Cooking at Mabelle Iftar Nights
Community festivity is a big part of the life of our company at MABELLEarts: all of our workshops, events, gatherings, celebrations and production times are made more exciting and meaningful by the inclusion of delicious food. In all of our work, we strive to weave beauty into every detail - from the art materials we choose to the food we serve and how we set the tables. Part of the beauty of the food we create comes from the collaborative effort of the the local women who together prepare it for their community.
The Mabelle Ladies Cooking Circle involves a group of women who come together to share recipes and traditions while feeding the neighbourhood. Each receive an honorarium for their participation. Originally developed by Miriam Ahmed, the Mabelle Ladies Cooking Circle is now coordinated by Mabelle resident, Fadwa Ghanem. Every year, during Ramadan, this group of Mabelle women come together to prepare snacks and treats to share with their neighbours at sundown during Mabelle Iftar Nights.
This year, thanks to support from The Toronto Pearson Airport (Propellor Project), we are pleased to welcome Joshna Maharaj as our Kitchen Consultant for The Mabelle Ladies Cooking Circle. Joshna is a chef and activist who “works with communities, organizations and institutions to build value-based food services that prioritize good food, hospitality and sustainability”. Joshna believes that “chefs can help people and communities transform with stronger connections to their food”. She uses “social gastronomy to rebuild our food system, increase people's access to good food and help everyone have more fun in the kitchen.”
Joshna has worked with institutions including The Stop Community Food Centre, The Scarborough Hospital, and The Gladstone Hotel (as executive chef). She has spoken all over Canada and beyond, including at TEDxToronto, U of T, Food Secure Canada and The Parabere Forum (Barcelona). Reflecting on her recent work alongside Fadwa and The Mabelle Ladies Cooking Circle, Joshna says:
“I spent the afternoon making spinach & feta fatayer with an awesome group of women from five different countries, speaking as many languages. As we folded these little pockets, we talked about life in Canada, having children and where to get the best spices. This is easily one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon.”
Joshna Maharaj (Kitchen Consultant) and Fadwa Ghanem (Cooking Cordinator) meet in the MABELLEarts office to plan the menu for Mabelle Iftar Nights, prepared each week by the Mabelle Ladies Cooking Circle.
Read more about Joshna’s work at:
Fadwa’s Hummus Recipe: enjoy at home!
Each Iftar Night, Fadwa, Joshna and the Mabelle Ladies Cooking Circle have been preparing Fadwa’s signature hummus recipe to serve for Iftar. Now you can make and enjoy this delicious dish at home!
• 2 Cups of Canned Chickpeas
• 4 Tablespoons Tahini
• 1 Lemon (juice)
• 2 Cloves of Garlic
• Olive oil
• Chopped parsley
1. Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and place into food processor.
2. Add 4 tablespoons of water (or as much as needed until smooth).
3. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, and lemon juice into mixture.
4. When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, add to serving dish.
5. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and decorate with a few whole chickpeas.
6. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and finely chopped parsley leaves for colour.