Ramadan goes Italian: Palestinian chef brings twist to primary recipes

All through Ramadan, Muslims the environment about pray, replicate and get together with their family members, in addition to fasting from dawn to sunset.

For extra stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org
But abstaining from foods all through the getaway, which begins on April 13 and is slated to finish on May possibly 12, can at periods be pretty daunting, primarily throughout the for a longer time and hotter times. For this motive, many of the hallmark dishes that are eaten all through Ramadan are quite filling and healthy, like qatayef, a sweet dumpling that is commonly served all through the holiday. Muslims frequently love a few items of the delectable dessert subsequent their quickly-breaking meal, recognised as iftar.
Palestinian chef Fidaa Abu Hamdiya has taken the regular holiday break dish and supplied it a resourceful Italian twist.
Born in Hebron in 1982, Abu Hamdiya pursued her culinary and gastronomic reports at the College of Padua in Italy.
However she at the moment resides in Ramallah, most of her recipes are published in Italian, a language she has long been attracted to. Abu Hamdiya’s distinctive perspective on foodstuff society has also led to the development of Italian-Palestinian fusion delicacies.
On a single facet, she tends to make her individual tiramisu, panettone and other mouthwatering Italian goodies that she sells to Palestinians by means of a task she refers to as Tiramix Palestine on the other, she publicizes her have Palestinian heritage on Italian internet sites and thanks to a cookbook she coauthored with Italian chef Silvia Chiarantini referred to as Pop Palestine Delicacies (2016). The e book features above 60 recipes.

Abu Hamdiya spoke to The Media Line about her activities as a chef and also shared one of her most preferred Ramadan recipes.

How does your delicacies mix Palestinian and Italian culinary traditions?

At household I cook both of those Palestinian and Italian. Some recipes are fusion, but my residence is Italian and Palestinian.
It’s not really hard [to mix them], due to the fact we are quite close to the Italian food lifestyle in the south of Italy. It is not truly really hard to adapt the style [of] these new dishes, since we just about have the same substances: olive oil, durum wheat and meat. These are the three primary items that [the food] is centered on.

For instance, often I make ravioli with cheese and clean Palestinian za’atar [leaves] and it is very delectable.

How very well-known is your food in both Italy and Palestine?

In Italy, I’m nicely acknowledged as a Palestinian chef with Palestinian foodstuff in Palestine I’m identified for Italian meals. When people today listed here communicate about Italian foodstuff, lots of individuals assume about me, luckily.

How did you get into cooking when you ended up young? What built you determine to go in that path?

I was born with this adore of cooking, having and meals society. I think about meals as a device of conversation. For me, it was about cooking for individuals and not just about providing them recipes.
It is like researching any other matter, and you [can] train some others. At times I even educate at a college listed here, and most of the younger college students select culinary school mainly because they are not very good at other [subjects] or simply because they have challenges.

But food items does not have to be a past preference. I could’ve selected other matters, but I selected this since I’m content to get the job done in this sector.

What designed you attracted to Italian lifestyle and delicacies?

I was attracted to the language at 1st, and then the culture and the meals.

Why do you think Ramadan is crucial, in phrases of food stuff?

Individuals are viewing every single other and accumulating with each other. Generally individuals work, and even individuals in the similar spouse and children never have the time to sit down to have evening meal or lunch with each other. So Ramadan is an situation for all folks to arrive jointly.

Men and women who rejoice Ramadan sit jointly and consume collectively, even these that really don’t notice it.

I really do not like that Ramadan has turn out to be business and that men and women hurry to acquire foods and factors like that. I’m not towards exclusive recipes and desserts for Ramadan, but I’m against the “too much” of items: obtaining much too [much] and serving too a lot of foods.

What are some of the unique food items that folks take in all through Ramadan?

There are lots of hours of fasting. Arabic salad with tehina is very crucial throughout Ramadan. Also, men and women start out Ramadan with consuming dates.

There are also quite a few varieties of juices that you really don’t see exterior of Ramadan, like tamarind, lemon or almond juice.

There is also qatayef, a distinctive sweet for Ramadan that is a variety of pancake loaded with nuts or cheese. I really like it.

What is your vision for the foreseeable future, and what do you hope will be the impact of your cooking?

I hope my cooking will arrive in every single household! For Palestinian lifestyle, I speak and publish in Italian, so I know that my Palestinian food items will be in several Italian homes. They’ve invited me into their properties and it is actually wonderful. 


For the dough:

2 cups Italian variety “0” flour (or all-function flour)

¼ cup durum wheat flour

3 cups lukewarm h2o

1 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp. sugar

For the filling:

400 gr. Tosella Italian cheese (gentle white cheese, can be substituted with akkawi cheese)

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. sugar

Guidance for the dough:

Area all the dough elements in a bowl and whisk right up until a batter is fashioned.

Location nonstick frying pan around warmth, wait until the pan is sizzling, and then, working with a ladle, pour the batter into round shapes that are much more or much less 15 cm. in diameter.

The pancakes are cooked on 1 facet only, so within a several minutes they can be removed from the heat and set apart on a plate.

Guidance for the filling:

Crumble the comfortable cheese with your fingers into a bowl.

Add cinnamon, sugar and combine all collectively.

Position a spoonful of filling in every qatayef pancake and close to kind a crescent condition. Press down edges with your arms.

Cooking and serving recommendations:
For baked Qatayef:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Organize the turnovers on a baking pan equipped with parchment paper and brush them with butter.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes or right up until the turnovers are golden in shade.

Serve with honey on major.

For fried qatayef:

Fry the qatayef in a nonstick pan with vegetable oil until eventually golden.

Serve with honey on best.