JEDDAH: Saudi grandmother Najat Abdul Majeed Magda is on a mission to pass on the culinary knowledge and skills she has gained during her lifetime by preparing authentic Arabic food, not only to her children and grandchildren, but to all Saudis and other people around world. .
Her granddaughter, Shad Njeim, said her grandmother’s cooking has always been an important way through which she shows her love for 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 accumulated over the years as a good idea, Abdul Majeed decided to share her recipes, tricks and tips for preparing some delicious and authentic Arabic dishes not only with her family , but also with the whole world on Instagram, where she is called @ nati_1.
“Anna” is something called Grandma, and “Tee” at the end of the word indicates ownership. Njeim said that when she was a child, Naga and her cousins argued and said, “It’s Anna, no, it’s Anna.” When they decided on her Instagram name, they decided to make her everyone’s grandmother, hence her name “I”.
“We wanted to document her cooking only for her grandchildren, but my mother thought we could pass on the knowledge to the whole younger generation,” said Amir.
“It was the force behind the idea of uploading videos to Instagram. “She told me it might work or not, but we have nothing to lose.”
Abdul Majeed and her family invited an evening news team 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.
It immediately turned out that she was radiating an atmosphere of warmth and love that enveloped not only her family but also their guests. She was also clear that her visitors would be well fed and would understand the value she placed on the family.
On the evening news program, I made noodles in zanjan, a dish that includes eggplant, minced meat, fried bread and yogurt and topped with pine nuts and pomegranate. Pomegranate molasses is one of the main ingredients and is Abdul Majid’s favorite. As she prepared the meal, she encouraged her guests to try the individual ingredients to understand each ingredient before everyone contacted the final dish.
Abdul Majid said that over the years people have often told her that she should write a recipe book or make a cooking plan.
“But at that time I was busy with my life and my children,” she said. “Now I have some time in my life and I have started sharing my recipes on Instagram.”
She said she loves to cook delicious Arabic dishes, but also enjoys sweets and other cuisines from around 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.
The daughter and her granddaughter agreed that many of their most beautiful memories of Abdul Majid revolve around food: the food Anna prepared for them, or being with her in the kitchen and learning how to cook.
One of my favorite memories is when we lived in the United States and my dad would open the door for anyone who was a student, or living without his family, to come to Iftar (breakfast), so it was open – an invitation for come “, said Amir.
Najim said he likes Arabic cuisine.
She added, “For others, comfortable food can be pasta and cheese or chips; for me, anything containing Roman molasses (pomegranate molasses).” Dishes (for my grandmother) are like when you want to hug. someone and you can not hug, so you go into the kitchen and try to recreate the feeling.
According to her, her grandmother’s culinary learning experience involved the process of returning to learning what she thought she knew and learning to trust her instincts.
“I was very precise because I liked to cook, but she just refused to let me use the measurements and instead encouraged me to continue with my bowel sensation,” Njeim said.
“So it was a learning curve for me. It was a very special experience. You have surpassed the culinary experience; It seems to me that I have a part of it that I will keep with me and give to my children. “
Abdul Majid said that Arabic food can take a long time to cook and many young people do not like to spend that time preparing food.
“I try to tell you that there are ways you can prepare in advance that help shorten the time and when you get home tired you can do it yourself,” she said.
Looking to the future, the family plans to organize online courses specifically for young people to teach them how to prepare the ingredients in advance and make the cooking process easier.
“I like to share (my mom) with the world,” Amir said, with her eyes filled with tears. “I think she deserves to be grateful for her mother and the knowledge she has. “When you have knowledge, you can not just stick to it.”
In addition to cooking tips, Abdul Majid has some other important tips that you should pass on to families.
“I have given my whole life to keep my family close to me and to be 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 think the 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 excites you and that it is important to stop being a perfectionist and not be afraid to take risks.
“Being with my mother allowed me to enjoy what I wanted to do instead of waiting until I knew full well that the result would be perfect,” she said.