June 09, 2017

Ramadan, the holiest month of Islam, is marked by both fasting and feasting. Devouts fast from dawn to dusk, and have only two meals during the day - Sehri or the pre-dawn meal, where lots of fluids and high energy meals are consumed, and Iftar, or the post-dusk meal, which is a gastronome's delight.

Marcelle Symss of The Good City crew brings to you some special DIY Iftar treats! 

Image Source

Haleem - an indispensable Iftar special, haleem is a nourishing porridge made of meat, rice and lentils, is an excellent source of protein. There is a vegetarian version as well, which substitutes the meat with carrots. It is usually accompanied by buttery naanskhubus or sheermal.

What you need:

  1. Broken rice - 1 cup
  2. Moong dal, washed - 1/4 cup 
  3. Channa dal, washed - 1 tbsp 
  4. Medium sized onion, finely chopped - 1 
  5. Medium sized tomato, finely chopped - 1 
  6. Green chilies, finely chopped - 3-4 
  7. Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tbsp 
  8. Mint leaves - 1/4 cup 
  9. Chopped coriander leaves - 1/4 cup 
  10. medium sized carrots, finely chopped - 2  (or 200 gms minced chicken/lamb/mutton)
  11. Cloves – 2
  12. Cinnamon stick – 1 
  13. Oil - 1-2 tbsp
  14. Coconut milk - 3 cups 
  15. Water - 2-3 cups 
  16. Salt to taste

What to do - for vegetarian haleem

  1. Wash the broken rice and drain the water completely. Spread rice on kitchen cloth. let it dry for few mins. 
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cloves and cinnamon first, followed by chopped onions and fry for a minute.
  3. Add chopped tomato and ginger-garlic paste and saute a while. Add green chilies, chopped carrots, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute 2 – 3 mins.
  4. Add broken rice, washed moong dal and channa dal. Saute it. Add water and salt to taste.
  5. Close the lid and pressure cook for 1 or 2 whistles. Remove from the heat and add coconut milk to it.  Heat it on medium flame. Add more water if required. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

What to do - for non-vegetarian haleem

Wash the minced meat and marinate it with turmeric powder. Add this to the mix instead of chopped carrots. The rest of the recipe is the same.

Pro-Tip: You can use regular raw rice as well, just grind the rice to a coarse powder in a mixer after it dries.

Image Source

Sheermal - originally from Iran, this sweet flatbread has become a staple across Iftar tables globally.

What you need:

  1. Flour- 2 ½ cups
  2. Caster sugar- 1 tbsp
  3. Solid milk- ½ cup
  4. Instant yeast - 2 ½ tsp
  5. Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 3 tbsp
  6. Cream- 3 tbsp
  7. Egg- 1 (beaten)
  8. Milk - 1/2 cup
  9. lukewarm water- 2 cups
  10. Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp

What to do:

  1. Take flour, salt, caster sugar, solid milk, instant yeast, clarified butter, cream, egg and milk powder in a bowl.
  2. Add lukewarm water to the contents and knead a dough. Cover the dough with a wet cloth and keep it aside for 1 hour.
  3. Now make fist sized balls from the dough and roll it out into doughs.
  4. Grease a baking dish with butter. Place the sheermal on the baking dish and cover it with plastic sheet.
  5. Now bake the sheermal in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Brush milk on the sheemals and sprinkle sesame seeds for flavour.
  7. This dish basically tastes like sweet naan. You can have Sheermal with beef nihari or any other meat curry.

Image Source

Daal Ke Kebab - a protein-rich snack, this savoury is enjoyed during both suhoor and iftaar.

What you need:

  1. Chana or Masoor or Moong dal - 1 cup 
  2. Finely chopped green chilies  - 4 
  3. Coriander leaves finely chopped - 1/2 bunch 
  4. Mint leaves finely chopped - 1/2 bunch 
  5. Crushed & roasted cumin - 1 tbsp 
  6. Crushed red chilies -1 tbsp
  7. Rice flour 3-4 tbsp
  8. Eggs beaten - 2
  9. Black pepper - 1 tsp
  10. Oil
  11. Salt to taste

What to do:

  1. First soak daal in water and boil until tender. Cool and coarsely grind in a blender.
  2. Add green chilies, coriander leaves, mint leaves, cumin, red chilies, rice flour, black pepper and salt to the daal mix. Blend it nicely.
  3. Make round/oval shaped kebabs and dip into the beaten eggs.
  4. Shallow fry in a pan until golden
  5. Serve hot

Image Source

Dahi Murg Kebab - a melt-in-your-mouth patty of chicken and curds.

What you need:

  1. Boneless chicken - 1/2 kg
  2. Curds - 500 gms 
  3. Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp 
  4. Finely chopped green chilies - 8 
  5. Crushed red chili  - 1 tbsp 
  6. lemons - 4 
  7. Crushed black pepper - 1 tsp
  8. Bihari kebab masala - 2 tbsp 
  9. Raw papaya paste - 1 tbsp 
  10. Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 cup
  11. Salt to taste

What to do:

  1. Mix all ingredients except ghee in big bowl and leave aside for to marinate to let the masala to soak in properly.
  2. Next mix ghee and cook till chicken is tender.
  3. When water dries, put 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and put on simmer. Serve hot.

Image Source

Date & Walnut Kheer - a sweet ending to a hearty meal.

What you need:

  1. Milk - 1 litre 
  2. Dates - 500 gm
  3. Sugar - 1/2 cup 
  4. Chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup 
  5. Oatmeal - 3 tbsp 
  6. Roasted almonds - 4 tbsp 
  7. Cream - 300 ml 
  8. Water - 2 cups 

What to do:

  1. Boil dates in water on low flame until soft. let it cool.
  2. Mix in blender with milk and make a thick paste.
  3. Heat remaining milk in a pan on low flame.  
  4. Add sugar, date paste, oatmeal, walnuts and almonds in the milk and bring to boil.
  5. Remove and let it cool
  6. Garnish with cream and almonds and serve.