The holy month of Ramadan is here and Muslims around the world observe this as a period of piety, prayer and fasting. The fasts are punctuated with meals before dawn (Suhoor) and after sunset (Iftar). Climate, regional staples and practices create local favourites, which serve to sustain the rozedars (people observing the fast) through the day. We bring to you six Iftar delicacies that are shared and enjoyed closer to home:
Popular throughout the Middle East and the Indian Peninsula, this stew is prepared with wheat, lentils, pounded meat and aromatic spices. The Hyderabadi version is widely favoured in India. High on protein and carbohydrates, this dish is nourishing and filling, not to mention scrumptious!
2. Nombu Kanji
A preparation from Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Nombu Kanji is a rice porridge cooked for hours with meat and vegetables. It makes for a light yet nutritious Iftar food. Adding coconut milk gives it a distinctive Southern flavour.
3. Seekh Kabab
The Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh is renowned for its kababs: Kakori, Gilauti, and Seekh to name a few. Mutton seekh kababs are made with succulent minced mutton mixed with spices mounted on skewers (seekh) and baked in a hot tandoor which brings out the fat and flavours, often served with rotis or naan. Hungry already?
4. Mutton Samosa
Mutton samosas are a universal favourite. Because who can resist this flaky, crisp pastry stuffed with spiced kheema, which is fried to golden perfection (and also looks adorable)?
5. Shahi Tukda
Shahi Tukda, or Double ka Meetha as it is also known, is a rich dessert favoured during this festival. Slices of bread are deep-fried in ghee, soaked in fragrant sugar syrup and topped with rabdi (reduced milk) and dry fruits. Words do not do justice to this decadent sweet which is enjoyed throughout the country.
A cousin of the rice kheer, Phirni is made with ground rice instead of whole grains, to yield a dessert that is smoother on the palate. Another universal favourite, this dessert, served in shallow earthen bowls which enhance the taste, is specially seen in West Bengal.
Whether you are piously following the customs this Ramadan or are simply a foodie, DO NOT miss the opportunity to enjoy these delicacies at the next Iftar party! Comment below to share with us your Ramadan favourites!