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Ramadan is a time of self-restraint, discipline, community service, generosity, and worship. It’s the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is only a few weeks away. Many Muslims worldwide celebrate this month-from the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, etc. Since Ramadan is an obligatory worship, different countries have their specific Ramadan special. In this write-up, we’ll be exploring the various traditional Ramadan dishes around the world.

Food plays a massive role in Ramadan, as the day starts with a pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and a meal after sunset (Iftar). The Muslim society is diverse, and each community enjoys certain traditional dishes in their culture. We’ll choose a Ramadan dish peculiar to each country, so let’s go!

Indonesia: Lapis Legit

Indonesia has one of the largest Muslim populations worldwide. Their diverse ethnic groups and cultural influences have contributed to Indonesian traditional cuisines. A distinctive dessert that can pass for their Ramadan special is the Lapis Legit. It’s a time-consuming recipe that requires more than fifteen layers. Some of its ingredients include egg yolks, cinnamon, cloves, butter, etc.

Yemen: Aseeda

Aseeda is a porridge popular during Ramadan in Yemen. It’s a side dish that’s popularly enjoyed throughout the Arab countries. Also, it’s made of soft wheat flour and served with seasoned chicken broth. There are other versions of the porridge in Morocco, where it’s served with honey and butter.

Morocco: Harira

Harira is a type of soup that’s a favorite appetizer in Morocco. It’s served chiefly for Iftar and prepared with lemon, chickpeas, and plenty of seasonings. It’s a comfort food that helps to rejuvenate and rehydrate your body system after a day of fasting. Likewise, it’s mostly served with couscous as a grain addition.

Turkey: Ramazan Pidesi

Ramazan Pidesi is fluffy leavened bread that many people queue for during Ramadan. It’s baked in the numerous bakeries that overflow on the streets of Istanbul and decorate them with sesame seeds and conspicuous indentations. The dish is usually served with cheese, labneh, jam and Turkish coffee.

Somalia: Cambaabur

The Somali have a Ramadan special called Somali Eid bread. However, they eat it at the end of Ramadan. It’s usually served during Eid and has a similar texture to the Ethiopian flatbread. Somali bread is typically served with yogurt and sugar sprinkled on top. The dough often contains garlic, cumin, onion, turmeric and other spices.

Egypt: Qatayef

Qatayef is an indication that Ramadan has arrived in Egypt. The sweets are mainly eaten during Ramadan and extend to the Middle East and North Africa. Qatayef is a pancake made from semolina, flour, and yeast cooked ONLY one side. There are two variations of this dish.

The first has a clotted cream stuffing drizzled with honey and topped with dried nuts. The second variation is when the pancake is fried and drenched in sugar syrup. Qatayef is frequently served fresh at home.

Palestine: Knafeh

Knafeh is a popular confection in the Middle East. It’s one of the traditional fishes around the world. There are several claims that it originated from Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, although these claims have yet to be vetted. Meanwhile, Knafeh is a sumptuous dish with a floral aroma and sweet taste.

The mozzarella cheese serves as the base, and it’s topped with phyllo and baked till it’s golden. Rose and orange syrup is drizzled over the baked Knafeh and topped with crushed pistachios.

Iran: Zoolbia

Looking for traditional Ramadan dishes around the world? Try Zoolbia. Zoolbia is a South Asian cuisine that is similar to the Indian jalebi and uses the same ingredients. It’s made from yogurt, saffron, baking powder batter that has fermented for an hour, flour, and it’s dipped into hot oil.

After frying, the Zoolbia is drenched in a rose sugar syrup to get a sweet and crunchy flavor. Zoolbia is usually served with bamieh (a doughnut-like pastry) and tea. The dish is comforting and gives the best flavor during the festive period.

Bangladesh: Faloodah

Bangladesh is usually hot and sunny during Ramadan, and Falooda is handy during this period. It’s a refreshing, sweet drink made from sweetened milk, rose syrup, jello, basil seeds, tapioca pearls, chopped nuts and sweet vermicelli noodles.

It’s served in a glass and topped with more nuts, saffron strands and vanilla ice cream. Falooda is a blend of different ingredients to get the best flavour, and it’s perfect for dessert after a day of fasting.

United Arab Emirates: Chebab

The UAE’s status depicts that it’s one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Their restaurant scene also reflects this in their diverse culinary delights. The UAE also has a rich culinary history, and the Chebab can be considered as their Ramadan Special.

Emirati Cheb, as it’s often called, is one of the traditional Ramadan dishes worldwide. It’s a fluffy pancake made from cardamom, warm milk, and blended saffron and cooked on a hot pan. The pancake is drizzled with honey or date syrup to get the right flavor.

Final Thoughts

We’ve explored the different traditional Ramadan dishes around the world. You can experiment with any of these dishes and get a taste.