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5 Easy Iftar Recipes You Must Try This Ramadan

5 Easy Iftar Recipes You Must Try This Ramadan

With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, alongside seeking to reap its spiritual rewards, we also often look for some inspiration in the kitchen. What’s a better way to spend a quarantined Iftar than trying out these simple, easy yet deliciously mouthwatering recipes for you and your family?

Here are 5 of my recommended Iftar recipes:

1. Mumma’s Chicken and Mushroom pie

Nothing like a hearty chicken pie, that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face (and your stomach). For this you’ll need:

Ingredients:

For chicken and mushroom mix:

  • 4-5 tbsp oil
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 500g boneless chicken cubes
  • 350g mushrooms
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric

For white bechamel sauce:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 large mug warm milk

For the topping:

  • Ready roll puff pastry sheet or block
  • 1 egg

Method: 

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees
  • In a large saucepan, add your oil and allow to heat up on a medium heat
  • Add chicken cubes and seasoning/spices.
  • Cook chicken through, evaporate the juices and set aside.
  • In a separate pan, add butter. Slice your mushrooms and add. Sautee until cooked and mix in with the cooked chicken. 
  • For the white sauce, in a pan, add butter. Once melted, add plain flour and whisk to form a thick paste. 
  • Warm up a large mug of milk and add slowly, whisking it at the same time.
  • Add salt and pepper and allow to thicken by bringing it to a boil. 
  • Once thick like a smoothie texture, sieve into the chicken and mushroom mix to prevent any lumps – your pie filling is now ready. 
  • In a ceramic or pyrex pie dish, add your chicken mushroom filling. 
  • Flour the surface and roll out your pastry large enough to cover your pie dish. The thickness of the pastry must be to the height of a £1 coin.
  • Cover the pie dish and seal around the edges by roughly pressing the pastry against the dish.
  • Poke holes to allow steam out whilst cooking, make a little design on top with leftover pastry (optional).
  • Cover in whipped egg wash and cook until pastry is golden brown
  • Serve with your favourite greens and potatoes done any way you like! 

2.  Honey sriracha salmon

A simple and healthy fish dish with a zingy twist.

Ingredients: 

  • Salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp oil 

For the dressing: (makes 2 fillets)

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • ½ lime – juiced 

Method:

  • In a pan, on a low to medium heat, add oil and allow to heat up.
  • Add salmon fillets, skin side down and allow to cook. 
  • Check salmon regularly to make sure it is not sticking to the pan.
  • When you can see the salmon’s colour changing, carefully flip over so the other side can cook.
  • Similarly, flip the fillets on their sides to cook the remainder of the fish. 
  • Just before plating your salmon, pour dressing over the fillets in the hot pan and baste for a couple of minutes allowing the sauce to heat up.
  • If you don’t like the skin, you can remove it at this point.
  • Your honey sriracha salmon is ready – to be served with a side of mixed veg or salad of your choice. 

3. Red lentil curry – Dhaal

The ultimate south Asian comfort food. This delightful yet simple dish is perfect to eat at the end of your fast. For this recipe you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 200g red split lentils
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds or powder
  • 500ml boiling water

For tempering:

  • 75 ml oil
  • 5-6 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion

Method:

  • Wash the lentils and strain. Add to a deep saucepan.
  • On a medium heat, add boiling water and seasoning/spices and mix well.
  • Stir from time to time, allowing the mixture to heat up and combine.
  • Continue stirring until it becomes a soup-like texture. 
  • Add more water or reduce if you feel there isn’t enough water or there is too much. 
  • The lentils should be well dissolved in the pan and smooth – not thick or gloopy. 
  • For the tempering, you’ll need a small shallow saucepan. Add oil and heat on a low to medium heat.
  • Slice onion and add. Fry until light golden brown. 
  • Now slice the garlic cloves and add to the hot oil. Cook until golden brown
  • NB: the onion and garlic cook at different rates, be careful not to burn either. 
  • The tempered onions and garlic should be ready, add to the lentils including oil and mix thoroughly
  • Your dhaal is now ready. Serve with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander and fluffy white rice.

4. Spaghetti Bolognese

This classic dish is a winner at any iftar. For this you’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg minced lamb or beef
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or powder
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • Oil
  • 500 ml bolognese or pasta sauce
  • 500 g spaghetti or pasta shells of your choice!

Method: 

  • In a large pan, add a drizzle of oil on a medium heat.
  • Dice your onions, ginger, garlic and sautee until brown.
  • To you pan, add the minced meat and cook thoroughly until brown. 
  • At this stage you can taste the minced meat mix and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Add you bolognese or pasta sauce to the pan and mix.
  • In a separate pan, add your spaghetti or pasta to boiling water, with a dash of oil. 
  • Cook until soft and drain, leaving a little water to add to your bolognese mix. 
  • Your spaghetti bolognese is now ready. Do you mix your pasta and bolognese or have it separately? You can top it with grated cheese (optional) and you’re ready to dig in!

Now… Did anybody say cake?

5. Simple Sponge Cake

What iftar meal is complete without dessert to end it off? This super easy sponge recipe is so versatile and the perfect accompaniment to your cup of chai.

Ingredients:

  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 225 g butter (room temp)
  • 4 eggs

Method:

  • Heat your oven to 180 degree (160 fan/gas mark 4).
  • In a mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar and mix well until well fluffed and combined.
  • Whisk in the eggs, one by one, until well combined.
  • Sift in the flour and fold in until well combined
  • You should have a thick-ish cake batter.
  • At this point you can keep the sponge plain, or you can add chocolate chips or the zest of a lemon to make it interesting.
  • Spoon the mixture into a cake tin and bake for 45-50 mins.
  • To know your cake is done, poke it with a toothpick or knife, it should come out clean.
  • You beautiful sponge cake is now ready!
  • For a delicious lemon drizzle cake, combine 85g of caster sugar and the juice of 1 ½ lemon. Prick the cake and pour over whilst still warm.
  • You can also have the cake with whipped cream and an array of fresh strawberries and raspberries.

These recipes are not only wonderfully easy to make, they are slightly kinder to your waistline too. Your iftar meals can be simple, easy and still satisfy you after a long day of fasting. 

May this holy month bring you many blessings, remembering those who are less fortunate and those who have passed. May we reach our goals this month, seeking closeness to God and asking for His forgiveness.

Ramadhan Mubarak to you and your families. 

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