“Eat of the good and wholesome things that We have provided for your sustenance, but indulge in no excess therein.”
– Qur’an, Taha:89
From my childhood, I remember Ramadan as a fun month. Waking up long before sunrise, looking outside the window at a completely dark sky and watching the lights in the neighbours’s kitchens turning on one by one. Our sehris (morning meal) and iftars (evening meal) used to be simple. Abstaining from eating and drinking from sunrise till sunset made me realise what it was like not to have those simple luxuries in life and never to take them for granted. Now I see the same excitement in my daughters to fast and the eagerness to enjoy their dinner at night. I hope that this experience will breed in them the gratitude for what they have and the empathy for those who are less fortunate.
For me the month of Ramadan has always been the time of year that breaks the monotony of routine, the time that encourages us to bring about positive change in life style – just like Spring cleaning. Ramadan asks for the cleaning of mind and body, caring, sharing, feeling the pain of those who are deprived and self training with hope that these qualities will extend beyond this month.
Contrary to the spirit of the month, it has become a norm to indulge in lavish and extended Iftar dinner parties. A simple and balanced diet, rich in fibre, minerals, complex carbohydrates and lean protein is the best solution. On the other hand, deep fried, heavily processed, rich foods and caffeine can cause heartburn, constipation, lethargy and dehydration.
I have hand picked these 50 Ramadan Food recipes from my blog because they are simple, delicious and wholesome enough to keep you going all day long while fasting, and restore and refresh as you break your fast at sunset. They don’t cater to any diet plan but correspond simply to the requirements of healthy eating. Put together in a menu, they create a perfect nutrition plan for your body and your taste buds during the holy month of fasting.
Staying hydrated during fasting is even more important than having eaten enough, because dehydration instantly dips the mood and levels of energy, making it harder to carry on daily chores. Here is a selection of drink recipes that will quench your thirst in a yummy way, using natural ingredients.
Sehr – the Pre Dawn Meal:
Sehri meal should be nutritious but moderate in quantity. It should include fibre to keep the stomach functions moving, like some fruit, vegetables or cereals, as well as healthy protein, like eggs, lean meat, yogurt and nuts, to keep you saturated for a longer time.
Iftar Snacks and Sides:
The tradition of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was breaking the fast with a few dates, a pinch of salt and water. Doctors today also advise breaking the fast with small portions of food and then wait 10 minutes before consuming the main meal. These Iftar snack recipes are light and refreshing that will provide you instant energy, leaving you with an appetite to enjoy the dinner.
Dinner should be a balanced meal. Sticking to a single, small serving is wise, as it’s not only easier for your digestive system but this way you will have some appetite for the early morning meal as well.
A few light and delicious desserts to keep the sweet tooth satisfied.
There are infinite choices to prepare a healthy meal from. Here are some of my personal choices.
-Instead of paratha go for plain whole wheat or multi grain roti. For parathas use a little desi ghee, butter or olive oil.
-substitute deep frying with stir frying, pan searing, grilling or baking.
-switch heavy desserts with milk and yogurt based light desserts.
-reduce salt and oil in curries.
-drink lots of water.
May this Ramadan bring you the utmost in peace and prosperity.