I had a question asked by Meena
in my last post, as to how we are able to hold on to our temptation of having something in between dawn to dusk. Actually speaking, we don't feel any temptation! Ask any Muslim who fasts sincerely and he or she will tell you that. We start in the morning with the intention of fasting and since like all other fasts, this is for the Almighty so we actually don't feel any inclination towards food apart from the time when dusk approaches, when you start feeling really hungry and thirsty! At that time, nobody would want to break their fast when they have gone hungry all that time, right? :)
There are basically two important meals during a fast - the Iftar (breaking the fast) and the Suhoor (launching the fast). The Iftar is very important, in the sense that it is the first meal taken after a long hard day of going without food and water. Our Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, "If anyone of you is fasting, let him break his fast with dates. In case he does not have them, then with water. Verily, water is a purifier." Why dates and water? The minerals and fibers found in dates helps to bring the sugar levels of a fasting person to normalcy without affecting the body balance, in a way that no other food is able to do. This is proven by science as well. The pH balance of water is also ideal for the fasting body state. It is always preferred to break the fast with both these preferred modes, before proceeding to having anything. From experience, I have noticed that anytime we break fast otherwise, it leaves a heaviness that will take quite a lot of time to get back to normal!
During Iftar, we normally do not make it a point to pamper ourselves with fried stuff. We try to keep away from it as much as possible. Only if the men really put in a word about their cravings, do my umma and I give in! Actually, avoiding fried items allows less time in the kitchen and more time for the activities meant for Ramadan! There used to be a time, when umma used to fry daily, but that was when we were in school. As we grew up, even we started insisting that we did not want them because we used to feel so heavy after every Iftar. Most of the time now, we go for snacks which are easily made or can be made in advance and made just half an hour before Iftar. The below is one such snack that can be prepared and frozen. When it's time, just thaw it for 15 minutes and fry it in hot oil, as simple as that! Even though my D is not fond of soya chunks, he ate this despite me telling him that it is soya, because it felt to him more like non-veg cutlets! ;)
Soya Chunk Cutlets
1-1/2 cup soya chunks
2 large potatoes
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp ginger paste
3 green chillies, chopped
A handful curry leaves, torn
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Bread crumbs, for coating
Oil, for deep frying
Pressure cook the soya chunks to one whistle. Cut the potatoes into half and pressure cook the potatoes for a whistle and five minutes till done. Drain the soya chunks and wash well in sufficient water for the smell to go. Squeeze the chunks well to drain excess water. Mince in the grinder. Peel the cooked potatoes, mash it up without lumps and add it to the soya mince.
Add the remaining ingredients from onion to salt and mix well to incorporate. Make into round patties, dip in the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs.
Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry the cutlets till done. Serve hot with ketchup or chilli sauce.