Ramadan is the Holy, 9th month of the Islamic calendar, where Muslims fast (sawm) and refrain from food and drink between dawn and dusk and maintain kind and pure thoughts. Ramadan teaches discipline, patience, and generosity. It is a community experience where Muslims fast together, and join to break their fast together, in their homes, Mosques, and other community gathering places.
Suhoor is the vital pre-dawn meal, where Muslims eat items that will provide energy and are filling, in order to maintain their fast until sunset.
After sunset prayer (Maghrib), those fasting gather to break their fast with Iftar, a meal that is celebrated with friends and extended family, and usually begins with dates, or apricots, water, or sweetend milk before prayer, and the meal after.
We asked some of our favorite Muslim Chefs and Bloggers to share what Ramadan means to them, and recipes for Suhoor & Iftar. We start off with a couple popular drinks used to break the fast.
(In no particular order)
1. Kamar el Deen
3. Seafood Sayadiya
Ramadan brings back lots of beautiful memories and cheerful traditions to look forward to. While food is an important part among these traditions, I grew up reminded to think about the less fortunate people around us. Making sure to lend a hand whenever we can. For me Ramadan brings the blessing of gathering our family daily for “Iftar” breaking fast, and “Suhoor” pre-dawn meal. The memories of growing up and doing our last minutes trips to the stuffed falafel place, the tamarind stand or the fresh Qatayef bakery. My personal favorite memory is of my dad preparing his Tahini salad with fresh herbs (we called it “Abu Ali’s salad”). It was a must have on our Iftar table every day. I still make it often for my family especially during this month.Celebrating Ramadan abroad can be a challenge sometimes. But as a community we managed to create an atmosphere that connected us like a family. I feel that we succeeded in replicating some of these traditions and even created new ones for our own children. May the blessing of the holy month brings you all happiness, prosperity and treasured moments of joy! Ramadan Mubarak!Nadia Tommalieh
4. Sheikh el Mahshi
Ramadan has always been my dearest month of the year, it’s a month where I feel at peace. It’s the month of empathy , through which we feel more connected to each other as human beings, it teaches us how to feel with less fortunate people and figure out ways to help them. Ramdan is wonderful opportunity for all the family to be gathered around one table thanking God for all his blessings, so much memories are built to cherish throughout our life.I wish you all a blessed month and “Ramdan Kareem”Rana Kebbi Damaj, Rana’s Kitchen Lab
5. Koussa Mahshi
Ramadan is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a month of blessings, of dedication and of discipline. For 30 days, I’m surrounded by my family on the table, sharing memories that last a lifetime. We cook together, we set up the table together, and we share a meal together, everyday, with no exceptions. I take this months to reflect on the importance of family and tradition. It’s a month of gratitude and giving back to those less fortunate. And last, but certainly not least, it’s a month when you feel like you are part of something bigger, when you feel connected with the people all over the world, as you feel their love, faith and blessings.Manal Massoud
6. Zaatar Lamb
The month of Ramadan is the backbone of the Islamic religion – a spiritual and social atmosphere where Muslims fast from dusk until dawn during the ninth Islamic month. If one can understand it they will begin to understand the true meaning of the religion. Ramadan & fasting represents abstaining from certain things (such as food & drink) but I see it as a period of slowing down. So in this sense Ramadan for me is a way to regulate what has become a ‘fast life’. A ‘fast life’ that I’m sure we all have in common. Naturally, we all get caught up in the mundane rituals of everyday life. Every now and then we wonder how quickly time has passed. In these moments we often look back and wonder ‘where did the time go?’ Ramadan forces you to stop & adopt rituals that compel an individual to slow down & reflect. That’s what I love about it. You slow down, focus on what’s most important & of course families and friends come together & food is shared creating a bond to bring us all together.Lina, The Lebanese Plate
7. Pumpkin Mahshi
In Ramadan our main thoughts always about food, or that what it seems like. but look at it this way, when I cook Iftar for my family I will be thinking about nutritional facts of the food that I cook for them , how this food will add to their health , who will I share a plate of this food with , and above all how god is rewarding us for our fasting, prayers and how we care and share during this holy month. All of this starts and happens through cooking our meals and sharing them. I hope we all be blessed with this holy month and always share your table with your loved ones .Safa Sartawi, SofiesWorld__
Each year Ramadan comes, it brings with it such a unique & magnificent atmosphere in each and every moment. Recalling our old times when we were children, when we used to help mom in the kitchen, each one was glad to hold a mission. For example; one fries the Sambousek, one chopping the Fattouch, one stirring and heating the soup, one pouring the main dish.. etc… The whole family members collaboration makes from Fatoor table one memorable experience that makes the ordinary food tastes heavenly good.Fardos Hazem, Fardo’s Kitchen
9. Fattet Makdous
Ramadan to me is a time of self improvement, increased spirituality, and family gatherings. I absolutely love to host and be around the people I love sharing this beautiful experience together.Heifa, Fufu’s Kitchen
Ramadan to me is a chance for a new fresh start in life. The time when I can work to improve myself. Also the time to be extra mindful of the food we get, to generously give money to the poor. When Ramadan comes I always decorate the house with my kids to celebrate its beginning. It is also the time when all the family and friends gather to enjoy each other’s company and each other’s cooking. It is the special time of the year where the most delicious dishes and desserts appear. When Ramadan starts I can feel it all around me, it feels different, more peaceful and loving. It even smells different in the house, it’s like Ramadan brings a scent with it that calms my soul and makes me happy.Rola, Roola.92
11. Basal Mahshi
To me, Ramadan is a time to pause all the distractions in our day to day life and focus on our faith. It’s a time to reflect inwards and be grateful for our blessings, and to share these blessings with friends, family and the community. Growing up, I remember sitting around the dinner table breaking our iftar with family and enjoying delicious food. As I get older, I want to be more and more conscious of the fact that Ramadan is about fasting not feasting, and to be more mindful of what I’m consuming and how it impacts my body and my health. Everything in moderation! I look forward to Ramadan each year as I get closer to my creator, my own self, my family and my community.Amina, Hungry Paprikas
12. Dawood Basha
This is a simple dish, that doesn’t take long to make but is full of flavor and protein to help keep you fuller longer and build up your energy.
Ramadan is a very magical time. Even though it is challenging to fast for 30 days, the overwhelming feeling of peace, calm and spiritual closeness to God overcomes it all. It’s a feeling that both humbles you and gives you an intense sense of gratitude. We so look forward to this time. It brings us together every night in the most special way. We all head to the kitchen and tell stories as we discuss what foods we’re dying to eat, then cook and prepare the amazing dinner spread to come. Everyone is happy and excited to be together. It’s the warmest feeling ever to break fast in this way, and of course to give thanks for our endless blessings.Deana & Nadia, Sweet Pillar Food
13. Chicken Freekeh
The Holy Month of Ramadan is genuinely one of the happiest times one can share with their loved ones. Everyone gathers together each night for Iftar and suhoor which is one of my favourite traditions. I love spending time in the kitchen preparing a different dish each night for my family and friends. During this time I try to focus on self healing, optimism as well as helping the less fortunate. Ramadan gives you a sense of appreciation for what you have! My favourite memory of Ramadan is having the family gathered around the table, all laughing and spreading love. That is the true essence of Ramadan and I thank God everyday that I am able to experience it with my wonderful family, friends and multiple delicious dishes.Tamam Abdullah, Tamam’s Kitchen
14. Kibbeh b Laban
Ramadan is a month to fast, pray and spend more time approaching God… With fasting comes an open appetite to prepare a variety of food that finally makes a feast rather than an Iftar table!!! At my home I try to offer my family all they desire but gradually… Which means I try my best not to make big amounts or a big variety unless I have my big family over, We enjoy food and feel blessed to have it and at the same time make sure we consume what we have on our table… No food waste!!! I wish. I wish we all focus on the essence of Ramadan ❤️❤️❤️❤️Nadia, PotsNBites
15. Halloumi Salad
What I love about Ramadan is that it is a chance to slow down, step back and review the past year. On a personal and a spiritual level. It is also the month to reconnect with family and friends. Gathering for Iftar after a long day, sharing the experience and the lessons somehow brings everyone closer together.Sawsan Abu Farha, Chef in Disguise
16. Traditional Hummus
17. Spinach Pies
Food is a very important part of Ramadan traditions where family and friends gather to share and enjoy delicious dishes. The wisdom behind fasting is self control, patience, compassion, and gratitude. So the month of Ramadan comes as a big reminder of those suffering from hunger and poverty. Sharing food and feeling with those in need during this holy month is definitely the most important aspect. Keeping the same Ramadan traditions I was brought up with is very important to me as it makes my children and I feel closer to the big family back home. Top tips I have learnt over the years which make preparing healthy dishes during Ramadan easier is to shop for groceries in bulk. Also, planning the weekly menu for Iftar and Suhour, finally; get all family members involved to help and to create precious memories.Nahed, Cooking Journey
18. Beef Kabsa
During Ramadan , people seem to be much more patient, tolerant, nicer & helpful to each other. It’s the month that brings families and loved ones together. I don’t know about you but there is a great peace that i feel around me during the month of Ramadan that i don’t feel during any other time. Ramadan is when I reflect and think about how blessed i am. Fasting long hours and feeling hunger reminds me of those who have very little food, i get even more encouraged to give charity and help the needy. And of course i love eating at the end of a long day of fasting! Who doesn’t?Rana Chahine, RanaaCh
19. Pumpkin Soup
20. Hearty Barley Soup
Hearty Barley Soup by Bateekh w Jebneh
This soup is an incredible way to open our fasts during Ramadan! It is light, yet extremely filling. Packed with nutrients, and extremely hearty, it is perfect after a long day of no eating!
Ramadan celebrates spirituality, patience, thankfulness, and togetherness. In this beautiful time of the year, life changes for those who practice the Islamic faith. Reminiscing on Ramadans spent in the middle-east always brings back the greatest wave of good memories. Our favourite moment takes place as the long day of fasting nears its end. The streets become near empty, with everyone rushing to get to their homes in time for iftaar. Family members will gather around one table, patiently awaiting the call to prayer. As soon as the sun sets, the homes of Muslims fill with energy. The call to Maghrib is heard across the country, the supplications of those breaking their fast are heard from all around the table. Tables are generously packed with everything you could have possibly craved during the day, from deliciously fried appetizers, to traditional main meals and drinks. Soon after, laughter and chatter fill the dining rooms, and the chorus of clinking plates and utensils is heard from every home and kitchen. That right there is a perfect moment of “togetherness”, repeated over 30 days, and then amplified on Eid day. How can one not await this month impatiently all year long?Marah & In’aam, Bateekh w Jebneh
Your Lebanon Recipes
21. Djej a Batata
22. Bemeh a Laham
23. Loubye b Zeit
24. Bazella a Laham