Ramadan or Ramzan is the ninth month of Islamic calendar when Muslims around the world observe fast from sunrise to sunset. It is believed that fasting brings to them patience and spirituality. No food or drinks are consumed during fasting. The only meals consumed are before sunrise (called Suhoor or Sehri) and after sunset (called Iftar). They are usually taken with family, community or in the mosque. The sun rises with morning prayers called fajr, and it sets with evening prayers called maghrib.
While most of the Iftar delicacies revolve around meat preparations like Kebab, Biryani and Haleem, there are a variety of vegetarian dishes that are widely consumed by Muslims. Most of the Ramadan recipes are high on calories, but who would we mind having few extra calories when we have to fast for the whole day?
1. Veg Shami Kebab:
All the non-vegetarian Shami kebabs are made of minced meat, lentils and served with chutney. They are mostly from Awadh region of India and are meant to melt in the mouth. However, the vegetarian Shami kebabs are not bad either. They can be made from pre-soaked and minced chana dal or kala chana. They are excellent starters and can go well with onion-mint and lime chutney.
2. Kashmiri Pulao:
Unlike other recipes of Pulao commonly used in Northern India, the recipe of Kashmiri Pulao is on the sweeter side. The Pulao is full of dry fruits like Badam (Almonds), Kaju (Cashew nuts) and Akhrot (Walnuts). Dry fruits are very helpful in keeping you warm in the cold climate of Kashmir. Fresh fruits like Pineapple, Apple and Pomegranate are served along with the Pulao.
3. Kashmiri Dum Aloo:
Baby potatoes are deep fried in oil and cooked in gravy of onion, garlic and curd. It goes well as a side dish or as a starter, and even as main course with Basmati rice and Roti or Paratha.
4. Veg Yakhni Pulao:
Although the traditional Yakhni Pulao is made with mutton or chicken, the vegetarian Yakhni Pulao can be made with tofu, soyabeen and paneer and it tastes great. Add veggies like beans and carrot, and some dry fruits to make it more wholesome. Yakhni means ‘stock’. While the non-vegetarian Yakhni Pulao is made by cooking meat with spices, vegetarian version can be made with cooking vegetables with spices and straining the ‘stock’ from it.
5. Shahi Tukda:
Rich in taste, aroma and of course calories, the Shahi Tukda literally translates to Royal Piece. Bread is fried in ghee (clarified butter) before smearing it with Rabri that is made by reducing milk on low flame. The dessert is then topped up with dry fruits like almonds, pistachios and sugar syrup, and served with Kulfi.
“Got more Ramadan vegetarian food recipes? Share with us in comments”
Featured Image: “Traditional meal on Eid-ul-Fitr” by US Department of Agriculture is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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About the author:
Gaurav Bhatnagar is a Software Engineer turned professional Travel Writer, Photographer, and Public Speaker on Responsible Travel @ The Spunky Traveler. Published in National Geographic Traveller, The Hindu, Travel Secrets and Huffington Post. Director at The Folk Tales, a company specializing in Responsible Rural Travel in India