I am spending the last few precious days of Ramadan in India with the extended family. Iftars here are rather different from the UAE. When fasting in Dubai, we tend to focus on the socializing aspect of Ramadan, and are spoilt for choice with the plethora of Iftars and Suhoor buffets on offer.
In my husband’s hometown of Shillong (Meghalaya), Iftars are far more solemn and people prefer to enjoy them within the privacy of their own homes with close family. Neighbours exchange dishes, but mainly meet up in the mosque for the extended prayers.
I spent the last couple of days at my maternal aunt Zuleikha Hazarika’s place, and had the pleasure of watching her very talented cook, Ali, whip up a giant pot full of traditional Chicken Pulao (an aromatic chicken pilaf fragranced with the spicy notes of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon). In the true spirit of Ramadan, the pulao was divided up into boxes, and distributed across the neighbourhood to close friends, as well as the less fortunate.