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November 2004
Naz's Kitchen
Written by site user Ased Naseem
A meat dish prepared by Ased
A meat dish prepared by Ased
Ased Naseem from Birmingham has come up with an idea called 'Naz's Kitchen'. It brings you healthy eating options for the festival of Ramadan.
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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, and it was during this month that it is believed the Holy Quoran "… was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation…" The actual night that Muslims believe the Quoran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed is known as Lalet al Qader (Night Of Power).

Ased in the Kitchen
Ased in the Kitchen
During the entire month of Ramadan Muslims fast. It is a time when Muslim's can concentrate on their faith, spending less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation.

At the end of each day the fast is broken with a prayer, and a meal called the iftar, is eaten. In the evening following the iftar most Muslims will go to the Mosque to say special prayers known as Travi.

Naseem's Kitchen

With all this in mind, I came up with an idea called Naz's Kitchen, to my joy, the project was set up. I've travelled around the world building a picture of each community I meets, their tastes, and preferences, especially concerning the local cuisine.

I have been filming in and around Birmingham, examining the historical event of Ramadan, what it means to local people from a variety of different backgrounds, and specifically concentrating on tips for healthy eating.

Food prepared by Ased
Food prepared by Ased
The 11 minute film was screened on the 'BBC Big Screen' in Chamberlain Square.

Asian dishes

The recipes that I've concentrated on are three of the most popular dishes within the Asian community. They are distinct from each other, in that one is a meat dish, one a fish dish, and the last a vegetarian dish. Although all of them are Asian in style, they all reflect different cooking methods. All the dishes were recreated using healthier alternative options to the traditional methods, encouraging the viewer to experiment with their own favourite dishes, and to think about changing their established cooking habits.

I got to interview representatives from the Birmingham Central Mosque, to explain what the celebration is all about, and what role it plays within their community.

A fish stall at the Birmingham Indoor Markets
A fish stall at the Birmingham Indoor Markets
I also interviewed a local fishmonger at The Birmingham Indoor Markets, who gave tips on the preparation of the fish used in one of the recipes.

The food was cooked and prepared at Lazeez's Lounge Restaurant in Sparkbrook by the head chef and myself.

Recipes

Click on the three links below to see the full Ingredients and method.
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