One of the most remarkable moments in the life of a Muslim is the Ramadan month. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam. Ramadan is a time in which Muslims are encouraged to do better at upholding the teachings and lifestyle of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The season is generally observed through fasts that includes starting the fast with breakfast ‘Sahur’ before dawn and ending the fast with dinner at dusk known as ‘Iftar’.
The fast doesn’t exempt the act of kindness and showing love to other people.
Act of gifting others is taken seriously by Muslim faithful during Ramadan and it is done in other to get favour and reward from Allah. It is also a time to bond with family, friends and acquaintances.
On My Cookery Zone exclusive interview Ramadan edition. We interviewed three food experts or content creators who identify as Muslims and make it a point of duty during Ramadan to churn out food content to food lovers.
Abiola Akanji professionally known as Chef Stone is the Head Chef at Red Dish Chronicles, cookbook author and restaurateur at The Burgundy.
RAMADAN IS SEEN AS A LIFESTYLE BY MUSLIM FAITHFUL, WHAT MAKES RAMADAN DIFFERENT?
Ramadan is a holy month of worship, where people abstain from pleasures and pray to become closer to God, and just spreading love also a time for families to bond and feast.
CONTENT CREATION DURING RAMADAN SEEMS TO BE MORE INTERESTING AND INTENSE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Yes it is intense but the work must be done and I’m a very energetic person if I have to get something done I’ll do it.
ABOUT PUTTING OUT CONTENT DURING RAMADAN YOU STARTED 30 FOR 30 WITH MAMADOR WHAT MAKES THIS EDITION DIFFERENT FROM THE 30 EASY IFTAR MEAL IDEA?
This edition was a continuation of the African meal we didn’t touch from last time and mamador saw it was something really interesting and decided to jump on it .
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE LAST RAMADAN SEASON CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT YOU USUALLY FEED PEOPLE THROUGH DONATIONS MADE TO RED DISH FOUNDATIONS PUTTING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT IT WAS DURING THE PANDEMIC?
Ramadan is a time to spread love to everyone and it was very necessary to keep feeding people during the pandemic, the pandemic threw everyone off guard and the less privileged had no one to fend for them so it was very important at that time we stepped and provided the that we could.
SHOULD WE BE EXPECTING A COOKBOOK BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR?
Yes, wait on it.
Jamila Lawal professionally known as Chef Jamila is a Nutritionist, TV Host, Food, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger.
WHAT MAKES CONTENT CREATION DURING RAMADAN DIFFERENT?
1. Ramadan is period of fasting and it is centered around periods of abstinence from eating food and drink, while seeking the blessings of Allah. So naturally, when creating content, one has to take into account the needs and desires of a fasting person when the time for breaking fast comes.
2. The two meal times are Iftar and Suhoor.
3. Iftar is the time when the fasting Muslim breaks their fast, while Suhoor is a light meal eaten during late parts of the nights.
4. The nutrient needs at Iftar and Suhoor differ, and so is the desire of each individual. All of these play a huge role in what type of content to create.
YOU ANCHOR ONE OF THE MOST WATCHED RAMADAN SHOWS IN THE COUNTRY. TAKE US THROUGH, WHAT IT TAKES TO CREATE MAGGI DIARIES?
Maggi Diaries has grown to become one of the favorite shows that most people watch during Ramadan. Creating Maggi Diaries involves the coming together of a hardworking and dedicated team. From meal ideas, to outfit ideas, to the theme of each season.
Each season is different, and so keeping our viewers glued is paramount.
We also take into account the kind of meals our viewers want to see, and try out. We look at feedback, come up with recipes, choose which guests will come on the show, and what outfits to wear before the actual shooting starts.
We shoot 30 episodes every season, and I can’t tell you that I know how we do it, but we always come through in the end…lol. It is hectic but totally worth it.
THE LAST RAMADAN SEASON WAS AT THE PEAK OF A PANDEMIC, SPEAKING OF ENGAGEMENT ARE PEOPLE STILL INTERESTED IN FOOD CONTENT?
The last Ramadan season was at the peak of Covid 19, people were forced to stay home and spend even more times with their families. That also meant more time cooking and eating together as a family. We had one of the highest engagement on Maggi Diaries last year. People were glued to their screens.
Creativity and versatility is something that people will always look out for when it comes to food. So food content surely here to stay, whether it be on television or social media.
ARE THERE MEALS PEOPLE SHOULD ABSTAIN FROM DURING RAMADAN?
Meals to be avoided in Ramadan are oily foods, caffeinated drinks, hot spicy foods, and foods made from simple carbohydrates sweets, and biscuits, because of their low fiber content.
IF THERE’S ONE FOOD TIP OR HACK FOOD LOVERS SHOULD TAKE TO CONSIDERATION DURING RAMADAN WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
One of the most important food hack for Ramadan is meal prepping, and having a meal planner before the start of Ramadan. It helps save a lot of time and energy, and can help you remain consistent with healthy food patterns during Ramadan.
Halima Zawiya professionally known as Chef Halima is an agronomist, rice farmer, food blogger and a culinary artist.
AS AN AGRONOMIST AND RICE FARMER WHAT MADE YOU START RICE FARMING?
Well farming has always been a passion. I have always been a lover of nature. I cant say theres an exact reason that made me choose rice, but i love how green the land becomes, especially when it comes to rice.
BEING IN THE FOOD SPACE CAN BE REALLY TASKING DURING RAMADAN. HOW DO YOU SIMPLIFY THINGS AS A CONTENT CREATOR?
Well, I try to organize and prioritize things. I make sure I take everything one step at a time.
RELIGION IS A BEDROCK OF HUMANS EXISTENCE AND WE CONNECT TO OUR FAITH DIFFERENTLY, HOW DO YOU CONNECT TO RAMADAN?
Ramadan like I always say, is a month of spiritual detox for me. I try as much as possible to engage in rewarding activities. And I avoid all unnecessary distractions.
WHAT MEALS WILL YOU RECOMMEND THAT PEOPLE TRY OUT DURING RAMADAN?
I believe you can eat anything during ramadan, the thing is, you just have to be mindful and avoid the unnecessary unhealthy stuff. Try to make it a balanced diet and avoid oily and spicy foods. I personally stick to nutritious and healthy meals, and drink alot of liquid.
WE KNOW HOW CRUCIAL FASTING IS DURING RAMADAN BUT, IS EVERYONE MEANT TO FAST?
Yes every matured person is meant to fast, except the sick.