I decided to bypass the supermarket and its sweets, crisps, sugary drinks and processed food and stick to the local grocers for basic ingredients. I head out every Friday morning which is my day off and at that time as most people are still trying to catch up on their sleep, I find the nicest produce.
The things which are the staple of our kitchen during Ramadan are fruit, including Pakistani mangoes as they are shipped here every year during this season and dates. Most of the nicest dates locally are from companies that harvest land taken from Palestinians by West bank settlers and so I refuse to buy these, instead going for the Tunisian or Saudi dates or ordering Zaytoun brand Palestinian fair-trade dates. Happily, yesterday I found some big juicy dates of the type I love from South Africa, so they will be my next buy.
Other staples during Ramadan are trays of chickpea tins and natural yoghurt and for aloo chaat, dhai bhallay and for marinade for roast chicken. I buy pastry sheets for samosa’s and spring rolls which we only eat about once a week and big sacks of potatoes and onions and bunches of spinach for pakora’s which hubby and my in-laws are crazy about (we did use the spinach in the garden, but it has finished now). I also buy lots of limes for the cold lime juice my mother-in-law makes every day for iftar.
Buying for the week means I don’t have to rush out after work and can get some rest, although in practice, we always seem to run out of something (often mangoes) and I have to take my grocery shopping buddy – Little Man, to the shops with me.