I have been a weak, stupidly pathetic old woman this year during Ramadhan, didn’t even try to fast in the first fortnight because the summer daylight hours are so long. Usually I try to fast for some of the moth- the whole month affects concentration and energy too much. How I admire those Muslims who positively celebrate this month of abstinence, have immense self control and seek out, day after day, hunger so you know how the starving suffer. Some are young teens who have more staying power than I do. I struggle to keep to the no food, no liquid test – my own culinary jihad. So on Sunday guilt and shame came to visit and here I am on Monday fasting. And thinking of nothing else but food. That’s what happens – you feast in your imagination and when the day ends most of us feel we will fill ourselves but really can’t all that much. Some can and actually get fat during Ramadhan, not what it is about at all.

So, at midday dreaming away, what do I imagine I want to scoff? What we used to call Khima-mayai, literally means mincemeat and eggs- the real mincemeat not that sweet Christmassy filling. And thin rotlis with a tomato and onion salad.

Here, then, is how to make it. Finger licking good and you do have to eat it with your hands…

1 lb very lean minced beef
2 thinly sliced onions fried until brown in ½ a cup of sunflower oil.
1 tin chopped tomatoes
4 eggs
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp mixed coriander and cumin powders
1 chopped hot chilli
1 tsp mixed fresh crushed garlic and ginger
1 tsp garam masala
½ cup sunflower or vegetable oil

Put the onions into a fresh pan with 2 tbsp of the oil used for frying

Heat gently and add mince- break it up fine as it cooks
Add all the other ingredients except for the eggs and cook with lid on for 30 mins over low heat
Transfer to an oven proof dish, flatten and break eggs over the top
Cover with tin foil and bake in a low oven till the eggs have set.
Eat with rotlis. Recipe next week

Nine more hours before I can eat- this has been sado-masochistic pleasure