Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Muslims Who Fast: Yassmin shows us a Sudanese-Australian combination iftar

Yassmin Abdel Magied, originally from Sudan, grew up in Australia and now lives in London (Picture: ..

By admin , in Food , at May 31, 2019

Yassmin Abdel Magied, originally from Sudan, grew up in Australia and now lives in London (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

This past week, which is officially part of the last ten days of Ramadan, a sacred time when worshiping efforts are intensified, we spoke to some of the amazing Muslims fasting while working, studying, volunteering, and exercising.

On the final day of Muslims Who Fast, we speak to Yassmin, a writer whos led a colourful life, working in Australias oil rigs as not only one of the few women but also a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

The author, of Sudanese descent, invites to see what an iftar combining her two different cultures looks like.

Yassmin, who recently published her first work of fiction, remembers and compares what Ramadan was like in Sudan, in Australia and now in London where she lives.

Her iftars are a fusion of different and delicious delicacies.



Lets see what she had for iftar:

Shot of dinner table
She invited some friends over for a culturally diverse iftar (Picture: Matthew Chattle)
Lentil soup
They ate a lentil soup (Picture: Matthew Chattle)
An omelette (Picture:Matthew Chattle)
A salad (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

So what are you eating tonight?

Today we have a bit of a cultural mix, reflecting my life here in London. We have fool (Sudanese broad or fava beans) and bayd (arabic for eggs), and shorbat adas (lentil soup) – theyre the Sudanese staples I can make quickly and confidently.

Some bread to dip into the hummus and soup (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

We also have salatat zabadai (yoghurt and cucumber salad), variants of which can be found all over the Mediterranean and North Africa.

A cheeky dessert (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

What does a traditional Sudanese iftar look like?

We break fast like many others with a date and water. The first course is usually a soup: cauliflower, pumpkin, or lentil soup. At that point we take a digestion break to pray, before getting into the main meal.

lentil soup
Anybody else suddenly feeling very hungry? (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

Growing up, that usually consisted of tameeya (like falafel), fool, eggs, salads, eggplant (either in a salad or in a béchamel) and then on special occasions something like aseeda wa mullah, like a porridge with the local stew, or a protein like fried fish, chicken or lamb.

Shot of dinner table
How many of the Sudanese staples can you spot in the images? (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

We typically also have sweet drinks like carkadeh (hibiscus drink) hulumur, mishmish (apricot), and guava. My grandmother also used to make a mean lemonade!



Well almost always finish up with tea, coffee and a sweet dessert like basboosa (semolina cake).

For suhoor (pre-dawn meal), we usually have um Ali (puff pastry soaked in sweet milk and raisins) or run bi laban (rice porridge).

More shots of the dinner table showing rice, bread, soup
You can never have too many food pics (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

Sounds delicious. So what do you crave while fasting?

I often hanker for the easy, simple, food of home: fool, bayd and tameeya. The smells, tastes and textures make me think of warmth, comfort and family, and who doesnt want that in a holy month?

I generally dont miss food. But coffee! Oh, I do miss that.

Yassmin admiring her dishes
Yassmin admiring her work (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

Same. So, what does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan is a spiritual reset button, an opportunity for me to take a moment – a month, in fact – to not only spiritually detox, but physically do so as well.

My routines change: so rather than the day being structured around food, its around prayer times.

I also try to make a more conscious effort to slow down, read more Quran, connect more with family and community. I look forward to it every year, and although sometimes on long London days it can be exhausting, its a month I am grateful for.

Yassmin standing in front of the food with her friend
The author likes to break fast with friends, at home or away (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

How old were you when you first began fasting?

I went to a Muslim primary school in Brisbane, so my early years were filled with trying to compete with the other kids in class to see who could fast the most.


My parents let me start slow – one day a week, then the weekends, then I moved up to every second day and by the time I was 10 or 11, I was proud to be fasting all of Ramadan without needing to take much of a break at all!

Yassmin taking a bite of the food
Time to taste the results – did you remember to put the salt in? (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

Did you ever accidentally break your fast as a child?

One morning, observing Ramadan in Sudan, I woke up and got out of bed and then for some reason started scoffing the lollies in the guest tray in the living room!

I must have really needed some sugar. Hand full of lollies I froze and realised Id completely forgotten it was Ramadan. My parents said that because I hadnt done it on purpose, the fast counted and so I fasted the rest of the day as normal.

Yassmin and her friend smiling at each other
She did remember the salt (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

Is it hard to fast away from Read More – Source


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