Eid Mubarak (Happy Eid) Heeley

Posted on October 1, 2010 by


On Monday I went to a commumity meal organised by Heeley Development Trust with Heeley Asian Women’s Group and Anns Grove School [see the slideshow at the foot of this post].  The meal was part of the ‘Variety is the Spice of Life’ project and was held in The Institute.  The project aims to put on various events and activities to enable people in Heeley to get to know each other and the different cultural traditions in our area.

This was all new to me, and the first thing I did was to join the queue to get my hand decorated with some henna art.  Asha Hussain, Mobile Therapist in ‘beauty – henna – nails’ spent the lunch-time very skilfully applying intricate henna designs on hands and arms for anyone interested, including glitter and sequins if requested.  [My henna design is still visible several days later.]  I also enjoyed chatting to the other women in the queue, hearing stories of their visits to Saudi Arabia for Haj – an annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims try to attend at least once in a lifetime.

[Henna Art by Asha Hussain, Mobile Therapist in Beuaty, Henna & Nails:
0758 136 5798 or ashahussainbhn@gmail.com ]

Next up, I made a bee-line to the (free) food – you had to be quick because the vegetarian dishes kindly prepared by the Heeley Women’s Asian Group members were delicious.  I picked up a recipe for pakora from one lady:

  • Mix a pinch of salt, gram flour, chilli powder, dried coriander, garam masala and a pinch of soda with water into a paste (not too sloppy).
  • Mix in lots of finely chopped potatoes and onion, making sure they are well coated in the batter.
  • Fry dollops of the mixture in hot oil until golden brown.
  • [As a guide to the quantities of ingredients to use, I referred to a BBC Vegetable Pakora recipe.]

I have now tried this out at home, and my Heeley Pakoras were very tasty – although I’ll need more practice to compete with those made by the more experienced Heeley Asian Women.

The lunch hour also included an explanation of Eid – a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.  Displays dotted round the hall went into more detail about the Muslim faith.  Certificates of achievement gained in Heeley Online Centre were also awarded to several learners.

So, all in all, a pleasant and interesting lunch hour.  I’d certainly go again and would recommend it to anyone.  There will be more Variety is the Spice of Life community meals in December, one for Chinese New Year, and again in February and March.  Other activities run by the Variety is the Spice of Life project include classes in world dance, sewing, and ESOL English.  A women-only computer class is researching and preparing displays of different cultures and traditions, and a Conversation Club will start soon on Thursdays.

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To find out more about any of the above Variety is the Spice of Life activities, contact Maxine or Liz on 0114 250 0613