Sunday, 27 July 2014

Fatayer, Borek with puff pastry, spinach and feta

Make sure you don't overfill the fatayer, as it won't close/seal
Fold in thirds towards the middle, leaving a tiny hole at the top
Enjoy spinach and feta fatayer fresh out of the oven!

Ingredients:
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
500 g blanched spinach
250 g feta cheese
1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. all spice powder
1 tsp. sumac
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Flour

Method :
Heat olive oil in a pan and light fry the onions till tender. Add the spinach, spices, feta cheese, seasoning and mix well.
Roll out the puff pastry into 10 cm rounds (I placed a cup and cut around it) and fill each round with a scooped spoon of the spinach mixture. Bring up three sides of the round to form a pyramid and pinch the edges to seal it.
Place the pies / fatayars on a baking sheet, brush lightly with some olive oil and bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 mins or until pastry is golden brown and cooked through (I flipped mine over halfway so none of the pastry was soggy) at gas mark 5.

Recipe from: http://plaingeets.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/gourmand-geets-spinach-feta-fatayer/

Friday, 25 July 2014

Iftar featuring vegetarian shepherds pie and a recipe for refreshing lemonade

Salam and hello fellow readers,

Yes you read it right! Vegetarian shepherds pie made with quorn mince which we made for iftar last week.

Ezogelin - Turkish lentil soup
Feta and pomegranate salad
Quorn shepherds pie with creamy cheesy mash!
Profiteroles and a jug of homemade lemonade
Lemonade recipe:

Ingredients for syrup-
  • 5 lemons
  • 1 cup water
  • 200-250g sugar

Method - 
  • Put ingredients in a pan and boil.
  • Leave to cool and place in fridge or freezer (especially good if it's a hot day, as the syrup will be an ice block which will cool the water in the jug)
  • Once cool/frozen, place in jug and top up with plain water or sparkling water. You may need to add more lemon/water according to taste.
  • Enjoy!
Post a comment if you want the shepherds pie recipe! 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

ieatfood reviews - Halal ready meals at your local supermarket

Salam readers.
So I was in Sainsburys a few weeks ago and came across some halal ready meals. There was a dedicated section for these halal meals, which consisted of ieatfoods and mumtaz curries. These meals are perfect for iftar if you are too tired to cook as they taste home made or even to take as lunch for work. I will be reviewing 3 products from the ieatfoods range.
range of meals from ieatfood in Sainsbury's

First up was the spicy beef pizza. I found the product matched the picture, the title lived up to it's name - it was beefy and spicy! As the crust part was a bit big for my liking, I added extra cheese, cherry tomatoes and small pineapple chunks to the pizza before placing in the oven. I can honestly say it is one of the best pizzas I've tasted! So much so that I made a homemade version a few weeks later lol. This pizza deserves a 9/10.
ieatfood halal spicy beef pizza
What ieatfood spicy beef pizza looks like out of the box. I added extra toppings as I don't like the edges to have too much crust.
Fresh out of the oven with added toppings and cheese. ieatfood spicy beef pizza

Next up is the spaghetti bolognese. It comes in a black mocriwaveable plastic dish with a sleeve describing the product and nutritional information. The product is about 700grams so easily feeds 2 however, you may need to boil up some extra pasta. There is plenty of meat and sauce with carrot cubes. I found this product to be standard. It was nothing to write home about. So for this reason I will award it 5/10.
ieatfood spaghetti bolognese on the left.

Next up is the Pesto chicken tagliatelle. Descried on the sleeve as "delicious tagliatelle pasta topped with succulent british chicken breast chunks and a creamy fresh basil pesto sauce."
This product comes in at around 400 grams and is over 700 calories per person, but you can share it (if you feel inclined). I've never had creamy pasta sauce before, so this was something new for me. I saw this product being reviewed on Islam Channels Living the Life for which it got good feedback from the presenters. I can say I agree. The sauce was plentiful, it was creamy and the pesto gave it an edge. The chicken was well cooked and there was a good ratio of chicken to pasta. It didn't have that stodgy bechamel feel or taste that many ready meals have. I've been back a few times to re-purchase this item but it is always out of stock which I guess is testimony to how popular it is. I will give this meal a 7.5/10.


ieatfood pesto chicken tagliatelle.

Delicious! ieatfood pesto chicken tagliatelle

So all in all the pizza is the clear winner followed by the pesto chicken tagliatelle.
Have you tried the ieatfood range yet? What's your favourite meal?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Recipe: Date Paste Crumble (Batheetha)



Ingredients:
1kg flour
3 cups caramel water
1 cup corn oil
1 cup date paste
1 cup sugar 

Preparation:
Heat the corn oil in a cooking pot and add the flour. Sauté the mixture until brown, then add the date paste, caramel water, sugar and mix for about five minutes. 

When properly cooked, remove from heat. Can be served hot or cold. A side addition of chopped fruit or ice cream perks it up nicely.
Recipe by Mike Harrison. Published in Times of Oman's 2011 edition of Art of Cooking - Flavours of Arabia

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ramadan iftar meal plans 2014

As salaamu alaykum,

Last year, I posted meal plans where you could draw inspiration from.

Here is the link to iftar meal plans 2014:
http://www.nestle-family.com/My-Ramadan/english/recipes.aspx

RecipeRecipeRecipe

Some of the recipes include pasta with lentils, an orange and chocolate tart and a pomegranate and date drink.

Hope this provides inspiration for some of your meals!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Do's and Dont's of Ramadan - Part 1

empty plate

Ramadan: A month in which God multiplies our good deeds, forgives us and blesses us!

'O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint'  [Quran 2:183]
This month is VERY precious for us Muslims; we cannot afford to waste a single minute.
Narrated Abu Huraira(r.a): The Prophet said:"... whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah's rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
"Fasting is a shield with which a servant protects himself from the Fire." [Ahmad, Saheeh]
Here are a few Do's and Don'ts, of which some you may not know and some that you may but shaytaan our ultimate enemy has made you forget!

Dont's of Ramadan

salah10
Use websites like Jamattimes.com to help keep track of prayer times

Missing Prayers

Salah (prayers) are the second pillar of Islam. It comes before Saum (fasting).
It's OBLIGATORY on all Muslims and your saum is incomplete without Salah!
ACTION:
Pray 5 times a day understanding its importance and realizing that it is God you are standing in front of. This will not only help you with your abstaining from food but also from sins as the one who is busy remembering to keep his prayers doesn’t have time to commit sins!

lower gaze

The Eye

Looking at a non-mehram (any person with whom marriage is allowed in Islam) is NOT allowed!
A Muslim should lower his/her gaze at all times where possible this will protect you from going towards that which displeases Allah.

AVOID:
* Eye contact with non-mahrams

* Staring at the pictures in newspapers/magazines

* TV - we stare at the TV without realizing the sinful images that are infront of us which we feel are normal.

These things affect your desires (even if its subconsciously) and entices you towards acting on these desires.
INSTEAD:
  • Read Quran/observe nature and say Subhaan Allah!(All praise to Allah)
  • Use the opportunity to learn and understand how amazing nature and the world around you is, you can quite easily busy yourself in getting to know your Lord through the amazing creation he puts in front of us.

listening to music

The Ear

Quit music or try refraining from it

INSTEAD: switch to
  • Tafsir of Quran
  • Recitation of Quran
  • Nasheeds 
  • CD's of Islamic lectures etc

backbiting

The Tongue

Back biting is considered a extremely sinful act
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you know what gheebah (backbiting) is?” They said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Saying something about your brother that he dislikes.” It was said, “What if what I say about my brother is true?” He said, “If what you say is true then you have backbitten about him, and if it is not true, then you have slandered him.” [Muslim]
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his honour or anything else, let him seek his forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar and no dirham, and if he has any good deeds to his credit they will be taken from him in a manner commensurate with the wrong he did, and if he has no good deeds, then some of his counterpart’s bad deeds will be taken and added to his burden.” [al-Bukhaari].
So if you think that talking on the phone or meeting friends might result in back biting then avoid it.
*Abusive language: When you abuse someone it doesn't harm him, it just adds to your sins!

God hates people who abuse, so don't use it even if you don't mean it!
Narrated on the authority of Jabir that he heard the (Holy Prophet) say: A Muslim is he from whose hand and tongue the Muslim's are safe.
*Be VERY careful how you use your tongue, hurting some one with your words, is DEEPER and STRONGER than physical pain!
INSTEAD:
  • Tell people about Islam.
  • It is obligatory on us to spread the word of Allah, as we are the Ummah of the last Prophet.
  • Keep good company of those who remind you of Allah.
  • Attend the masjid or Islamic events to be in an environment which people are remembering Allah.

Fist hand human evolution COSMOS Science Magazine

The Hand

Don't get into fights, stay away and if you get into one and lose your temper, practice patience (sabr) and walk away.
Narated By Abu Huraira : The Prophet said, "Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink ( i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)" – [Sahih Bukhari, Vol.3, Book 31, #127]
People will probably think you're a coward, but God thinks you're a lion!


Look out for part 2 on DO's in Ramadan.
Source: email from http://www.alfitrah.com/

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Ramadan Mubarak + Ramadan Action Plan 2014

Asalaamu alaykum, the month of ramadan is finally here! I hope you all have a productive and spiritual month in which you become closer to Allah. insh'Allah.





I received my copy of the Ramadan Action Plan and it looks fantastic so far. There is a daily checklist which helps you to organise your day as well as daily tips, a deed of the day for you to complete and a dua and ahadith. What I really like about this is that you can learn the 99 names of Allah as the plan breaks the names up so you learn a few every day. There is also a poster of the full 99 names which you can tick off as you learn.

You're allowed to set personal goals which you wish to achieve during the month and use this to fill in a post ramadan reflection. There is even a chart to tick off the 6 fasts of shawal.
You can subscribe to download the action plan here: http://www.ramadanactionplan.com/
Best of all it's free and you can have a portable copy on your phone or print out a copy.


Ramadan kareem!