Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

EID EID EID Mubarak!

by Khanum

 

Eid Mubarak my Readers. I hope my Muslim siblings are having a fabulous day. I just stopped by to drop over some pictures I took earlier in the morning. Mum is as usual in the kitchen, preparing the Great Feast.  I tried my best to take few shots of the food but I was brutally kicked out – and that’s not something new. hehe

The above picture was taken earlier in the morning. I had just woken up and realized I had fallen asleep  without washing off my hand last night. Yes, you’re right. That’s khanum’s hand. I might share a tip here. If you want your Henna to last longer, rub some oil or vicks over your dried henna. It will  Shine out loud. As for my dress, I am wearing color red and white. As you know I don’t post personal pictures but I can assure you, Khanum is looking fabulous. (Such miracles do happen at times)

Let’s have a look at more snapshots. More will be uploaded soon as the day progresses. If my mother doesn’t hide my camera somewhere that is.

And A big round of applause for my successful theft mission in the kitchen. I had to take atleast one shot of something delicious.  “Kheer” or “Sawaiyan” is a sweet dish, often prepared on ‘Chand Raat’ literally translated as Moon Night, ” A night before Eid. My mother prepared it last night too and decorated it with Pistachio , almonds and Dates. The thin silver paper is absolutely must. Yum yum yummy. I will attack on it after finishing this post.

Our lazy silly Cat!

And that’s my cousin. My favorite shot of the day. She may be a devil but her smile is priceless.

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August 18, 2011

Korean Bibimbap

by Khanum

There are certain cuisines in the world which are first feasted with the eyes.  Easier to make but a bit hard to dish out. Bibimbap (as we know Koreans pronounce B as P ) is a Korean Signature dish – fit to the description above. It was first mentioned  in the Siuijeonseo, an anonymous cookbook from the late 19th century. The author of the cookbook is still unknown but is assumed to be a lady of the yangban – nobility during the Joseon dynasty. So it would not be wrong to say you are having a recipe of the royals.  The name it was given in the cookbook is 부븸밥  and is frequently prepared in Korean households even served on many airlines. And today, It was served at my own house in Lahore Pakistan 2011. Many Thanks to the lady of the yangban.

Click here to see for yourself , how much pride do the Koreans feel to own this dish and  what measures do they take to promote it worldwide.

How to Cook: Easy!

 The word Bibimbap literally means mixed meal. And luckily there are no hard and fast rules for its ingredients except for the boiled white rice. The bowl of rice is then topped with red chilli paste , mixed fried vegetables and meat. An egg is a must in the middle. Most Koreans do not fry it before eating. For them it may be easier to gallop it down but for some Asians including Koreans like us Pakistanis, that is a bit too much in the name of healthy food. It is upto you to place it fried or just use it raw and fresh. Add whatever vegetables you like with sesame oil. Bibimbap is also made of seafood. However – keep one thing in mind. Don’t mix different kinds of meat altogether. That is a big no-no for traditional Bibimbap. Only one kind of meat should go in. If you’re afraid of  lamb, use chicken. Do try it at home. It is one of those dishes where you’ll spend less time in cooking and double the time on its beautification process. Then in the end – all you just do is stir it up together.

Yes – we are nuts like that.

 

August 15, 2011

Principles of My Home Cooking

by Khanum

Cooking each time only and only when you’re inspired will make you discover yourself in many ways.  And cooking only with ingredients that are available at home is like discovering secret doors to Narnia.  My principles are simple and most sensible. I never step into kitchen against my will. I never cook unless or until I’m inspired. And I most certainly never go by the book rules. A good cook must never be afraid of trying out new things but for beginners  its not an easy task.  There’s an issue of recipe card and the chaos of time management. Not to forget the pressure from mommy on head.

Luckily This post is about ‘Item-up’ technique rather than Time-up. Forget the time and  Sniff out the available ingredients in your Kitchen that can help you come up with a proper meal.

I had just three items in abundant. Potato. Tomato & Lots of  Juicy Mangoes.

And here’s what I prepared out of these ingredients.

1- Salsa (My version)

2- Potato Chunks Salad with Mango & Lemon Juice

3- Rice served with Grilled Lady Finger combined with Sweet n’ Sour Masala

4- Creamy Mashed potatoes

5- Simple Pasta with Capsicum

6- And Finally grilled Eggplant which I love mixing with Yogurt! I wish I could say This is the only item that didn’t involve potatoes or tomatoes. But that’s not the case. Mango juice with lemon added just the perfect flavor I could wish for.

Tip: Putting a limit on main ingredients not only invokes creativity inside you but also gives you a perfect chance to show off your chef skills if you successfully pull it off fabulous. So man up! And Just try!

August 6, 2011

LUNAR BEAM BEFORE DUST STORM, 5TH RAMADAN 2011. PAKISTAN

by Khanum

August 5, 2011

My Muslim Brother…And my photography syndrome!

by Khanum

It’s another interesting day of Ramadan at home. One that is about to come to an end. Just few more minutes to go before we break our fast with the Call to prayer. Mum busy in the kitchen. Family set on table, praying. I stopped by to post few photos I took earlier today at home.

I was lucky to get a hold of my cousin brother while  performing his worship duties. Since It’s a rule for Men in Islam to offer their 5 times prayers in Masjid. it’s a rare sight at home to see any male member (either young or old) to be praying at house. This cousin of mine – after praying Jumu’ah in Masjid – probably decided to do some more worship at home. Such a noble soul these days. I luckily was free loaded with FUJIFILM. And you know there’s a saying, Where’s there’s Khanum with a camera, there’s a way!

   here I was caught with my camera! hence:  He went shy…..

 The last one I admit was hard to get. I had to ask him to sit properly. He would complaint. Then my mother in the background would say, ‘She’s the photographer of the house. Obey!’ hence, The Muslim Brother photography mission successful.

August 5, 2011

Ramadan is about finding the path to God

by Khanum

I read something very heart warming on the internet today. Here are the those words of wisdom.

“The month of Ramadan is easily the world’s largest and longest spiritual festival. Muslims strive hard in this month to mend the torn fabric of human spirituality even as political and material impulses tear it asunder.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The Quran instructs that its purpose is to teach Muslims self-restraint. The ritual involves systematic abstinence of things normal to body, mind and spirit. From dawn to dusk the limits are clear; no eating, no drinking, no sex, no fighting, no backbiting, no lying, no anger, no arrogance, no pride, no despair. In this month the sovereignty of the spirit over the body and the mind is reasserted to restore the divine order of things.”

And the title to this piece was ‘Ramadan is about finding a path to God.’

Definitely it’s the case. During Ramadan, there’s a sudden urge to do good. To be good and to spread good. Nothing but Good. Either at home or outside, masjid or your courtyard, Ramadan’s blessed wings spread all over us They move us ,   complete us.

The writer continued…

“The great Sufi Ibn Arabi captured this longing for unity with the divine more beautifully than anyone. He wrote in his The Secrets of Fasting:

My self, had it not been for you, I would not have been

as if I were Him,

were it not for you! Were it not for you!

Indeed the sense of longing for a taste of the Divine is never felt more acutely than it is in the month of Ramadan. In Ramadan we control our appetite for the created things with the fond hope that desire for the Creator will finally be satiated.

Those who fast with genuine dedication, those who struggle to conquer the self, those who give charity — they do experience a feeling of purification that is profoundly palpable.

At the end of the month, for some there is a feeling of lightness, as if the weight of impurities that one had been carrying has been lifted. For others, there is heaviness in the heart and one prays for one more chance to maybe get it right the next time.” (Source Muqtedar Khan)

August 3, 2011

Ramadan Kareem! :)

by Khanum

I realised a very crucial thing on my way home today.

My Role  in Saving the world from Water crisis!!!!!

No drinking water for the whole sunlight hours  constantly for 30 days will obviously result saving the world from going bankrupt on Water! 😛

No KIDDING!

Imagine the bigger picture.

Imagine half of the world practically all Muslims observing fast for 30 days. They not only have to abstain from eating but also from drinking water as well. And it becomes ‘Soney pe suhaga” when God sends rain at both ‘Suhr’ and “Aftari” Time. So the water is not only saved but also doubled by the lovely pour down.

And that’s khanum’s theory of the day which she developed in order to survive through the tough blistering  ‘fasting time’.

Be positive. Is her blood group u see! And a ‘dil behlaney wala’ moto.

Immediately after ‘Suhr Time”. My most basic , elementary and surely a natural question is, : ” What are we having for Aftari? ”

Because that’s what Ramadan is all about . Only  at first. (then later we get bored with food and decide to worship God more seriously)

Our Muslim  mothers think alot, and then  produce a list of items  in the name of Josh and Jazba, that they think  they will cook today. It would start with atleast 10 items. Then slowly but surely – till we all have prayed fajr ,  it decreases to 5.

By the time its noon, the list has already come down to 3 or 4 dishes. And we become more and more sure of the threat that perhaps it will only be a single dish at the table.

But VOILA!!! Our mothers are the great possessors of the legendary  Kitchen Genies.  They successfully end up cooking more than a dozen items for their lazy and hungry kids.

Ah ! Ramadan is a blessing like that.

It’s a blessing for the family when together we wake up in the middle of the night. Acting creepy because there’s no light. (and this happens only in Pakistan many  thanks to our President.) Sneaking up to the kitchen to look what mom’s making. If it’s not a ‘paratha’ and Yogurt! That’s it! We go on sehri strike.

Then in the middle of the day, after praying Zuhr, you just lie down to relax  for a minute. Keyword: a minute.

But who am I kidding. We all know it’s a big satanic minute. At least for me  since I always end up sleeping till the Aftari time, skipping my Aser prayer that too on the first day of Ramadan. Damn. Such an embarrassment when the whole household is at your neck for this.

But a happy thirsty Fasting Day always have a rewarding and peaceful ending. We make alot of Dua before breaking the fast. It’s the best time to make dua for yourself and for your loved ones. Not to forget for the entire Muslim Ummah.

Sirens start ringing. We get our drinks and dates ready. Molvi Sahab stands up and the moment he says “Allahu Akber”, God is Great!

We attack on food. Followed by an attack on water.

Now imagine the bigger picture again. Millions of Mulims fasting for Allah, for One God, going through a series of  adventures through out the day for His sake and then getting rewarded by a series of limitless blessings and food in return.

It’s huge! 😮

Ramadan Kareem to all! 🙂 Please do alot of Sadqa and good work. Feed the needy people and take care of your hearts from indulging in bad work. Ignore the mistakes of others and Thank Allah for everything He has given you.

 

Enjoy the Video!

Note: Some Asians tend to call it as, “Ramazan” while the Arabic dialect is Ramadan. Khanum has seen people arguing to each other on the issue of proper dialect. Some would say Ramazan is right. Using the other dialect won’t make you more holy and stuff like that. Please, it’s a request. Abstain from indulging in such pointless argument. The true Arabic dialect is Ramadan. Other dialects are your choice. Don’t criticise each other, it’s the niyaah in your heart that makes your fast more worthwhile. 🙂