Ramadan used to be not just a time for prayers and fasting, but also for family, friends and feasting. And Iftar was a special time when families and friends would sit together to break their fast, waiting for the exact Iftar time. There would be multiple, beautifully decorated Ramadan tents set up across the UAE, serving mouth-watering Iftar buffets, every Iftar recipe a delectable treat! This year, however, Iftar parties and Ramadan tents will not happen across the world. The Dubai and Sharjah (UAE) authorities have already suspended Ramadan tent permits for this year. All Ramadan rituals and prayers will have to be conducted from home. In such difficult times, most of us will have to break our fast and observe Iftar and Suhoor from the safety of our home with our immediate family.
Though traditionally Muslims break their fast with dates and/or water, the Iftar menu has some irresistible delicacies that are an absolute delight to savour, after a day full of fasting. To make it easier for you and for your ready reference, here's a list of some tasty, yet easy and quick Iftar recipes that you can make at home, to keep you healthy and nourished in the midst of this Coronavirus lockdown.
Easy & Quick Iftar Recipes to keep you Safe & Strong this Ramadan 2020
1. Dates and Banana Cups
Preparing an elaborate meal after an entire day of fasting is not at all easy! So this is a recipe that does not require a lot of time or effort. "Dates and Banana cups" is the best example of an Iftar starter that can be put together in a jiffy. You can enjoy these little cups of delicious goodness to break your fast with your family. And the best part is that all its ingredients are naturally sweet, healthy and easily available. You don't have to make that last-minute run to the supermarket when movement outside is restricted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay home, stay safe!
Dates and Banana Cup - a healthy Iftar Starter recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 large Medjool dates
- 1 banana
- 4 tablespoons salted almonds
- Shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- 4 teaspoons honey
- 2 cups yogurt
How to make Dates and Banana Cups
- Take the yogurt and divide into 4 cups.
- Thinly slice the banana and add equal amount of slices to each cup.
- Top up the cups with one tablespoon each of chopped almonds and dates to each cup.
- Pour a teaspoon of honey over these dates and almond toppings.
- Sprinkle with the coconut flakes/ shreds
2. Lebanese Chicken Fatteh
Another quick Iftar recipe that can be prepared in less than half an hour is this authentic Lebanese Chicken Fatteh is a delicious explosion of flavours provided by yogurt, shredded chicken, chickpeas, toasted pine nuts & pita bread. “Fatteh” literally means “crushed or crumbs” in Arabic as it's made from leftovers like 1-2 day old pita bread that's toasted, chicken from any previous dish and yogurt remaining in the fridge. So you don't have to actually spend a lot of time prepping for this dish. And it gives you ample carbs and proteins to keep you going through the next day of fasting. Did we mention how tasty it is?
Lebanese Chicken Fatteh - a simple Iftar recipe
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Ingredients for the Fatteh (serves 4)
- 400-500 grams cooked chickpeas (you can also buy a can of of chickpeas)
- 1 big pita bread cut into small squares
- 400-500 grams shredded chicken (you can use any leftover chicken from a previous meal too)
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (use almonds as an alternative)
- 1/2 teaspoon each of herbs like - garlic powder, coriander, thyme, paprika, white pepper
- 2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- Salt as per your taste
Ingredients for the garlic yogurt sauce
- 800-900 grams yogurt
- 2-3 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
How to make Chicken Fatteh
- Toast the pita bread pieces with some olive oil, salt and pepper in a pan, and toast until golden brown, and add them to a bowl of chickpeas.
- Toast the pine nuts until golden brown using 1 tablespoon olive oil and transfer to the bowl of chickpeas and pita.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil again in a pan; saute the shredded chicken breast, seasoning it with all the herb powders. Add this flavoured chicken to the chickpea bowl.
- Lastly, add the chopped parsley to the chickpea-pita bread-chicken-pine nuts bowl.
- To prepare the garlic yogurt sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic and salt and mix them up well.
- Add the yogurt to the pan and stir gently for 5 minutes over low heat allowing it to only warm up and loosen into a liquid consistency. Don't let it boil.
- Pour this yogurt sauce over the bowl containing the chickpeas, toasted pita, toasted pine nuts, chicken and parsley and serve immediately.
3. Almond spiced milk or Badam Hareera
The almond spiced milk or the badam harira is an authentic Hyderabadi (region in India) Ramadan special drink. Made using almonds (called badam in Hindi) and milk and spiced with saffron, cardamom, and cloves, this drink is very nutritious and gives you instant energy! The almonds and spices are great to keep your immune system strong as you fast during in the middle of the rampant spread of Coronavirus!
Almond Spiced Milk - a refreshing Iftar recipe from India
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 teaspoon clarified butter (ghee)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup almond powder (made by soaking, then powdering almonds in a blender)
- 1 litre full-cream milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 pinch saffron, 1 teaspoon cardamom powder, 1/2 teaspoon clove powder
How to make Almond Spiced Milk
- Heat the clarified butter (ghee) in a pan and roast the flour for a minute or till it browns slightly.
- Add almond powder and milk to the roasted flour and let the mixture boil. Keep stirring throughout to avoid lump formation.
- Now add saffron and let the milk mixture simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
- Add sugar, cardamom and clove powder and mix till they dissolve well
- Pour into glasses and serve!
- This spiced almond milk also tastes great chilled!
4. Shami Kebabs
‘Shami Kababs' are tender meat patties originating in the Indian sub-continent, and is eaten as an appetizer at the time of Iftar across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as GCC countries like the UAE, Oman, Kuwait etc. This special Kebab is made using mutton, beef or chicken, and stuffed with spices and is so wholesome! Before the start of Ramzan, you can prepare a big batch of these shami kebabs, freeze them and fry a few, every other evening for your Iftar meal.
Shami Kebabs - a delicious Iftar recipe
Preparation time: 1.5 hours
For ingredients and instructions for the Shami Kebabs (serves 6), check out this wonderful recipe at www.teaforturmeric.com/shami-kebab/
5. Strawberry milkshake
Strawberry milk shake, made with strawberries, milk, and sugar blended together in a blender/ mixie, is a chilled, yummy drink, perfect to be enjoyed as you observe Iftar during these hot days of Ramdan in the UAE and gulf countries. After the long day of fasting, a glass of strawberry milk shake will refresh and revitalize you.
Strawberry Milk Shake - a simple Iftar recipe
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 450g fresh/ frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup full cream milk (you can opt for low-fat or skimmed milk for a healthier version)
- 2 cups vanilla ice-cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Small, whole strawberries for garnish
How to make Strawberry milkshake
- Stir together sliced strawberries, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl and let this sit, for an hour.
- Blend this mix until smooth.
- Add the ice-cream to the blender and blend again.
- Pour into glasses, and top it up with small, whole strawberries
6. Crushed Lentil Soup
Its easy to get dehydrated as you fast the whole day, so a soup is the best way to quickly replenish the lost fluids from your body. And one of the easiest and healthiest soup recipe is that of the Crushed Lentil Soup. It's made with red lentils, short-grain rice, onions, carrots, and cumin and topped with the tangy taste of freshly squeezed lemon juice – comforting, delicious and low in calories!
Crushed Lentil Soup - a healthy Iftar recipe from Lebanon
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 onion and 1 carrot - chopped
- 1.5 cup dry red lentils
- 0.5 cup short grain rice
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin, salt and pepper as per taste
- 1 lemon squeezed and chopped parsley to garnish
How to make Crushed Lentil Soup
- In a wok, heat the olive oil and saute the onions in it till they turn pink.
- Stir in the red lentils, rice, carrot, and all the spices and keep stirring till the aroma of spices releases
- Now. add 8 cups of water and let the whole mixture boil. Cover and cook for around 25 mins.
- Blend the cooked mixture in a blender and add the lemon juice.
- Garnish with parsley and serve!
7. Moong Dal Pakora
Moong Dal Pakora is a purely Indian dish that is made using yellow mung lentils, chopped green chilies, ginger and black pepper – perfect if you’re in the mood to have something vegetarian.
8. Pomegranate & Pineapple Raita
The pomegranate and pineapple raita is again a lip-smacking Indian side dish generally had with popular Iftar dishes like biryani and pulav, that not only tastes awesome, but also offers a high level of energy and protein. This is again quite a simple, vegetarian recipe for which you need peeled pomegranates, chopped pineapple, yogurt, roasted cumin powder, black pepper, and chat masala (spiced powder) that have to be whisked together resulting in the yummy raita.
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