The Holy Month of Ramadan is considered the most sacred month of the year for Muslims. It is a time of spiritual discipline, when one’s relationship with God or Allah is thoroughly examined. During this time, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset, engage in extra prayer and study the Qur’an.
During this period, Muslims will wake up before dawn to eat their first meal of the day (known as the suhoor). Their second meal of the day is referred to as iftar, and occurs directly after sunset - when the evening call to prayer is made.
Once fasting ends, Muslims will often indulge in a variety of different delicious dishes during suhoor and iftar meals.
Here is a full list of the most traditional and tasty Ramadan dishes.
1) Fattoush salad
Made up of fresh vegetables and crunchy pita bread, this popular Lebanese salad is an essential part of Ramadan. A typical recipe includes cucumbers, tomatoes, purslane leaves (or lettuce), radish, green onions, and topped with a zesty vinaigrette.
While these might seem like a universally delicious snack, dates are an important dish served throughout Ramadan, typically because the Ramadan fast is often broken with dates. They can be served alone, or stuffed with nuts or rolled with coconut.
3) Fried pakoras
Fried pakoras or bhajias, are a deep friend fritter consisting of potatoes and onions, coated in seasoned gram flour batter. They can be served with paneer, cauliflower, or potato for an interesting mix.
This layered pastry is considered one the most popular sweets throughout Ramadan. They’re often filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey.
5) Fresh fruit salad
Because of its high water content, fresh fruit salad is often served on many Ramadan tables once fasting is over. It also delivers a satisfying sweetness, and celebratory flavor.
6) Khasta kachori
Because of their starchy filling and crispy exterior, these lentil-filled pastries make a wonderful addition to any Ramadan meal. They can be served hot or cold and keep well in the fridge.
An assortment of kebabs are often served throughout Ramadan. Examples include Iskender kebabs, which are traditional halal kebabs served at home without a doner spit, and doner kebabs, where the meat roasts on a rotating, circular spit. Whichever your preference, the meat can be added into pita sandwiches or served sliced on platters
8) Kunafa (Kunafeh)
Here’s another sweet pastry dessert, made with shredded filo pastry. It is traditionally soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and often layered with cheese or nuts, depending on the region.
9) Harira soup
Also known as Moroccan lentil soup, this dish is packed with lentils; lamb, beef, or chicken; chickpeas, celery, and tomatoes. It can be served alone in bowl, or over rice.
10) Pide bread
While many cultures might bring their own dishes to Ramadan celebrations, Turkish pide bread, or Ramazan pidesi, is among the universal staples. Baked round and flat, this bread has a weave-like patterned crust, and made of wheat flour and topped with sesame and Nigella sativa seeds.