Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
Day of the week to honor Meatless Mondays, when my family made a commitment to go veggie one day a week. So Boss found fresh, crisp okra at the desi store. We all love bhindi.
I am going to use my Ammi’s Bhindi Do Pyaza recipe, this is quintessential U.P. style cooking. You use a lot of onions to give the okra that sweet- salty taste. If made perfectly, its crunchy . When you chop the okra it seems like a lot but like spinach it tends to shrivel up. I make enough for a family of six.
- 1 lb fresh okra, lady fingers, bhindi (wash and pat dry BEFORE chopping into 1/2 inch pieces, don’t use tops, check out the picture for size)
- Olive oil (or canola)
- 2 med onions sliced finely ( I like using my trusty slicer @ .75mm)
- few whole dried red chilli peppers
- 1/2 tsp safaid zeera (cumin seed)
- 1 tsp lal mirch (red chili powder) This is SPICY so adjust to your taste.
- 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)
- salt to taste
- Lemon to cut the viscosity of the okra.
- Heat oil in a wok or chef’s pan-I have anemia so I try to use cast iron pans as much as possible
- Add zeera (cumin seeds) until they pop
- Add onions until they turn color, adding salt at this point help make the onions crispier
- Add the okra
- Then the spices
- Stir fry till the okra is crispy
- Give it a good squeeze of lemon
- Serve with chappati
All the scraps go in to the compost pile. Hope you can make it an easy habit. Happy Eating!
Seven years ago, when we moved to the lovely city we call home, I was on a even greater environmental high-these were the pre-gas guzzler in my driveway days. I was planning my irrigation system, so I signed up to attend the water agency’s free class. They were hosting a composting workshop on same day and were selling these composting bins for CHEAP! Check you local sources. I bought a worm composting bin too; that was too much work for me then- may be now that the kids are a little older, I should try it again.
We save the scraps and dump it in here. I have the gardener put the grass clippings in it. I used to turn it myself the first year but it is hard when you are perpetually pregnant, so I have the gardner turn and water it for me. The soil that your harvest from it is so rich and smells so good, like EARTH. I don’t ever have to buy soil amendments.
Its great! got my in laws hooked too. At first they thought I was crazy but now Mr. LF’s uncle has a lovely little orchard that he amends with homemade compost too. Don’t put in meat, or bread become you don’t want rats or too many bugs- there will be bugs but when you turn it once in a while its not that bad.
Doesn’t this remind of of the ayah in the Quran:
See you not, that Allah sends down water (rain) from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth, (and then makes it to spring up) as water-springs and afterward thereby produces crops of different colors, and afterward they wither and you see them turn yellow, then He makes them dry and broken pieces. Verily, in this, is a Reminder for men of understanding. Surah Zumar
Posted in Family, Food, Living green, Make your deen green, Recipes, Uncategorized, tagged chawal, dal, environment, lentil, Living green, meatless monday, Muslim, recipe, rice on May 5, 2010 | 1 Comment »
We have decided to do Meatless Mondays in our home, from now on. Meatless Monday is a movement to cut out meat one day a week from your diet. At first the LFs were like “aww what no chicken!” So we talked about how we do it already, like spaghetti night ( they love meatless marinara). This way it will be a conscious effort. I told them how Prophet Muhammad (SAW) did not eat meat every day- that this is closer to Sunnah. Its healthier, better for the environment. Then I got a thumbs up.
The boss was surprisingly more motivated. I was expecting some ‘are we becoming vegans’ quip from him. But Alhamdulillah it went over quite well. I cooked Dal Chawal (rice and lentils), a desi staple and a household favorite.
Recipe: This will make enough for a family of six- we had leftovers
1 1/2 cups kali dal (moong/urad lentils with skin) Soak overnight or at least 2 hours
1 tsp Red chili powder (Lal Mirch) less if you don’t like spicy
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch of ground cumin
1 tsp Amchur/Kahtai (dried mango powder) a bit of tamarind works too
1 heaped tsp crushed garlic
Salt to taste
6 cups water
Tip: I cook this using a pressure cooker, it is quicker- a pot works fine. Use 1 cup dal:4 cups water ratio
Get the water boiling
Add the drained lentils, salt, garlic & spices.
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 1 2 minutes after presure come on. Cooking time for dals vary. ( 1 hour in a regular pot)
Tarka or Baghaar ( Flavored oil to temper the lentils )
3 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin) or butter/ghee/canola oil
1/2 clove garlic (sliced)
Fresh cilantro 1/2 bunch (washed and chopped)
2 green chili peppers (jalepenos, thai whatever is on hand)
1/2 tsp cumin seed
some people like sliced onions too
Tip: Use a cast iron frying pan.
Heat up the oil- make sure it doesn’t start to smoke
Toss in the cumin seeds and after it pops, put the garlic in,
Add the green chili peppers. Don’t over brown them.
When the green chilis & garlic start turning color and smelling divine, turn down the heat and add the cilantro. The cilantro should crisp up.
Pour this over the dal. Be careful.
Serve with Basmati Rice.
4 cups rice
1 tbsp Butter
Stick of Cinnamon
Ample water for boiling the rice
Salt to taste
Tip: Use basmati rice ( Zebra brand is my favorite)
Soak the rice for atleast 1/2 an hour. Drain and wash.
Heat the water to a rolling boil in a stainless steel pot, add the stick of cinnamon.
Add rice and salt.
Cook for 12 minutes.
Check the rice – press a kernel between your thumbs. it should give way but not be squishy.
Drain the in colander- this way you get rid of all the starch. Don’t run water over it. Return to pot and let it set on low heat. Cover the pot.
Add the butter. Happy eating.
Posted in Food, Living green, tagged beef, environment, farmers market, grass fed, green deen, halal, islam, LA, Living green, Muslim, OC, pregnancy health, West Coast, zabihah on April 19, 2010 | 8 Comments »
As you have probably read before that I am an avid supporter of a whole food, traditional food lifestyle- it is closest to the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW), so I leap at any chance to eat more nourishing food. After my recent visit to the Middle East and Pakistan, I came back and nothing here tasted good. I had a hard time eating anything. Then I realized all the meat that my father handpicks from his neighborhood butcher in Islamabad is grass-fed- the goats roam the valleys searching for grass as do the cows. They are not fed corn or grain. That is not Allah (SWT) met for them to eat.
Albalagh’s article on animal feed and hormones in ‘halal’ animals prompted more research. Then found an article about how zabihah meat could be rendered un-halal based on the feed of the cow.
I asked my butcher “Uncle’ at Asia Spot and at first he was offended, then he bought out the box from his slaughter house, which said grain fed. So I’m satisfied but still hungering for the taste of meat from the old country. As Nourished Kitchen.com says,
I started researching grass fed options- so I looked in to greenzabihah.com. They are based in Virginia so are a great source for East Coasters. But shipping here wasn’t cost effective, so you ask Allah and viola- a local option for So Cal.
Zabihah Grass Fed Beef is now available at Farmers Markets in OC and LA. Frank (the rancher) is at Farmers Market selling Halal Grass Fed Beef. He will start some time in mid April… if you need further information about this you can visit him at any of the farmers markets listed below..starting the week of April 12th. The plant does not handle pork. Frank is not doing the slaughtering. His cows are slaughtered by Paradise Ranch where Muslims do the slaughtering and packaging.
The prices are different depending on what you want. There are halal/zabihah labels on the meat as well.
You can get it at the following four Farmers market locations:
San Juan Capistrano- Wed 3-7pm
Laguna Hills Farmers Market- Friday 9-1 pm
Irvine UCI Farmers Market-Saturdays 8-12 pm
Beverly Hills- Sundays 9-1 pm
Northern Californian have a great resource at Nature’s Bounty All Halal Farm in Vacaville, CA.
My husband & I have made a major lifestyle change this year. As we head into our mid thirties, our bodies are changing on us. We were always night-owls ever since college. He would workout at night- the gym is less crowded- less fitnah. Then work on his paperwork til the wee hours of night. I would even do my grocery shopping at night since taking 3 kids to the store during the day was pure torture. As a result, I’m ashamed to say we would miss our Fajr a lot.
This year with LF#3 in pre-school and LF#2 in school until 2:12, leaves just LF#4 at home and he hasn’t hit the terrible twos yet. My husband’s work schedule has Alhamdulillah become somewhat ‘normal’, with the 2:00 am calls diminishing as the hospital’s overtime budgets shrink.
As a result of all of this, we now go to bed by 10:00 as opposed to 2:00. The other reason for making this change was I am salah-training my LF#1 and frankly it was embarrassing when she asked me all too often why I had not woke her up for fajr.
This poster courtesy of OJS- my brother -in-love
Now waking up before dawn breaks, he still fits the gym in – less fitnah that early in the morning too. My kids haven’t been tardy once since we started. The best part about it is LF#1 and I are bonding during prayers. It’s quiet in the morning – we talk without her younger siblings interrupting after every word. I know that there will be days when it is not perfect so pray for me.
I am including the yummy breakfast recipe we are making together now that we have time to enjoy them.
LF#1 Fave: Omlette a la Mama
7 Organic Free Range Eggs -one for every person in the family plus one
1 medium brown onion
Olive Oil (for the Sunnah)
Pepper jack cheese- I use the Tillamook brand, its creamy, halal certified, rennet free and the enzymes are microbial/ vegetable based AND made with milk produced without rBST. I love this company, its a cooperative of 110 dairy families.
Here is the link- Tillamook answers cheese questions.
- Buy the big block from Costco , shred it, put it in small ziplocs and freeze it
Red Chili powder- a pinch
Fresh crushed black pepper
Fresh cilantro or parsley (whatever is available)
- Grate the cheese
- Cube the onions.
- Beat the eggs well in a large bowl. The longer you beat it the smoother your omelette will be.
- Season as desired.
- Warm your pan (use cast iron) and coat it lightly with olive oil over medium heat ( don’t use too much oil it will make the omelette soggy & greasy)
- Saute the onions until translucent
- Pour the eggs into the pan and cook until the bottom starts solidifying
- Lift up the pan edges so all the runny eggs flow to the side of the pan
- Fill the middle with onions, herbs and cheese and fold the omelette.
When we are in a hurry then we just add the onions to the eggs and fry the mixture, flip the omelette and just sprinkle the cheese on top.
Grown up version- add mushrooms & green bell pepper for the hubbie.
Deen is a way of life. In obedience to the Creator. So make your deen green; while you live on this Earth, respect it as you do other creations of God. Likewise our bodies too are a gift from the Creator. What we consume affects our body and soul. Many of us follow the halal but we forget the tayyab- the pure. In the Quran, in Surah Al-Ma-ida: 87-88 ( The table spread with food) God say,
“Eat of the things, which GOD has provided for you, lawful and pure; but fear GOD in whom you believe.”