I am just so filled with happiness right now, and a touch of nostalgia, ironically.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that just before Ramadan comes about, there is a slight feeling of trepidation. It is a trial, a challenge, to fast every day from dawn to dusk for a lunar month.

And yet, yesterday, the last day of Ramadan, I was at the Indian restaurant ordering some beef kebabs for today, and talking to the clerk and we were both saying how we were so sad that Ramadan was finished. So sad in fact, that tears came into my eyes.

The night before I had finished my reading of the Quran. I try to do that each year, read through the English translation and as much of the Arabic as I can, but I read Arabic like an Arabic grade one student.

This year I thought I’d combine it with my walking on the treadmill. It was a good idea except for one thing.

My son could hear me reading the Arabic out loud.

He came up to me a few nights ago and said, “You do know Ami, that those people who have a lot of trouble reading Quran actually get more reward because they’re exerting themselves?”

I said, “Yes. I knew that.”

He wasn’t showing off, but somehow it felt like it. He reads Quran very well, but then why shouldn’t he? He practises so much more than I do.

And I can officially say that all my children have memorized so much more of it than I have.

I should and do feel a tad guilty about that, but the way I figure, I simply cannot master two different languages, not at my age.

And the work I do with English, the stories I try to tell to humanize Muslims, and make us ‘understandable’ is good work that very few other people in my community are doing.

I had hoped to brush up on the memorization of a couple of the chapters of the Quran that I used to know better, but that just didn’t happen.

In between the script writing (which I have a few more days to complete) and the baking and cooking and other preparations for Eid (which I finally finished last night by the way!) there just wasn’t the time.

I made samia yesterday, and I was thinking of two of my friends while doing so. It’s a creamy pudding like dish with almonds and fine vermicelli noodles.

The two friends I was thinking of was Uma Krishnaswami and the script writer from Denver who’s helping me with my learning curve.

I have what I call a 3-2-1 recipe for samia that seems to be very popular indeed, and I’ll just put it up here for anyone who wants to try it.

It’s a very traditional Indian/Pakistani dish.

2 litres of whole milk

a little less than 1/4 c. butter (You can reduce this a bit if you want to go healthy)

1 package vermicelli noodles (you can get them in an East Indian shop)

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

6 green cardamon pods

ground pistachio nuts for garnish

Crush up the vermicelli noodles a bit so the noodles aren’t too long, fry them in the butter in a large thick-bottomed pot on low to medium heat. When the noodles are slightly brown (or if they’re already brown then just a few minutes) add milk, sugar cardamon pods and turn the heat to the minimum setting.

Let simmer uncovered for about two to three hours, stirring occasionally, until it’s nice and thick, like a pudding.

Then fish out the six cardamon pods, add the toasted slivered almonds, and pour into a serving dish. Sprinkle the ground pistachio nuts on top and voila!

It’s easy peasy and very good!

My little gift to all of you.

Eid Mubarak!