The kind of iftars I like going to, are with friends…and if at their homes, even better. Not for any other reason, but even though I don’t fast, I believe it’s a much more personal way of sharing an important time of the day with friends and family. It’s like Christmas and Eid – every December 25th sees me at my best friend’s home the entire day, and every Eid-Al-Fitr sees me running off to another friend’s home, again squatting there the entire day.
This Ramadan, I’ve had the pleasure of being invited to three friends’ houses. And every time, while the food was fantastic, it’s the desserts that held my fancy.
Iftar #1… or… The-One-Where-I-Just-Ate-and-Forgot-About-Taking-Photographs
So at this one at the house-of-a-friend-whose-car-is-named-Larry, I ate the samosas, the awesome chicken wraps (I think I kept eating and eating these…there wasn’t much left for anyone else), the biryani, the khousa (is that how it’s spelt? A Burmese dish if I remember correctly), and this awesome brownie thing in cream/ice-cream, an explosion of delight that made me go *gobble gobble gobble*. Then, sated, I quickly clicked some shots of the brownies that Yasmin had gotten with her, as proof of my camera’s existence.
*feels ashamed for not taking more pics* I was so busy eating and drinking, I forgot my photo-senses.
A food blogger’s Iftar is always a tough one, innit? I don’t think I’ll ever have the courage to cook for my fantastic consortium of UAE food bloggers because…oh…the pressure! But Sukaina, of Sips and Spoonfuls fame, rose to the occasion and had us salivating. Here’s what she said she’d be making for us:
Grillled coriander chicken
Fish in coconut curry
Smoked chicken pastries
Date Pudding with toffee sauce
Pear cake with custard
So we got the samosas (I’m potentially responsible for most of them disappearing), the chicken pastries and that soft, tender, amazing grilled coriander chicken here:
The date pudding with toffee sauce! Not only yummy, also looking so delicious, you wonder if you have the heart to eat them and ruin the lovely way they look, but when you see everyone around you attacking it with feverish alacrity, you think… whatever dudettes, I’m so going to devour this.
Is any food blogger gathering complete without Shafeena‘s cupcakes from Bloomsbury’s (massive post on this to come soon)? NO, I SAY. NO, I PROCLAIM. My stomach protesteth at the thought. IT WEEPS! It mourns. It’s also hinting at Shafeena to get ’em cupcakes every time… is it working? Not only did the lovely woman get some of her lovely cupcakes, she had a little surprise for Sukaina…have a look…
And then Sidiqa, she-who-is-spontaneously-euphoric, brought her tiramisu delight.
I love this woman so much I dedicated an entire post to her magical cooking and baking skills, so who in their right minds would even think twice about going to her house (only if she’s invited you folks, otherwise might not be such a great idea)?
Let’s try this…I’ll throw words out there and will tell you what comes to mind when I say it:
YASMIN! >>> RED PANDA!!!
Alfajores! >>> Yasmin-I-Love-You-Will-You-Stay-With-Me-Forever-and-Bake-Me-Alfajores-Forever?
Iftar at Yasmin’s house >>> FOOD COMA!!!
And that’s exactly what happened.
I was unsurprisingly not in the mood to take photos (the last night having stayed up till 2:30am to give those ravenous food bloggers their pics from the Iftar [200 pics total from that night]…those demanding women them) … but I managed a very quick snap of some of the food on the table…samosas, a terribly cropped tomato soup (I hate tomato soup, but THIS I loved…was it *really* tomato soup?) and the stuffed pastries. There were also sausage rolls and even though not anywhere here, I had her awesome qatayefs (another reason for me to want Yasmin to be with me forever and ever and ever).
But the pièce de résistance! Dessert! Here’s a look at the table… cheesecake, chocolate fondant, strawberries for the fondant and strawberry drizzle for the cheesecake. Drooling yet? ENVY ME.
Chocolate fondant? Whazzat, you ask? Billions of blistering barnacles…you haven’t really lived if you haven’t tasted what Yasmin can do with this dessert. So everyone’s plonking strawberries on their little chocolate cakes (and there I’m wondering…why is it upside-down?!), and I follow suit. *plonks a strawberry on top of hot chocolate cake thing*
I lift my spoon, say…I’ll cut into it now…
And… THIS… is what happens. Squelchy, oozing, hot, creamy chocolate. Inside chocolate. *Attacks plate contents like an Elf running into battle against the Orcs* Not that the chocolate fondant is an Orc. It’s … it’s… heaven on a plate, with a strawberry on top.
The cheesecake. Aren’t we all suckers for cheesecake? *dares anyone to say they don’t like cheesecake, because if they do, they are lost to FooDee forever* While it somehow turned to cheesecake-custard, it still tasted awesome.
Often I feel a smidgen of guilt, not having fasted, yet devouring all the food. But that feeling soon washes away as my tongue explodes into a fantasy world of its own…
I thank you…everyone who invited me to their home and allowed me to share an Iftar with them, not only for the food but the excellent company. And for putting up with being blinded with my flash. *hugs*