12 May 2015
The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) is joining hands with the Pattani Cooks Club in launching a native Muslim food project for the period of Ramadan this year.
The holy month of Ramadan in 2015 begins on 18 June and will continue until 16 July. Ramadan is a month of faith when all Muslims, for one month, wholeheartedly devote themselves to living in accordance with the principles of the Prophet Muhammad, including the diligent practice of fasting, refraining from eating and drinking from the first light of dawn until sunset, and refraining from any act that might adversely affect themselves and society.
The act of fasting is a practice of perseverance and self-restraint, which gives strength to both body and mind. This is intended to foster one’s awareness and understanding of the hardships of less fortunate others, thus creating compassion and purifying one’s heart.
SBPAC Deputy Secretary-General Kwanchat Wongsuparanan said that the native Muslim food project is intended to support the religious practice of Muslims in all parts of Thailand during Ramadan. SBPAC also wants Muslim Thais in various provinces to taste the high-quality halal food that has made a name for Pattani.
The project is receiving good cooperation from the Provincial Islamic Commissions and provincial governors in 39 provinces. Under the project, famous Muslim food prepared in Pattani province will be put on sale during the holy month. Proceeds from the sale will contribute to an assistance fund for poor families and those affected by unrest in the three border provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat. People who are interested in ordering the food may call 086-9615844.
There are many halal dishes offered under this project, such as khao yam, or rice salad, which is regarded as health food, as it contains major nutrients, as well as various minerals and vitamins. Khao yam consists of cooked rice mixed with certain ingredients, mainly dried shrimp that is pounded into flakes, toasted coconut flakes, and assorted fresh vegetables that are sliced into small pieces, such as kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and string beans. Other popular dishes in Pattani are roti mataba (a stuffed Muslim-style pancake), stuffed chili, stuffed fish, octopus stuffed with sticky rice, ayam golek (spiced chicken with coconut cream), and some desserts. In the southernmost provinces, where there is a large Muslim community, sweet, mild, and spicy curries abound. Southern food is typified by the Malay culinary culture. Muslim food has inevitably become part of Thai eating culture or even a favorite dish for many, regardless of their faith. On special occasions or religious gatherings in a mosque, there will be a wide range of Muslim food on offer.