Food plays a big role in celebrating Ramadan, with specialty dishes and drinks served during the Muslim fasting month.
“Drinks like Jellab, Amar al-Deen and Tamar Hindi are essential during the holy month,” Elie Bassil, project manager at Dubai-based Lebanese restaurant Abdel Wahab, told Al Arabiya.
“Foods with sauces are favored by our visitors in Ramadan. Fasters want to refill their body’s water levels after long hours of fasting,” he added.
“Sweets are considered part of reviving Ramadan traditions,” Wael Nussair, manager of Lareen Sweets, told Al Arabiya.
Breaking one’s fast “has to be followed by a dessert,” the most popular being Kunafa, Luqaimat and Atayef, Nussair added.
There are traditional dishes and drinks considered an integral part of a Ramadan meal. Below is Al Arabiya’s list of 15 of them:
1- Milk, water and dates
Muslims traditionally break their fast by consuming any of these foods, in adherence to the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, who also broke his fast this way.
2- Amar al-Deen
Sheets of apricot are cut and soaked in water for hours. The solution is then mixed with enough water to make it smooth.
3- Erk Soos
Extracts of the liquorice plant are mixed with water to make this drink that is served in Egypt and the Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria).
4- Tamar Hindi
Tamar Hindi, or Tamarind, is a sour chilled drink usually sold throughout the year in several Arab countries.
A syrup made of grape molasses mixed with rose water and sugar, then poured over ice and decorated with pine nuts.
6- Rice-based dishes
Biryani, Mansaf and Kabsas make up an integral part of Ramadan meals in several Muslim countries in Asia.
7- Stuffed vegetables
Peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, zucchinis and vine leaves are stuffed with flavored rice to make what is commonly known in the Arab world as Mahshi. It is mainly famous in Egypt and the Levant.
A North African dish of granulated semolina, served with meat, chicken, fish or vegetables.
A famous Iraqi dish of baked fish.
A popular dish in the Gulf, it consists of coarsely-ground wheat buried underground with chicken or meat.
A sweet made from spun shredded wheat. It can be filled with cream, cheese, or nuts and raisins, depending on which Arab region it comes from.
Originally famous in Egypt and the Levant, these Arabic pancakes are usually filled with cheese or nuts, and served with a sugary syrup or honey.
Small, sweet dumplings made from butter, sugar, milk and flour. They are called Luqaimat in the Gulf, Awamat in the Levant, and Zalabia in Egypt.
Soups are essential components of Ramadan meals. Chicken, lentil, vegetable and tomato soups are commonly served.
15- Salads and beans
Green salads include Fattoush and Tabbouleh. Bean dishes such as Hummus (chickpeas) and Foul (broad beans) are also common, not only because of their variety, but because they keep people full for long periods.
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