This week is unlike any other week, it’s the last dish of the week in the holy month of Ramadan. The long holiday is just around the corner, and everyone is finally eager to have some time off. Ramadan seems to pass by so quickly yet so slow at the same time; that is the yearly sentimental conundrum – but all in all, we enjoyed every bit of its festive vibes. Of course, with everyone hurrying to finish off all their work and responsibilities, one cannot deny the whirlwind of emotions that seem to hit us as we go. The range of human emotions in situations like these tend to be quite varied. You can go from being tired of running around to being eager for the holidays, to feeling overly stressed because of the work you need to finish before Eid – all in one hour.
What is the closest dish to describe this state of being? Well, none other than Khoshaf. Some of us might disregard this flavourful dish on the Ramadan table, but it is actually a very popular dish to break the fast with– especially among the elderly. If you are wondering what Khoshaf is, think of it as a dried fruit compote with nuts and spices. Traditionally made of dried prunes, apricots, and figs poached or marinated overnight in Kamar El-din/apricot syrup – this nutrient and sugar-dense dish is not for the faint-hearted. This mix of juice, fruits, sugar, nuts and spices is definitely filling but rather pleasurable. Some believe this dish has Turkish roots and others say it is Persian, closely relating it to the Persian word “Khosh ab,” which means juice.
Regardless of its roots, one cannot deny the allure of this delicious and supremely nourishing dessert. The rollercoaster of the different yet harmonious set of flavours feels pretty much like how everyone felt this week. Rushing to finish tasks, overwhelmed with work, glad to have some time off, humbled by Ramadan, and everything in between – it’s like having a big satisfying bowl of Khoshaf. You can taste the Kamar El-din juice, the starchiness of the fruits, and the earthiness of nuts all in one bite.
This week might have seemed tiring and a bit overwhelming for all of us, but it is the natural state of being; we will always have mixed feelings, and we will always have things to do – that is the human condition. What we actually need to do is: embrace it and try to always look on the bright side because, just like eating Khoshaf, it only happens during one month of the year, so we might as well enjoy it.