By Myra Ahmed
Pakistan LOVES food! The cuisine is famous for its rich and unique flavours and Ramadan brings out a whole new range of foods - from delectable chaats to rich pakoras. We rounded up the most popular Iftar and Suhoor treats for you to enjoy!
Suhoor, usually referred to as 'Sehri' in Pakistan, is the meal Muslims have at sunrise, or Fajr, after which they fast until sunset. People have varying preferences on what they eat at this time, but there are a few common Pakistani meals. One of these is Parathas; a thick, fluffy bread cooked slowly on an open flame. While it may seem a simple food to make, mothers would argue that it takes years of expertise to form the perfect paratha! Commonly eaten at Suhoor as well is Halwa Puri. Light, airy puris paired with a spicy and tart chickpea and potato curry; a treat to savour. Islam also greatly emphasises the importance of minimising waste, hence, many households make use of their leftovers from the night before.
At Maghrib, or sunset, Muslims break their fasts. Most Muslims will begin with a date, then some water followed by snacks before prayer. In Pakistan too, this tradition is followed however, instead of water, many tend to drink Rooh Afzah: a refreshing rose-flavoured drink. Dahi Baray is a true Ramadan favourite and consists of fried lentil pakoras enveloped in a tangy yogurt and chutney mixture. Chana Chaat and Fruit Chaat are concoctions of fruits and vegetables mixed with chickpeas and juices or chutneys.Pakoras, samosas, spring rolls and masala fries are also commonly eaten during the Holy Month.
It is clear that food is a huge part of the Pakistani Ramadan. However, it is important to remember that many families in Pakistan, as well as worldwide, sadly cannot afford such a luxurious table-spread and it is our responsibility to bring the spirit of Ramadan closer to them. We encourage our readers to donate to charities, provide for the needy and do whatever they can to support such families as this is what the Holy Month of Ramadan is all about: giving.