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Umarah Naushad Ali: “Ramadan feels like a daily celebration”

Umarah Naushad Ali is music composer Naushad’s granddaughter.

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Umarah Naushad Ali

Breaking the fast surrounded by family, and bingeing on yummy treats, praying and introspection is what this month Ramadan means for late music composer Naushad’s granddaughter Umarah Naushad Ali. Umarah, a pastry chef, animator, VFX and 3d interiors artist as well as founder of UNA Events, says that Ramadan has always been special.

“Ramadan is a special month where we fast and pray. Everything feels different during this time. Even if you’re not praying regularly, you still feel drawn to it,” she says.

She adds, “I used to fast from the age of nine until I was fifteen. But then, because I have diabetes, I had to stop. I really enjoyed fasting, not just as a test of willpower, but because it felt right. One of the best parts was breaking the fast with my family. We’d all gather around a big table and eat together. It was a beautiful experience.”

Talking about food preps during this time, she says, “Ramadan is about being with family and sharing meals. We don’t have any specific rituals, but sometimes we cook special dishes and share them with friends and family. During Ramadan, I’m known for making dabba gosht and other dishes like chana batata from my mom’s recipes. I love cooking for others, although I’m not as consistent with it now due to work. My favourite foods during Ramadan are homemade dishes like chana batata and spicy potatoes bori mohalla style. Then we have chicken cheese samosas, keema samosas, and Nihari Gosht for dinner. Overall, Ramadan feels like a daily celebration, especially with all the delicious food.”

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