Ramadan has always been special to me. Growing up, everything about Ramadan was exciting – from the moon sighting to waking up early for suhur, from reciting the Quran to laying out the iftar table was something I always looked forward to. Ramadan values, discipline, self-control, sacrifice for the sake of Allah is something I deeply treasure and sincerely hope that one day I can instill and pass on the same teaching and mindsets to the next generation.
When Lubna asked me to write a Ramadan based guest post for her gorgeous blog, Yummy Food, I happily proposed that I present her readers with one of the traditional iftar item, Piyaju, that is a must in 99% of the Muslim households during iftar time in Bangladesh.
It may not be the healthiest choice for iftar time, but special times, call for special items and piyaju, fritters made of red lentil or masoor dal paste and chopped onions, is one such item. Without having piyaju, iftar seems to be incomplete. Though in our busy lives, we don’t make piyaju everyday these days, like back home in Bangladesh, we surely make sure they appear on the table at least during the weekends if not more.
Piyaju has a huge spot in my childhood fond memories of Ramadan. I wasn’t allowed to do any cooking growing up as many of you from the Indian sub continent may relate to. However, Ramadan was special and special times called for special privileges. During Ramadan, I was allowed to fry piyaju and set out the table for the family. Everyday, I looked forward to the iftar preparation time to fry piyaju and lovingly prepare the plates for the family members and few extra ones to send to the neighborhood masjid and share few plates with those who were less fortunate. Every time, I fry piyaju I ponder into my childhood Ramadan days and cherish the memories.
Unknowingly, piyaju, through the reminder of warm childhood Ramadan memories, has become a symbol of the strong family bonds that we have and the love we share as family towards each other, and the community and off course the greater teachings of Ramadan.
I hope you’ll enjoy this treasured, tried and tasted recipe and include in your iftar this Ramadan or during one of your snack or tea time. Serve it with a green tomato sauce or radish chutney for an extra pizazz. Please hop over to Lubna’s for the recipe and more.