In the wise words of our guest speaker Mo Abedin, Ramadan is when “the Vimto man” comes out. On this podcast episode, we pour our hearts out over this most popular of Ramadan drinks in the Gulf. We also go beyond Vimto to share other favourites in the broader Middle East and Indian subcontinent.
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On this episode we feature snippets from our fabulous guest speaker on the last episode (Foods of Ramadan), Mo Abedin. Mo is the Emirati-Thai creative genius who, along with his mother, is behind the incredibly popular Thai restaurant, Sticky Rice. And returning to our virtual dining table are our food guide Nahla (@nahlatabbaa) and our Eating Designer Mufaddal (@mufaddal.husein)
We’ve also shared the recipes for some of the drinks shared over the podcast below.
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GOL/GUD KA PAANI (JAGGERY LIMEADE)
200 g jaggery chopped or grated (preferably light golden rather than dark)
1 L water at room temperature
1 tsp basil seeds
A few sprigs of fresh mint
Soak the chopped/grated Jaggery with about 800 ml (4 glasses) of water in a pot or saucepan for 1-2 hours to soften it.
Soak the Basil seeds separately with the remaining water in a bowl.
Stir the softened Jaggery with the water to dissolve it and get a deep golden liquid.
Strain the liquid through a fine strainer to remove any particles.
Take another pot or saucepan and pour the liquid from one to another at least 11-13 times to aerate and ‘cool’ the liquid.
Juice the limes one by one into the liquid until your desired balance of sweet and sour. Remember the water with the seed will dilute this a bit.
Chill the liquid in the refrigerator until an hour before iftar.
Remove from the refrigerator and mix in the basil seeds (which will have jellified by now) and mint. The basil seeds will float initially and sink the longer they are soaked as the sugar concentration equalises.
Check the dilution before serving and add water or lime juice if required. Pour into tall glasses for iftar.
HARIRA (WARM MILK WITH CRUSHED NUTS)
500 ml full-fat milk
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp crushed or coarsely powdered almonds and pistachios
1 tsp sugar (optional)
A couple of strands of saffron or a pinch of cardamom powder (optional)
Heat the ghee in a saucepan and add the nuts. Fry/roast the nuts until fragrant.
Add the milk and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add the sugar and stir.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 mins, stirring occasionally to avoid forming the milk skin.
Add the Saffron or Cardamom and simmer for another 1-2 mins as before.
Serve in mugs and enjoy warm.
(PS. Swirl the last couple of sips in the mug to get all the nuts!)
JALLAB (GRAPE & ROSE CORDIAL)
Jallab syrup (available at most supermarkets!)
Combine Jallab syrup with water and ice ( you can choose how sweet/ watery you would like to mix it). Add a splash of rose water. Add a hand full of pine nuts and raisins.
AMR AL DEEN (APRICOT JUICE)
Sugar (depending on how sweet the leather is)
Rosewater / orange blossom water (optional)
Soak the apricot leather in water for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Blend with water and add sugar to taste. The consistency can be really thick and pulpy or if you prefer, you can add more water to thin it down.
Splash in rosewater or orange blossom water if you like. Serve cold over ice.