Although fasting is a central focus of Ramadan, food still plays a big role in its celebration. Once the sun sets, Muslims break their fast with traditional dishes and drinks to refill their bodies.
With Ramadan quickly approaching, it’s time to plan for the different foods that will be prepared throughout the month. Here are some dishes from around the world that will help you plan your feast:
Turkish Style Eggs
The Turkish meal Suhoor is a pre-dawn dish that’s perfect for starting your day.
Going all the way back to the Ottoman Empire, this dish has been served throughout history as an early morning food, which explains why Muslims would adopt it as a great choice to prepare for a day of fasting.
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 ½ cups of plain yogurt
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 quart of water
- 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 6 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic, yogurt and pinch of salt. Mix well.
- In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the water, vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and gently break the eggs into the water, spacing them well apart. Cook until the whites have set over the yolks, immediately remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place on a serving dish.
- Melt butter in a small skillet or saucepan. Stir in paprika. Pour yogurt sauce over eggs and top with paprika butter.
Moroccan Lentil Soup
This tasty soup is ideal for breaking your fast during Iftar, the evening meal.
Lentil soup is rich in proteins and iron, which gives your body the nutrients you couldn’t get throughout the day. Starting Iftar with soup warms your stomach and prepares it for the rest of the food you’ll want to eat throughout the night.
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
- 6 cups of water
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 1 (15 oz.) can of garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas), drained
- 1 (19 oz.) can of cannellini beans
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of diced carrots
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- In large pot, sauté the onions, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the water, lentils, garbanzo beans, white kidney beans, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, garam masala, cardamom and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the lentils are soft.
- Puree half the soup in a food processor or blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir and enjoy!
Indian Mustard Fish
For a more substantial Iftar meal, try this super easy mustard fish recipe from India.
- 3 tablespoons mustard seed
- 5 green chile peppers, diced
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- 4 medium onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 cup of water
- 2 pounds of salmon, cut into chunks
- Place the mustard seed and chile peppers in a bowl and mash together to create a fine paste.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the onions until they’re golden. Mix in mustard, chile paste, chili powder, turmeric and salt. Stir in water. Place salmon in the skillet. Reduce heat to low and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and fish is easily flaked with a fork.
Egyptian Rose Leaves
Dessert is an essential part of Ramadan, as well. These Egyptian cookies are the perfect end to your day.
This cookie goes back to the the time of Pharaohs and was baked for all kinds of celebrations. Now, it is widely used by Egyptian Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan. It’s commonly called Kahk al-Eid, “Cookie of the Feast.”
- 1/3 cup of shortening
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of rosewater
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and rose fluid until fluffy. Stir flour and salt together, then mix in butter mixture. Dough will be soft. Chill several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) Light grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using 1/3 of dough at a time, keep rest of dough refrigerated, roll into balls about 3/4 inch in diameter. Place on cookie sheets and flatten with hand until approximately half of their original thickness. Imagine the flattened cookies as a clock. Make 2 slits, each 1/2 inch long, in the cookies at 10:00 and at 2:00. Pinch the bottom to form a petal “base”. Sprinkle with red or pink decorator’s sugar.
- Bake at 350 ˚F (175 ˚C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Do not brown the tops of the cookies!