Shorba is a lentil soup popular in the Middle East. Also known as Arabic lentil soup, this nutritious mix of vegetables and protein is a nice way to ease the stomach into breaking the Ramadan fast before indulging in heavier dishes.
Present on many Middle Eastern tables during the month of Ramadan (and year round), kibbe are small fried dumplings stuffed with meat. The dough is made from bulgur wheat, which has a pleasant chewy texture perfect for frying.
4. Keema Samosa
Keema samosas are very popular in India as an iftar treat. These fritters are filled with minced mutton meat and contain an aromatic blend of spices including garam masala, ginger, chilies and mint.
5. Afghani Bolani
This stuffed flatbread from Afghanistan is similar to Indian paratha. It is usually stuffed with potatoes, onions and herbs and may be baked or fried. It can be enjoyed in the morning for suhoor, or for iftar.
This home-style stew has become an iftar favourite thanks to its nutritious blend of mutton meat slow-cooked with cracked wheat, spices and lentils.
7. Ful Medammes
At Ramadan tables across North Africa and the Middle East, you’ll often find this fava bean puree known as Ful Medammes. It is similar to hummus in texture, and flavoured with garlic, olive oil and tahini.
Kebabs of all sorts are popular at iftar meals. Some kebabs feature ground meat wrapped around an iron rod (such as Pakistan’s seekh kebabs), while other kebabs are made from chunky pieces of meat grilled to perfection. Here's everything you need to know about kebabs.
In Bangladesh, a typical Ramadan meal features beguni, a dish composed of eggplant slices that are battered and fried until golden. These are typically served over rice.
10. Dahi Vada
Popular in India, these lentil dumplings are soaked in a yogurt sauce laced with spices and chilies. They are a very refreshing iftar dish.
Nutrition is an important part of Ramadan, and the fresh vegetables in this popular Lebanese salad are very nourishing, while the crisp pita bread adds a welcome crunch.
Popular in India and throughout the subcontinent, pakoras are decadent fritters made with a combination of vegetables. They may also be prepared with paneer (Indian cheese), seafood, chicken or meat.
13. Fresh Fruit Salad
Hydrating, sweet and satisfying, fresh fruit is a must at any Ramadan table. Fresh fruit may be enjoyed during the morning meal of suhoor or evening iftar.
14. Kunafa (Kunafeh)
A delicious pastry made with phyllo dough that looks like shredded wheat. It is irresistibly crunchy and may be stuffed with cheese, nuts or custard. It is very popular in Jordan and neighbouring Middle Eastern countries.
This Mediterranean pastry featuring layers of nuts, honey and phyllo dough is best enjoyed on the last day of Ramadan, a celebration known as Eid al-Fitr.
This sweet and tasty dessert is popular in Indonesia for breaking the Ramadan fast. It is made from a combination of palm sugar, coconut milk and the leaf of a tropical tree known as pandanus. At times it may include other sweet ingredients such as bananas or sweet potato.
This humble Indian rice pudding is laced with cardamom and gets the royal treatment during Ramadan with a sprinkle of rose water.
18. Umm Ali
This beloved Egyptian bread pudding features an enticing combination of bread or phyllo dough, cream, milk, nuts and cinnamon. It is made even more festive with a sprinkle powdered sugar, coconut flakes and raisins. Fun fact: the dessert’s name literally means 'mother of Ali' in Arabic.
Just one taste and you’ll be hooked on this refreshing drink popular in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East. It is made from dates, rose water and grape molasses, and served topped with pine nuts.
20. Tamer Hindi
This sweet and sour juice is made from tamarind pulp (which is pleasantly tart), sugar and water. It is often dressed up with a slice of lime and served over plenty of ice.