Silver Chips Online

Ramadan recipes

Break fasts with these great dishes

By Anika Manzoor, Online Managing Editor
October 4, 2007
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, requires Muslims to fast every day from sunrise to sunset as a way to gain self-discipline, self-cleansing and sympathy for those who are less fortunate. But after 12 grueling hours of fasting, it is Muslim tradition to be surrounded by loved ones and count down to sundown, when one can finally fill up with a delicious meal. Some popular dishes made during this holy month include "cholay or chana," fried chickpeas usually served within South Asian families; Qatayef, or Arab pancakes, a dessert from the Middle East that is usually filled with nuts or sweet cheese; and Haleem, a thick lentil and meat soup enjoyed in both the Middle East and South Asia.

Cholay or Chana
Preparation time about 8 hours. Cooking time about 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 8 servings.
Coriander leaves add the right touch of garnish. Anika Manzoor
Coriander leaves add the right touch of garnish.

- frying pan
- measuring cups and spoons

- 1 cup of chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of chopped onions
- 1/4 cup of turmeric juice
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 tsp of curry powder
- 1 packet of Bombay Mix or puffed rice (optional)

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight.
2. Drain the water.
3. Heat the oil in the frying pan and sauté the onions.
4. Add the chickpeas into the pan and stir.
5. Add the curry powder, turmeric and salt and continue stirring.
6. When chickpeas are fried, add sugar and serve. Mix with Bombay Mix or puffed rice for additional flavor.
7. Enjoy!

Prep time is about 1-2 hours. Cooking time is 30 minutes. Makes about 6 pancakes.

- frying pan
- mixing bowls
- measuring cups and spoons
- food processor

The filling can also serve as a delicious topping. Anika Manzoor
The filling can also serve as a delicious topping.
For pancakes:
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water or milk
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 cup of semolina
- 1/2 cup of flour
- A pinch of salt
- 3/4 teaspoons of dry wheat
- Vegetable oil
For filling:
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3-4 tsp sugar
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
For syrup:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp rose water
- 1 tsp lemon juice

1. Blend the yeast with the sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Stir until dissolves.
2. Sift the flour, seminola and salt into a warm mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and 1 cup water, stirring gradually until the batter is smooth and consistent. If it is too thick, add remaining water and stir.
3. Cover the bowl with a thick cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours until the batter rises.
4. Grease the frying pan with oil and pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, letting it spread into a round shape. Do not let it get too thick. Remove the pancake when it begins to bubble or when the bottom is slightly brown. Do not turn the pancake over. Repeat this step until all of the batter is used up. Leave to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
5. To make the syrup, stir the sugar into boiling water. Remove the foam. Add the rose water and lemon juice and let it boil until the syrup has the consistency of thin honey. Set the syrup aside to cool but do not refrigerate
6. To make the filling, grind the walnuts and mix into the cinnamon and sugar.
7. For each pancake, add a tbsp of filling in the center and close by folding down and sealing the edges.
8. Fry the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes in hot oil or until it is golden on both sides.
9. Quickly dip pancakes in syrup and serve hot.
10. Enjoy!

Cooking time 5 to 6 hours. Makes 20-25 servings.
Coriander leaves also add extra flavor to Haleem. Anika Manzoor
Coriander leaves also add extra flavor to Haleem.

- large cooking pot
- measuring cups and spoons
- toaster

- 2 lbs. of beef, mutton or lamb
- 1 cup of various lentils
- 1/2 cup of broken wheat
- 1/2 cup of rice
- 4 tbsp of salt
- 10 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of chopped ginger
- 1 cup of chopped onions
For powdered spice:
- 1 tbsp of cumin whole
- 1 tbsp of coriander
- 15 pieces of black pepper
- 6 pieces of black cloves
- 4 pieces of dried red pepper
- 21 sticks of cinnamon

1. Add all of ingredients except those for the powdered spice into the heated pot. Cook for 5 to 6 hours over low heat, stirring and adding 2 cups of water every half hour.
2. Roast the ingredients for the powdered mix in a toaster oven. Grind the mix into powder.
3. One hour before serving, combine powder mix with the contents of the pot.
4. Enjoy!