Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ramadan Iftar Foods

Ramadan is a time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, when they break their fast in a meal known as the iftar. This is a time for family and friends, when we visit each other for iftar parties and worship. Here are some of the foods I have eaten for iftar this month.

A fast is usually broken with dates, as per tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Some sweet drink usually follows, to give you the energy boost you need after a whole day of fasting. In Bengali circles, these drinks are usually mangoe lassi, or some type of sherbet or fruit cocktail. Just because Muslims can't drink does not mean we can't mix drinks!

Porota - shown below - a flat bread-type pancake that is the breakfast of champions in South Asia. However, since it's South Asia, you can't NOT have some unhealthy but extremely delicious snacks!

Above is what we call "shingara" - a type of samosa, but bigger, and below is a dish we call "Beguni" - Egg plant coated in batter and then fried.

The iftar spread at my parents' place

The kids love the spring rolls and noodles are making a big comeback at iftar parties. Gotta love noodles.

Potluck iftar at a friend's place

In South Asia, there's enough time between iftar and Isha (night) prayers, and Isha is quite early in the night (7-9 pm) so one can have dinner later, which is a separate meal by itself. In Canada, due to our compressed timings and longer days, iftar and dinner is usually combined in one meal.

Dinner spread at said friend's place

Salad for the girls

Of course, after a long day of fasting, you want some meat. Above is chicken tandoori, while shown below is a curry chicken breast dish.

Of course dessert has to be taken care of at parties, after meals. Usually people go pray Taraweeh (night prayers) and return, depending on the time.

Mango Lassi and Rooh Afza drinks

Any Bengali party will have sweets

Fruits, usually used to make a dish called 'Fruit Chaat'