Ever wondered which Ramadan Dishes are most popular around the world? Our guide explains the best dishes you can enjoy almost anywhere.
There is no more important time for Muslims than Ramadan. It is a month to focus on spiritual matters and turn away from daily distractions.
One of those distractions is food. From sunrise to sunset, healthy Muslims cannot eat or drink.
But while the sun is down, they can indulge. In fact, a 2020 study found that Muslims in Morocco spend 50 percent more on food during Ramadan.
One reason for this increase is the sheer amount of Ramadan foods. There are so many different dishes that an amateur chef can prepare, cutting across all food groups and tastes. It’s hard to tell what the best ones are!
Figure those foods out, and you can develop your taste in global cuisine. Here is your quick guide.
Dates are perhaps the stable of Ramadan fishes. They are the traditional food to break the Ramadan fast because they are sweet and nutritious.
Many people like to eat their dates plain. But popular Ramadan desserts build off of dates. Date cakes combine dates with chocolate and sugar, creating a rich dessert.
Shorba is also known as Arabic lentil soup. Lentils and vegetables swim in chicken stock and water. You can eat shorba by itself, or you can serve a side dish of rice.
Many chefs like to add their own blend of spices. One bowl of shorba may contain cumin powder and turmeric. Another bowl may contain onion and garlic powders.
Kibbe is one of the national dishes of Lebanon and Syria. It is a dumpling that contains ground meat and onions. The exterior of the dumplings is usually made from a bulgur paste, but there are many variations of it.
The dumplings are then deep-fried. Those who are wary about the saturated fat in deep-frying can bake or grill their kibbe.
4. Keema Samosa
You’ve probably heard of keema samosas before. The “keema” is usually dropped just to say, “samosas,” but that is their first name!
Samosas are fritters filled with minced meat and spices. They can contain ginger, chilies, and cumin.
They are then deep-fried and served with chutney. They are often a side dish or snack, but enthusiasts can make a full meal out of them.
5. Afghani Bolani
Afghani Bolani is a flatbread from Afghanistan. It’s a bit of a carbohydrate-heavy dish, as most people stuff their dough with potatoes and green onions. Some people deep-fry their bread, while others bake them.
Bolani is perfect for suhoor and iftar. You can dip it into curry, or you can eat it on its own.
Haleem is a stew that has a little bit of everything. It contains some sort of grain, usually barley. Shredded meat, spices, and broth are mixed in.
The dish is slow-cooked, requiring at least eight hours to make. Then the stew is stirred until a paste is formed. It sounds a little gross, but it’s quite delicious!
7. Ful Medammes
Ful Medammes is incredibly popular in North Africa. It is a puree made with fava beans, olive oil, and tahini.
It is similar to hummus, but it is a little spicer and eaten as its own dish. Beginners to North African cuisine can try it with pita bread or as a salad topping.
Kebabs are one of the premier Ramadan main courses. Meat is skewered on an iron rod, then slowly roasted over a burning fire. Kebabs are simple yet scrumptious, with flowing juices and fragrant spices.
Go to a Ramadan meal in Bangladesh, and you’ll start with beguni. It is a simple dish, consisting of battered and fried eggplant. The slices go over top white rice, creating a light appetizer that eases you into the meal.
10. Dahi Vada
Dahi Vada is another form of dumpling. They are deep-fried and made of lentils and chilies. The dumplings are then served within a yogurt sauce that contains spices, like garam masala.
Fattoush is one of the healthiest Ramadan dishes. It is also popular in the West, especially in Middle Eastern restaurants.
It is a salad with a rich variety of vegetables, including radishes. To add some texture, you can include fried bits of pita bread. The dressing is a light vinaigrette with sumac, olive oil, and other spices.
You can find pakora virtually anywhere in India. They are fried vegetable fritters, containing potatoes and eggplant.
They are heavily spiced, with good amounts of chili powder and garam masala. To provide a sweet touch, you can eat them with fruit chutney.
13. Fresh Fruit Salad
A fresh fruit salad is simple yet refreshing. Melon, grapes, and citrus contain substantial amounts of water, which are essential after a day without drinking. Fruit salad is versatile, as you can eat it as an appetizer or dessert.
14. Kunafa (Kunafeh)
Kunafa is a crispy pastry. It is made with phyllo dough, which provides a buttery and flaky crust.
Some people serve it as an appetizer, stuffing the dough with cheese and nuts. Others make it as a dessert, serving it with custard or syrup.
Baklava is the king of Ramadan desserts. It is the customary dessert of Eid al-Fitr, the last day of Ramadan. But you can enjoy it before then.
Baklava is a sweet pastry with walnuts and syrup. You can pour some honey over top for added texture and sweetness. It’s a bit of a sugar bomb, but it tastes great with coffee.
Kheer hails from India. It is a simple rice pudding with cardamom and a sprinkling of rose water. It is nothing sophisticated, but it is easy for amateur bakers to prepare and practice their skills.
18. Umm Ali
Umm Ali is a bread pudding from Egypt. It is far more elaborate than kheer, incorporating phyllo dough, cream, and nuts. For an added festive touch, you can throw raisins and dried coconut over top.
Jallab is a popular Lebanese beverage. It combines that classic staple of Ramadan, dates, with rose water and molasses. It may be a little too tart, so feel free to place ground nuts or sugar on the rim of your glass.
20. Tamer Hindi
Tamer Hindi is one of the most popular Ramadan drinks. Tamarind is a naturally tart fruit, so chefs grind it to a pulp. They then serve it with sugar and water, akin to lemonade.
The Most Essential Ramadan Foods
There are so many Ramadan foods that it is hard to know where to begin. Many meals start with dates, or they incorporate them in some way. Popular appetizers include shorba and samosas.
Entrees include kebabs and different stews. Vegetarians can enjoy ful medammes and fattoush. They can also taste an array of fritters and dumplings such as pakora.
Desserts include the ever-popular baklava and umm ali. Jallab and Tamer Hindi make for sweet and refreshing beverages.
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