Ramadan is the holy month of rejuvenation and reflection which brings with it moments of togetherness and sharing for families and friends. It is a special time of holy significance for 1.9 billion Muslims across the world and over 3.9 million in the UK. An eclectic mix of communities celebrate Ramadan in the UK including Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Indians, Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Persians, Africans, Malaysians, Indonesians, and several others. The beauty of Ramadan celebrations lies in the diverse range of flavours and cuisines that are brought together by various communities. While each community brings their unique flavours to the table, rice remains a fundamental ingredient that ties them altogether. Tilda has been bringing flavoursome and wholesome meals to the dinner tables, for over 50 years in the UK.
To mark the onset of the holy month of Ramadan, Tilda hosted a special evening of flavours in partnership with TV chef Parveen Ashraf (@parveenthespicequeen) and food writer Zaleha Olpin (@zaleha.olpin). While Ashraf gave a tribute to her Pakistani heritage on a platter with her hero dish ‘Chicken Biryani’ using Tilda Grand Extra Long Basmati, Zaleha educated and delighted the audience about authentic taste of Malaysia with her classic ‘Nasi Goreng’ using signature Tilda Pure Original Basmati. The audience witnessed an evening interspersed with family stories, Ramadan rituals and memories of cooking rice.
Jean-Philippe Laborde, the Managing Director from Tilda, began the evening by wishing everyone Ramadan Mubarak and said “Ramadan is a special time for the communities and as a brand it is an equally important time for us as we want to make sure that our range of products enable home cooks to observe and enjoy their culinary cultures. Be it expert traditional cooks or explorers of world cuisine, Tilda is at the heart of Ramadan celebrations”.
Parveen’s Iftar spread also included the must have Chana Chaat Cups and a cooling cucumber raita. And Zaleha’s spread included Pai Tees (crispy top hats with vegetable filling) and Kerabu Ikan (watercress and fish salad). Rich aromas of saffron wafted through the room and converged with aromatic lemongrass through the evening.
Both the chefs made sure there were plenty of options for the vegetarian and vegan guests as well. Zaleha’s Nasi Goreng Kerabu was a vegetable fried rice dish served with chunky slices of Tofu. And Parveen brought to the table a vegetarian version of her Biryani made with succulent pieces of jackfruit and sweet potato. To find the recipes from the menu served on the day, keep an eye on Tilda’s website.
Talking about her secret ingredient, Parveen Ashraf emphasised that “having the right ingredients always helps create wonderful family recipes, but one thing which makes any recipe special is the love you put in it while cooking. I have been a fan of Tilda since I was a child as my mother always cooked with Tilda Basmati, and today it gives me immense pride to serve my Pakistani heritage to everyone through this collaboration”.
Zaleha’s Malaysian flavours were an absolute delight for people, especially when she spoke about the special ingredients which had gone in to enhance the flavours, like turmeric leaves, torch ginger flower, lemongrass and many more. Talking about her menu she said “A big part of Ramadan is all about sharing and I was so proud to have been able to share a bit of my Malaysian culture at the Tilda Flavours of Ramadan event. The vibrant venue set the mood for guests as they enjoyed an array of Malaysian Ramadan favourites such as Pai Tee, Kerabu Ikan, Kuih Lopes and my showstopper dish, Nasi Goreng Kerabu, all using a brand that my household loves, Tilda.’’
No meal is complete without a dessert, and the evening culminated with a generous serving of coconut creamed kheer made with Tilda Fragrant Jasmine rice, topped with pistachios and rose petals and Kuih Lopes (sticky rice dessert with sugar syrup), made with the newest member of Tilda ready to heat microwaveable rice family, Tilda Sticky Rice.
The host chefs mingled with the guests and talked about their special cuisine for the evening as they joyfully served the meals they had prepared with such warmth and passion.
This Ramadan, explore the flavours of Persia, the aromas of Jordan, the tastes of Afghanistan, the delicacies of the Middle East, the comforts of Bangladesh, the vibrance of Africa, the wholesomeness of Somalia and much more as Tilda promises to elevate your plate.