It’s sometimes called “the best of times”…. Ramadan, a month set aside for spiritual reflection, additional prayer and acts of charity (this year it’s May 15-June 14). For millions of Muslims it also means fasting — each day for an entire month, from sunrise to sunset.

Dania Khan, a 23-year-old Chicagoan who grew up in Texas, lovingly calls it “Muslim boot camp.” That’s because its tough to fast all day, though she has learned to appreciate her family’s religious tradition and she loves the feasting that begins at sunset. For Dania, those meals are a celebration of food and family.

Dania’s parents came to the United States from Pakistan. They, like many, many other hard-working immigrants came in search of a better life for themselves and their children, and the hope that their children would grow up to become doctors or professors. Things didn’t turn out exactly as they planned: Dania’s dream was to drop out of college and move to Chicago to become one of the first students at Second City’s new Harold Ramis Film School, where she’s learning to channel her hysterical sense of humor into words for herself and other comics — and thriving!

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She came into our Sun-Times kitchen to show us how to make a Pakistani snack: pattie (pronounced pay-tee). Patties are “filled” with so many word memories for her: family, toil, delicious, mother, sister, feasts, tedious, hundreds. To find out why Dania makes patties, and why they help her celebrate Ramadan — even when her family is far away — visit Food With Love at www.suntimes.com

Download and print the recipe for Dania’s patties here.

Linda Yu and Dania Khan enjoy Pakistani patties in the Chicago Sun-Times kitchen for Food We Love. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Linda Yu and Dania Khan enjoy Pakistani patties in the Chicago Sun-Times kitchen for Food We Love. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Dania’s Patties (Pay-tee)

Ingredients:

1 tomato
1/2 onion
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tsps. salt
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 tsps. pepper
2 tsps. garlic powder
2 tsps. paprika
2 tsps. red chili flakes
2 tbsps. cilantro, chopped
2 packages of puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm has a frozen variety)
Mango Chutney sauce for dipping (optional)

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Directions:

Finely chop tomato and onion, set aside. In medium frying pan add oil, let heat. Add tomato and onion. Sprinkle with salt, cook until onions become translucent.
Add ground beef, break apart with spatula until onion and tomato are mixed in evenly.
Add all of the spices to the pan and cook thoroughly (meat should be a nice brown). Add cilantro, then set aside to cool.
Retrieve the puff pastries, cut into even squares. Before the pastry has time to cool add a spoonful of beef in center of square, fold diagonally into triangle. Use fork to press edges together to seal.
Place patties on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Flip over and cook another 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Linda Yu in the Chicago Sun-Times kitchen on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The completed dish: patties.  A favorite of Dania Khan and her family. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

We hope you’ve enjoyed this segment of “Food We Love with Linda Yu.” Check the links below to watch Linda’s other #foodwelove videos. Each one has a great story plus recipes for you to try at home.  You can also follow Linda on social media to get the latest on her CST series.

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