The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Ramadan Iftar Recipes | Tasty Food from Morocco

Today we feature some tasty dishes from Morocco that are often served for iftar (breaking of the Muslim fast). One staple food item that almost every Moroccan family has for break fast, is the hearty meat and lentil soup called the Harira.

Cooking this dish is not an easy task because the cooking time is long - at least between 2 andn 2.5 hours. So attempt this dish only when you have the time to do so. Otherwise, it'll be an effort wasted!

Moroccan cuisine is rich in spices. Spices in Moroccan cuisine are used to enhance, not mask, the flavor of food; if you attempt the following recipe, you will see what I mean.

The Harira Recipe
A Moroccan Soup Served at Sundown to Break the Ramadan Fast




Ingredients:

1/3 cup Flour
1/2 cup Chick peas
1/2 lb Lean lamb or beef diced
2 Large onions, chopped
1/4 ts Saffron
2 tb Paprika
1 Soup bones
1 tb Butter
2 tb Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
1/2 cup Dried broad beans
1 1/2 lb Tomatoes
1 Bunch parsley
1 Bunch fresh coriander
1 tb Butter
1/3 cup Rice
1 Lemon
1/2 cup Lentils

Method:

1) Soak overnight 1/3 cup flour in 1 cup water; 1/2 c lentils in water to cover. Brown in lightly oil deep pan lamb, onions, saffron and paprika (increase or decrease according to taste).

2) Add 6 cups of water, soup bones, butter, salt, pepper, chick peas with skins popped off and discarded, and the dried broad beans which have been washed and cleaned. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours or more.

3) 20 mins before serving, pour through a food blender into the soup pan (or blend with one cup of water) the tomatoes, parsley, coriander & the flour and water paste. Add 3 cups of water, and when it returns to boil, add the vermicelli.

4) When the vermicelli is cooked, add 1 Tb butter and lemon juice (or serve a wedge of lemon with each bowl to be squeezed on the soup). The soup should be smooth and slightly thick in consistency; add water or flour to thicken and adjust, if needed.

*Note: Chick peas may be substituted for lentils; the meat used can be chicken, if preferred.

And to sweeten your taste buds, after the hearty soup, you have the....

Famous Moroccan Dessert, Chabakia



Enjoy Ramadan Tastes from Morocco!

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Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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