Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims the world over, started a couple or so weeks ago. During Ramadan, Muslims fast – abstain from all food and drink – from before sunrise to after sunset.
I really wonder how Muslims who live in the far north or far south do it when the days get really really long. I imagine those living in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, for example, would have an extremely difficult time fasting from before sunrise to after sunset every day when that gives them only a few hours total in which to eat.
I need to make a lot of naan for/throughout Ramadan – Fahim eats those faster/easier than rice and curries, and naan seems to go down the easiest. He tells me that eating that early is difficult, makes him feel ill, but it’s better than not eating at all.
I took a look at Fort McMurray for this year, and a person would have to finish breakfast by 3:40 am and would not be able to break fast until 9 pm (this is for the beginning of Ramadan – the sunset and sunrise times change significantly over the month that far north). Contrast that to here, with Fahim finishing breakfast by 4:50 am and breaks fast shortly after 6 pm (times for Colombo are estimates and vary up to a half hour depending on time of year).
Breaking fast happens at a specific time called maghrib, which tends to be between 6 and 6:30 pm here. Breaking fast is traditionally done with dates and something to drink like water, king coconut water, almond drink, or the like. This year, I’ve added larabars.
Dinner tends to follow breaking fast fairly quickly since Fahim needs to be in bed by 8 pm so he can get something resembling almost enough sleep. It tends to be something light and easy to digest, like soup (which, the way I make, tends to be closer to stew) or a savoury porridge. It has to be something that won’t make his stomach revolt, so nothing heavy or rich, but with enough nutrition to keep him going. I’ll also sometimes make finger foods or short eats (savoury pastries).
And then I make him his breakfast. In the past, we’ve tried a bunch of things, and have come to the conclusion that rice and curries (his favourite food the rest of the year) don’t work for him since they take too long to eat (he’s not a fast eater at all). Naan works fairly well, as does potatoes with other vegetables, or pasta salads. That goes into the fridge and he heats it up the next morning in the microwave, along with the chocolate malted drink I make for him. 🙂
All of which means that previous meal making/eating routines are now out the window and I develop different routines for the one month. And when Ramadan is over, I stumble for a week or so until I get back into the old routine. 🙂