The holy month of Ramadan is when we all try to give up bad habits, learn a thing or two about endurance, patience and gratitude. Did you know that the word ‘Ramadan’ comes from the Arabic root ‘Ar-Ramaad’, which literally means scorching heat or dryness? This Ramadan, let’s try to adopt good habits, make the most of fasting long, hot hours, and give our bodies and souls the care and attention they need.
What to eat OR not to eat
We all can’t help but splurge when it comes to the amazingly delicious dishes of Ramadan, especially after fasting for almost 16 hours. Especially with all the delicious Ramadan desserts but we need to pay a little more attention to our eating habits this month.
This year, try breaking your fast with a salad or soup first instead of digging into the stuffed pigeon right away. Then wait for 15-20 minutes and maybe have some rice topped with your mom’s famous molokheya. If there is still room for more, maybe indulge in a small piece of bechamel pasta. Make sure you leave the dining table not feeling too full.
Give yourself an hour or two before you start enjoying your Om Ali or puffy kattayef dipped in eshta. As for sohour, give up the falafel and omelet and try enjoying yoghurt topped with honey and your choice of fruits, or go for a small serving of homemade foul. Finally, please don’t forget to drink A LOT of water. You have 8 hours, so try to drink at least 1.5 liters of water, you will need it.
On the occasion of Ramadan, try making this Chicken Dukkah Salad;
- Chicken tenderloin cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- ½ cucumber, chopped (optional)
- Handful of mint leaves
- Handful of coriander leaves
- Handful of parsley leaves
- Handful of arugula leaves
- 1 cup freekah (cracked wheat, or can substitute with quinoa)
- 4 eggplant, large (peeled and cut into cubes)
- 2 cups sliced or chopped mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
- Sumac, thyme and dried mint
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make dukkah, separately toast each of the seeds and nuts: Place in a dry frying pan over medium heat and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly colored and fragrant.
- Crush the seeds separately using a mortar and pestle, to get the desired consistency for the dukkah. Mix them all together, adding the sumac, thyme and dried mint. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss to coat chicken tenderloins in a little of the dukkah. Cook in 1 tbsp oil on a frying pan over low heat, turning to prevent dukkah from burning, for 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, combine freekah, tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, cooked eggplant, raisins, sundried tomatoes, mint, coriander, arugula and parsley.
- Whisk to combine ¼ cup of tahini, ¼ cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad.
- Garnish with breadcrumbs. Top with chicken and serve.