by karimah bint dawoud
As a mixed race child growing up in a household with a white English mum and a grandfather who was butcher, we used to eat pork, much to my dad’s dismay, however there was one Saturday morning snack that I loved, Tomatoes and Onion Gravy Sandwiches. As you know most of our dishes start off with “fry your onions and garlic”, or onions at least and this one is no different. A tomato and onion gravy fused with fried bacon but that was many many moons ago. This creole dish was taught to my mum by my Indian Mauritian grandma, my first cooking teacher, mashallah.
Some reverts to Islam gave up pork long before Allah guided us to Islam; we were Rasta, or Hebrew Nubians or Christians where pork was not eaten or like me, had read about a South American football team stranded in the Andes Mountains who ended up eating each other and said human flesh tasted like pork. That was enough for me, I stopped eating pork.
In a family where the kitchen was dominated by pork eating females this caused quite a caffalelle,
“You turning Yiddish? “ was my familes’ Christmas dinner table question
“No, I read in a book that human flesh taste like pork!” and that was that no more pork for me, many year before I was a Rasta, and a Muslim.I supposed I was a bit like Matilda, always with my head in book of some sort, mashallah.
There are others like me, can you imagine my delight when I was told of halal turkey bacon, “Are you sure?”
As usual today I was going to have my boiled egg but saw we had left over turkey bacon from Eid and some left over tin tomatoes, “ I just have to try tomato and onion gravy sandwiches” I thought “but the new way, the halal way , the many moons travelled over land and sea way”.
Eating this tasty filling brunch took me back and back, added flavours that had been picked up from living a year in Rome but brought it up to date with added veggie, brown whole meal pitta and loads a lettuce. This sauce is wet and finger licking and will make even pitta go soggy, its squidgy and delicious and it’s a Sunnah to lick for fingers and lick the plate clean.
Ok let go!
1pack turkey bacon
1 large onion
1 tin tomato
1 dessert spoon 10ml oil for frying
Mixed sweet pepper sliced
1 tea spoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 tea spoon black pepper
1 level tea spoon of sea salt
Fry onions, peppers, and mushrooms (optional) for 5 minutes low, sauté
Add herbs and sauté for a minute
Remove from pan, that’s called a masala
Added chopped turkey bacon and fry high
Add back veggies and add tin of chopped tomatoes, salt and black pepper.
Cook low for 5-10 minutes
Toast brown bread, pitta, etc., I was tempted to eat left over white bread form earlier in the week when I had diarreha (sorry) but I decide that the birds were more deserving and I need to set a good example with wholemeal.
Alhamdulillah, one of the things about Islam is the discipline, you love or you hate, I love it, I needed it, we have to give things up like smoking, drinking, fornication, bacon but with patience and time something sweeter comes along to replace it and boy oh boy am I glad I waited to taste these turkey bacon sandwiches again given a new lick by time and travels, I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!