It’s that time of the year again! This year I wanted to make Ramadan extra special and do my utmost to spend this valuable time doing beneficial actions that would bring me more knowledge and hasana such as reading Qur’an, listening to lectures and writing in my Islamic journal, and less time being miserably tired in a hot kitchen. My household consists of me, my husband and my cat and since we both work outside of the home full-time, coming home after a long days work to start preparing for Iftar is probably the last thing I want to do. Here are some tips I came up with to help with that:
Cook in bulk
For each Ramadan meal, my husband and I have a sort of routine that consists of a soup, salad, breek (Tunisian fried egg and potato pocket), and then the main dish which is usually a pasta or rice dish. As soon as I found out Ramadan was today, last night I spent time cooking up a huge dish of chorba (Tunisian soup) and have it stored in the refrigerator at the moment. I also prepared the filling for the breek so that all I have to do is fill the phyllo dough and fry them for fresh-made breek every night. i estimate that I’ve cooked enough breek and chorba to last us through Thursday. This means that all I have to do is cook a pasta or rice dish when I get home from work to have a delicious spread for Iftar, which will be no big deal since I’ve already completed tip number two below.
Prepare your ingredients
Last night as I was cooking, I diced one extra onion, minced a two bunches of parsley, peeled the potatoes, already minced the garlic, and cleaned and trimmed the meat so that today when I arrive, all I have to do is put the ingredients in the saucepan and I’ll have a delicious meal that took no effort to prepare. Cutting and dicing takes up the majority of your time and so does the clean up that needs to get done after doing all of that. Preparing and storing your basic ingredients takes the time and effort out of your Ramadan meal.
Cook and store time-consuming dishes during the weekend
Like I mentioned before, I cooked a big pot of soup on Sunday that will probably last me through Thursday but I can do the same for the pasta sauces that I make. Sauces and soups are time consuming dishes since they need to sit and simmer in order to bring out the best flavors. This would be best to do during the weekend when I can take my time and not try to rush it because I’ve got other dishes to prepare in time for Maghrib. Once I’ve made the sauce in bulk, I wait for it to cool and then store the sauce and freeze until I’m ready to use it.
So there you have it, those are my 3 tips for easy Ramadan cooking. If you choose to use any of them I hope they help you to maximize your time on more beneficial actions. Ramadan is about the benefits to your soul and I plan on writing more posts on that — but it sure is nice to have a good meal at the end of the day!