Iftaar in Ramadan, opening the fast.


Last two days the humidity has gone so high ! Its unbearable to leave the comfort of the airconditioner.  And so the drill has already set in .. Packing meals, school runs, homework and yeah, getting exhausted by Iftaar. 

For my dear Non muslim friends, iftaar is the time at dusk when we open our fast. Iftah in arabic means  “to Open” All Muslims, all over the world will open their fast with a glass of water and three dates.  However what follows is different for every community.

Every year I promise myself that we wont have any deep fried snacks for iftaar and within the first two fasts, this resolution evaporates high in thin air ! Why ? Coz we Indian/Pak Muslims love to have something savory and fried for breaking our fast !!! These days its just three dishes for iftaar. Bhajias or Phulkees are fritters. Could be potato, onions, chillies, cauliflower or even eggs, rolled in a paste of chickpea paste. I have a special recipe for fruit chaat, which is a family secret, but it is the Ratatoiulle of every party ! And ofcourse some water melon is a Must. Fruits are always encouraged, they are light and nutrious, So is yoghurt or Laban.  Apart from these there, are occasional samoosas or tuna kebabs or cutlets or chick pea chaat.  Thats precisely the reason why dinner is very late, ie after Sam comes back from Taravih prayer.   However the arabs have a different tradition, they open their fast with very light snacks followed almost immediately after Magreb prayer by their meal. I have always fancied that way and we have infact tried it out several times, but somehow, my craving gets the better of me by midnight ! 

The other day, we were discussing how in some homes in Old Delhi, people still have full fledge meals for Imsak or Sehri. That is the time just before dawn, before fajr, when we start our fast after eating something light. We have been having oatmeal poridge or some cornflakes and both of us are content, however one sehri we had left over Curry, and Gawd the acidity it caused ! All said and done, Ramadan is the best time to eat healthy and stay healthy provided we dont start eating the wrong kinds of food, during the time, we can eat.   

Would you like to share how you open your fast in the different parts of the world ?

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