Ramadan is once again upon us, and Muslimsare as excited as ever for the festive, holiday season! During the ninth month of the Hijri calendar, several dishes are cooked up around the world in time to break one’s fast. So let’s see what’s cooking!
The land where many traditions are still practiced and new ones inspired by its diverse residents. Harees dates back to the 10th century with historical references to Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) dining habits. Harees can be described as a wheat porridge. After simmering pre-soaked wheat in water, straining any excess water and mixing it into a thick consistency. Make it savory by adding meat and salting to taste.
Make it sweet by adding cinnamon and sugar to the mix. It’s so versatile; it’s the perfect dish to start or end your iftar.
Traditions as old as time is what makes Ramadan in the Maldives all the more unique and artistic. The local flair is seafood, and tuna fish reigns supreme. The top local tuna dishes to be had during iftar would be gulha and kulhi boakibaa. Gulha are tuna fish balls, made with coconut, onions, garlic, and ginger. Mixed and rolled into a ball, then stuffed into a light flour dough and deep fried. Kulhi boakibaa are tuna fish cakes, with coconut, rice, ginger, curry leaves, chilies, lemon juice, and turmeric powder, and turned into a thick paste mixture. It spread into a pan and baked until lightly brown, cut into squares for all to enjoy. Fried and baked, the best of both worlds!
Whats the best thing to be served when breaking one’s fast? How about sipping on some sweet aseer or juice during iftar! Iraqis will at times stock up on bottles of juices depending on the season as well as any long-lasting fruits to make fresh drinks at home.
Some popular juice shops, such as Mishmish in Baghdad, have been open for over 50 years with Ramadan being their busiest season. What juices shine brightly during the holy month? Pomegranate, grape, lemon, apricot and of course date juice top the list. These specific fruits all have great health benefits and of course, taste great!
Being a festive season, Comoros serves it up! Anything from grilled manioc, fishes to fried bananas and couscouma. This simple savory treat is a thyme and butter chapati like crepe, extremely thin and light. After kneading the dough, it’s immediately divided into small pieces, rolled thin and pan fried to golden perfection. Crispy yet warm and soft, this savory treat is served with sweet tea. If there are any leftovers (ha!), it’s served as part of the suhour meal.
From the festivities that take place, the popular TV shows and the variations of foods make Ramadan in Egyptunlike any other. The sweet served in almost every home after iftar is a platter of qatayef.
Think of qatayef as sweet dumplings, starting off as a small pancake of sorts, stuffed with either sweet cheese or mixed nuts or both! It’s folded into crescents then fried until golden brown, topped with a light syrup and gobbled up!
During the feast to end Ramadan and welcome Eid El Fitr, the dish to be had is opor ayam. Opor ayam is a curry chicken dish originating from the central Java islands, with side dishes such as chili fried potatoes. To make this dish perfect, it’s all in the fresh spices and how they are grounded down and slightly roasted in a saucepan before they are cooked with the marinated chicken to serve up the perfect bowl of opor ayam.
It’s understood that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) taught Muslims to break their fast with dates and milk which has its health benefits. Dates and milk have just the right amount of natural sugars and vitamins to give your body a good energy boost. Those in dates Travel to your liver and digestive tract faster than most other similar fruits which help to restart the digestive process. This is truly a delicious treat that Muslims all over the world indulge in during Ramadan.
What are your Ramadan traditions? Did we entice you to try any of these worldly Ramadan dishes?