O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you,
that ye may (learn) self-restraint
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Friday, September 18, 2009

Eid Recipes | Ashta

It is time for Eid ul Fitr 2009! Here are some of our favorite Eid recipes.

The following is a recipe for cake that is popular in the Arabian Gulf countries.

Eid Recipes


1 quart half-and-half

2 slices white bread (crusts removed), cut into small dice

1/4 teaspoon mashed mastic

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup rose water

1/2 cup orange blossom water


1. Place the half-and-half, bread and mastic in a large nonreactive pot over medium-low heat and allow it to come gently to a boil, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2. While the half-and-half mixture is coming to a boil, combine the powdered sugar, cornstarch, rose water and orange blossom water in a small saucepan. Heat the contents over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted, about 1 minute.

3. When the half-and-half mixture comes to a boil, increase the heat to high and add the sugar mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens like a custard. Remove from the heat.

4. Spread the contents onto a large (approximately 15-inch-by-10-inch), rimmed sheet pan and allow to cool. Skim the thickened layers into a medium bowl as they form on the surface of the cream; you will have 2 to 3 layers. Place the custard in a separate medium bowl, then cover both bowls and refrigerate until cold.

5. When cold, mix together the skimmed layers and custard. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Serve cold.

Total time: 1 1/2 hours plus chilling time

Servings: Generous 3 cups

Note: Adapted from Dolly Chammaa of Sunnin Lebanese Cafe in Westwood and Long Beach. Mastic, the crystallized resin from the mastic tree, can be found at C&K Importing Co. in Los Angeles and Super Hayat Market in Torrance, and at Middle Eastern and Greek markets. She recommends serving ashta with baklava, or on its own topped with bananas, honey or pistachios.

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Eid Recipes | Igaili Cardamom-Saffron Sponge Cake

It is time for Eid ul Fitr 2009! Here are some of our favorite Eid recipes.

The following is a recipe for cake that is popular in the Arabian Gulf countries.

Eid Recipe
Igaili Cardamom-Saffron Sponge Cake


Pinch of saffron threads

6 soft-packed dates, pitted

5 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 heaping teaspoon ground cardamom

Pinch of turmeric

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, divided

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, or other nuts of your choice


1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Soak the saffron in 2 tablespoons of very warm water for 20 minutes, then set aside.

2. Mash the dates with a fork, then roll the small mashed pieces into small pea-sized balls (about 2 dozen) and set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light, fluffy and almost meringue-like in texture, 7 to 10 minutes. Gently whisk in the cardamom and turmeric.

4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then slowly add them to the egg mixture while whisking. Continue whisking while you add the saffron-infused water and oil just until combined.

5. Grease a round 9-inch springform or regular cake pan with butter and line with parchment paper. Butter the top of the parchment paper. Dust the bottom and sides with 2 teaspoons of the sesame seeds.

6. Pour half the cake mixture into the pan, scatter with the tiny date balls, then cover with the remaining mixture and a last sprinkling of sesame seeds. Top with chopped walnuts.

7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean).

8. Cool the cake, then release the spring and turn upside down onto a plate. Invert again and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Servings: 12

Note: Adapted from "Cardamom and Lime: Recipes From the Arabian Gulf," by Sarah al-Hamad. She writes, "This is the Arabian version of sponge cake, perfumed with the evocative scents of the East and traditionally accompanied by a cup of sweet black tea. It is the perfect cake: satisfying yet light, aromatic but subtle, enfolding a variety of seductive ingredients like sweet dates and sesame seeds, saffron and cardamom, and walnuts." Cardamom is assertive, so decrease the amount for a lighter taste.

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Eid Recipes | Milky Rice Pudding (Muhalbiya al-Ruz)

It is time for Eid ul Fitr 2009! Here are some of our favorite Eid recipes.

The following is a recipe for rice pudding that is popular in the Arabian Gulf and the South Asian countries.

Eid Recipe
Muhalbiya al-ruz (milky rice pudding)

Total time: 40 minutes, plus soaking and chilling times

Servings: 6


1 cup basmati rice

4 cups whole milk

6 to 8 tablespoons sugar, as desired

1/2 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, crushed

3 tablespoons rose water

1/4 cup chopped pistachios, toastedMethod

1. Wash the rice and let it soak for 30 minutes. Rinse until the water runs clear, then drain.

2. Put the rice and 1 cup cold water in a blender and process until the liquid becomes milky and the mixture just begins to thicken to a paste-like consistency, about 15 seconds. Set aside.

3. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat and add the sugar. Increase the heat to high and stir frequently with a wooden spoon until the milk mixture begins to bubble around the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the rice and cook at a very gentle simmer until the contents are thickened and the rice is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful to stir frequently, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan so the pudding cooks evenly.

4. Add 1 cup boiling water, stir in the crushed cardamom seeds and rose water, and cook at a low simmer just until the water is incorporated and the pudding again thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and divide among 6 serving bowls or glasses. Allow to cool, then refrigerate, covered, until desired. Serve sprinkled with chopped pistachios.

Note: Adapted from "Cardamom and Lime: Recipes from the Arabian Gulf," by Sarah al-Hamad. She writes, "Milky desserts are very popular in the Middle East, and this one is a particular favorite -- the rice thickens to give it texture. There are many ways of making muhalbiya: with rice, with rice flour, or with corn flour, the way it is made in Lebanon and Syria. Top with chopped pistachios to add some color and crunch."

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eid Ul Fitr Salat - Namaz Salah Salaat Timing

Eid Ul Fitr Salat - Namaz Salah Salaat is performed on the 1st of Shawal (the month that follows ramadan in Islamic Calendar). It is the 10th month. Salat Eid is to be performed during a time window.

The time window that Salat al Eid can be performed begins when sun reaches approximately two meters above the horizon. The time window finishes when sun reaches its meridian before Dhuhr. Adhering to the Sunnah, the time for Eid al Fitr prayer is delayed and Eid al Adha prayer is hastened, so as to facilitate distribution of Fitrah before the Eid al Fitr prayer and offer sacrifice after the Eid al Adha prayer.

I would encourage you to give you Zaqat Ul Fith as soon as possible so that the collectors of zaqat have time to distribute, and/or make their plans.

Even if you were to give it to a particular person who is in need, do not wait until on Eid day because that person may need the money to plan for his or her Eid.

Happy Eid!

Eid Ul Fitr 2009 in the united states

The end of day on Saturday Septemeber 29 will mark the 29th day of Ramadan of Ramadan. The question of whether there will be fasting on Sunday depends on the observation of the new moon. I have however heard at the mosque I attend that a decision was made that Eid Ul Fitr would be on Sunday. The decision is apparently based on predictive models that time the appearance of the new moon. I am however planning to double check this information and the decision on Saturday end of day to make a final decision particuarly since this would involve a short month. If the decision was for a 30 days ramadan, then it would have been easy to follow.

I would also like to note that Eids are the only true holidays because Eids
are ordained by Almighty (SBWT). Therefore I object to those calling Eid is festival,
and Christmas a holiday. Note that the 25 of December is really not even the birth date of Jesus (pbuh). Also note that Mouloud is, I believe, not a Eid. For instance there is no Salat on Mouloud.

Eid is holiday, and is marked by the Salat Eid. You need also to learn how to pray Salat Eit in case you have not done it before or if your recollection of the details are not clear. You need also to learn some duas.

Happy Eid!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

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