5 Ramadan Dishes from Around the World.
Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. This involves abstaining from food, drink, sexual relations, smoking, and other activities between sunrise and sunset. Its conclusion is marked by Eid al-Fitr, one of the two major Islamic holidays; the other is Eid al-Adha (aka Eid al-Kabir). Eid al-Fitr literally translates to “holiday of breaking the fast.”
The focus of Ramadan is spiritual with extra prayers, acts of charity, and other worship rituals. However, many cultures place a surprising emphasis on food during this holy month of fasting. Iftar, the meal at which Muslims break their fast, is highly anticipated, and even children who do not fast yet (due to their age) look forward to the food spread in the evening.
There are around 1.8 million Muslims around the world. Families will gather around one table every night, having a warm rich meal. The 30 days of Ramadan are a time to enjoy the warmth of family, scrumptious food, and of course prayers and spiritualities.
Let’s take a tour around the world and check out Ramadan’s food menu. With its special nature, Iftar’s menu is always better across all countries.
Muslims break their fast by eating 1 or 3 dates as was the practice of Prophet Mohammed.
The Prophet broke his fast with three dates and water. From a nutritional point of view, dates are an excellent source of fiber, natural sugar, iron, and magnesium. They help restore blood sugar after long hours of fasting.
Typical Ramadan Dishes in Morocco
In Morocco, Iftar is more commonly called Ftour, the same word used for breakfast.
Dates, milk, juices, and sweets typically provide the sugar surge needed after a day of fasting.
Harira is a hearty lentil and tomato soup. It satisfies hunger and restores energy. Hard-boiled eggs, sweet or savory-filled pastries, fried fish, and various pancakes and flatbreads might also be on the table.
Large batches of sweets such as Sellou and Chebekia are traditionally prepared in advance for use throughout the month, as are cookies and other pastries. You can make these and other Ramadan recipes all year round, but they are especially popular during this holy month.
Check a recipe for Moroccan Harira here:
Harira Recipe – Moroccan Tomato Soup with Chickpeas and Lentils – Taste of Maroc
Ramadan’s Dishes from Lebanon
Soups are very healthy options to start the Iftar as they replenish the body fluids and warm the stomach. They hence prepare the latter to receive other foods.
Lentil, vegetable, chicken, and vermicelli soups are popular during Ramadan, with lentil soup being the most common in Lebanon.
Refreshing juices like Jallab, Amar al-Din and Tamarind are very commonly consumed. They are great at replacing fluids lost during the day. Jallab is a popular fruit syrup in the Middle East, made from molasses of carob, dates, and grapes. It is especially popular in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
Check out an easy recipe for Jellab, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzD02DMcOXE
Famous Ramadan Dishes in Pakistan
This is the definite first on anyone’s list of Ramadan foods. Without Pakoras Ramadan won’t seem like Ramadan. It is something that has become a norm for Pakistanis. Pakistan’s culture is diverse and with that, the food is also quite different. But it doesn’t matter where you reside in Pakistan. No matter how many different items on your dinner table you might have. For Iftar, one food is the same at everyone’s table, that is the Pakoras.
Pakoras can be basically anything, you just need to dip them in a batter made of gram flour. Pakoras are mostly potatoes and onions. They can also be chicken and other vegetables. However, if you don’t have onion Pakoras at your Iftar table, you are not a Pakistani.
Check out a recipe for Pakoras, https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/pakora-recipe-vegetable-pakora-pakoda/
Notorious Ramadan Dishes in Egypt
Take it from an Egyptian, if you ever happen to be in Egypt in Ramadan, make sure to be invited over Iftar. In an Egyptian house, you will feel all the love that goes into making the meals.
Among the most famous and traditional Egyptian dishes that must be on every table in Ramadan is Mahshi.
Mahshi is made of different kinds of vegetables stuffed with rice. These vegetables are mainly vine leaves, cabbage leaves, eggplant, zucchini, green bell pepper or tomatoes.
The stuffing is usually rice with minced parsley and cilantro, tomato paste, mined onions and special spices.
Mahshi, is one of the most delicious dishes in Egyptian cuisine however it is also common in some parts of the Mediterranean countries with some alternations in the recipe.
Another traditional dish on the Egyptian Ramadan table is “Molokheya”.
Some people consider it a soup only or a starter. Others consider it a supper-satisfying main dish. No matter what people call it, it is delicious and mouthwatering.
Molokheya is minced green leaves, cooked with chicken or meat stock and lots of garlic and coriander. They usually eat it with Egyptian bread or rice.
Check these simple recipes for some authentic Egyptian food.
Ramadan in Comoros
Comoros is a small African-Arab Islamic country consisting of a group of islands in the Strait of Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. The official languages of Comoros are Comorian, French, and Arabic. Comorian (or Shikomoro) is a Bantu language closely related to Swahili. About 86% of the Comorian population is Muslim.
The table during Ramadan in Comoros is almost full. You can find Tea, Soup with grilled rice and meat, grill, fries, and much more. However, there is no rice during Iftar.
You find pieces of bread in a vegetable or meat broth. Various dishes consist of potatoes, sambousa, meat, and fish. With that, the Ramadan table is never empty. There is however, a more important meal. It is the Sohour.
Sohour is the meal of the dawn. It is very important no matter where you come from.
There is a famous dish in Comoros, Ntrovi ya nazi. It consists of fried or steamed fish with cooked bananas and coconut stew.
Ramadan is a month of faith, forgiveness, and joy. May it be a happy and blessed month for everyone!
Authored by Yasmine Deraz
Edited by Yara Fakhoury
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