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Ramadan 2014

Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mubarak

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem!

Assalamu alaikum everyone,

As everyone knows the holy month of Ramadan is drawing to a close and May Allah (SWT) accept our duas’ and prayers in it inshaAllah. May Allah bless us all with another Ramadan also inshaAllah.

A lot of us think that all we do is eat and sleep and at times pray in Ramadan. That isn’t true. Yes, we eat and we eat well because we’ve fasted the whole day without food and water and have remembered Allah’s blessing that while we have good food and clean water to drink, others don’t. But to say, that we do only that would be telling only one side of the story ūüôā Though one can’t deny the fact that wonderful goodies are made only in this month which one would be hard pressed to find throughout the year.

One such goodie or staple I must say for Indian muslims, especially South Indians, would be “Aash /Ganji / Kanji”.

So today, before Ramadan leaves us this year, I wanted to post the recipe for “Aash” the way I make it at home. Quite often I see, for a woman, there is a Before and After. A Before Marriage recipe and an After Marriage recipe!

That’s true in my case as well. I’d like to share both here with you all.

I didn’t remember to take a pic of how the aash looked like before I wrote the post (it did finish sooner than expected), so I borrowed one from¬†Yes I can cook!¬†(I didn’t seek their permission before, but I’m hoping I’m ok here since I do share photo credits.)

Back to the recipe, there are three ways I make it in; the first variation would be with broken rice, moong dal, mince meat. Typically Aash is a soup and its consistency shouldn’t be too thick nor too runny. Like Goldilocks says, it’s just right.

Here’s what it would look like as shown below:

Iftar special: Aash

Iftar special: Aash

Now, if you look at the photo above, and since it isn’t mine, you would see pieces of tomato in it. Culturally that would be more down South, say Tamil Nadu or Kerala but us in Bangalore would avoid the turmeric (haldi) and the tomato and do without. That creates a whitish-cream look which tastes just as yum! So the photo would be the second variation I was mentioning earlier. The third would be for all health conscious readers i.e with Oats.

Let’s get started with the first variation…(Serves 2) One can adjust¬†quantities accordingly for larger or smaller servings.

What you need:

Broken rice (coarse)         Р1/4 of a cup

Moong dal                        Р1.5 Tbsp

Mince meat                       Рa handful (washed and cleaned)

Onions ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†–¬†1/4 of a medium sized one,¬†finely¬†chopped

Green chillies                   Р2/3 to your taste; finely chopped

Coriander leaves              Р 10 stalks (with fresh leaves) cut evenly

Fresh grated coconut       Р1 tbsp

Oil                                     Р 2 tbsp

Ginger Garlic paste          Р1 teaspoon

Clove                                Р2

Cinnamon ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† – Two 1″ sticks

Cardamom                       Р2

Salt to taste

Water as required (OR)   Р 3 cups

Lemon juice                     Р1 tsp

Now that the ingredients are in place; we can get cooking. Please remember you can experiment with the quantities of the ingredients but I would recommend erring on the side of caution when it comes to the spices. Feel free to drop me a line if in doubt; else just place a comment below and I will respond.

Now, What’s the method?

Preparation: Wash and clean the mincemeat (Kheema) and wash the moong dal.

What’s cooking? Take a thick bottomed medium to large sized vessel (cooking pots are good – in case you were wondering) – you could try a pressure cooker as well. Heat the oil, on medium flame. Add the chopped onion, stir fry for a minute or two and then add spices – cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon. Stir fry for a minute, Add the ginger garlic paste and saute well till the raw smell of garlic disappears and you get an aroma.

Now, add the mince and again saute well and mix with everything in the pan on medium low flame. For those who have electric burners, like I do, just fiddle a bit till you find what you feel is a medium low for you. Ideally neither the onion, nor spices or meat must be allowed to brown or worst case burn. Coming back to the dish, Let it fry for sometime till you know the raw meat smell disappears and aroma rises to tease you a bit. (Do remember I am fasting, when I prepare this so yes, sometimes its a tease). Meat will tend to stick to the bottom and sides if unattended so stir constantly. Use some water if needed.

Next, add the broken rice, dal (gram), green chillies, and add water so you get a broth consistency and let it simmer on low. You can re-visit after 15-20 mins. Now the rice and dal is mostly done, go ahead and add the coconut, coriander, and salt. We usually wing the salt tasting part as we’re fasting so most times, we would invariably forget to add it and it gets added when serving after we break our fast.

Before taking off the flame, add the lemon juice.

Now for the second variation: After you’d add the meat, one can add the tomatoes as well, and when you add the spices add a pinch of turmeric to the broth for the South Indian twist.

The health conscious variation: Forget the broken rice, add that amount of oats (I use Quakers) with the gram and omit the meat if you’re vegan and substitute with carrots.

Bit of trivia:

Moong dal is also known as Mung bean / Golden gram [Green gram when shelled is Moong dal or Golden gram]

Handy tips:

Keep on medium flame to low always.

Add salt last.

Garnish with coriander leaves (a few)

For a spicier version, can add a pinch of red chilly powder / black pepper powder, however do fry well with other spices to blend in.

Can substitute lemon juice with curd ( 3 tbsp). Whip curd well before adding to broth, to avoid curd lumps forming.

And…c’est tout! Fini! That’s it folks!

Till next time,




About Sanaa Tarneem

The best thing about being a woman, is to have a little fun... Straightforward, forthright, simple at heart, a foodie, an explorer, extremely adaptable to life!...a lawyer, a closet writer, a good friend, a not-so-secret agony aunt...the list could go on, but the only way is to find out is by reading...


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