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The Month of Ramadan: Cuisines around the Globe

Sona Soban James, IIK Young Contributor Thursday, March 31, 2022
The Month of Ramadan:  Cuisines around the Globe

Festivals are home to various traditions and rich cultures passed down generations through time immemorial. While many factors play a salient role for such festive natures to thrive on, food is unmistakably the one that stands out the most. Good food finds even the gloomiest at bliss. Cuisines and celebrations are two sides of the same coin- inseparable, for one cannot simply exist without the other.

The month of Ramadan is no exception to this. It offers a myriad of delicacies ranging from dates to mouth-watering desserts ingested after the fast; such evening meals are called iftar. Here are some iftar meals dined around the globe:

In Bangladesh, the common iftar meals include -

1.Piyaju, which is made of lentil paste, chopped onions and green chillies, like falafel.

2.Beguni, which is made of thin slices of eggplant dipped in a thin batter of gram flour.

3.Dal puri, which is a type of lentil-based savoury pastry.

4.Mughlai porota, which contains a stuffed porota with minced meat, eggs and spices.

In India, various types of dishes are present in various states-

1.In Hyderabad and neighbouring areas, iftar meals often contain Haleem because it has a rich taste and is quite filling.

2.In Tamil Nadu and Kerala Muslims break their fast with the dish called nonbu kanji, a rice dish of porridge consistency that is cooked for hours with meat and vegetables. It is served with bonda, bajji, and vadai.

3.In certain parts of Karnataka, vegetarians break their fast with surkumba, which is prepared from milk.

4.In northern states, the fast is typically ended with fresh dates, cut fresh fruits and fruit juice along with fried dishes like samosas, pakoras etc.

In Indonesia, various foods for iftar include-

1.Kolak, an Indonesian dessert based on palm sugar or coconut sugar, coconut milk, and pandanus leaf.

2.Es Kelapa Muda, a beverage made from chilled or iced coconut water, young coconut flesh and syrup.

3.Es Buah is an Indonesian iced fruit cocktail dessert, made of diced fruits and kolang Kaling, mixed with shaved ice or ice cubes, and sweetened with liquid sugar or syrup.

4.Es campur is an Indonesian cold and sweet dessert concoction of fruit cocktails, coconut, tapioca pearls, grass jellies, etc. served in shaved ice, syrup and condensed milk.

In Iran, A small selection of foods is prepared to break the fast and is summarily followed by a proper Persian meal]. The common iftar items are:

1.Chai (tea) with dates and halva.

2.Noon, a leavened, oven-baked or Tawa-fried flatbread.

3.Fereni is a sweet dish and a type of wet pudding made by boiling milk, sugar or jaggery, and rice.

4.Halim is a type of stew that optionally includes wheat or barley, meat and lentils.

In Malaysia, various foodstuffs from the Malaysian cuisine include-

1.Bandung drink consists of evaporated milk or condensed milk flavoured with rose syrup giving it a pink colour.

2.Nasi lemak, which consists of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf.

3.Satay is a Southeast Asian dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce.

4.Mosques also provide free bubur lambok, a special type of rice congee after Asar prayers.

In Nigeria, the meals include-

1.Jollof rice, a rice dish from West Africa, is made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and meat in a single pot.

2.Suya is generally made with skewered beef, ram, or chicken.

3.Egusi, a protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous plants (squash, melon, and gourd).

4.Àkàrà, a type of fritter made from cowpeas or beans (blackeye peas).

In Pakistan, some of the iftar meals include-

1.Jalebi, a pretzel-shaped, deep-fried batter, soaked in sugar syrup.

2.Samosas, minced meat and/or vegetables, wrapped in dough and deep-fried or baked.

3.Pakora, consisting of sliced vegetables, dipped in batter and deep-fried with ketchup or chatni.

4.Namak para which is the seasoned cracker.

In Turkey and Northern Cyprus, most iftar meals include-

1.Iftariye, a soup or an appetiser platter.

2.Borek is a filled Middle Eastern and Central Asian pastry made of a thin flaky dough such as filo with a variety of fillings, such as meat, cheese, spinach or potatoes.

3.Ramazan pidesi is a soft leavened Turkish bread, made of wheat flour with yeast, and topped with sesame and Nigella sativa seeds.

4.Güllaç, a Turkish dessert made with milk, pomegranate and a special kind of pastry.

Although various types of cuisines are present all over the world, the month of Ramadan unifies every soul who celebrates the days with delight. Let this religious festival be relished with the most delectable food and a cheerful heart.

Sona Soban James
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