but it’s about Ramadan, guavas and soul mates. Read on.
Mr. Muzzylim writes
When our first Ramadan rolled around we had been married about eight months. Up to this point I had been away from the Ramadan culture of the Middle-East for almost a decade. That meant no planning ahead for ifthaar schedules, Tharaweeh sounds from multiple masajids, Eid shopping and certainly no samosas, spring rolls or (the dreaded!)Falooda.
For this reason when Mrs. Muzzylim piped up and began attacking Ramadan cooking with hours upon hours of food prep it was a shock to my ‘open the fast with some dates and pizza’ sensibilities. I didn’t realize how serious she was until I was on the phone with the local asian grocery store asking if they had Guava in stock. After trying 4-5 of them (both by phone and in person) we finally found them! This meant that Ramadan could officially begin with the obligatory Fruit Chaat.
The point of this, I realize now, isn’t that Ramadan is about certain foods – it’s about coming together, acknowledging each others traditions and building our new home together. Like most things in marriage. Making what is important to the other person important to you is easier said than done. But once you accept that there is history, significance and love in each other’s cultures you might get closer to a place of understanding.
This year we haven’t been making nearly as many spring rolls, samosas or Dahin Vadas. But fortunately we’re making it to Tharaweeh more frequently, meeting more muslims from our community and taking part in cooking ifthaars for other people. I think is because we’ve come to see Ramadan tradition as being together first and foremost – and less about the percentage of our meals that are fried.
But of course we still have our fruit chaat. 🙂
For me (mrs.muzzylim) coming from a south asian background Iftar was synonymous to the food my mum cooked every single ramadan. It consisted of fruit chaat (or fruit salad), dahi bade (gram flour & lentil balls in yogurt), samosas, onion/spinach/lentil pakodas, choley (chickpeas), black chickpeas curry and more. This isn’t even the full list!
So last year when Ramadan was around the corner, I had my list ready of all my mums food that I would like to recreate, my own humble versions. First on the list was Fruit Chaat, with the guava being one of the necessary ingredient (fruit chaat without guava. gasp.blasphemy) the mere task became herculean. After searching high and low my man in shining armor got me some guava lovin and I happily continued to cook Ramadan meals. Last year was about the food and still new in our marriage we both were discovering what the holy month really meant to each other and ways of making the most of it. Though we didn’t have a super productive Ramadan last year, we did vow to make this years better.
This year with the move to a small town and the muslim community being small, and close knit we found ourselves befriending people, getting involved in the community iftars, going for tharaweeh prayers and keeping the rest simple. Thus creating our own memories and hopefully pushing each other to make the most of this blessed month. Heres hoping that with each Ramadan we all find ourselves on the path of betterment and above it all may God accept all that we try and do in His path. Amen.
*Just to let you all know folks the posts were written separately. I know right!! what are the chances!! Told you we are soul mates.*