Don’t know about every household at mine, we have certain main dishes that take a round every single during the holiest month of Ramadan, yes when you pronounce it its much like Ramazan… The d is pronounced as the th in English a mix of d and z… phonetics you see!!
Lets come back to the topic. So as I was saying, honestly you need a break from the pakoras and papad packed Iftar after a long and hectic day at work while fasting, specially when the sun is pouring down fire and rain seem to have gone on a vacation!!
Anyways lets talk about what you should break your fast with, a slight variation on your regular Iftar menu for the month of Ramadan-
A Date with Dates!
Dates are a perfect punch of minerals, carbs and fiber, a perfect cleansing agent and is highly nutritious. Breaking fast with dates is a Sunna as well. In fact you should have dates for Sahoor (the morning meal, the breakfast!!) as well, since it will leave you packed with all nutrients you need for the day ahead.
An Important Tip – Try not to skip sahoor, its the meal that gives you strength and vitality all day to make fasting easier and tolerable.
Go with the Flow!
Summers and water… this one is a marriage nothing can break! Of course you need to have some water, but you can very well make use of cool sharbats and drinks as well, Thandai, Badam Sharbat, Sandalwood Sharbat, Milk shakes, and the evergreen Roohafza (Hamdard’s) and lemonade or shikanji is something you are bound to sip in and let your body relax. Try as many cool summer drink recipes as you want. My favorites are all those that use mango or lemon!!
Save the Fruits!
I have managed to slightly alter the menu this time… the fruit chat is a favorite so its not gonna go anywhere!
Though you can have some easy variations like, fruits mixed with some yogurt/curd or in custard or simply dished out as a lemon tickled chat-masala sprinkled regular fruit chat… that’s delicious no matter which time of the year Ramadan arrive!
of course you need a little crunch of salad. Mix it with curd, or try rayta of different flavors. It not only filling but refreshing as well.
And do not forget to add lots of sauces, hummus, etc. Spicy mint and Coriander chatni, imli chatni (both sweet and spicy) too is a must.
Time for Some Spice!
I tell you deep fried pakoras are a delight, but it can get slightly monotonous specially when your mom (the master chef at home) loves nothing else with a cup of desi Chai (traditional tea). Though one can try as many variations of snacks as your imagination runs. Grilled vegetables, grilled chicken, roasted meat, cheese snacks, sandwiches, egg dishes, legume, cereals also work wonders for Iftar. In fact I think soups and cereals are a great idea for a healthy iftar that does not add up empty calories to your tummy. You can in fact try making haleem or hareera for Iftar as well.
A Delicious and Nutritious Egg Recipe
Whisk an egg or two and pour it in a non stick pan. When its almost done add some noodles on it. Now add some salt and pepper and a pea/chicken/mix vegetable filling, add some onion rings, capsicum slices, cabbage or lettuce and fold it. Add sauces. Serve immediately, with hummus or simple ketchup sauce! You can have it either in sahoor or in iftar!
Dessert Time- Kucch Meetha Ho jaye…!!
Desserts are my favorite part of any meal. I mean how can a meal be complete without the last bite of a sweet and savory delicacy? Kheer, firni, is all good, but you just cannot miss the aroma of khajla and pheni (special item made for Ramadan) that’s just lip smacking!
All in all before I forget to mention, be aware that fasting does end at sunset, but you are not supposed to torture your body and keep feeding your all day starved body with everything that’s served on the Dastarkhwan (the English equivalent is table, while a dastarkhwan is basically a table cloth)!! You are more likely to upset your tummy during Ramadan, even without eating all day, yes, so better practice moderation, eat only as much as your body allows and can easily digest without making you bloat and your tummy tuck out… seriously you can inflate your midriff even in Ramadan.