Iftaar Alone in Birmingham
It's Ramadan. The eighteen hour fasting time here in England has reduced my life to two meals a day - iftaar and sehri. Normally this would be fine as both these meals are special to me. They're both communal affairs where the whole family gets together, something which becomes especially meaningful in Bangladesh at my grandmother's. There the meals give way to impromptu reunions with aunts, uncles and cousins. Iftaar and sehri are also when certain Ramadan-only favourites like chaap (tenderised beef or lamb curry) and haleem make their appearance at the table, which keep me further placated.
However, here in Birmingham I'm getting none of this! The family is currently scattered all over the world and my culinary prowess definitely doesn't extend to chaap or haleem. I've actually been eating pretty weird things for iftaar and sehri and now, I've decided to share these meals with you instead of my family. You should feel special. And yes, I think I've officially degenerated into look-at-what-I'm eating posts, but I promise they do serve a purpose. See the title saying this is part 1? Well, I'm flying to Bangladesh sometime in August, and hopefully part 2 will be a more interesting post on the traditional Bangladeshi iftaar.
3rd Ramadan - Domino's and Charcoal Chicken
|Beef Mexicano sans chorizo from Domino's & Jerk Chicken from Charcoal Chicken|
Yeah, this was a pretty unhealthy one. But! I'd spent the whole day out and about, watching as my friend ate and ate and ate! Okay, I'm exaggerating (a little), but watching made me extremely hungry and I kind of went crazy when I got home. In my defence, the pizza was on offer and I ate an apple and a banana later.
5th Ramadan - Urban Pie
|Beef and Stilton pie with a side of mash, carrots and gravy|
This was healthier than the last one, right? Again, a result of being out in town with the friend who ate and made me hungry, and consequently I had to get take out again. Quick review of Urban Pie: the the beef and Stilton pie lacked both beef and Stilton, and the mash was too dry for my taste. But the carrots were crunchy, which is how I prefer them and my friend says their lamb and rosemary pie was pretty good. This meal cost £5 on a student deal, but there are plenty of better places to eat in the same price range around Birmingham city centre.
7th Ramadan - An Approximation of What I Usually Eat
|Homemade lemonade, a banana, an orange, buttered toast with sugar and a slice of tarte au citron|
That banana had definitely seen better days, but it tasted fine I assure you. Except maybe the bit at the bottom that had gone completely black, which I'm hiding from you using the strategically placed glass of lemonade. The lemonade, by the way, is a staple of Bangladeshi iftaars. The orange also makes frequent appearances at family iftaars, along with dates, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers etc. The tarte au citron is there because it was on sale at the local Co-Op, and the buttered toast sprinkled with sugar is my current food obsession. It's burnt on purpose - I'm in love with the smell of slightly burnt toast, butter (which I normally abhor) and sugar.
And that's it for now. If you've read on till the end of this post, I'm indebted. But I'll make sure to pay you back in part 2! And if you're a Muslim living in the UK, please share what you guys usually eat during Ramadan? I've always flown elsewhere during the summer (or been really distracted in London) so I don't actually know...