Jeddah: Jeddah Saudi Najat Abdul Majeed from Jeddah is on a mission to pass on the culinary knowledge and skills she has gained during her lifetime in preparing authentic Arabic dishes, not only to her children and grandchildren, but to all Saudis and others. Around the world. .
Her granddaughter, Shahd Noujeim, said her grandmother’s cooking has always been an important way to show her love for her family and friends.
This was confirmed by Abdul Majid’s daughter and Nexhmi’s mother, Basma Omair, who said: “Cooking means home and love for me … and meals are the way we express love in this house.
After deciding to pass on the wealth of culinary knowledge and experience she has gained over the years as a good idea, Abdul Majeed decided to share her recipes, tips and advice for preparing some of the most popular Arabic dishes. Only with her family but with the whole world on Instagram where she calls herself @ annati_1.
“Ana” is something her grandmother calls her and “Tee” at the end of the word shows mastery, Njeimi said that when they were children, Njeimi and his cousins argued saying “it’s Anna, no, it’s Anna. When they decided on her name on Instagram, they decided to make her the grandmother of all, whence the name “Anati”.
“We wanted to document his cooking only for grandchildren, but my mother thought we could pass on the knowledge to the whole younger generation,” Amir said.
“It was the driving force behind the idea of posting videos on Instagram. She tells me it may work or not, but we have nothing to lose.
Abdul Majeed and her family invited the Arab News crew to their home to watch her work in the kitchen and learn how food is an integral part of the love bond she shares with her children and grandchildren.
Immediately, it was clear that she was radiating an atmosphere of warmth and love that enveloped not only her family but also her guests. It was also clear that it was important for her that her visitors were well nourished and understood the value she placed on the family.
For Arab News, she prepared Fatteh Bazanjan, a dish that includes eggplant, minced meat, fried bread and yogurt, with pine nuts and pomegranate. One of the main ingredients is pomegranate molasses, which is Abdul Majid’s favorite. As she prepared the meal, she encouraged her guests to try the individual ingredients to understand each ingredient before they all gathered in the final dish.
Abdul Majid said that over the years people often told her that she had to write a cookbook or give a cooking show.
“But at the time, I was busy with my life and my children,” she said. “Only now have I had some time in my life and started sharing my recipes on Instagram.”
She said that she mostly likes to prepare delicious Arabic food, but also to deal with cakes and other cuisines from all over the world.
Abdul Majeed revealed that when she moved to the United States to educate her children, she was determined to ensure her children remained connected to their roots and culture, including her kitchen.
“So I started doing everything at home, myself, from scratch,” she added.
His daughter and granddaughter agreed that many of their most beautiful memories of Abdul Majid revolve around food: the meals Anna prepares for them, or being in the kitchen with her and learning to cook.
“One of my favorite memories was when we lived in the United States and my dad opened the door for anyone who was a student or lived without his family to come for breakfast (breakfast), so this was an open invitation to in home.” said Amiri.
Najim said he likes Arabic cuisine.
For others, cozy food may be pasta and cheese or potatoes; For me, it’s everything with pomegranate molasses in it. ” “Patat[e gjyshes sime]”It’s like when you want to kiss someone and you can’t hug them, so you go into the kitchen and try to recreate that feeling.”
She said the experience of learning to cook from grandma involved the process of ignoring what she thought she knew and learning to trust her instincts.
“I was very specific because I like cooking, but she refused to let me use the measurements and instead encouraged me to follow my intuition,” Njeim said.
“So it was a learning curve for me. It was a very special experience. You have surpassed the culinary experience; I feel like I have a part of her that I will keep with me and that I will pass on to my children.
Abdul Majid said Arabic cuisine can take a long time to cook and many young people do not like to spend a lot of time preparing food.
“I try to tell you that there are ways to prepare in advance that help reduce time and when you get home tired you can do it yourself,” she said.
For the future, the family plans to organize online courses especially for young children to teach them how to prepare the ingredients in advance and facilitate the cooking process.
“I like to share (my mother) with the world,” said Amir, with her eyes filled with tears. “I think she deserves credit for her mother and the knowledge she has. When you have knowledge, you can not just keep it.
In addition to cooking tips, Abdul Majid has other important tips to pass on to families.
“I have dedicated my whole life to keeping my family close to me and to being the best mother and grandmother I can be,” she said. “I became their friend and I do not regret dedicating my life to my children. I believe family should always be a priority.
Umair said another important lesson she learned from her mother was that it is never too late to start something new that you are passionate about and that it is important to stop being a perfectionist and not be afraid to take risks. .
“Being with my mom allowed me to enjoy what I wanted to do instead of waiting until I knew the result would be perfect,” she said.