Special Ramadan Foods From Around the World

Special Ramadan Foods

Iftar can be described as a fast-breaking meal which is a daily ritual during the holy month of Ramadan. A traditional Iftar menu around the world consists of juice, fruits, dates, milk, and water. Muslims belief that the Prophet Mohammad (saw) usually broke his fast by either eating dates or drinking water.

Ramadan is a month of fasting and celebration for Muslims around the world. It is a significant month throughout the Middle East. Muslims reflect on their spiritual side and spend quality time with family and friends. During Ramadan, it is very important to focus on what’s important in life and how to improve relationships between family and friends. The most crucial part of the socializing aspect in this month is focused around breaking of the fast, iftar as it is known in Arabic, and the meal before the day of fasting begins (sahoor). Special food and drinks to be enjoyed with family and friends are prepared every year in Ramadan in the Middle East region.

Erk Soos — it is a drink commonly consumed in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Palestine.  Erk Soos is a thick, sweet drink generally made of the extract of liquorices’ plant. Normally, this juice is a bit of an acquired taste, but people from these regions love this drink and looks forward to it each Ramadan.

Qatayef — this is a common sweet in the Egypt region. Qatayef is a sweet treat which is very popular in the month of Ramadan. It is prepared baked or fried and is filled with dry fruits like pistachios and walnuts.

Watermelon and Cheese — A light and healthy way to break your fast, Jibneh wa bateekh is the perfect combination of sweet and cream. It is common all around the Middle East region but foreigners might find this mix quite surprising, until they try it for themselves.

Madgooga – Nisreen Nasrallah is an Iraqi scholar and author. In her book, Delights from the Garden of Eden, she has beautifully presented the recipes of authentic Iraqi meal and desserts and the history behind them. She has written some of the history behind the date and Madgooga. It is a rich and sweet recipe traditionally prepared in Iraq during the Ramadan month.

Brik and Chorba — Usually, the fast is broken with Brik and Chorba (soup) in Tunisia. Brik is a dish that is made of deep-fried pastry shell filled with egg, cheese and tuna. Chorba (shorba) is a soup consisting of fresh vegetables. The combination is healthy and traditionally they are eaten together at the time of iftar in Tunisia.

Harira — In Morocco, Harira is a traditional tomato-based soup eaten at the time of Iftar. It is traditionally prepared days in advance and eaten at iftar as a light way to break the fast before indulging in the main courses.

Every region has its own specialties when it comes to serving dishes at iftar.  Hyderabad, a famous city in India, is very popular for haleem. It is a traditional dish made out of meat, spices and pulses. This dish has gained immense popularity in the Indian Subcontinent.

Other famous dishes are desserts, biryani, sherbets (cool drinks), and samosas. In Afghanistan, the Iftar dishes include kebabs,  rice pulao,  soups and onion-based meat curries. Sweet like jalebis, fruit salads and delicious dishes like parathas, meat curries, fruit salads, and kebabs are most preferred items for breaking the fast in Pakistan and Bangladesh.