Monday, August 1, 2011

Ramadan Mubarak Everyone

Ramadan Mubarak everyone! Ramadan is the name of the holiest month in the Islamic Calendar. The Islamic calendar is based on the phases of the moon. This is the time of the year in which all Muslims of teen and adult age must fast for 30 days from dawn (sunrise) until dusk (sunset). They must increase their good deeds and worship during this month and continue the habit for the rest of the year until Ramadan comes again. It's a time for spiritual renewal and awakening as busy lives and obstacles may distract us throughout the year.

With Ramadan right in the middle of summer, I thought I would post a simple but refreshing recipe for a yogurt salad I love eating at iftar (the meal we eat to break our fast at sunset).

This "salad" is called Bhoondi and it's made up of tiny deep fried gram (chickpea) flour balls, fresh yogurt and some Chaat Masala (a melody of spices great for savoury indo-pak snacks).
You can find the Bhoondi and Chaat Masala at your local South-Asian grocery store or regular grocery stores have started to carry it as well in Toronto, Canada.

Here are the brands that I use. Shan for the masala and Surati for the bhoondi. All you need are the following:

1 pkg Bhoondi
1 tub yogurt (2% MF or more)
1 box Chaat Masala (Shan is best)
optional finely chopped coriander (cilantro)

1. Fill a deep bowl with bhoondi. Slowly add warm water until all the bhoondi are submerged in the water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then drain the water.

2. Add 1 1/2 cup of yogurt to the bhoondi. Stir until all bhoondi are coated in yogurt. If it seems too dry, add more yogurt. The texture should be as pictured below.

3. Add desired amounts of Chaat Masala (kind of like salt, add to taste!). If you are not fond of foods that are too spicy, simply sprinkle a pinch or two. If you want to be daring, please add more!

4. For garnish, add chopped coriander to the top of the dish.

5. Serve immediately (it should be slightly cooler than room temperature). Refrigerate any leftovers...if you have any!

TIP: You can also add finely chopped tomatoes, green chilies, canned chickpeas to the entire mixture for added flavour and texture. Also, if one full pkg of bhoondi is too much for you, simply make half of the pkg. Save the other half for another day.

ENJOY! It's really refreshing on a hot summer day.

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