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Feast Food of the Islamic world

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Mirza Firuz Shah

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Book Review

Subject:

History

Subclass:

Timured/Mughal

Reign:

Alamgir III 2012-Present

Subject Year (Time):

2018

Author:

Anissa Helou

Volume:

-

Edition:

-

Publisher & Place:

-

Publisher Date:

2018

Languages:

English

ISBN 10|13:

9780062363039

Royal Mughal Ref:

ARC-1000001-2591

Description

I slam was born at the beginning of the seventh century in one of the world’s harshest climates, in Mecca in Saudi Arabia around the year 610 AD, when the Prophet Muhammad began receiving divine revelations from the angel Gabriel. However, it wasn’t until the year 622 AD or 1 AH (after Hijrah, or exile) that the Islamic calendar marks the official start of the religion when, after a dispute with his tribe, the Prophet Muhammad fled Mecca to the city of Yathrib, now known as Medina. Medina was and still is an oasis in the desert, but though there was water, there wouldn’t have been much variety available to the early Muslims in terms of food, and their diet was mainly limited to dates from the palm trees growing in the oasis; meat and dairy from their flocks of sheep, camel, and goat; and bread from grain they either grew or imported in their trade caravans from the fertile countries of the Levant and beyond. The Prophet’s favorite meal is said to have been tharid, a composite dish made of layers of dry bread topped with a stew of meat and vegetables, which still exists in one form or another, under different names, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and even as far as Indonesia, where some curries are served over roti.

The month of Ramadan is the most important time of the year for Muslims, a time for the feast and feasting when Muslims throughout the world change their ways to show their devotion to God. No food or drink is allowed to pass their lips from sunrise to sundown, but as soon as the sun sets, people gather with family and friends to break their fast, whether at home or in restaurants and cafés, or simply on the street if they happen to be working and have nowhere to go to break the fast. The menu changes according to where you are. In the Arabian Gulf the fast is first broken with dates and water before moving on to the main meal, known in Arabic as iftar. Then people pray before sitting at the table to partake of their first meal of the day. In the Levant, people break their fast with apricot leather juice, fattoush (a mixed herb and bread salad), and/or lentil soup. In the Maghreb, soup is the first thing people eat after sunset, whereas in Indonesia they break their fast (called buka puasa there) with sweet snacks and drinks known as takjil. During Ramadan, Indonesian restaurants serve their whole menu at each table and charge diners only for the dishes they consume before taking away those that remain untouched to stack them again in the restaurant window.

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Very good information.

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