• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Explore five delectable Ramadan dishes to make Iftar delicious

Bring in the spicy, sweet, sour flavours this Ramadan festival to your home, try these top dishes from different parts of the world

Family togetherness during Ramadan is especially important for parents of young children and adolescents (Representative image: iStock)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, community, and of course, delicious food! After a day of fasting, families and friends come together to break their fast with a special meal called Iftar. This year, why not embark on a global culinary adventure with these top 5 dishes, all perfect for celebrating Ramadan:

Debly dates (date and nut rolls) – A sweet start from Algeria

debly-dates-algeria-ramadan
Deglet Noor dates are heart-healthy, cholesterol-free, and a good source of fibre. (Photo: iStock)

Iftar traditionally begins with something sweet to gently ease your digestive system back into action. Debly dates, a delightful Algerian speciality, are the perfect solution. Imagine soft, plump dates stuffed with a fragrant mixture of nuts like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, all drizzled with honey for a touch of extra sweetness.

Debly dates are quite versatile. Would you prefer a classic filling of nuts and honey, or would you explore a more modern twist with chopped dried fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon?

Samosas – A savoury sensation from south Asia

samosas-ramadan-asia
Samosas are a popular entrée, appetizer, or snack in the cuisines of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, East Africa and their South Asian diasporas (Photo: iStock)

As you ease into your meal, samosas offer a delightful explosion of flavours and textures. These crispy, golden fried pastries come in various fillings, but a popular choice for Ramadan is a savoury blend of spiced potatoes, peas, and lentils. Dip them in a creamy yogurt sauce or a tangy chutney for an extra flavour dimension.

Think you can handle some heat? Traditionally, samosas can range from mild to spicy.

Lentil soup – A hearty nourishment from the Middle East

lentil-soup-ramadan
Lentils are the oldest pulse in the history of the Eastern Mediterranean and have been part of our diets since the Stone Age. (Photo: iStock)

A steaming bowl of lentil soup is a Ramadan staple across the Middle East. Packed with protein and fiber, it’s a nourishing way to refuel your body. Lentils simmer with various vegetables and spices, creating a rich, flavourful broth that’s both comforting and satisfying.

Lentil soups come in countless regional variations. Would you like a Moroccan lentil soup with a kick of ginger and turmeric, or a Turkish version featuring red peppers and bulgur wheat?

Baklava – A heavenly finale from Turkey

baklava-turkish-ramadan
Baklava is originally from Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East, but it was brought to Hungary by Turkish invaders during the 16th century.  (Photo: iStock)

No Ramadan feast is complete without a decent sweet ending. Baklava, a layered pastry dessert from Turkey, is a true crowd-pleaser. Flaky phyllo dough is layered with chopped nuts, sweetened with syrup, and often topped with pistachios for a touch of elegance. Each bite is a symphony of textures and flavours, making it the perfect way to end your Iftar meal.

Baklava variations exist across the Middle East and beyond. Did you know Greece has a similar pastry called baklava, while the Egyptians enjoy a version called basbousa made with semolina flour?

Haleem – A hearty stew from India

haleem-ramadan-india
Haleem originated as an Arabic dish with meat and pounded wheat as the chief ingredients. (Photo: iStock)

For those seeking a truly hearty and satisfying meal, Haleem, a slow-cooked stew originating in Hyderabad, India, is a fantastic choice. This dish combines wheat, lentils, meat (often mutton), and a rich blend of spices, resulting in a thick, flavourful concoction that’s perfect for cooler evenings.

Haleem can be customised with various spices and ingredients. Would you like to add a touch of garam masala for warmth, or perhaps some fresh green chilies for a burst of heat?

These five dishes are just a starting point for your Ramadan culinary journey. With a little exploration, you can discover countless other delectable options from around the world. So, this Ramadan, embark on a delicious adventure, explore new flavors, and create lasting memories with your loved ones!

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