Ramadan Recipes for Iftar

Ramadan is literally around the corner, for those thats dont know its the month of fasting, Muslims wake before dawn and have a meal ad then don’t eat or drink until sundown.  Naturally during the long hours of fasting our minds turn to what we ll eat at that evening meal called Iftar. usually we break the fast on water and dates, dates are perfect for this as they are very high in easily digested sugar. Then we pray maghrib the prayer after sunset before having our meal. If we’re feeling famished we ll eat before praying but its not a great idea as you can imagine after a day without your instinct is to be a bit greedy thus making the bowing of islamic prayer a little uncomfortable afterwards !

Here are my favourite all time Ramadan recipes from around the Muslim world.

Harira

I usually cook this in the slow cooker so the delicious smell fills the house for hours before we breakfast.

  • 500g cubed lamb
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 stick celery chopped
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 1 red pepper cubed
  • 1 can cooked chickpeas
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds roasted and ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric

I literally throw everything in the pot and cover with hot water and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours. I dont bother frying anything first but you can if you like, I sometimes add a can of chopped tomatoes and a handful of broken vermicelli but my lot prefer it meaty and simple , serve with fresh lemon squeezed over the top and a drizzle of olive oil and fresh bread. Often as kids we’d eat this for the morning meal as well Ramadan became harira month.

Soups

We like soups heres a great chicken noodle soup recipe, filling and refreshing.

http://www.ramadan.co.uk/?p=328

Lasagne

We love a hearty lasagne with a big green salad, I use beef but you can use turkey mince or even a vegetarian option.

Irish Stew

My mixed heritage means feel I’m getting back to my celtic roots whenever I cook an irish stew, I use my trusty slow cooker, it gets a lot of use in Ramadan because I dislike cooking while I am fasting.

  • 500g cubed beef or lamb
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 2 or 3 carrots in chunks
  • 1/2 diced swede
  • 2 waxy potatoes in chunks
  • a handful of dried pearl barley
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • dried herbs of your choice, I like parsley and rosemary, but whatever you’ve got is good, avoid coriander though it just doesnt work.
  • a knob of butter
  • 1 pint hot stock.

I brown off the meat for this dish and then remove it from the pan and sweat the vegetables to soften them before adding it add to the slow cooker covering with hot stock and leave to cook for 6 hours or so, towards the end you can add some dumplings simply put 150g plain flour in a bowl rub in 50g of cold hard butter, add a handful of herbs, chives or sage work nicely, bund together with a little milk and form into golf ball size and drop into the pot, they will swell, we like ours BIG, you can make them smaller and you can leave out the herbs.

Paella

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/seafood-recipes/paella

We use halal turkey rashers and halal beef salami and stock. Anything that has pulses and rice will help with hydration the following day which is something to think about when we are fasting 19+ hour days.

Cowboy Style Baked Beans

Again with my trusty slow cooker ! I use red kidney bean but any are good,I start this with DRIED beans I boil them for 10-15 mins and skip off any scum, them I rinse them and throw them in the pot with a chopped onion, crushed clove of garlic, dried fennel, a few new potatoes and a BIG spoon of malt syrup or molasses, a tea spoon of chilli powder, you can add BBQ seasoning too if you like and a table spoon of tomato puree.A bit of chopped sausage or turkey rashers add flavour but are not essential.

If you don’t have a slow-cooker or crockpot you can do the recipes on the hob or in a covered pot in the oven. Cook slowly for a long time on a low heat because the beans are dry and to infuse the favours to their full potential. Ideally you want to leave it to cook overnight for at least 10 hours. It’s long but well worth the wait.

If you have any recipes you recommend please add and share 🙂

Published by

jameella