Ramadan represents a holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer for Muslims. During the month of Ramadan, fasting takes place each day from dusk until dawn.
Ramadan is celebrated each year during the ninth month of the lunar calendar (which consists of a 12-month year of approximately 354 days, so each lunar month moves 11 days each year). Because the lunar calendar depends on moon sightings, the exact start date can vary depending on where you are located.
Each day begins with a pre-fast meal, Suhoor, and ends with a celebratory meal known as Iftar, which is often shared with family and friends.
What role does food play in Ramadan?
Because fasting from sun up to sun down is a key part of Ramadan, the foods eaten around this holiday play an especially important role. Since these meals need to provide enough sustenance to last throughout the entire day, many dishes are associated with (and sometimes only served during) Ramadan. Most contain plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as fruits (both fresh and dried) and nuts, which release energy slowly and are low in fats and added sugar. Foods that hydrate (like soups, fruits, and vegetables) are common, while spicy and salty dishes, that dehydrate, are avoided.
The foods for Suhoor lean towards the nutritious side. Fruits are favored for their hydrating effects as well as bread and other carbohydrate and fiber-rich dishes, to prepare the body for the day ahead.
Iftar breaks the fast as the evening meal where multiple courses may be served - from festive beverages and soups to lean protein-packed main courses and decadent desserts.
Recipes from featured chef, Habiba Syed
We were fortunate enough to chat with Habiba Syed, a young Afghan woman (and friend of Rumi) currently living in New York, about her family’s Ramadan traditions. Habiba is an avid cook, blending easy kitchen hacks with storied family recipes to create contemporary twists on classic Afghan dishes. She began her adventures in the kitchen alongside her grandmother, where she learned that Afghan food signifies love, hope, and resiliency. She documents her cooking journey on Instagram as @Cheftaloo to preserve her precious family recipes and the rich stories they represent. We are so thrilled to share her recipes and memories with our Rumi family.
When we asked her about some of her favorite Ramadan recipes, she shared this recipe for golden potato pakoras, which she made this year with our Wild Black Cumin.
“These crunchy golden potato pakoras are a Ramadan staple. My mom would fry these up and spread them out on newspaper pages so they could stay crisp. They remind me of the last few minutes of daylight ticking away and everyone whispering quick prayers before the Athan would go off. Once the call to prayer was heard, everyone would reach for these, wrap them in thin pita bread and dunk them in fresh green chutney. These crispy fritters are simple yet comforting and a crowd favorite. Within minutes, the golden crispy pakoras come together using only a few pantry items.”
Get the full recipe for Habiba's Ramadan Potato Pakoras here.
And don't worry, we didn't forget to ask Habiba about the recipe for her delicious Afghan Green Chutney - the perfect dipping sauce for these crispy golden potatoes, your favorite kebabs, or warm pita bread.
Get the full recipe for Habiba's Afghan Green Chutney here.
Looking for more Ramadan-inspired eats? Check out a few of our favorite Rumi recipes, perfect for the occasion.
More Rumi Ramadan favorites:
- Stuffed Dates with Harissa Maple Drizzle
- Baharat Chicken Thigh Kebabs
- Harissa Chicken & Chickpeas - for a less spicy version, use slightly less Harissa. Or, sub it out for a milder spice like our Afghan Curry Braise or Paella Spice Blend.
- Easy Saffron Rice
- Pistachio Saffron Blondies
- Golden Saffron Tea
Ramadan Kareem from all of us as Rumi Spice. We hope this month brings peace, joy, and many special meals shared with loved ones.
Check back at the end of the month for some of our favorite recipes to celebrate Eid - we cannot wait to share them with all of you.