Update: 09 April 2022 18:52 STI
New Delhi [India], April 09 (ANI): The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is known as Ramzan and is celebrated worldwide by Muslims. This holy month is considered a time for fasting and introspection and for gathering around a meal with family and friends.
The meal that is eaten before sunrise is known as Sehri, while the nighttime feast that marks the breaking of the fast is called Iftar.
Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates and water followed by a light, nutritious meal. However, there are also special dishes prepared only during Ramzan and enjoyed during Iftar gatherings.
All over the world, each culture has its own Iftar customs and traditions. Let’s take a look at some of the unique ones below.
The tradition of breaking the fast from morning to evening is done by eating dates, Arabic coffee, soup and fried or baked stuffed pastries along with several other dishes. One of the traditional dishes of the western region of Saudi Arabia is foul and tameez, which is a combination of stewed beans and tame bread.
In the eastern province, people break their fast with a meat and vegetable stew called saloona. The most famous Ramzan sweets in Saudi Arabia are Kenafa with cream, Qatayef with cream and Basbusa.
Iftar is usually held at the house of the oldest member of the family, and the streets are decorated with lanterns hanging from the doors of each house. Most Egyptian families break the fast with a dish made from filthy medames which is eaten with brown bread. As the beans are healthy and not heavy on the stomach, in most homes they are tossed with hot oil, salt and pepper, but some people prefer to cook them with onion and tomatoes.
Egyptians also prepare special drinks called qamar al deenandarasyi, made from dried apricots soaked throughout the day. It’s a delicious and healthy way to break the one-day fast. Another Ramzan specialty is crescent-shaped bread or khaboos.
Fantastic stews, sweets, fresh dates, traditional Azari cheese with vegetables and nuts along with a glass of tea to wash it down are what can be found on any dinner table in Iran during Ramzan.
Other special must-try dishes during Ramzan include berenj and firni made from milk and rice, ash reshteh, a thick vegetable soup, and a rice and lentil dish called adaspola. Iranians also prepare a halwa with saffron.
Preparations for iftar begin about three hours in advance, in homes and at roadside stalls. The fast is broken by eating dates, or simply by drinking water if dates are not available. Savory dishes such as jalebis, samosas and pakoras are also served during iftar.
Several restaurants also offer iftar meals during this time. Right after Iftar, Tawarih, a Muslim prayer of 8 or 20 rakat, takes place and is attended by people who flock to the local bazaar for the ChaandRaat festivities.
In Malaysia, iftar is called “berbuka puasa”, which can literally be translated as “opening the fast”. After breaking the fast with traditional dates and water, people indulge in bandung drink, sugarcane juice, soy milk mixed with grass jelly, nasi lemak, laksa , ayampercik, chicken rice, satay and popiah.
Night markets are also popular post-sunset food spots, open to all, serving the masses as they break the day’s fast with affordable street feasts.
So feast and treat yourself to your favorite iftar delicacies this Ramzan as it is very important to replace the energy lost during the day and start a well hydrated fast the next day. (ANI)