Ramadan in quarantine

Ramadan is a month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset (no food or water), and focus on prayer, faith and charity. As you can imagine, not eating during the day has the benefit of helping you be thankful for all that you have, and making you feel like it’s not worth the energy to do things like get unnecessarily angry. It feels even more appropriate during COVID-19 and allows for a lot of introspection. This year has been strange for many reasons, but it feels even stranger now to be fasting and not be able to visit cousins or go to the mosque. While it’s perfectly acceptable to pray individually, praying with your community is significant in any religion.

In Ramadan 2019, I spent it on my own (without my family) for the first time as I arrived in Reading to start my Masters degree. It’s great to be back with my family this year, but I have had to make an adjustment again. I’m sure for those Muslim readers who are also home with their families this Ramadan, it’s a nice change. However, I’m sure there are some of you who are spending Ramadan on your own. I wanted to share some of the lighthearted things that comfort me during Ramadan and help this whole situation feel more normal. What everyone has grown up with is individual to each family and culture, so this is just my experience! 

Rooh afza 

This is a sweet syrup that is mixed with water. It’s a sweet drink that’s refreshing to have when opening fast. I almost exclusively only ever drink this in Ramadan, so that’s all my mind associates it with! I can’t imagine Ramadan without it. 

Homemade samosas and rolls

I have the most samosas in Ramadan – my mom and I will sit together and fill them ourselves before the start of Ramadan. We’re tired by the end but it’s nice to make something with my mom and know we’ll enjoy it later.

I tried a new recipe this year which was very yummy: https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/samosa-recipe-make-samosa/

‘Choti boti’

This is Urdu which basically translates to ‘small beef pieces’. Something about the combination of fried beef pieces with spices is amazing to have during sehri (the time in the morning when we eat before sunrise).

‘Fruit chaat’

This is basically a fruit salad, with a mix of banana, apples, oranges, and whatever else you’d like. We use a fruit chaat masala (a spice mix specifically made for this) that brings out the flavour and makes it feel like I’m home.

What foods or traditions do you always have at home during Ramadan? 

By Nimra

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