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The Eats & Sweets of Ramazan

by Dafeenah of Finding the Hidden Treasure Within

I posted a few days ago about the month of Ramazan. There are always lots of special treats  that are made during this month and some main foods which are typically eaten to begin the fasting day (sahoor "morning meal") and to open one's fast (iftar "evening meal").

Usually in the mornings, a light meal is eaten. Fried paratahs are served with either yogurt or chutney. Water and juice will be drunk a long with hot tea.

aloo (potato) parathas w/yogurt
The real treats are saved for the iftar meal or evening meal when the fast is broken. The first bite of food that is eaten to break the fast is typically dates. One or two dates will be eaten before eating the actual food. In our home, the fast is opened with pakorays. Each day a different pakoray will be prepared, but most often it's either potato or eggplant which are covered in a batter made from besan (chickpea flour) and deep fried. Although you can pretty much make anything into a pakora even chicken and fish.

Samosas are also a favorite for breaking the fast. They are filled with either a chicken or potato mixture. All pakoras are served with different types of chutneys for dipping. My favorite is imli (pronounced M-lee). It is made from tamarind and has this tart sweet taste to it. It is what I use instead of yogurt for dipping pakoras and parathas.

imli chutney & samosas
Then after the fast has been opened the dinner will be served. There is a lot of food during Ramazan. I always wonder how on earth people eat so much, but they do. There is always rice and meats as well as desserts. Chicken biryani is a favorite in our house. It's made at least once to twice a week. Tikkas and some type of chaat are also must haves during Ramazan.

chicken tikka
It is also a common practice for people to gather together and break the fast. People are always inviting their neighbors, friends, and family over so they can break their fast together. Ramazan creates a real sense of community and brings people together. 

typical iftar (evening) meal during Ramazan
And of course, no meal is complete without dessert. Fruit chaat is served almost daily. It is basically cut up fruit mixed with spices and yogurt. It is another must have during Ramazan. There is always an endless supply of meethai (sweets) from halwa to gulab jaman. 

meethai  (sweets)
People who aren't muslim always assume that because we are fasting and not eating or drinking during the day then we must be hungry and lose weight during this month. However, that is far from what happens especially for those muslims living in the Middle East and Subcontinent. Working hours are shortened and adjusted during the day so that most shops are not even open during fasting hours. They only open after the fast has been broken. Also in most countries, it is illegal for adults to eat, drink, or smoke during fasting hours in public regardless if you're fasting or not you can't eat or drink outside during fasting hours even if you're non muslim. Only children are exempt from this rule.

People spend all night eating. Then sleeping for most of the day. The majority of people I know end up gaining weight because they eat things during this month that they don't typically eat and they eat a lot more of it. I have only the MOST common things that are served but it doesn't even begin to cover all of the different foods that are served during Ramazan. 


  1. This was so interesting! Thank you for sharing this. I've wondered about the foods.
    Great post!


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