Togetherness, charity, and prayers – these are the things that signify the month of Ramadan. During this holy month of Islam, Muslims all over the world show their devotion to the almighty by observing roza – sunrise to sunset fasts which are broken with lavish family meals called iftar.
But for foodies around the world, religion no bar, it is the hour of feasting that holds more sanctity. While some run to the bylanes of mosques to grab kebabs and mutton curries, others rush to their friend’s place to try out aunty’s iftar meals. Here are some of the must-try from the most popular regions, for you mustn’t miss out the best on this holy month of feasting and fasting!
Flavours of Iftar – the must try delicacies of Ramadan!
Haleem – a Hyderabadi delicacy
Fit for a king, this meat delicacy originated in Hyderabad, the land of Nizams. An amalgam of the Mughal, Arabic, Persian and Turkish style of cooking, this rich mutton stew is made with ingredients like lentils, spices and broken wheat; and flavoured with spices, ghee, dry fruits, rosewater, and saffron.
Haleem is prepared over a low flame, usually in wood-fired cauldrons, and takes about 6-7 hours to cook. Head out to the colourful bazaars and make-shift shamiyana near the mosques to have your plateful of Haleem. This is one iftar meal you wouldn’t want to miss.
Galouti kebabs – the pride of Lucknow
Originating in the royal kitchens of the Nawabs, this melt in the mouth Lucknowi kebab (Awadhi cuisine) would delight you like never before. Intensely marinated minced meat are made into patties and fried in ghee – one look of it is enough to give you a foodgasm. Dramatic in every way, we would say!
Eracchi Patthiri – from Kerala with love
Malabar cuisine is influenced much by the cooking traditions of the Arabs who came to the region for the spice trade, and Eracchi Patthiri is just an example of that. These chicken pastries are made with a filling of fresh ground spices, onions, chicken mince and the shortcrust pastry is shallow fried after being dunked in an egg batter. If in Kerala, especially North Kerala, do not miss out this drool-worthy remain of the spice route.
Muthiya – the Gujarat connection
When it comes to food, the Bohra community of Gujarat is known for some grand affairs. Muthiya is a delightful finger food made by mixing vegetables, pulses, spices, and flour into sausage like shapes and steaming it until tender. It is then sauteed in a pan with oil and crackling mustard.
The dining ways of the Bohras are as delightful as the foods are. The family circles around one large platter – they feast while eating from the same plate! The spread of food includes a bevy of non-vegetarian and vegetarian delicacies and 2-3 types of desserts.
Sheer Khurma – sweet somethings
Sevayan is a speciality during Ramadan, we all know it! Markets are filled with a variety of it, in different colours and packages; and a variety of exotic dry fruits that go with it.
Sheer Khurma is a mellow dessert, made by frying vermicelli in ghee and then cooking it with milk, cinnamon, dates, pistachios, raisins and other dry fruits. Sheer Khurma, which has its origin in Persia, is a festive treat served to the family after the morning prayers, and to visiting guests throughout Ramadan.
So, call up a friend and say that you are around their home – here is your chance to cheat your diets and dig into those guilty pleasures.
Drooling already? Worry not, whichever city you are in will have a Ramadan treat around its corner!
Here are some special food walks, designed to take you on this mouthwatering journey:
- A delightful Iftar food walk to remember, Frazer Town
- Iftaar on a thaali – A culinary experience in Mumbai
- Biryani food walk in Bangalore through the iconic Fraser Town eateries