Month: June 2014

Fast With Your Heart – Lesson Two

Foodie Lesson 2 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy

Good Morning Foodies

I pray you all had a wonderful first fast. I pray you were successful in trying to fast with our hearts as well as our stomachs inshaAllah. 

Today I will talk about one of the most prestigious acts aside from fasting itself in Ramadhan.  It is to be charitable.

When we think of charity we often think of money. It is true that most types of charity are money-orientated such as the obligatory Zakaat.

Then there is Sadaqah which is optional. Sadaqah is of many forms and varieties. It is to be charitable in all sorts of ways; it could be to give money to those suffering in countries abroad, to give money to aid the building of a new masjid, to give money to a local Islamic youth programme… The list goes on. Nowadays with access to sites like ‘justgiving’ it is easy to donate to the so many humanitarian and Islamic dawah causes.

And the great thing about it is that in the month of Ramadhan the reward of these actions are doubled!!

Abu Hurairah RA reported Allah’s Messenger SAW saying “Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth.” (Muslim)

This means that although it may look like our wealth in digits has decreased by giving sadaqah Allah increases the barakah (blessings) of the money that remains in your possession so it stretches further than you can imagine.
May Allah swt give us the opportunity to be charitable with the little or a lot of money we may have. Ameen

BUT… Charity is not just to do with wealth. We find the fasts are long this Ramadhan which means a lot of time to do good. So how about being charitable with our time?

The Prophet SAW said: “To smile in the company of your brother is charity.  To command to do good deeds and to prevent others from doing evil is charity.  To guide a person in a place where he can get astray is charity.  To remove troublesome things like thorns and bones from the road is charity.  To pour water from your jug into the jug of your brother is charity.  To guide a person with defective vision is charity for you.” (Bukhari)

We can see from this beloved saying that charity can be a lot more than to do with money. Charity can be simply to show affection to your loved ones or even strangers by smiling :mrgreen:!

So this Ramadhan, maybe even today… See if you can as foodies maybe make a meal for your neighbour or local homeless shelter, maybe organise a street clean or volunteer at your local old peoples home or even offer to spring clean to your local masjid or organise a Ramadhan-themed play date for some of your children’s friends… Let’s try and be creative in our good deeds as Ramadhan is not just about creating goodness within ourselves but showing and giving goodness to others. And besides that, Muslim or non-Muslim everyone knows it feels good to help others.

Allah says in Surah Baqarah:
“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and do not follow up their spending by stressing their benevolence and causing hurt, will find their reward secure with their Lord. They have no cause for fear and grief. To speak a kind word and to forgive people’s faults is better than charity followed by hurt. Allah is All-Sufficient, All-Forbearing. ”

May Allah make us of those who are charitable with our wealth and our time so that we can be of those who He loves. Ameen

🌼 Happy 2nd Ramadhan 🌼


Fast With Your Heart – Lesson One

Foodie Lesson 1 –  Special Ramadhan Series –  ‘Fast with your heart’

In the name of Allah the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy


Allah swt owns the heart we  hold inside of us. He is the creator of it and so it belongs to Him alone. He, the Almighty, knows our heart’s condition with all its flaws and all its goodness. And He the All Knowing knows exactly what the heart needs to be pure; on the straight path of Islam, racing towards Jannah.

This is what the Quraan and Sunnah teach us. They are a prescription for our heart, a remedy to fill it with light. That is why often we find the commands of Allah such as the hijab and the acts of circumbulating the Kaaba for example are not always in cohesive with the logic of the human mind. But He is the All Wise and knows what is best for us even if we don’t have a clue about how covering ourselves or doing tawaaf might make our hearts brighter. They do. And that is a fact.

But this is the beauty of Islam. We follow our Lord because we believe Him even if we can’t understand the reason behind His orders. He is the truth. Islam is perfect and we are not. But that’s not a bad thing, Allah knowingly created us as humans with flaws. We can’t feel bogged down by the mistakes we make. The bad deeds we do may make our heart hard but there is a way back to Allah no matter how great the distance we may have put between Allah and ourselves.

Allah swt says in the Quraan  “Say,  my servants who have  harmed yourselves with your own excess. Do not despair of God’s mercy. God forgives all sins; He is truly the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’ (Surah Az-Zumaar).

Therefore in this series we will talk about this blessed month of fasting inshaAllah and how we can fast with our hearts so to become more spiritually attached to our Maker.

The word spiritual can often sound divine like something spooky but it simply means to have a relationship with Allah so that within ourselves we have a smile when we think of what Allah means to us.

As today’s intro has been very long I will make the lesson itself short inshaAllah.
Today is the first day of Ramadhan, a month in which a Muslim is obliged to fast. But fasting does not simply mean to stop food and drink from entering our stomach but it is to stop bad from entering our hearts. So today let’s try not to swear or speak badly of someone, or snap at someone. Let’s try to direct our minds towards remembering Allah even if it means lying down and thinking of His beautiful creation. Think of something; a bad habit or a sin we do everyday and cut it out today. Concentrate on not doing it today, then tomorrow and then the day after. Small steps can still cross great distances.

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said
“fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am fasting!” (Muslim)

Oh Allah let fasting be shield for us. Let it shield our hearts from that which you do not like and let it remain on our hearts even when this beautiful month leaves us! Ameen

🌼 Happy 1st Ramadhan 🌼

Sausages in a Blanket


2lb mince
Handful of coriander
2 tsp garlic and ginger paste
4 tsp tandoori powder
2-3 tsp cumin powder
Green chillies to taste
1-2 onions (diced and water squeezed)

1. Put the mince in a blender for a few minutes. Then add the spices and further blend. 
2. Take out the meat and make into sausage shapes.
3. Then place on a baking tray with a less than a few tbsp of boiling water.
4. Cook in a preheates oven for 15-20 mins. Leave to cool.
5. When cool wrap in puff pastry and now they are freezer suitable or bake fresh.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Zeynab Kalang

Garlic Sauce

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic paste
Drop of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of red chilli powder
1 tbsp mayonnaise

1. Boil all the above ingredients together. Serve with chips or salad

Note: You can add cheese on top of your garlicky chops and grill till it melts.
Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu

Nandos Chicken Strips


500g chicken breast (cut into strips)
Salt to taste
Red chilli flakes/chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Nandos lemon & herb
1 tsp Nandos peri peri sauce
1 tsp Nandos garlic sauce
2-4 tbsp yoghurt

1. Marinate the chicken strips in the above ingredients and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
2. When ready to cook, add 2 tbsp butter to a frying pan, less than a 1/4 cup of water and you marinated stripa. Cook till chicken is cooked and the water has evaporated.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu

Al Baik Chicken

Ingredients (Marinade):
1 1/2lb chicken pieces (whole, drumsticks or legs; whichever you prefer)
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
chilli powder to taste
1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
1 tbsp paprika
salt to taste
½ tsp ground black pepper

Method (Marinade):
1. Marinate the chicken in all the above ingredients, cover and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours oe preferably overnight.

Ingredients (Coating):
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp chilli powder
A large plastic sealable bag

Method (Coating):
1. Mix the flour and chilli together and put in the sealable bag.
2. Then place a few pieces at a time of the marinated chicken to the bag and shake to coat it with the coating. Repeat till all the chicken is coated.
3. Heat oil on high, add the chicken pieces without overcrowding in 2-3 batches. Then lower the heat and fry again till cooked.

put few pieces of chicken in the flour bag and shake to make sure each piece is well coated with the flour. This helps give the chicken a perfect rough and crispy surface. Drain and serve with fries.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu

Bottle Gourd/Doodhi Pakoras

Small bottle gourd grated
1-2 tsp yoghurt
2 handfuls gram flour
Sprinkle of wheat flour, cornflour and
1/4 tsp garam masala
Pinch of turmeric
1/2 tspn ginger and garlic paste
Salt to taste
Green chillies to taste
Fresh coriander
1 1/2 tbsp oil

1. Mix all the ingredients together to make a smooth paste. Add a little water if needed.
2. Slowly drop a tablespoon at a time in to hot deep oil. Fry untill golden brown.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu

Milk Ghas/Set Falooda


6 cups of milk
1 1/4 tsp falooda/ghas (agar agar) powder
1 tin carnation milk
1 tin condensed milk
Ice cream essence
Food colouring
Ground almonds & pistachios (optional)

1. In a sauce pan add milk and ghas powder. Once the milk is warm add carnation milk. Keep stirring and bring to a boil.
2. Then add condensed milk. Add colour of your choice and essence.
3. Set in individual bowls or one big bowl. Leave in the fridge until set. 

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu

Sehri/Suhoor Smoothies

Tips to remember:
1. Best dates to use for smoothies are Medjool; pitted and sliced.
2. Soak dates in milk/water for few hours before use.
3. Substitute yogurt and milk interchangeably if desired.
4. Skimmed milk/ Low fat blends are better.
5. Add oat bran, almonds, flaxseed (linseed) etc for a healthier and energising kick.
6. Freezing the fruit before blending will provide a creamier texture.

Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie:
• 1 cup yogurt
• 1 cup milk
• 4-7 dates (soaked in milk overnight)
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups ice cubes (optional)
Blend – 2-3 Glasses

Simple Banana Oat Bran Smoothie:
• 1 ½ cup milk
• 1 tbsp oat bran
• 1 banana
• 4 dates (soaked in the milk overnight)
• Vanilla extract (optional)
Blends –  2 Glasses

Banana & Date Smoothie
• 250 ml plain yogurt
• 120 ml milk
• 120 ml fresh dates
(soaked overnight in milk)
• 2 bananas (sliced)
• 8 ice cubes (optional)
Blend – 2 to 3 glasses

Strawberry & Date Smoothie
• ½ cup strawberries
• ¼ cup almonds, soaked
• 3 dates (soaked in milk overnight)
• 1 cup water or milk
Blends – 2 Glasses

Spiced Banana Date Smoothie
• 1 cup Milk
• 4 dates (soaked overnight in milk)
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/8 tsp nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp ginger
• 1/8 tsp garlic cloves
• 1/8 tsp chilli powder (optional)
• 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
• 3/4 cup banana (sliced)
• 3/4 cup ice cubes (optional
Blends – 2 Glasses

Dates &  Cornflakes Smoothie
• 1 cup milk
• 4 dates (soaked overnight in milk)
• 2 tbsp cornflakes
• 1 tsp honey (optional)
• Crushed ice cubes
Blends – 2 Glasses

Yoghurty Kebabs


Ingredients (Kebab Tomatoe Gravy) :
5-10 sheesh kebabs (cooked & sliced)
Naan/pitta bread
Fresh red peppers diced
Chopped coriander
1 onion sliced
1/2 Tomato tin (blended)
3/4 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
Chilli powder to taste
Crushed ginger and garlic
Fresh green chillies to taste
Ground pepper

Method (Kebab Tomatoe Gravy):
1. Soften the  onions on oil th en add all the spices, green chillies, garlic and ginger as well as the tomatoe tin.
2. Spread pieces of the bread onto the bottom of a dish and sprinkle over half the red peppers and herbs (parsley and coriander).
3. Spread half the warm tomatoe gravy over it and then arrange the kebabs on top. Then pour the other half of the gravy on top.

Ingredients (Yogurt Sauce):
1/4-1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
Blended Garlic

Method (Yogurt Sauce):
1. Combine all the ingredients together to form a smooth paste.
2. Add the other half of the parsley, coriander and peppers to the kebabs. Then pour this on top of the kebabs and gravy.

Ingredients (Butter Sauce):
1 tbsp melted butter
Chilli powder

1. Mix the butter sauce ingredients together and pour onto the kebabs, gravy and yogurt. Garnish with fresh chillies.

Enjoy x

Love from Foodie Ayesha Kasu