Ramadan Meal Planning and Recipes

Maya

ramadan Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and Muslims worldwide would engage in fasting from dawn to sunset. I often get non Muslims asking me as to what we can actually eat or drink during the fast. I do know that there are certain religions that allow light food to be taken during a fast. Personally I am curious by nature and I too would always have questions for my non Muslim friends with regards to their religion, festivals and practices. I believe that everyone should have the basic general knowledge on other religions/races and despite the differences, we should always respect them.

When I decided to write an article about Ramadan Meal Planning and Recipes, I also wanted to include some basic information regarding Ramadan itself on-top of sharing recipes.  In Islam, when we are fasting, we do not consume anything, not even water. The month of Ramadan  is all about strengthening one’s faith, thinking of those less fortunate than us, and refraining from food and drink during the daytime for a month.

Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?

The month of Ramadan  is all about strengthening one’s faith, thinking of those less fortunate than us, and refraining from food and drink during the daytime for a month. Fasting is believed to purify the heart from selfishness and greed it also helps us to understand the plight of those who lack life’s basic amenities. It makes us understand the plight of the poor ones who are not able to get food for the whole day. but since this is mostly for the general knowledge of the non Muslims, I kept it simple.   

Benefits of fasting:

It has also been noted by medical experts that fasting improves the physical health in numerous ways. For example, during the fast the body uses up stored cholesterol/fat that is often deposited in the blood system, as well as in other fatty areas of the body. During Ramadan, acts of charity are also central to the observance of Ramadan. Many people give the mandatory charity required of Muslims during this month so the needy can also break their fast with nutritious food.

The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhoor, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar. In the evening, dates are usually the first food to break the fast. It is not mandatory but it is a common practice. Dates are an excellent source of fiber, sugar, magnesium, potassium and have carbohydrates which will aid the body in maintaining health during Ramadan. The carbohydrates found in dates also make the fruit a slower digesting food which is perfect for Ramadan.   datesI do tend to stock up more milk during Ramadan. Whenever someone in the family does not feel like eating for suhoor, he or she would just have a glass of milk or a date shake. Every Ramadan, I would prepare Date milkshakes often. It is not just delicious but it is also a rich source of  protein, fiber and rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5, Vitamin A1 and C. It is perfect for those who are not used to eating for suhoor. There are many ways to make a date milkshake but I am including a really basic recipe. Delicious and dead simple. 

date-milkshake

 

Date Milkshake
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 20 dates - stoned
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 cup ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Place the dates and milk in a blender/liquidizer and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the ice cubes and whiz again.
  3. Pour into glasses and serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 Calories: 794 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 3g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 192g Sugar: 173g Sodium: 128mg Fiber: 16g Protein: 13g Cholesterol: 21mg

Ramadan is a busy period for most of us, especially the women in the family. It is a common practice to spring clean the house to usher in Ramadan. There would also be the tarawih. Tarawih is the prayer performed by Muslims at nights of Ramadan which is mostly being done at the mosque. Besides making preparations for Eid, the women in the family would also be busy preparing food for suhoor and iftar, thus it would usually means extra cooking for most of us. Ramadan is also a time where a lot of us would invite friends and relatives over for Iftar get-together as it is also a blessing to feed a fasting person other than yourself and your family. All this would require proper organizing and therefore planning is VERY important during Ramadan.

ORGANIZING should start a few days or even 1 week before Ramadan.

  • Start clearing your pantry. Make a list of the general groceries that you need. 
  • Make a list of your suhoor and Iftar menus. I would normally make a two week plan for the meals. You can make another new menu for the next two weeks later or repeat the previous menu. 
  • Groceries shopping. Make sure you have all the spices, herbs on hand. Having all the ingredients makes cooking a whole lot easier and stress free.
  • Proportion the ingredients that are to be kept in the freezer. If you have bought 2 kg of prawns and are planning to use only 0.5 kg at a time, pack the 2kg of prawns into bags of 4. This way,you would only defrost what is needed. 

Certain ingredients are being used day in, day out. A good example would be garlic. Many recipes, ask for chopped garlic/garlic paste. These can be made in bulk. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container and this would be good for up to ten days. In the freezer, you can easily keep it for a month or more. 

  1. Peel the garlic.
  2. Wash and place the garlic in a food processor. 
  3. Put them in a blender and add just a little water. You can also use oil. (I use water most of the time) 
  4. Blend till smooth and place in an airtight container. store in the fridge or the freezer.

Image Source: Wikipedia

 

The same method can be used for ginger and onion.

For this special period of Ramadan, since we do tend to do more cooking and many a times, we would run out of ideas as to what we should cook. I thought that I should share some recipes that would be appropriate for Ramadan. Most of the recipes are suitable for Suhoor, Iftar or even both. Hopefully the recipes below would be beneficial for all of you.

To all Muslims out there, have a blessed Ramadan. Remember to drink lots of water and have plenty of fruits. May this Ramadan bring you the 
good health, utmost peace and prosperity. 

Beverages

Date Milkshake – Susu Kurma  

Mixed Berries and Banana Smoothie

Refreshing Strawberry Lassi 

Skinny Avocado Smoothie

Summertime Juice

Watermelon and Lychee Mocktail

 

Spice and More

Aloo Gobhi – Stir Fry Potatoes and Cauliflower 

Angel Hair Aglio Olio with Shrimps

Baked Baby Potatoes with Creamy Tuna Filling

Balsamic Tomato and Basil Penne

Bangers and Mash

Chef Wan’s Nyonya Squid Sambal

Chinese Wonton Noodles

Chicken Tandoori

Easy Cottage pie 

Eggs En Cocotte 

Foul Medames – Kacang Phool

Mee Siam

Meatballs and Gravy

Pantry Pasta

Roasted Garlic and Pumpkin Hummus 

Shakshuka

Simple Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Squid Masala

Tomato Chili Prawns

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

 

Something Sweet 

American Almond Bread

Apple Crumb Cake

Bread and Butter Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Bubur Chacha

Bubur Pulot Hitam – Black Glutinous Rice Dessert

Creme Caramel 

Delicious Falooda

Donut Muffins with Raspberry Jam Filling

India Rice Kheer

Kuih Jongkong

No Bake Creme Brulee

Red Ruby Dessert

 

 

 

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