Traditional Dishes Of Iftar In Muslim Countries
The holy and blessed month of Ramadan is already here with full swing. Muslim from all over the world from dawn until dusk observe fast. During fast, it is prohibited to drink or eat anything and person could not even smoke. During Ramadan, Muslims observe fast and eat a meal at Suhoor and then break their fast with the food which is commonly known as Iftar. For this, there are many rewards for the people that observe fast. Ramadan is considered as the holiest month than other months in the year. In this holy month of Ramadan fasting has its immense importance and people who fasts are expected to contemplate and free themselves from other distractions and focus on living their lives on the basis of Islamic teachings.
Iftar is an anticipated event for all the Muslims around the globe of each day during Ramadan.
Following are some of the traditional dishes are being eaten while breaking the fast in several Muslim countries:
Beguni is a traditional dish that is used to eat by the people living in Bangladesh and is also a popular street food over there. In Ramadan Bengali, people use to eat begun in their iftar meals and is a staple food in many Bengali households. Beguni is made from eggplant and then is fried on deep oil that is served with rice.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup plain flour
- 2 tablespoon rice flour/semolina
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 teaspoon carom seeds
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep fry
How To Cook Beguni:
1- First you need to cut the eggplant into think sliced pieces and keep it aside
2- Second step you have to mix all the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, chili powder, and a teaspoon of salt together and then add 1 and 1/3 cup of water to make a smooth batter
3- Add carom seeds into the batter
4- Now heat oil on medium flame and dip sliced eggplant into the batter and fry it until it becomes golden brown
5- Serve and enjoy hot beguni
In Indonesia, there is a large Muslim population that exists and in that country, iftar is known as Buka Puasa that means “to open fast”. When people open their fast there is a tradition to make a dessert which is known as Kolak that contains coconut sugar, palm, coconut milk and pandanus leaf. This dessert is served with other ingredients including sweet potatoes, bananas, tapioca balls, plantains, and pumpkin.
- 500 ml coconut milk
- ½ cup glutinous rice
- 400 grams sweet corn
- ½ cup shredded jackfruit
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ¼ cup condensed milk
How To Cook Kolak:
1- In a pot combine coconut milk and glutinous rice and keep on stirring it until the rice becomes no longer sticky.
2- Let the mixture to boil for at least 12 minutes.
3- Now, add shredded jackfruit, sweet corn, and vanilla essence, and let the mixture to boil for four minutes.
4- Add sugar and condensed milk into the mixture
5- Enjoy the dish
Since Turkey is a Muslim State people do observe fast and enjoy a popular dessert in Ramadan over there which is known as Güllaç. This dessert is made from special pastry, milk, walnuts, and pomegranate and is considered as the origin of the world-renowned baklava. Gulac means “food with roses” and therefore the desert contains rose syrup. The dish is decorated in a way that it looks like layers of rose leaves.
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 Güllaç leaves (sheets)
- 1 & 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (5 oz)
- 3 to 5 drops rosewater, or to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped shelled pistachios (1 oz)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
How To Cook Güllaç:
1- In a small saucepan heat milk and sugar and keep on stirring it until the sugar gets dissolved in the milk then add vanilla to it.
2- Trim gullac leaves with the help of kitchen shear and fits those leaves inside the pan. Now, remove the leaves and add half of the milk mixture into the cake pan. Afterwards, add 1 gullac leaf into the milk mixture in order to soften slightly and transfer the batter into a large shallow serving bowl that must be 14 inches wide. Repeat 3 more leaves to it.
3- Now, keep on softening and layering 4 gullac leaves, sprinkle walnuts over each layer this time. Then add the warm milk mixture to the cake pan. Pour the remaining milk into the mixture over the leaves and sprinkle rosewater over the top. Now, its time to chill the dessert until most of the milk is absorbed for about 2 hours. Now serve dessert and sprinkle with pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
4- Morocco And Algeria
A traditional dish named harira that is used in Muslim countries such as Morocco and Algerian. This soup is a traditional dish from which they break their fast and prepare the empty stomach for a bigger dinner. The variations are always added in harira as it depends upon the existence of the region such as Rabati, Fesi, and Marrakech. Harees is a traditional dish that makes up a nutritious and healthy soup full of proteins and fibers that can sustain fasting for long hours.
- 2 cups diced onions
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounce) garbanzo beans, peeled
- 1 can (15 ounce) crushed tomatoes or 4 medium chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 quarts or more good chicken broth
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups cold water
- 3/4 cup extra fine egg noodles
- Half of a cooked chicken, cubed or shredded, white and dark meat (from chicken used to make broth)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
How To Cook Harees:
1- Mix flour and water together and set aside
2- Beat egg and add lemon juice in it, set it aside
3- Now, heat oil and add onion, parsley, celery, cilantro, turmeric, chilli, and a teaspoon salt.
4- Saute the mixture on medium flame until it is well-cooked for about 10 minutes. Afterwards, add lentils, 1 quart of the stock, and tomatoes, bring it to boil.
5- Now, add remaining stock, chicken, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and keep on cooking for 5 minutes.
6- While stirring the batter slowly keep on adding egg and lemon mixture along with half of the flour and water mixture.
7- Bring to a low boil. Stir in noodles.
8- You can add a bit of stock at any point, also can add water or flour to get the desired consistency. Now, stir in remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and add salt to taste. Harees is a traditional dish that makes up a nutritious and healthy soup full of proteins and fibers that can sustain fasting for long hours.
5- Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan
A popular dish in many countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea and other parts of Horn of Africa that are known as Shahan ful or ful . Shahan ful is usually eaten with feta cheese and yogurt.
- 4-6 big crusty rolls
- 1/4 cup olive oil + more for garnish
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup minced white onion
- 1 teaspoon berbere
- 6 cups cooked ful (round fava beans)
- 6 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
- 6 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup finely diced tomato
- 1 finely diced jalapeno
- 2 hardboiled eggs, cut into 1/8" slices
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
How To Cook Shahan ful:
1- In oven or toaster over put rolls to toast it lightly
2- Place a large skillet over the stove in medium flame and add oil and fry garlic and onion into it for 2 minutes.
3- Now add berbere and cook it for 1 more minute into the batter and then add 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer.
4- Mash the ful while adding water if needed to reach the texture of refried beans add salt to taste now, return to the heat briefly.
5- Now, divide the mash beans in between four shallow bowls and garnish heavily with more olive oil, feta cheese, green onions, tomato, and jalapeno. Sprinkle egg slices on the top along with a little cumin powder and serve immediately with the rolls on the side.
In Pakistan, the iftar table is always incomplete without these fried dumplings (Samosa) that come stuffed with cheese, meat, or vegetables. It is eaten as both snack and appetizer and is consumed with yogurt based sauce or soup.
- Boiled chicken half kg
- Carrots shredded (2 medium sized)
- Capsicum (2 medium sized)
- Chinese Salt 1 tablespoon
- Pepper 4 tablespoon
- Soy sauce 1 tablespoon
- Vinegar 3 tablespoon
How To Cook Samosa:
1- Boil chicken along with ginger garlic paste, salt and shred it
2- Take a pan pour oil and add capsicum, carrots, Chinese salt, vinegar, soy sauce and sauté it.
3- Add shredded chicken and mix the batter
4- Take roll folding the slice and fill batter in it.
5- Now, deep fry in oil until golden brown and enjoy it.
Okra stew is among the popular recipe in Sudan that is known for its soups and stew. Okra stew includes lamb meat and a range of spices in it. The Sudanese people consume it along with chapatti, or rice. This dish makes a perfect meal for Ramadan because it is highly rich in protein.
- 4 tbsp palm oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 200g fresh tender okra (say 35)
- 250 ml vegetable stock
How To Cook Okra Stew:
1- Firstly chop finely onions, garlic, garlic, and ginger and slice up the tomatoes.
2- Heat oil in a pan and fry onions, ginger garlic for few minutes until it softens and fragrant.
3- Now, add tomato puree followed by adding chopped tomatoes. Fry it for about 5 minutes then add chopped scotch bonnet pepper.
4- Trim the stalks off the okra and add them into the pan followed by the vegetable stock that has to be 250 ml. Keep on cooking it until the sauce is reduced to a thick stew consistency.