Ramadan is a time of fasting and spiritual purification. But another important aspect of the month begins after the sun sets, when families gather together to break the daily fast over a joyous evening meal called iftar.
Home chefs often spend days planning elaborate iftar menus. Giving an iftar meal to a friend or another fasting Muslim is seen as a blessed act, so some chefs make it a point to invite others over for the meal, or to give food at a community center or mosque.
Because of Islam’s geographic spread, the iftar meal looks and tastes different for members of different cultures. In Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, families might sit down to eat opor ayam, a chicken stew made with coconut milk, curry paste and lemongrass. For black Muslim families in America, a special treat for the evening could be bean pie.
Below, HuffPost has compiled a list of Muslim foodies to follow during Ramadan. If you’d like a glimpse of the flavors of Ramadan, scroll down ― or better yet, try out a few of these recipes.
Amanda Saab is a Michigan-based former Master Chef competitor whose Ramadan recipes are inspired by her Lebanese grandmother. Check out the recipe for her turmeric cake with honey buttercream
Nour Zibdeh is a registered dietitian based in Virginia. Zibdeh has plenty of tips on how to eat nutrient-packed meals that will keep you healthy and energized during Ramadan.
My Big Fat Halal Blog is known for blogger Ayesha Razak's reviews of halal restaurants in London. But the site also features ideas for healthy meals during Ramadan. Check out her Healthy Oats recipe.
is a pastry chef and cookbook author of Pakistani heritage. She grew up celebrating Ramadan in Chicago and has learned a few tricks along the way about how to cook for a fasting stomach. Her watermelon chaat
is both sweet and spicy -- and it's also a quick way to get hydrated after a day's fast.
Steak and Teeth is a food blog run by Tanim Rahman, a dentist, and Siddika Ahmed, who is studying to be a mental health nurse. Along with posting London restaurant reviews, these bloggers share recipes that are perfect for Ramadan. It's customary to break the fast during the month by eating dates. Steak and Teeth put a sweet twist on this tradition in this recipe
for white chocolate dates stuffed with a raspberry and white chocolate almond filling and coated in pistachio crumbs.
Sawsan Abu Farha is a chef of Palestinian heritage who now lives in the United Arab Emirates. Follow her on Instagram for delicious Middle Eastern recipes and you're certain to also get a short history lesson on the origins of the recipes she posts. Try her recipe for Makloobeh
, an upside-down, one pot Levantine rice dish.