By Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and food writer.


We all need a little bit of TLC, tender loving care and if there is no decent deserving man on the horizon , this nice warm soup will have to hit the spot. I believe that locally grown food is the bestwhat’s in season in the area we live is best for us at that time,  the creator knows what’s best for us. The carbon foot print is minimal too.This rootsie soup if full of autumn nutrients with a little bit of continental herbal  flavouring.

The herb Tarrogan is rich in vitamin and minerals, its good for promoting the appetite, gas, hiccups. although used in French cooking is also use raw as an accompanying salad in Persian food, I love it.

The herb Chevril  is rich in a number of different vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. its good for teh liver and cystitis when combined with celery

Chervil also contains smaller but significant amounts of a number of the B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, copper and phosphorous.
















Fry leeks in a light sunflower oil then add chopped carrots, potato, swede and parsnips, stir add the cloves of garlic, I learnt a  really  good tip from Jamie Olivier; put garlic in soup with skin on , as it gooks  the skin softens  and it will blend with rest later , add tarragon and chervil

Stir, add salt and 5 cups of boiled water

Boil on medium heat for 20minutes

Blend with hand held blender and serve with black pepper, olive oil and cider vinegar

To warm the cockles of your heart xxx




What can I say but alhmdulilah, all praise is due to the Creator, we had a feast, it could have been more but that would have been decadent and we managed to stay just this side of that. You can’t beat home cook food that is cooked with loving hands from loving hearts, this joint effort from Karimah’s Cuisina Sistars who are all about quality mashallah.

So what was on the menu?

Eid Lamb Feast
Eid Lamb Feast

Mum’s slow cooked roast bayleaf and garlic lamb, succulent but not overly flavoured,retaining the beautiful taste of Eid lamb donated to us by a brothers who we are making dua for his request mashallah.

Roast tatties and parsnips

nigels alters celriac salad, we made it mashallah , not nigel

Beetroot and onion salsa

Brown rice, for the new millenium ; the food of Si -Stars

Quick chicken curry to die for

Mediterranean salad, cant leave you guys out

Brinjal pickle(that’s aubergine to you and )

Lime pickle

 Fresh juice

Eid Lamb Feast Plate
Eid Lamb Feast Plate

Followed by gulabjam and fantasy ice -cream

All I can say is “Sorry” to those who were unable to make it or were not invited, next year inshallah

The Perfect Porridge

The Perfect Porridge

By Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and well-being writer.

Perfect Porridge
Perfect Porridge

As I sip on a tall glass of green juice, even I have to reluctantly admit that summer is over, off on a mission this afternoon to photograph autumn leaves and trees, the days of salad and boiled egg for breakfast are packed away in my box of Turkish delight and porridge days are on the horizon for the next few months.

I was raised on Ready Break, an instant porridge, I didn’t like it much but it was something my busy mum found quick and easy before we left for school. It has no texture and is a bit like baby food.

Having eaten Ready Break, a powdered down version of the real thing, Scotch Porridge Oats, when they, the oats, are cooked right are much better for you in so many ways.

 The trick is to soak the oats overnight and they take no time to cook, and we are talking minutes.

This is how we do it with a few spice queen touches


Per person

½ a handful of oats per person

½ tablespoon of ground flax seed

½ tea spoon of ginger

½ tea spoon turmeric

½ tea spoon cinnamon

½ cup/125 ml of whatever milk you like, we use soya/almond or any nut milk


Mix all ingredients, place in lidded container and leave in fridge over night

Soaking overnight makes the oats swell and softens the flax seeds which are a good source of vitamin d

When you want, place in small sauce pan and cook on medium heat, add more milk if necessary, stir .turn heat down low and cover with lid for 3-5 minutes. Serve with stewed fruits like black berries /strawberries/raspberries, honey or even sprinkle with chocolate powder and nuts.




By Karimah bint Dawoud,

As its approaching winter, I remind myself this is the time we put on weight, those lovely comfort foods, loads of starchy carbohydrates to keep those fats reserves in place protecting us from the cold. We need to remember these days we do not live in caves but in houses with heating and in these houses we live a more sedentary lifestyle, so eating loads of starchy carbs is not an option on many levels. 

The shops start stacking up with Christmas goodies soon after Halloween is past, Christmas cakes and mince pies. As convert to Islam from Christianity, Christmas fayre is as part of my culture born, in the UK , that is not easy to overcome, however this was part of how I put on loads of weight and was the turning point to me loosing 12 kilos, praise the Creator.

So now I am on guard, reminding myself that soups are a good thing to eat in the evening, not with loads of bread and potatoes, that sort of soup is good for lunchtime. Have a big meal at lunch and something light a tea and supper time.

Oriental Butternut Soup
Oriental Butternut Soup


Oriental butternut  soup recipe is in my book Heavenly Bites,  a fragrant but hearty soup, seasoned with lemon grass ans ginger, great when you have a stomach cold, mashallah.

Also I needed to pull myself up, too much healthy food can also be an obstacle to losing weight, and smaller portions are needed



by Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain.

Cooking at Mina
Cooking at Mina


While researching to see what stage of hajj is today I found this wonderful list of things to do by star catcher and polisher, life coach Sheikh Muhammad Alshareef.

They are things to do while on hajj and thought I would share them as they are also good things to do if you are not on hajj, in our very day lives.


Studying under the Sun
Studying under the Sun

50 things to do on Hajj

  1. Smile in another Muslims face
  2. Say Salam to strangers
  3. Shake someone’s hand and ask about their health
  4. Buy tea for someone
  5. Offer to get someone’s groceries
  6. Sit with a Hajj group from another country and ask about Islam in their village
  7. Carry someone’s bags for them
  8. Guide someone ill to the infirmary
  9. Shun vain talk
  10. Recite talbiyah loudly, encouraging others
  11. On the days of Eid, walk through the tents reciting talbiyah loudly reminding others
  12. Gather stones for people
  13. Offer to throw on behalf of unable Hajjis
  14. Guide people to the Jamarat
  15. Lower your gaze
  16. Remind people of the lives of the Sahaabah
  17. Read Qur’an with the Tafseer
  18. Do the authentic Dhikr of the morning and evening
  19. Make dua during your Sajdah
  20. Stand to the side of a gate and offer people water/tea as they leave
  21. Give major attention to shy people in your group
  22. Remind people of patience, why they came here, and the example of our Ulumaa’ in Hajj
  23. Explain a Hajj Khutbah you may have heard to those around you
  24. Explain the importance of purifying ones actions for the sake of Allah
  25. Phone relatives (from Makkah) on Eid day
  26. Make dua for forgotten friends (and the author of this list)
  27. Don’t allow Muslims to fight during Hajj
  28. Help people find a place to sleep
  29. Remember – during the heat – the unending torment of hellfire
  30. Say ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allah, wahdahu laa sharika lah, lahul Mulk wa lahul hamd, wa Huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in Qadeer’ 100x
  31. Say the dua of entering the market place when you go there
  32. Give charity to those who sell meager things (sandals/eggs)
  33. Attend the Halaqahs that are given in Mina
  34. Stay for the 13th of Dhul Hijjah
  35. Remind people to go home as better Muslims
  36. Forgive people that wrong you
  37. Talk to 10 different people from 10 different countries
  38. Compliment someone sincerely
  39. Visit the hospital and thank Allah for all that he has given you
  40. Take young Muslims and invite them to sit with the elders. Make them the center of attention.
  41. Give a tafseer class after Salah / ask someone knowledgeable
  42. (For men) On the days of Eid, offer perfume to those around you
  43. Ask about the health of senior women in your group.  Make sure they are attended to.
  44. Focus hard on helping those immediately near you make people to the slaughter house and help them / Or assist them in purchasing their slaughter coupons
  45. Remember specific blessings Allah has bestowed upon you and say Alhamdulillah
  46. Pray to Allah using his 99 most beautiful names (al Asmaa’ al Husna)
  47. Use a Miswak
  48. Fill your pockets with candies and give to the children that you meet
  49. Always intend reward from Allah for everything you go through during Hajj


The introduction of fizzy drinks
The introduction of fizzy drinks

A wonderful; article on wiki for sequence of events





By Karimah bint Dawoud, Muslim chaplain and lover of vintage

Looking through some old magazines, I came across these wonderful fotos that I thought I would share with you, from an old National Geographic Magazine. They illustrate how Hajj was nearly 60 years ago, I hope you like them as much as I do.

As you approach Makkah these days, there is a big motor way sign that says “Muslims Only “

Muslims Only
Muslims Only

The streets look very different now, maashallah

Saudi Streets 1953
Saudi Streets 1953

And this is how Mina looked! Alhamdulilah for air conditioning now.

Mina , Saudi Arabia ,1953
Mina , Saudi Arabia ,1953

Inshallah, more fotos tomorrow