Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, during this month muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. At the end of the day, when the sun sets (Maghrib prayer starts), Iftar is taken to break the day’s fast. The types of food served during Iftar vary country to country.
Traditional Arabic dishes take centre stage for many Qatari households and create a lively ambience during Ramadan. Most people break their fast with dates and laban followed with soup, sweets, and a big meal a couple hours later.
Here are some of the most popular dishes you can find in different Qatari households during Ramadan and you must try at least once in order to fulfill your experience of Qatar.
The Iftar is begun by eating dates because tradition holds that the prophet Mohammed (SAW) used to break his fast with three dates and water. Since Ramadan fast lasts long hours during the day, eating dates during Iftar helps maintaining good health as they are an excellent source of fiber, sugar, magnesium, potassium.
Laban is also a very popular and savory drink served cold to break their fast during Ramadan because of it's hydrating and nutritious benefits. Not only is laban extremely refreshing, it's also packed with probiotics from natural yogurt.
Harees is made with boiled or ground wheat and meat. The consistency is similar to that of porridge and is one of the most popular dishes during the month of Ramadan, Eid and festive occasions. Cinnamon and cardamom are one of the most used flavours added. You can find this dish at Afghan Brothers Restaurant, Muglat Harees Al Waldah restaurant. If you want to make Harees at home, check out the recipe here.
It's a rice based dish popular in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. It is served with very slow cooked lamb, roasted nuts, raisins and served over rice.
This dish is like a pot of stew. A fine blend of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beans and some meat, either chicken or lamb is the base of this popular Qatari dish. The dish is served by placing a bread socked in stew at the bottom of the dish which makes the bread full of flavours and soft. The dish can be compared to a lasagne prepared in a Qatari way. Check out here the recipe of Thareed - a vegetarian twist to a traditional Qatari dish.
Other popular Ramadan dishes include Machboos which is a rice dish (similar to biryani) and can be made with chicken and lamb and usually served on a huge platter. Another dish samboosa or samosa, which is a fried pastry that has different kinds of stuffing like cheese, vegetable, or meat.
A common story is that Kunafa was created to satisfy the hunger of caliphs during Ramadan. As it is rich in Butter, Nuts, Cheese, Cream etc; very little quantity is needed to fill you up. The origins of this dessert can also be found in Turkish, Greek and Balkan cuisine. It can be prepared in 3 different forms: khishnah (with a rough exterior), na’ama (which is softer and finer), and muhayra (which is a combination of both rough and soft texture).
Luqaimat is a popular dessert that is soft from inside and crunchy on outside. The word Luqaimat is derived from an Arabic origin which means bite sized and hence it’s a popular Arab dish. The dish is happily served in the holy month of Ramadan. While there are different ways to prepare the dish, the people in Qatar like to prepare it the traditional way with butter, milk, flour, sugar, saffron and cardamom. It is a deep fried dough dipped in a sweet syrup or honey.
If you're craving a sweet treat, check out here to know how to make the Qatari sweet Luqaimat.
An extremely popular Egyptian dessert which is made of puff pastry sheets and milk, served with a topping of nuts as well as raisins.
What are some of your Ramadan food favorites? Break your fast in style by enjoying cuisine inspired by the Mediterranean and Middle East. Don’t forget to give us a like and share!
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