38 Ramadan Recipes for Your Eid Feast

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During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, not even consuming water. Food takes on a special significance during this fast. Before morning prayers Muslims eat suhoor, a heavy breakfast big enough to to get them through the day. Hearty meat dishes are popular during Ramadan as a way to fill up before or after fasting. Skewered meat and vegetable dishes called kebabs are common in the Middle East and curry recipes are a mainstay in Southeast Asia.

After dark comes iftar, or the breaking of the fast. This meal is often a festive, communal affair. No iftar would be complete without rice. Dessert is an important part of iftar and in the Bengali household, mishti is king. In the Middle East, desserts often lean towards the syrupy side and yogurts are a common way to help aid digestion and cool the stomach. We’ve rounded up our favorite Ramadan recipes for suhoor and iftar, as well as for your big Eid-al-Fitr feasts afterward.

Test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin learned to make these simple grilled kebabs from her father, which he likes to serve with rice and shirazi salad. Get the recipe for Shish Kebabs »

In the east Indian state of Odisha, this lentil stew, fragrant with coconut and enriched with silky, thinly sliced onions and long-simmered sweet potatoes, is an everyday staple. Get the recipe for Lentil Stew with Coconut (Dalma) »

Triangular deep-fried pastries stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas are an iconic Indian snack. Pair them with tangy tamarind chutney or herbaceous coconut-cilantro chutney for dipping. Get the recipe for Indian Samosas »

The recipe for these kebabs, which can also be made with lamb, is adapted from Charmaine O’Brien’s Recipes from an Urban Village (The Hope Project, 2003). Get the recipe for Spiced Ground Beef Patties (Shami Kebabs) »

A simple Indian croquette with fish, bold hits of cumin and green chile, and a refreshing mint chutney. This is a great way to use up leftover cooked white fish; simply substitute 8 oz. of cooked fish and skip the first step. Get the recipe for Indian Fish and Potato Croquettes »

For this Mumbai street-food snack from Raghavan Iyer, chunks of potato are dredged in a light chickpea-and-rice-flour batter that is spiced with turmeric and chile powder. The potatoes are then deep fried until a golden crust forms and served with cilantro and tamarind chutneys. The spiced batter can be also used for other vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced plantain, and eggplant. Get the recipe for Fried Chickpea-Battered Potatoes (Bhajiya) »

A luxurious whole fish preparation flavored with tangy tamarind and fragrant barberries, perfect for Nowruz, the Persian new year. Find barberries in well-stocked Middle Eastern groceries or online. Get the recipe for Persian Tamarind-Stuffed Fish »

Rice is a staple at most meals in Iran; tahdig, the crust of crispy rice that forms on the bottom, is the most prized part. Soaking the rice before cooking for 15 minutes helps to elongate the grains, resulting in a fluffier rice, while the towel on the lid helps to pull the moisture away during the longer cook time. Get the recipe for Persian Rice »

Tart sumac balances sweet caramelized onions in a roast chicken and flatbread dish traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven called a taboon. Get the recipe for Roast Chicken with Onion and Sumac Flatbread (M’sakhan) »

In this traditional Lebanese mezze, romano beans are braised until tender with tomatoes in olive oil. Get the recipe for Romano Beans with Tomatoes (Loubieh bil Zeit) »

Phyllo pastry layered with ground nuts luxuriating in sweet syrup is a centuries-old dessert that now exists in many variations throughout the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean. Get the recipe for Baklava »

For this Middle Eastern–spiced stew, cauliflower stems are minced and sautéed in the mirepoix to add flavor, while the florets are broiled and added at the end of cooking to offer crunch and body. Get the recipe for Lamb and Cauliflower Stew with Harissa »

Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mix of wild thyme, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds, tops chewy flatbread in this iconic Lebanese snack. Get the recipe for Man’oushé bil Za’atar (Flatbread with Za’atar) »

Finely chopped fresh parsley and mint are bathed in fruity extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in this classic Middle Eastern appetizer. Get the recipe for Tabbouleh »

A rich, spicy stew topped with bright cilantro leaves, a squeeze of citrus, and thin-sliced hot chiles, nihari is the ultimate comfort food for home cook and Lahore native Zainab Shah, whose mother makes this dish for her and her family. The dish’s name is derived from the Arabic word nahaar, or “day”, which makes sense considering the long, slow cooking required to coax the rich marrow out of the lamb bones. Get the recipe for Pakistani Slow-Cooked Lamb Stew (Dumbay ki Nihari) »

Across the Levant, eggplants are grilled and mashed to make baba ghannouj, a silky, delicious dip for flatbreads and vegetables. Get the recipe for Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj) »

Across the Levant, you will find variations on fatteh, dishes built on toasted or fried day-old bread. The term comes from the Arabic word “fatta”, meaning to crumble bread. In this Lebanese version from author Fouad Kassab’s mother Isabelle, brown butter tops a layered dish of baked pita and chickpeas tossed with spiced yogurt. To save time, soak the chickpeas in water and baking soda: the alkilinity of the soda breaks down the beans’ cellular walls and can reduce cooking time by thirty five minutes. Get the recipe for Chickpeas with Pita and Spiced Yogurt (Fattet Hummus) »

Eggplants are stuffed with a mixture of spiced lamb and rice, then simmered in tomato sauce in a rustic, cinnamon-scented dish from Lebanese author Fouad Kassab’s mother, Isabelle. During the autumn olive harvest, she prepares it with new-season olive oil from the family’s groves. Use smaller-sized eggplants, such as Japanese or fairy-tale eggplants, for this dish. (If you can’t find these varieties, zucchini may be substituted for the eggplant.) Get the recipe for Lebanese Lamb-Stuffed Eggplant (Batenjen Mehchi) »

Lebanese seven-spice powder—a mix of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, and nutmeg known as baharat—flavors the lamb patties as well as the tomatoes in this richly spiced dish. Get the recipe for Spiced Lamb Patties with Tomato and Onion (Kefta bil Sayniyeh) »

This refreshing salad is made of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. Get the recipe for Shirazi Salad »

Thick, tart, and creamy, this yogurt-like cheese, is perfect eaten with olive oil, pita bread, and za’atar. Get the recipe for Labaneh »

Pomegranate molasses, coriander, and curry powder perfume the filling for these tender stuffed onion rolls. Get the recipe for Iraqi Stuffed Onions (Dolma Mahshi) »

A marinade of orange, cumin, and saffron flavors these juicy chicken and tomato kebabs. Get the recipe for Spiced Chicken and Tomato Kebabs (Jujeh Kabab) »

At Abu Dhabi’s Al Arish restaurant, jumbo prawns are basted in a spicy-sweet ketchup-based sauce before they are grilled. Get the recipe for Emirati Grilled Prawns (Rubyan Meshwi) »

Like many traditional Emirati desserts, luscious pumpkin porridge (in Arabic it’s a halvah, or sweet food) straddles the line between sweet and savory. The dish thickens as it cools, so be sure to serve it while it’s still quite warm. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Halvah (Assidat al-Boubar) »

The name of this dish, Arabic for “upside down,” aptly describes the layered one-pot meal of spiced lamb, rice, and vegetables that is inverted before serving. Get the recipe for Upside-Down Rice with Cauliflower, Eggplant, and Lamb (Maqloubeh) »

This fragrant spice-rubbed grilled chicken was a favorite of former SAVEUR Assistant Editor Felicia Campbell when she was deployed to Iraq. Get the recipe for Iraqi Yellow Spice-Rubbed Chicken (Djaj Bil-Bahar Il-Asfar) »

Charring young eggplant over an open flame lends a smoky flavor to this dish from the Galilee. Get the recipe for Charred Eggplant with Chile Sauce & Tahini »

These fluffy fritters, soaked in a syrup flavored with saffron, cardamom, and cinnamon, are a favorite Emirati dessert during Ramadan. Get the recipe for Saffron-Flavored Fritters (Lgeimat) »

A thick pistachio puree is folded into a mix of ground lamb and bulgur in these garlicky kebabs. Get the recipe for Ground Lamb, Bulgur, and Pistachio Kebabs (Simit Kebap) »

Often referred to as the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite dish, this satisfying lamb and vegetable stew is served over thin, cracker-like bread called regag to soak up the rich juices (although we found store-bought, toasted roti to work just as well). To make the preparation easier, have your butcher cut the lamb into pieces. Get the recipe for Emirati Lamb Stew (Tharid) »

Fenugreek, an aromatic dried herb, lends a distinctly floral flavor to hearty veal stew. Get the recipe for Veal and Kidney Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi) »

These kebabs are made of ground lamb and beef and seasoned with turmeric, paprika, and saffron. Get the recipe for Persian Ground Meat and Onion Kebabs »

The recipe for this spiced rice dish from Pakistan’s Sindh province was given to us by Karachi home cook Najma Awan. Get the recipe for Spiced Goat and Rice Pilaf (Sindhi Biryani) »

Protein-rich red lentils and hearty butternut squash are transformed into a smooth, fragrant soup that’s a perfect, simple meal served with flatbread. Get the recipe for Red Lentil and Squash Soup (Shorabit Jarjir) »

Lamb shanks are braised for hours in a sumptuous sauce of honey, almonds, and raisins in this centuries-old Moroccan dish served at the restaurant Mansouria. Get the recipe for Honey-Braised Lamb Shanks »

In Tamil-speaking households, a combination of fritters with sauce is referred to as vadai pachadi. Served for weddings and religious holidays, these spicy fritters get their signature crunch from yellow split peas and are topped with a creamy, tangy yogurt-tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Pigeon Pea Fritters with Yogurt-Tomato Sauce (Vadai Pachadi) »

In this recipe, kataif, a bird’s nest-like phyllo dough, is layered with fresh cheese and doused in amber-hued syrup. Get the recipe for Syrup-Soaked Cheese Pastry (Knafeh)

Source: 38 Ramadan Recipes for Your Eid Feast