Ramadan Countdown: Decorations


I have always felt that decorating for Ramadan and Eid are really important regardless where you live in the world or even in you have kids. I feel that it is especially important for reverts who once lived a life full of holidays. As Muslims we only believe in our own holidays which are the two Eids but Ramadan is also important. Although it is not a holiday it is an important part of our religion and one of the pillars we believe in. I always feel that all the hype other religions brings sometimes makes people want to be part of it and not because they may believe in it but because it is human nature to be drawn to things that bring us together.

If you have children make their holidays just as exciting as other peoples but in a way that they can learn. This is a great time to teach them what Islam and being a Muslim is all about. All of my fond memories with my family includes baking Christmas cookies or hunting Easter eggs but as a revert and the mother of a Muslim child I want to give my son the same fond memories but in the way that we believe. We all want to have traditions that we pass on to our children just like our mothers did with us. We now have 25 days until Ramadan begins so it’s the perfect… Continue reading

Ramadan Countdown: Coffee


With only 27 days left until Ramadan begins all of you coffee drinkers (me included) may want to go ahead and slowly start the process to wean yourself slow and steady before Ramadan actually gets here. Trust me everyone around you will be happy when you do not want to rip their heads off. Also those headaches will not happen (you all know those). So if you’re wondering how you can do this without suffering here is how.

I recommend buying a bag of coffee such as Starbucks Pikes Place decaffeinated. This is the only coffee that actually taste the same. They do not sell Pikes Place in Saudi so I order a bag of whole beans online and then I get it freshly ground here or you can do that yourself at home.

Week One- Every single day this week I want you to add a little less coffee to each cup until by the end of the week you only have a half a cup.

Week Two- Keep making your coffee smaller and smaller until you have just a small amount left and this is when you switch over to the decaf (it still has small amounts of caffeine but not a lot).

Week Three- Start drinking only decaf and start reducing the amount you pour of this into your cup all week as well.

Week Four- Make a switch to a good caffeine free tea like… Continue reading



I get asked a lot what loomi is on Ya Salam Cooking and where you all can get it. Loomi has several different names such as dried lime, black lime, limun aswad, bin zuhair, dried lemon or black lemon. While some people do call it lemon its not they are lime which you can tell by the smaller size. Ripe limes are boiled in salt water and then dried until they darken. Back in the states I only came across the natural brown ones but here in Saudi they are always black and the reason is that in the Middle East they blacken them. Loomi is imported from Ira, India, Oman and Sudan.

Limes are actually a big part of Bahrain and Omans food culture since they grow there and you will find many recipes even teas with the fruit in it. Loomi adds a citrus flavor and a sour tang to foods and if they are blackened they will even add a smoky flavor. They are used in popular Saudi dishes such as kabsa, matazeez, jareesh and qursan. You will be able to find loomi in any Middle Eastern Grocery store if you live abroad and for those in the Middle East then you already know they are everywhere. Here is how you can make them at home.

1. Dry your own limes by rapidly drying them for three minutes. Drain, then dry in the sun until completely dehydrated.… Continue reading

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