As the holy month of Ramadan has begun, it is essential to understand what meals should be eaten throughout this period, which are healthy yet delicious. After sunset, Muslims break their fast by eating dates and water. Followed by iftar, where they get to have a hearty meal, after a full day of fasting. While each location has its unique food preferences during this time, we have chosen the most well-known and mouth-watering dishes of Ramadan that you must try.
Kebab, a delicacy from the Middle East, consists of grounded meat mixed with flavourful spices grilled on a skewer over a fire. Kebabs come in varieties, like Seekh Kebab, Hara Bhara Kebab, Doner Kebab, Galouti Kebab, etc. Traditionally, the meat used for kebab was lamb meat. Gradually, other meats, including chicken, mutton, and beef, have also started to be used, adding more variety to the range of kebabs.
Pakodas, or fritters, cannot be missed when we discuss food, as they serve as an appetizer before the grand meal of iftar. These consist of veggies like potatoes, onions, spinach, and peas. These are stuffed with chicken and egg as well.
Shorba, another Middle Eastern dish, is derived from the Arabic word ‘Shurbah’, meaning soup. Although highly modified with time, the traditional Shorba is prepared mainly with meat, potatoes, and beans. It is preferably cooked in a pressure cooker to reduce the time taken to cook the ingredients. This meal contains a variety of spices like saffron, cumin, and turmeric, which provide health benefits by keeping the body warm and hydrated.
Haleem is a stew made with lentils and meat, which originated in the Middle East, and was brought to the state of Hyderabad in India by the Chaush under Nizams’ rule. Usually, it is cooked for 6 to 7 hours in a Bhatti, or brick and mud oven. Containing a variety of protein sources, it is proven to be very nutritious and satiates Muslims throughout their fast.
Keema Samosa is an excellent snack for both children and adults. It is a crispy thin layer stuffed with meat (minced and chopped to make the keema) and fried till they turn golden brown. The meat can be chicken, mutton, or beef, but the most popular is Mutton Keema Samosa because of its juicy texture on the inside. It is an easy yet tasty dish that you must try this iftar.
Ramadan is incomplete without the royal delicacy, Biryani, which gained popularity during the Mughal period. All that Biryani needs is Basmati rice layered with chicken curry and topped up with the infamous Birista or the fried onion. The combination of milk and saffron brings out an exquisite taste and flavor, making it one of the most delectable Ramadan meals.
Akhni is a dish from Bangladesh consisting of meat, potatoes, and rice. It is similar to Biryani but spares the hard work of layering, as is required in preparing the former. Akhni is primarily famous among Bengali Muslims, and mainly lamb meat is preferred. The rice in Akhni has a sticky texture and is a one-pot dish, which means it requires a single pot.
Originally from Lebanon, ‘Fattoush’ means crumbs in Arabic and has gained popularity in India recently. It consists of Pita bread and various vegetables seasoned with oil and spices. It is a basic salad-like dish preferred by people who want to eat light during their fast in Ramadan.
9.Mutton Liver Fry
Mutton liver fry is a popular dish in South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. Mutton liver, also known as Kaleji, is an excellent source of vitamin A, beneficial for the eyes. The dish satiates hunger which is essential during Ramadan. The Kaleji is continuously fried with rich spices and juicy tomatoes till the dark color is achieved and is finally served hot. Among Bengalis, it is known as ‘Metey Chorchori’ and is enjoyed by Muslims all over India.
Bhuni Raan is a dish with a roasted leg of mutton. The idea is to take the meat and make keema, which in turn becomes tender and juicy. A trick you must know while cooking Raan is that it is necessary to cook it with buttermilk to loosen up the outer layering and soften it. The two specific recipes of Bhuni Raan are Bukhara and Dum Phukt, which are a must-try.
Rogan Josh is the infamous dish of Kashmiri origin, prepared with the meat of, preferably, lamb or goat. Flavored with a variety of spices, the meat is simmered to extract the marrow from the bones, resulting in a thick textured gravy. In modern times, the dish is prepared in a pressure cooker, to reduce the time taken. It is served with steamed Basmati rice or Naan, making an excellent meal for iftar.
As the name suggests, ‘sheer’, meaning milk, and ‘khurma’, meaning dates, is a sweet, creamy classic Mughlai dessert made with milk, vermicelli, and dates. Vermicelli (or Sewain) are long strands of rice that look like thread and is an essential ingredient in sheer khurma. These rice threads, dates, and dry fruits are dipped into the thick milk and cooked for a few minutes. It is served either hot or cold, depending on personal choice.
Similarly, as in Doner kebab, Shawarma is made of roasted meat on a rotisserie. The meat is sliced into thin pieces, mixed with veggies and cheese, and wrapped in flat thin bread. It has recently gained popularity among Indians and is now a popular street food.
14.Tamarind Stuffed Fish
This delicious Persian dish is also a must-have during Ramadan. The combination of sweet and sour tamarind with caramelized onion and grounded almonds is spread over the fish, and baked. After a long fast, this iftar recipe brings a burst of flavor to the mouth.
One of the best and easiest dishes to make for a snack is Chana Chaat. The chickpeas are mixed with chopped onion, spices, and lime juice to add that tangy flavor. In addition to chilies, crushed ‘papdis’ are used to give it crunchiness. This popular and easy-to-make snack is not only tasty but also rich in protein and also loved by kids.
Phirni is a creamy pudding famous in Northern India, made with crushed rice, sugar, milk, and dry fruits. The milk is thickened with crushed rice and garnished with nuts on top. This thick and creamy dessert is refrigerated overnight and served chilled.
Kunafa is a Middle Eastern dish that consists of semolina dipped in sugar syrup and layered with cream or cheese. It refers to a cheesy pie or pudding and has a crunchy texture on the outside with creamy cheese on the inside. It is served as a dessert.
Qatayef is a classic Arab pancake, cooked on the outer side and stuffed with pistachio cream, nuts, sugar, and cinnamon. These are either eaten as it is or further dipped into the sugar syrup and fried until crispy. It is one of the most famous Ramadan specialties and is served alongside Kunafa.
It is a flatbread fried in ghee and one of the most popular desserts in Mughlai cuisine. Shahi Tukda is a flatbread soaked in sugar syrup, topped with condensed, sweetened milk (or rabdi), and garnished with nuts and saffron. Adding Varak (silver leaf) enhances the royalty of the dish.
Falooda is a frozen delicacy made with vermicelli, milk, and ice cream blended with rose syrup and sabja seeds. The milky flavor comes from vermicelli, and sabja seeds are the sweet basil seeds that keep the body cool in summer. The addition of jelly is optional and can be homemade or bought from the stores. During Ramadan, Falooda is a favorite dish in every home.