buffets and Ramadan food festivals(five star hotels) and not to forget the parties hosted at homes.I will try to portray Ramadan celebrations in the Indian Muslim community in India and Saudi Arabia with a prime focus on food.
No Ramadan is complete without dates.The fasting on any day is ended at sunset with a date...(apart from other reasons)probably because dates are high in simple sugars which the body can absorb to give instant energy.
In Saudi Arabia one of the most beautiful places to be during Ramadan is home to many good quality dates.You can choose from a variety of them the best being - Anbar, Khidri, Sukry, Barhi Naboot Seif, Kholas, Sekki, Agwa etc.they come Fresh, Semi ripe(rhutab) or pressed.You can also find designer dates stuffed with dry fruits, date truffles, chocolate pralines in addition to date drinks, date jams etc.Featured above are khidri dates (like chocolate they melt in the mouth)
In the morning before starting the fast(pre dawn meal -'suhoor')dates are taken with laban(thick butter milk) and in the evening at the end of the fast, dates are eaten with fresh breakfast cream.If you haven't tried dates with fresh breakfast cream then you have missed something..so this Ramadan try the dates with cream.Of course its laden with calories..Enjoy!Also dates are served with qahwah(Arabic coffee) as the coffee which is flavoured with cardamom and brewed in a dallah(coffeee pot)is not sweetened.At every sip biting into a date thats held in the hand with a tooth pick is the custom in Arabian countries.You must try it!