WATCH: Ramadaan recipes to try this week
The Holy month of Ramadaan, which is the period that Muslims all over the world are required to abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk for 30 days, is all about strengthening faith, reflecting on the past year and being conscious of your community.
As serious as it is, it is also a time where the community comes together to break fast during Iftar. Considering the current global situation, however, most people will not experience Iftar with their extended families.
That, however, does not mean you can’t indulge in delicious Ramadan food traditions. You can still embrace cosy dinners within the security of your home.
Below are recipes that are perfect for such a joyous occasion. Not only are these recipes delicious and easy, but they also require basic ingredients, many of which are pantry staples or can easily be purchased at a neighbourhood store.
Pumpkin fritters are your one-hit-wonder of the Ramadan playlist. Very unexpected, unknown to most, but loved by all and repeated every year. Pumpkin is nice as a vegetable but aces the dessert gig, and in the holy month of Ramadan, you will enjoy this dish no matter which religion is yours. Locally known as pampoenkoekies, this is an ultimate favourite in the Muslim Cape Malay culture.
2 cups of cooked mashed Pumpkin (All the water should be drained or steamed away. Then mash with one teaspoon of butter)
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 self -raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
Oil for frying (cooking oil)
200ml whipped cream
10ml golden syrup
Mix all the Fritter ingredients in a bowl; your batter should not be runny, else your fritters will be too mushy, it should resemble an almost stiff dough.
Fry the fritters until crisp and brown on both sides in a hot pan with 2 tbsp of oil on medium to high heat. Try adding the oil a little at first as you don’t want an oily soggy fritter.
Tip: If you see the fritters don’t hold its shape at first while frying, add a little more flour to your dough into the mixture and bind it together
Finish off your fried fritter with the whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, syrup, and off you go on stage
Recipe by Chef Naseer Abdullah. Lead Kitchen, Radisson Red Cape Town
Cape Malay Lamb Curry served with Toasted Almond Rice
Serves: 3 -4
One of Cape Town’s most popular dishes is the Cape Malay Curry, which is less red and spicy compared to the curries originating in India. It is robust and deeply flavoured using spices that the Cape Malay slaves from the 1600s had access to.
Ingredients for the lamb curry
500g lamb, diced
2 onions, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 tin (400 gram) chopped tomatoes
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2tsp grated fresh ginger
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
3 cinnamon quills
3 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1tsp chilli powder (you can put ½ teaspoon if you want it less hot)
½ cup of water
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Ingredients for toasted almond rice
½ cup of sliced almonds
1tbsp unsalted butter
1tsp vegetable oil
½ large onion chopped
1 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
1cup of vegetable stock
1 cup of water
Ground black pepper
Method for the lamb curry
Combine meat and spices in a bowl and set aside.
Sauté the onions in a medium saucepan until they start to brown, taking care not to burn it.
Add meat, tomato, sugar, and water, stir through and simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat.
Add the cubed potato and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add more water if necessary.
Method for the toasted almond rice
Heat the oven to 180°C. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the almonds until golden brown 6 to 8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally and checking for even browning. Set aside.
In a pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are well coated. Add the vegetable stock, water, salt, and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Fluff with a fork, and season to taste. Stir in the toasted almonds, keep some toasted almonds aside for extra garnish.
When serving the lamb curry and almond basmati rice top with extra toasted almonds and fresh coriander leaves.
Recipe by Chef Vonique Van Zyl, Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg