The month of Syawal will be upon us soon and with it the festivities and the celebrations. Hari Raya Puasa or Eid marks the end of Ramadhan and a month of fasting for Muslims all over the world, which usually means time spent with the family and lots and lots of food!
After fasting for a whole month, the idea of being able to eat at any time of the day is quite an exciting one! However, we should be mindful of the fact that our bodies will need to take it easy during the ‘transition’ period. Having said that, it’s not an easy thing to remember when there are open houses galore and you’re faced with dozens of mouthwatering dishes.
If you’re hosting an open house this year, why not make it easier for your guests by serving food that won’t tax their digestive systems? Before you groan at the idea of serving them ‘healthy’ (shudder!) fare, read the tips below on how your guests can leave your home sated and happy. If you do it right, they won’t even notice!
While we would of course want our guests to eat as much as they want, it’s not good for them if they eat to the point of being totally stuffed. What you can do about this is to actually provide smaller plates. We’ve all heard of this trick before but few realise how effective it is.
If you’re providing a buffet spread then these smaller plates will discourage your guests from taking too much. More often than not, it’s a case of piling on as much food as you can, so with smaller plates this automatically means less food taken. If your guests are still hungry, then they can of course return to the buffet. Not only will this stop your guests from eating too much, it will also prevent food going to waste.
Tweak Your Recipes
What is Raya without lemang, rendang and other traditional fare? Well, don’t worry. You won’t have to give these up but what you can do is make these healthier. Make a conscious effort to tweak the recipes, such as using less coconut milk, sugar, salt and oil. More often than not, we don’t realise how much we put into these dishes so by paying close attention, you may realise that these little tweaks will hardly make a difference to the delicious flavours!
Serve Healthy Dishes
Why not serve roast chicken instead of fried chicken? Cooking methods can make a world of difference so opt for boiling, roasting, steaming, baking or braising where possible. You can also serve them healthy dishes – check out our recipes for cauliflower fried rice, healthy char kuey teow or healthy chicken briyani which are delicious and will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, or even soupy dishes such as soto or noodle soup (sans MSG, of course!).
Make sure to complement these dishes with plenty of fresh vegetables, and providing fresh fruit instead of just kuih and other desserts is also a good idea. If you’d like to go the extra mile, why not make your own healthy ice cream or perhaps even a flourless chocolate cake, raw mango cheese cake or a dark chocolate sesame cake?
Instead of teh tarik or other sweet drinks like syrup or cordial, make sure your guests have plenty of water available to them too. If you think plain water is too boring to serve, how about some fruit-infused water instead? And on a hot day, fruity ice cubes are great too.
If you’re serving coffee or tea, make them black with sugar and milk on the side so your guests can choose their own level of sweetness and how they’d like their drinks.
Remember, the little things do count and you’d be doing your guests a huge favour by looking out for them and their tummies. Help them ease their way back to eating ‘normally’ and they’ll leave your home feeling happy and satisfied.
PurelyB wishes you Salam Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir & Batin!