Monday, 23 July 2012

Ramadan Mubarak & A Meal Plan

I hope it’s not too late to say Ramadan Mubarak to all dear readers :-)
I went blog-hopping today, and was inspired by Shafirul Suffian’s post in her blog "Tangan Panas-Panas Sejuk", where she shared her excellent Ramadan menu plan. Why menu plan for Ramadan? Because despite not eating from sunrise to sunset, Ramadan is traditionally one of the busiest times for wives/husbands/mummies/daddies everywhere because the family usually eats together to break fast (iftar), and again when eating the pre-dawn meal, (sahur). There are always easy ways out of preparing home-cooked meals:
  1. Buy some of the many delicacies sold at Pasar Ramadan, or Ramadan Food Market. The array of food available is mind-boggling! Only thing is, we have stopped going to PaRams for the last 4 years. Main reason is that usually we are not satisfied with the quality of the food (taste, hygiene, MSG) and it can also be expensive. Plus when you shop for food while you are hungry, you'll usually end up with more food than you can possibly finish.
  2. Go for one of the many Ramadan buffets, available in restaurants and hotels nationwide. The downside is again, cost, although quality-wise you generally get what you pay for. Problem is that Ramadan is supposed to be the Fasting month, and gorging ourselves silly at the time of breaking fast seems against the spirit of Ramadan. Plus, we have been trying to eat healthier for the past year and found that we could no longer pack in a decent amount of food in a single sitting. We are often satisfied with much less.
So we made a Ramadan meal plan, which is simpler than last year’s. Last year I had 14 items in my Ramadan meal plan. This year, only 7. Because we are creatures of habit (like our cats!) who don’t mind eating the same thing over and over and over again. This also makes grocery shopping a lot easier and reduces impulse buying as we shop according to the meal plan. All dishes will be eaten during iftar and the leftovers are eaten for sahur the following morning.

Mama Pongkey’s Ramadan Menu Plan:

1. Tomyum

2. Karahi chicken 

3. Soup (chicken, fish, beef or bone) 

4. Egg + tuna + salad wrap 

5. Tandoori chicken 

6. Stew (chicken, beef or lamb) 

7. Shepherd's/Cottage pie

Insha Allah, we normally break fast this way:
  • Break the fast with a date and a glass of milk.
  • Pray Maghrib.
  • Eat the main meal.
  • No other sweets, cakes or sugary drinks are allowed, only plain water. And perhaps some unsweetened tea or coffee.
Tip: Drinking the glass of milk takes away the hunger pangs and the date gives instant energy for prayer. Then we find we don't need to eat so much during the meal.

This way we hope we can adhere better to the spirit of Ramadan, while keeping grocery costs down and eating healthily at the same time. Insha Allah.


mat jon said...

absolutely right, normally we are tend to buy anything we like in 'pasar ramadhan' and the last thing we know the food end up in the bin.

Mama Pongkey said...

I always did that too :-( So I thought better I stay away. Funny thing is I ended up going to Pasar Ramadan Yesterday, but I went early, at 3pm. Because apparently there is a shortage of young coconuts in my area, and so my usual supplier is out of stock. Luckily I managed to find a lady who sells them at the PaRam, and luckily too I managed to walk away only with coconut water in my hands. Didn't buy anything else.