Ramadan Baskets!

Ramadan Mubarak to you all!!  I’m sure we’re all doing our last minute grocery shopping and preparations.  Some of us may even be planning on doing the iftar with friends or family.  As Muslims, we should take advantage of our holidays to bring out the best of us, to wear the finest, and open our hearts to loved ones and strangers.  We should offer glad tidings, and one of the ways to do that is by making a Ramadan basket.I saw my husband’s aunt pass out Ramadan baskets and I liked the idea so much that I wanted to do the same for this Ramadan insha’Allah.Ramadan basket is a basket full of goodies that may or may not be related to Ramadan.You can have themed baskets for example:Iftar basket:
1-Rooh Afza: A popular iftar drink in Pakistan.
2-Dates
3-Can of garbanzo beans
4-Pakora Shan Masala: fried ground flour snacks
5-Seviyan/vermicelli: Pakistani dessert item used to make sheer korma.
6-Dua/Prayer: Print the Iftar dua/prayer on cardstock, so they can put it on their refrigerator.

*sample basket: does not contain all the items listed.

Fruit-chaat basket: Pakistani fruit salad mixed in with juice and spices.
1-Dates
2-Shan fruit chaat masala
3-Juice: You can either put a bottle of lemon juice or a fruit juice
4-Fruit: bananas, grapes, apples, mangoes, oranges and strawberries.

*sample basket: does not contain all the items listed.

Ramadan gift basket
1-Kufi/hijab
2-Quran/tafsir book
3-Prayer rug
4-CD: Burn a cd consisting of either Quran, lectures or nasheeds.

Since I am Pakistani, these baskets reflect the Pakistani culture, please feel free to share what you would include in your Ramadan basket!

Something to celebrate about….

Samosa Fest – An American Muslim Family’s tradition

 

There is nothing better than biting into a delicious crunchy golden samosa after a day of fasting, but there are several steps that go into making samosas and it can be a tiring and time consuming process.  The Ayub family has turned this very tedious process into a festive family reunion.

For the past five years the Ayub family has been having the pre-Ramadan Samosa Fests.  Women in their family sit around, enjoy each others company and make perfect triangular shaped samosas. The first Samosa Fest was born when family members began talking at an iftaar.

“We decided that everyone makes samosas, so we should get together and make them together,” explained Humaira Ayub, one of the hosts of Samosa Fest.

The women bring their own batch of keema from home and then add the onions and other “masala”  when they get to Samosa Fest. Then everyone helps to complete one batch (5 pounds makes approximately 150 samosas) for the family member, This takes about 45 minutes, said Ayub.

“When it comes to preparing the samosas the women form an assembly line. The younger girls of the family usually do the sticking of the samosas and the putting them into ziplock bags,  while the more experienced wrap the samosas,” said Ayub.

Family members have traveled several hours for this annual event and see it as a way to spend quality time and get into the festive Ramadan spirit. One year the entire family went to Boston, they made Samosas in the afternoon and then after that they went on a duck tour.

While  the women do the Samosa assembling the guys are usually throwing around a football and the event usually concludes with a big family dinner. Each year, a different family volunteers to host Samosa Fest. The host for the first Samosa Fest,  Sharmeen Khan, had custom Samosa Fest aprons made for all the guest.

” I wanted to give everyone a party favor and aprons seem to suit the event,” said Khan.

She also added that Samosa Fest is about creating traditions,  ” It’s just fun! It’s also an amazing way to pass on a tradition and skill. Since we’ve been doing this, all of us including the girls are great at making samosas.”

 

Does your family have any Ramadan traditions? We would love to hear about your family’s traditons!