Muslims in the Middle East traditionally break their fast by snacking on nutrient-rich dates and red lentil soup, which is high in protein.

Spiced with turmeric and cumin and sweetened with cinnamon, it’s also flavored with a generous squeeze of lemon.

Like lentil soup, the savoury porridge, harees, is filling, nourishing and easy to digest. Cracked wheat is soaked overnight then usually cooked with lamb or chicken for hours, before being topped with ghee and fried onions to serve.

Thareed, another slow-cooked lamb dish, is popular in Saudi Arabia. Made with carrots and courgettes, the stew is thickened with potato and simmered in a tangy tomato, onion and garlic paste. Spices such as chilli and pepper are added alongside coriander and dried limes, before it’s served on regag flatbread.

“Ouzi is a communal dish that’s traditionally placed in the centre of the table, so it’s an essential dish that brings communities together during Ramadan.”

Over in Oman, Omani shuwa is a popular slow-cooked lamb dish served on rice.

Iftar desserts are just as heart warming, and umm Ali tops the list. Plump raisins are buried within the milky bread pudding, which is eaten in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and elsewhere. Sweetened with sugar and a hint of fragrant rosewater, it is scattered with pine nuts and vibrant sliced pistachios.

Kunafa is another naughty-but-nice dessert that’s eaten across the Gulf. Layers of shredded filo pastry and gooey, stretchy melted cheese are typically soaked in syrup, the crispy crust sprinkled with pistachios and rosewater or orange blossom syrup. It’s served warm with a dollop of clotted cream.



Suhoor dishes are often lighter than iftar ones, so expect to graze on mezze – a range of small plates such as olives, pomegranate salad and balls of pungent shanklish cheese. You can also snack on hummus and crackers sprinkled with local herbs such as sumac and zaatar.

Fragrant zaatar also features alongside labneh cheese and ground beef as a spread on manakish, flaky flatbread best served straight from the oven.. You must try it at least once this Ramadan.”

Protein-rich dishes made with eggs and meat are also popular at suhoor, as are oat-based meals which are packed with fibre and slow to digest – keeping you fuller for longer as you fast.

Thick and creamy, ful medames is a more filling dish, made with broad beans (also called fava beans) and served with hard boiled eggs. It’s particularly popular in Lebanon, Egypt and the UAE.

Look out too for staples such as biryani, beef shawarma wraps, shish taouk (chicken skewers) and chicken molokhia, a vitamin-rich stew made with jute leaves.

If you have a sweet tooth, you can finish with date walnut bread with loose leaf tea or hibiscus juice.

Qatar Safar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Best foods to Consume for Your kidneys health

Mon Apr 1 , 2024
Our kidneys are amazing organs that produce hormones essential to good health, balance electrolytes, and silently filter waste products from our blood. Chronic renal disease can be a result of poor dietary and lifestyle choices. These are 5 superfoods that are good for your kidneys that you should eat every […]