This Ramadan, Islamic Relief has teamed up with Masterchef winner, Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, to bring you three mouth-watering vegetarian recipes from her award-winning book, Khazana and her upcoming project, Foodology.
Why go vegetarian during Ramadan you may ask?
For millions of Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a time of self-reflection. We try and restore our connection with Allah (SWT) and put a stop to our harmful habits.
But we mustn’t forget that pertains to our relationship with the Earth, too.
During Ramadan, we see an increase in carbon emissions and meat consumption. According to a report by AHDB Beef & Lamb, British Muslims consume more than 20% of all the lamb and mutton produced in the UK.
Eating meat is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. And so, maintaining our current habits is unsustainable.
That’s why, throughout the last three weeks of Ramadan, Saliha will provide Islamic Relief with alternative vegetarian recipes, inspired by our relationship with the earth:
This Ramadan, I have decided to share three earth-inspired recipes with Islamic Relief to remind us all of the beauty of cooking vegetarian.
The recipes, whether from Khazana or Foodology are not genre specific; rather, they are an amalgamation of the very best of south-east Asia and ancient Persia.
This gently spiced aubergine raita dish is wonderful with warm flatbread. You can use the bread to scoop up the soft aubergines and sweet, spiced raita.
1 large aubergine, cut into 5mm slices
75ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
200g natural yoghurt, at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 red chilli, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
Handful of pomegranate seeds
Salt, to taste
- Liberally brush each aubergine slice with olive oil until they are coated all over. Now sprinkle turmeric and a good pinch of salt over the aubergines so that all the aubergines have taken on the vibrant yellow of the turmeric.
- Place a large non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and fry the aubergine slices in batches for about 4–5 minutes on each side. They should be completely soft and caramelised on both sides. Arrange the aubergines in a single layer on a large flat platter.
- Put the yoghurt and honey into a bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
- Pour the 75ml olive oil into a frying pan and place over a high heat; when it is very hot, but not quite smoking, add the garlic, cumin seeds and diced chilli – the garlic and cumin should start colouring very quickly. When they are golden brown, remove from the heat and pour carefully over the yoghurt; stir well.
- Drizzle the yoghurt over the prepared aubergines and scatter over the coriander, mint and pomegranate seeds.
We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. Tweet us your photos and thoughts as @IslamicReliefUK!
Don’t forget to also see what else you can do for the planet this Ramadan by visiting our Eco-Ramadan hub.
Recipe featured in Khazana by Saliha Cooks.