British restaurants changing their menus to break traditional fast


by NADEEM BADSHAH THE days of eating meals to break the fast – consisting of a plate crammed with samosas, pakoras and ketchup topped off with a glass of Coke – are changing. There is a Ramadan revolution of sorts when it comes to the iftar evening meal with more diners this year choosing lighter and healthier options, according to chefs. And restaurants are catering to the trend with specialist Iftar offerings or small plates menus for sharing during the holy month, which takes place from the first week of May until early June. Renowned Islamic teacher Nouman Ali Khan has joked that some Muslims previously put on weight during Ramadan because of the amount they eat to break the fast and the choice of foods. Experts say there is less of an appetite for fried and fatty foods and a shift towards grilled meats, salads and sharing desserts, particularly among young Muslims after 19 hours each day of going without food and drink. Volcanic Restaurant in Aldgate, east London, is launching a new iftar menu “with a lot more healthy options”, according to co-partner Belal Bakht. It has a unique concept of meat which is served on a slab heated to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Diners can slice their sizzling steak and turn it around on the rock depending on how they like their meat cooked. Bakht told Eastern Eye: “Five years ago Muslims saw Ramadan as a time to feast and overeat. “When I was young, we bought and wasted so much food – so much ghee, curry, biryani which has high fat content. “We’re moving away from a stack of pakoras, samosas, then haleem, biryani, something heavy. We have zucchini aubergine rolls, a Mediterranean salad, fresh salmon, seabass, tuna steak.” Volcanic is introducing a soft play area…

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