Iftars are about beef, mutton, and biriyani, right? Well, a Dubai Malayali couple is changing our perception with the idli-sambar combo.
Mohan Kumar and Jayasree, who are originally from Palakkad, have been hosting idli-sambar iftars for the past 20 years. Seems Jayasree has a delicious idli sambar recipe and Mohan’s friends would come over just to have her idli-sambar. One day, one of Mohan Kumar’s friends suggested that the couple arrange an idli-sambar iftar that year. That’s how the now legendary idli-sambar iftars took birth.
The couple has been organising community iftar every year from then on. They say that the satisfaction that they derive from it is immeasurable. The number of guests who attend their iftar parties have gone from 4 to 250. They’ve had to move their venue from their house at Hoor Al Hassan to a hall at the workshop of Mohan’s employer, Al Naboodah Group. And what’s more? Their guests are not just Indians. Mohan’s colleagues from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Yemen, and Egypt have started joining in.
Mohan Kumar told Manorama Online that he feels it is his duty to promote brotherhood among people and promote communal amity. “Iftar has a humane aspect, especially in Gulf countries. When everybody is busy with their work, such events bring people together and enable the exchange of friendly talk”, he told Manorama Online.
In a world of hate and rising right-wing ideologies, such stories give us hope. People like Mohan Kumar and Jayasree, who with the power of the simple idli-sambar, spread the message of unity help restore faith in humanity.