As with any major holiday, particularly one that is celebrated around the world by people of many different cultures, I cannot rightly say that there is any one way that people eat for Ramadan. However, I do know that some people have very specific ideas of what iftar (the meal to break the fast) must include. Both my neighbor and my language tutor outlined for me the items that are absolutely essential for a proper Ramadan meal:
- A green salad (tabbouleh, fattoush, or a lettuce-based salad)
- Borek or sambousek (fried pastries filled with cheese or meat)
- Two or three other appetizers/side dishes
- A main meat dish including either rice or pasta
And I am not supposed to serve the same thing two days in a row! Ummm…right. No wonder most of the women I know will, when pressed, admit that they dread Ramadan; their kitchen workload increases dramatically, as well as their food expenses. Normally a woman would only prepare one or two dishes in large enough quantities to last two or even three days, but now she is expected to create multiple dishes every day, even if only for herself and her husband!
For a few interesting readings on Ramadan from a less food-oriented perspective, I suggest: