During the Islamic month of Ramadan, devout Muslims fast during the day. At sunset, they may have a light snack. After the evening prayer, they have Iftar, which literally means “ break the fast”. Iftar is a joyous time of traditional foods, family, and friends. These meals are often served as community potluck dinners. Ramadan 2018 is from May 15th to June 14th. Here are some tasty international Iftar recipes to consider.
Here is a hearty chicken stew that is loaded with aromatic Middle-East-style spices, ginger, garlic, and fresh lemon. The lentils and wheat grain create a full-bodied broth with spicy chunks of chicken. Top your chicken Haleem with crispy fried onions, cumin, and a sprinkle of ginger. For a delicious vegetarian version, just omit the chicken.
Plump fava beans have been a rich protein source enjoyed since Ancient Egyptian time. They were the main ingredient for this classic Egyptian comfort dish. Modern Egyptian cooks still use the same simple recipe: fava beans, lemon juice, and garlic. Ful medammes is a delightful dish, often served with hard-boiled eggs, pickled onions, and pita bread.
East African Chapati
Chapati is the East African version of unleavened flatbread. It only requires five simple ingredients that are staples in your pantry. The dough is kneaded in a way that creates tender, flaky layers in each circle of bread. Brown your chapatis in a skillet, and serve them as an appetizer or for dipping into a tasty broth.
Iftar menus usually have several tempting dessert choices, such as the classic konafa. It is buttery layers of phyllo dough that are stuffed with a luscious cream or nut filling. Then, the konafas are saturated with a sweet, citrusy syrup. Konafa has been called the Middle Eastern version of a Danish. Serve it warm from the oven, or chill it in the fridge.
Since rice is a staple in the cuisines of the Middle East, it is often the featured ingredient for Iftar. This colorful Persian-inspired dish has fragrant basmati rice. The rice is cooked, divided in half, and layered with half plain rice and half infused with saffron water. Serve with tahdig, the crunchy layer of rice left on the bottom of the pan.
Red Lentils & Squash Soup
A hot bowl of soup is an ideal Iftar treat. This Palestinian recipe includes sautéed veggies, tender squash, and fragrant spices. They are mixed with chicken broth and nutty red lentils, then pureed to a velvety goodness. Serve your soup with some freshly-made chapati. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken to make this a vegetarian-friendly soup.
After a day of fasting, a refreshing cold glass of lemonade is always welcome. Turkish cooks like to mix freshly-squeezed lemon juice with simple syrup and muddled mint leaves. Minted lemonade looks beautiful in a clear pitcher, garnished with mint leaves and lemon slices.
About Chef Robert
My food philosophy is simple; food should be a feast of all five senses. Meals should be based on simple, tasty and smart recipes that are easy to follow. Instead of serving processed junk, I prefer to use fresh & seasonal ingredients. I gravitate towards all cuisines that are BIG on flavor. By cooking at home, we can all eat healthier and save money.