Ramadan is a month of the Islamic calendar for fasting, celebration, and prayer. Learn about the types of cuisine enjoyed during this month!
The Muslim faith values no other month like Ramadan. It was the month when the Quran was revealed to Muhammad. It is a time of deep reflection and study, an occasion during which observant Muslims must remove themselves from temptation.
That includes eating food. 1.8 billion Muslims go without eating food or drinking while the sun is up.
But that doesn’t mean that Muslims starve themselves. In fact, many Muslims gain weight during Ramadan! They eat before the sun rises or after it sets.
What are those meals like? How do Muslims eat dessert and drink during the Muslim holiday?
Answer these questions and you can enrich your sense of global cuisine. Here is your quick guide.
Suhoor is the pre-dawn meal. It is the most important meal because it is the only source of energy for the rest of the day.
Shakshuka is one popular recipe. It is comprised of eggs that are baked in a spiced tomato sauce. You can make it less than 30 minutes, and you can serve it with Feta cheese and flatbread.
Omelets are also very popular. Many Muslims like to fill theirs with onion and spinach.
Others like to go with a simple bowl of oatmeal. When topped with blueberries and walnuts, oatmeal provides fiber that the body slowly digests throughout the day.
It can be hard to prepare meals during the early morning hours. After all, it’s pitch black out and you’ve just woken up! This leads many Muslims to prepare their breakfasts the night before.
Curried egg salad can be stored for several days. Combining boiled eggs with mayonnaise and spices makes for a long-lasting dish. You can eat the salad with naan and arugula, which provides a peppery kick that offsets cumin and turmeric.
Iftar is the post-dusk meal. Many people are understandably hungry after a long day of fasting. This is their opportunity to indulge and enjoy a wide range of dishes.
Chicken shawarma combines spicy chicken with a white sauce and vegetables. The sauce contains mayonnaise, yogurt, and garlic and onion powders. The chicken marinates in garlic paste and lemon juice, then it is baked and served with the sauce on the side.
When people think of foods eaten during Ramadan, they often think of kebabs. Meat cooked over a spit is simple yet absolutely delicious.
You can serve a wide range of side dishes with your kebabs. Rice pilafs, salads, and hummus all work really well. They’re even great when they’re served at the same time!
Fish enthusiasts eat baked salmon with garam masala. Masala provides a rich blend of spices, which maple syrup can complement with its sweetness.
There are many dishes that vegetarians can eat during Ramadan. Khichdi is a rice porridge made with lentils and fresh vegetables. It is perfect for suhoor or iftar, though most people make it before dawn.
Avocado toast is for more than millennials. Topping a slice of whole-grain bread with avocados, Greek yogurt, and smoked salmon provides protein and slow-burning carbohydrates.
The go-to iftar dish for vegetarians is falafel. Classic falafel comprises ground chickpeas and vegetables that are formed into balls and deep-fried. The health-conscious can bake theirs and serve them with hummus and fresh cucumbers.
Pita sandwiches are a stable of many Islamic meals. They are incredibly versatile.
Some people like to mix chickpeas with spinach. Others like to stuff pitas with falafel, red onion, and tahini.
Of course, the pita can be eaten by itself. Toasted with some salt and olive oil, it is an ideal appetizer or quick snack.
Dates are the stable Ramadan dessert. On their own, they are incredibly sweet, yet they are high in fiber and essential vitamins. Some people stuff them with nuts or top with them with shredded coconuts.
Baklava is a sweet pastry. Flaky phyllo dough surrounds chopped nuts and sugar. A sweet syrup goes on top, creating a sugary but delicious snack.
Kolak is a dessert from Indonesia. It is a soupy dish made with sweet potatoes and coconut cream. It is best for people who want a treat without it being too sweet.
People can eat oatmeal cups for breakfast or dessert. Chefs can mix mashed banana with dried fruits and oatmeal, or they can use nut butter. This makes them versatile and easy to cook.
No meal is complete without a good drink! The most common Ramadan beverage is a glass of ice water. Muslims can’t drink during the day, so it’s nice to get some immediate refreshment.
Coconut water is more than H2O with coconut flavorings. It comes straight from the coconut itself, and it is backed with natural electrolytes. For people who need to replenish lost sodium and potassium, coconut water is the perfect drink.
Tamer Hindi is popular across the Middle East. It incorporates tart tamarind pulp with sugar and water. For a kick of citrus, you can add lime or lemon juice.
Jallab is another Middle Eastern classic. It uses dates, grape molasses, and rose water. It is sweet yet packs a floral punch and contains few calories.
The Essential Foods of Ramadan
Ramadan is a month to perform important Islamic practices. One of those is partaking in delicious cuisine.
Eggs are popular during suhoor. Meat dishes like kebabs and shawarma dominate iftar.
But vegetarians can indulge in a number of dishes, including the ever-popular falafel. Dates and baklava are stable desserts. Many Muslims drink iced water or get essential electrolytes through coconut water and Tamer Hindi.
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