My Favorite Ramadan Recipes

July 26th, 2012

There are certain recipes I turn to every Ramadan. For example, nearly every iftar during the holy month, we sit down to this easy Lentil Soup. This has been a tradition at our house for several decades. However, I have recently improved this recipe by adjusting the seasonings and the method. Meanwhile, another flavorful soup we eat during Ramadan is Moroccan-style Lentil Soup with Chickpeas, a good soup when I’m looking for something hearty.

As for main courses, a Ramadan favorite at our house is the Palestinian dish Maqluba, which means “upside down” in Arabic. It’s prepared in a layered pot—chicken, rice and cauliflower simmered on the stove and served with yogurt on the side and a simple Arabic salad. We traditionally eat this dish on the first day of Ramadan, as we did this year. I plan to prepare it several more times before the month is over.

For a terrific side dish during Ramadan, I’m preparing Fattoush, a hearty peasant salad from the Levant. It’s super-healthy, as it’s loaded with various greens and veggies and prepared with an olive oil dressing. The salad is topped with toasted Arabic bread pieces, which is what makes it fattoush.

As for sweets, our favorite Ramadan indulgence is ‘Atief. There are endless ways to fill and prepare these little pancakes. My method is to stuff them with walnuts and bake them. This makes for a filling sweet which can be served as dessert or as a suhoor snack. I prepare ‘atar scented syrup to pour over top.

A more traditional dish for suhoor, the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan, is Ful, an Egyptian fava bean breakfast, which is filling and nutritious. Also, at some point I will prepare Hummus, which can be made in advance and served at both iftar and suhoor.

Finally, I’d like to wish you all a blessed Ramadan.

Question: What are your favorite Ramadan foods?

  1. Deborah Mustafa
    July 26th, 2012 at 15:28 | #1

    Ramadan kareem Holly! My experiences preparing various dishes during Ramadan over the years have been a Global Cousine experience. I mostly love cooking meals that are Arabic or North African in style, but especially while living back in the States. Some of my successful dishes have been Harira soup, Lemon chicken, my own curried pumkin soup also stands out. Because we eat many of the Arabic foods during Ramadan and also throughout the year, I decided to make Ramadan more fun for mt 10 year old. We now have “International” Ramadan. I leave it to my son to decide the theme and together we agree on the menu. So far we have had Indian, homemade naan, butter chicken; another Mexican, while another was Thai, chicken peanut noodles, and we even fried ice cream! Tonight is Italian and homemade pizzas are planned. What could be more quintessentially Islamic or American than “international nights” ?

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      July 26th, 2012 at 23:26 | #2

      Salaam Deborah, What a great tradition & a wonderful way to get kids involved in the iftar planning. Your international menus sound so varied and delicious. The curried pumpkin soup in particular sounds fantastic. Wishing you Ramdan Kareem & Happy Cooking! ;-)

  2. July 27th, 2012 at 03:31 | #3

    Ramadan Kareem, Holly! Your lovely post reminded me of the time I made qatayef with walnut and coconut filling, what an amazing dessert! As I like to say, hummus makes happy, so if it’s Ramadan there’s plenty of hummus, store-bought or homemade, simple or with various toppings and flavours, made from scratch or with canned chickpeas. Another favourite Ramadan dish is the Kurdish Tapsi, a simple yet incredibly delicious vegetable dish, served with rice. I tried it once at a Kurdish restaurant and it became tradition to eat it during Ramadan.

    This year I decided to try new Ramadan-specific dishes from around the world and I’ve already made the Indian Pathiri (a type of bread) and Somali Malawah (a type of crepes). Before Ramadan is over I want to make again your fabulous Moroccan-style lentil and chickpea soup and serve it with Msemmen or Meloui. For dessert I’m thinking of making Greek Baklava, the addition of cloves to the syrup makes it my favourite.

  3. Holly S. Warah
    Holly S. Warah
    July 27th, 2012 at 04:42 | #4

    Adriana, Thank you so much for your comment. The Kurdish Tapsi sounds interesting … I will look into it. What a great idea to prepare Ramadan-specific foods from around the world. The cloves in the syrup sounds especially delicious. Meanwhile, I will check out your vegan magic blog and see what you’ve got cooking this month. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. ‘Atief.
    August 6th, 2012 at 20:41 | #5

    i want the recipes in arbich

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      August 7th, 2012 at 14:42 | #6

      Hi Atief, if you are looking for Middle Eastern recipes in Arabic, try searching in Arabic on google. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  5. George Spelvin
    September 15th, 2013 at 06:34 | #7

    I don’t see any mention of spices that would add an otherworldly flavor to the maqlouba recipe. Did I miss it?

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      September 19th, 2013 at 10:02 | #8

      HI George, Thanks for reading and commenting. My recipe is a for a rather plain maqluba. However, some cooks add curry or cumin or cinnamon or other spices. It’s all about your own personal preference. There are many regional variations to this dish.

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