Ramzan is the holy month which holds spiritual importance for the Muslims. The whole month is celebrated as a festival and special arrangements are made not just for the prayers and pious deeds but also for the two special meals of the day, Iftar and Sehar. Ramzan menu and Ramadan recipes are full of tempting and mouthwatering foods. Muslims fast in the month of Ramzan and after an all-day fast they enjoy the scrumptious meal set on the table. Fried, spicy, sweets, snacks, drinks and all other yummy foods is a part of the Ramadan recipes and preparations.
With the changing lifestyles and trends, people now prefer tasty yet healthy Ramadan recipes which can provide instant energy and are low in calories too. The traditional Iftar menu includes samosas, pakoray, kebab, chaat and juices which can be replaced by healthy yet tasty food items like fruit salad, date shake, steamed chicken, baked vegetable cutlets, chickpeas chaat and fresh juices. The recipes selected for the Ramzan menu must be easy to make, quick and convenient. Most of the items are half cooked or prepared before the Holy month and are frozen to be used as per convenience. These special preparations make this month more virtuous and important in the life of a Muslim.
In a narration of Abu Nuaim, Prophet Mohammad said, “soomo wa tsahhoo”, which can be translated to mean, “Fast and be healthy.”
Next few years Ramadan is going to be warm. With the increasing temperature it is very important for us to plan meals which are healthy, easy to make and give us energy the entire day and at the same time we should avoid very oily or heavy food because these will take time to digest and their breakdown in the body will produce more heat. We have come up with recipes this Ramadan that are not so time consuming and will produce a cooling effect on the body.
‘Suhur’ or ‘Sehri’ is a meal consumed by Muslims in early morning, before fasting, just before the sunrise, in the holy month of Ramadan. Sehri is the most important meal of the day in Ramadan because your energy level in the entire day depends on the sehri you had in the morning. Thus, it is very important to have a healthy and filling meal in sehri.
Our Prophet Muhammad SAW use to eat dates and drink water in Sehri. It is said that a single date has enough calories to keep you going for an entire day.
In our part of the world sehri is healthy and well prepared. It includes dishes like pheni, omelets, paratha, roti, butter with tea, lassi etc. Some people also prefer eating saalan in sehri too. Be it any type of meal, it is essential to pay close attention while planning this meal. Sehri should comprise of food with high carbohydrate and water content. This is important because carbohydrates have the maximum calories and these calories help us maintain our energy levels the entire day.
Food with more water content keep us hydrated for many hours and this is very important when Ramadan is in summers. With the increasing awareness it is said that having yogurt in sehri has kept thirst at a bay for considerable time. This is because of the high water content in yogurt. Yogurt being a dairy product also gives a considerable amount of energy.
Our Prophet Muhammad PBUH use to break his fast with dates and water.
Iftaar is a meal we look forward to, the entire day. In Ramadan special preparations are done for iftaar. In our part of the world iftaar comprises of two meals, one before Maghrib prayers and one after it. The meal taken before Maghrib prayers usually has appetizers and delicious fried items, juices, sherbets, fruits and chick peas etc.
This meal satiates the hunger a person has after he has broken his fast with dates. This meal gives instant energy to the person who is fasting. The popular dishes taken at this time include fruit chaat, dahi baray, chana chaat, samosas, pakoras, various kababs, chutneys, juices etc. Pakora is the most common recipe in Ramadan, and considered must-have for most people.
The other meal which is served after the Maghrib prayers is the main course which includes rice, roti, saalans, etc with dessert. This meal is an alternate for dinners in the normal days. It can include any dish normally eaten in dinners.
It is very good to take a good and fulfilling meal at this time but overeating at iftaar may lead to many digestive problems and discomfort during taraweeh (special prayers after isha, prayed during the month of Ramadan).
Ramadan is celebrated all around the world by Muslims. Other than the Ibadah we do in this holy month, special food is made during the whole month of Ramadan. Scrumptious, tempting and mouthwatering foods are prepared which people enjoy thoroughly the whole month. Ramadan main dishes usually involve the fried food, snacks, main courses etc. Ramadan meals are properly and incorporated with all sorts of dishes which not usually eaten on the regular days.
Some common main dishes in Ramadan which you get to see on every dinner table are Samosas, aloo pakoras, Dahi Baray, shami kababs, chapli kababs, bhujias, fruit chaat, chana chaat, pani puris, cutlets, bhel puris, rolls, nuggets, sev puri. For main course people usually prefer chicken/mutton karhai, Minced meat, aloo saalan, mixed vegetables, biryani, pulaos, etc. All these foods are a heaven for people who love to eat.
Desserts are usually eaten once or twice a month. But in Ramadan special desserts are made every day. These vary from light to really heavy ones. Common desserts prepared in Ramadan include Maal poora, ras malai, custards, jellies, shahi tukray, kheer, various types of halwas, cream caramels, soufflés, puddings etc. These desserts are extremely tasty and high on sugar, thus keep us going and provide energy.
Although sugar provides glucose which in turn provides energy to the body, but it is essential to keep a balance. Ramadan other than being a holy practice also cleanses your body off all the toxins. And if such heavy and high on calories food is taken the actual purpose of this practice is lost. One should always take a balanced diet with all the contents being incorporated but in small portions.
This component of Ramadan meal is essential. When a person is fasting he is unable to drink or eat anything for a good 15 hours, this dehydrates him. So in Ramadan it is very important to keep yourself hydrated to avoid any serious circumstances, especially when Ramadan is in the peak of summers.
Ramadan drinks and juices should be taken in both sehri and iftaar. The drinks taken in sehri, ideally, should have a portion of milk/ yogurt in it. Lassi is a popular drink taken in sehri. It has a portion of both yogurt and milk. This drink helps in hydration as well as gives the required energy because it has milk.
Drinks that are taken in iftaar usually include fruit juices, rooh afza (popular south Asian drink, which has contents derived from flowers) and sherbets. All these drinks quench your thirst and given instant energy. Fruit juices include both fresh and instant.
Other popular juices include lemonades, kiri juice etc. Sherbets can also be taken in iftaar. These have milk, dry fruits, and crystal jelly pieces in it. Sherbets are heavy but can be taken once in a while for energy.