If you have prepared for cost-effective freshness and are blessed with a garden or balcony space, then you will already have a basic Ramadan supply of coriander, mint, green chillies, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes and lemons on hand.
However, most people are not that organized, and as a result, they end up paying through the nose for produce of questionable quality. There are several ways that you can keep the cost of basic Ramadan produce within sensible bounds, including growing them at home.
Coriander grows at the speed of light: all you need is a 10-inch clay pot or container and good quality soil to fill it to plant coriander seeds in. with the aid of daily evening water, the plants will soon be sown just under the soil’s surface-just a few per pot-and grow best in dappled shade.
Otherwise, rush out and buy a few fresh Bunches: Clean, wash, chop, bag and keep in the freezer to ensure a steady supply.
Mint is relatively slow-growing so it is best to search your local nurseries for already strongly growing plants in pots and bring them home. Remember to keep them in partial shade; water them daily. Whilst in the nursery, see if you can pick up some sun-loving green chilli plants in pots and an already fruiting, pot grown, dwarf lemon bush.
The prices of potatoes, spinach and tomatoes soar during Ramadan; as potatoes store well- especially if kept in a cool, dark place, buy as many as you can now.
Spinach and tomatoes-even when refrigerated-do not last long at this time of year but, for cooking purposes, they can be bought in bulk, washed, chopped, bagged and frozen.
By B. Khan