Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kitchro - A delicious Indian soup

Mom's Kitchro recipe has always been a huge hit especially during the winter months. Mom would cook a big pot of soup and distribute it within the community especially among the poor and elderly folk. I should have posted this recipe a long time ago but what can I do... time is a factor......

                                           1. In a big pot add 1 1/2 tablespoon chana dhaal

                                           2. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon oil dhaal

                                           3. Add 1/2 a cup rice
                                          4.Add 3/4 cup crushed wheat

                                          5. 1 1/2 tablespoon barley
                                               6. Rinse out all the ingredients in the pot as depicted above

                                          7. Add water and 1 teaspoon salt to the lentils and cook until soft

                                          8. In another pot chop up one onion. Add jeera ( cumin)

                                          9. Add 1 tablespoon ghee and a 1/4 cup oil to the onions

                                          10. Cook onions until brown in colour

                                          11. Wash and clean 1 kg of bony leg mutton. Add 2 tsp green chillies

                                          12. Add 2 teaspoon salt

                                          13.Add a few pieces of taj, lavang and elachi
                                          (cardamon, cinnamon sticks, clove and whole pepper)

                                         14. Add 2 teaspoons of aradh (turmeric)

                                          15. Add 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic masala. Marinate the
                                           meat in the above ingredients.

                                          16. Add the marinated meat to the onions.

                                          17. Add water and cook until soft

                                      18. Once the lentils are cooked soft remove from stove

                                          19. Now liquidize the water and lentil mixture
                                          20. Add the liquidized mixture to the cooked meat

                                         21. In a small frying pan. Chop up one onion. Add some jeera

                                          22. Add 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) and 1 whole
                                                green chilli (optional). Cook until light brown.
                                          23. Add the light browned onion and ghee mixture to the soup.

                                         24. Add 2 teaspoons of garam masala on top. Stir soup.
                                              Garnish with greens, fresh coriander and spring onions.
                                          You can also add a little bit of lemon juice. If the soup is too
                                          thick you can thin it down by adding some water. If it is not strong
                                         enough, you can add a little more green chillies to the soup and stir.

You can enjoy this soup with Rey's delicious home made naan

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thinking of those I left behind

I wrote this article a few months ago but I simply forgot to post it.

The best part about having your own business is of course flexibility and being able to report to work at whatever time suits you. Alhamdulilla, thanks to God Almighty my family and I experienced one of the best, most relaxing fasting month's ever. Our home is functioning on Saudi mode at present as I had become so accustomed to life in the Kingdom. We usually break our fast with zamzam and tamoor and of course a few savouries in line with South African Indian tradition. Dad then drops me off at the pharmacy before heading off for taraweeh prayers at the masjid close by. After taraweeh we head back home and then have a full dinner. Almost every night we have guests over for dinner making it a fun and jovial experience. A few nights ago at the dinner table dad decided to call a friend of mine residing in Riyadh. In fact he is more of a fatherly figure rather a friend. He hails from a middle class family in Pakistan and spent half his life in the Kingdom working as a messenger in a hospital. To earn extra money he would also stitch clothing. Through hard work and determination he put all his kids through university making them well respected members of society. What amazed me about this middle aged gentleman was undoubtedly his kind demeanour. Whenever mom would visit the Kingdom, he would take us out for dinner and every year at Eid he would surprise me with a whole carrier bag full of new clothes. Whilst chatting to him though I was saddened at some of the news he relayed to me.

 A colleague of mine that I worked with passed away in an accident a few months ago and a Syrian doctor who was a mutual friend was missing after making his way to Syria. I was deeply saddened and aggrieved. These were people I knew, living beings that I laughed and joked with. I knew their friends and their family. Naturally I was unable to sleep that night. The next morning Allah put a thought in my mind. I called a mutual friend in Syria and I then received news that the Syrian doctor and his family had major issues when they returned to their country of birth. Their homes and properties had been destroyed. Thank Allah though that they managed to escape without getting hurt. They moved away to Sweden. I got a hold of the mobile number and wasn't I elated and filled with jubilation at hearing their voices on the phone. Whilst they lost their land and their property they were still living and breathing. Whilst they had to give up their life of luxury and move into a small apartment at least there is hope of a better future for their kids. Under Swedish law they are unable to practice as medical professionals without first mastering the Swedish language. They need to study Swedish and then write an exam in order for them to be fully integrated into society. Not many of us will be able to do this. I admire their strength and determination.

I was then informed about my Palestinian friend who resides in Jeddah. His parents along with immediate family reside in Ramallah. Hence they are safe from the Israeli aggression. However, when I spoke to him I could hear the pain and anguish in his voice when he describes the atrocities that have been inflicted against his extended family residing in the Gaza strip. Doctor Hani witnessed the wickedness of the Israelis at the tender age of five years old. He was walking to the masjid with his maternal grandfather when Israelis soldiers kidnapped his grand dad. His grandfather screamed at him to run and hide. He ran down the alleyway into the masjid and remained in the basement for two days without food. Naturally his own parents were under the impression that he was kidnapped as well. After two days he returned home to the surprise and happiness of his family. His grand dad was however tortured and then murdered at the hands of the Zionist Jews. His body was chopped up into pieces and thrown at their door. Whilst South African kids are brought up in a lap of luxury sheltered and protected by our families, the young children of Palestine are denied a normal childhood. Tears rolled down my cheeks listening to Hani's childhood stories. He mentioned to me that whilst life was tough, he wanted to break free. He wanted to acquire an education. He felt that he needed to empower himself. There was no money though and yet he knew he had to leave the land of his ancestors in order to make a better life for himself and his family. One day by chance he came into contact with foreigners visiting Jerusalem. They were from Latin America. Through the grace of God Almighty they took a liking to young Hani and he returned with them to their country. They gave him an education and he learnt fluent Spanish. Hani told me that every step of the way he felt as though Allah was with him helping him through all of his trials and tribulations. When he completed his schooling he wanted to acquire a tertiary education but he didn't wish to burden the family he was staying with. He applied for a bursary and even though there were thousands of applicants, he was accepted. A few other families in the neighbourhood he was residing in subsidized his other expenses like textbooks and of course transport money to and from university. Today Doctor Hani is well respected in his field of medicine. But despite his success as a doctor, he mentioned to me that he will never feel complete happiness until he returns to his homeland. He works in Saudi to support his own family as well as his extended family. Every year he seeks admission for one family member at a university abroad. In his opinion, knowledge and intellect is what the Palestinian people need in order to one day grow as a successful nation. Whilst I felt saddened listening to his story, all he said was," Dear Sumayya, peace and war comes from Allah. Be happy and grateful in every situation that you are faced with. Alhamdulillahi 3ala kulli haal."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey 2014- Day 4

As we had a really long day ahead of us, we woke up just before sunrise. We packed our luggage the night before as we were checking out of the hotel. We were all excited and enthusiastic about the road trip and the rich heritage the country had to offer us.  But before our road trip began, we first needed to visit the majestic Blue mosque. We did not visit it completely the day before, as it was Friday and hence extremely crowded. As we headed for the Blue mosque I was stunned by the number of tourists that had already made their way to this building of grandeur even though it was so early in the morning. I always thought that the early bird catches the worm, but I was proven wrong. The queue was horrendous. Nonetheless whilst waiting in line, we had an opportunity of chatting to tourists from other countries. I was quite shocked at the level of ignorance and disrespect that many of the tourists had with regards to visiting a place of worship. You would think that a person coming from a first world country would be educated enough to know about other people’s culture and religion. Yet again I was proven wrong.

 Many travelers pitched up at the mosque in shorts, sleeveless tops and mini-skirts. Whilst scarves are provided at the entrance of the building to cover up in the case of indecency, I honestly think that a good traveler is one who respects the law and culture of the country.  I was quite annoyed with an American woman who told us that her family called her to check up on her. They told her that she needs to be very careful as she is in a Muslim country. Muslim people are uncivilized and anything can happen to her. Of course, I could not simply turn a deaf ear to her statements and so I retaliated. This is what I said to her,
“ My dear, with all due respect, do you see people walking the streets with guns and grenades. Your government, through the media have brainwashed you people into thinking badly about one billion people who follow a religion of peace. You should be more afraid of the American government than worry about innocent Muslims who are content with their daily lives. The west invades other countries, rape those countries of their wealth, minerals and oil due to greed. What business does your government have to poke their noses in the internal affairs of other nations? Do you honestly think the world is so stupid into believing everything your government showcases on television?”  The woman stared at me with a stunned look on her face. She then told me that she works for a department within the American government and that she does agree with me wholeheartedly. It was the first time that she actually visited a Muslim country and she was taken aback by the kindness and hospitality displayed by the Turkish nation towards foreigners. She promised to return to the USA and change the mindset of her family and friends towards Muslims people.

Words cannot explain the beauty of the 17th century Blue mosque, a strong reminder of how mighty and powerful the Ottoman Empire must have been.  After spending an hour inspecting the architecture of the building, we then headed back to the bus to commence our road trip through Turkey. Our first stop was Tekirdag, a two hour drive from Istanbul. Tekirdag is a small countryside farming community. Most of the meat in Turkey comes from this farming community. At Tekirdag we stopped at a filling station for lunch.W e enjoyed fresh Gosleme’s , a Turkish cheese pancake. After lunch we headed towards Gallipoli. “The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), was a campaign of World War I that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula[6] in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916. The peninsula forms the northern bank of the Dardanelles, a strait that provides a sea route to what was then the Russian Empire, one of the Allied powers during the war. Intending to secure it, Russia's allies Britain and France launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula with the eventual aim of capturing the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).[7] The naval attack was repelled and, after eight months' fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign also failed and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.

The campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war and a major Allied failure. In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the nation's history: a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli. The campaign is often considered as marking the birth of national consciousness in Australia and New Zealand and the date of the landing, 25 April, is known as "Anzac Day" which is the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in those two countries, surpassing Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).”

After visiting the cemeteries at Gallipoli,and paying our respect to all those soldiers who died during the war, we then headed towards the Eceabat ferry landing.  After a twenty minute ride on the ferry, crossing the Dardanelles Straits we found ourselves in the university town, Canakkale. We checked in for an overnight stay at the opulent Kolin hotel. Over the years, the hotel has received numerous awards for service excellence and thus played host to many diplomats and dignitaries including Prince Charles and his current wife. After enjoying a five star dinner at the hotel dining hall, we retired to bed.

For more pictures, simply click on this link: