Ramadan 2024, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, is a time of fasting, reflection, and spiritual growth. As the sun sets and the day’s fast comes to an end, the iftar meal becomes a moment of gratitude, togetherness, and indulgence. To kick off Ramadan 2024 in style, here’s a delicious menu to delight your family and friends on the first day! When is Ramadan 2024?
- Dates and Water: Begin with the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by breaking your fast with fresh dates and water. This not only follows tradition but also provides an immediate energy boost.
- Lentil Soup: A hearty, nutritious starter, this soup is packed with proteins and fibers. Add a dash of lemon and fresh coriander for extra zest.
- How to make Lentil Soup:
Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentil soup is a hearty and nutritious dish that’s not only a staple during Ramadan but enjoyed year-round in many cultures. Here’s a simple and classic recipe for you:
- 1 cup dried lentils (green or brown)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Fresh coriander or parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Instructions fo Lentil Soup for the first day of Ramadan 2024
- Preparation: Rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold water and drain. This helps remove any dirt or debris.
- Sauté Vegetables: In a large pot, heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are softened – about 4-5 minutes.
- Add Spices & Garlic: Stir in the minced garlic, ground cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the spices release their aroma.
- Lentils & Broth: Add the rinsed lentils, diced tomatoes (if using), bay leaf, and broth to the pot. Stir to combine everything.
- Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Seasoning: Once the lentils are cooked through, add salt, black pepper, and lemon juice. Adjust the seasonings according to your preference.
- Optional – Blend: If you prefer a smoother texture, you can blend half the soup using a blender or an immersion blender and then combine it back with the rest of the soup.
- Serve: Remove the bay leaf. Pour the soup into bowls, garnish with freshly chopped coriander or parsley, and serve with a slice of lemon on the side if desired.
Note: Lentil soup is versatile. You can add other ingredients like spinach, potatoes, or bell peppers for variation. It’s also freezer-friendly, so you can make a big batch and store portions for later use.
Enjoy your delicious and nourishing lentil soup!
2. Main Course for first day of Ramadan 2024
- Chicken Biryani: A classic favorite, this aromatic rice dish infused with spices, tender chicken pieces, and fragrant saffron will surely be a hit. Pair it with a side of cooling raita.
How to cook Chicken Biryani?
Chicken Biryani Recipe
Biryani is a rich and aromatic rice dish that’s loved in many parts of the world, especially in India, Pakistan, and the Middle East. Making a good biryani requires a bit of time and precision, but the results are well worth it. Here’s a classic chicken biryani recipe:
Ingredients of Chicken Biryani For the first day of Ramadan 2024
For the Chicken Marination:
- 500g chicken, cut into pieces
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons biryani masala or garam masala
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Fresh coriander and mint leaves, chopped
- 2 green chilies, slit
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-3 cloves
- 2-3 green cardamom pods
For the Biryani:
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cooking oil or ghee
- Saffron strands soaked in warm milk (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons ghee for layering
- Marinate the Chicken: Mix all the ingredients for the chicken marination in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and coat them well with the marinade. Let it rest for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight in the refrigerator.
- Prepare the Rice: Wash the Basmati rice several times until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked rice, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom. Cook the rice until it’s 70% done (it should still have a bite to it). Drain the water and set the rice aside.
- Fry the Onions: In a deep pan or pot, heat the cooking oil or ghee. Add the thinly sliced onions and fry until they’re golden brown and crispy. Remove half of the fried onions and set aside for garnishing.
- Cook the Chicken: In the same pot with the remaining onions, add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add the marinated chicken. Cook the chicken on medium heat until it’s fully cooked, and the oil/ghee starts to separate.
- Layer the Biryani: Once the chicken is cooked, layer the 70% cooked rice over the chicken. Add the ghee, remaining fried onions, and the saffron milk (if using) on top.
- Cook on Dum (Steam): Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. You can also seal it with dough to ensure no steam escapes. Cook on low heat for about 25-30 minutes. This slow cooking process infuses the flavors of the chicken into the rice.
- Serve: Carefully mix the biryani from the bottom up so you get both chicken and rice in each serving. Serve hot with raita, salad, and boiled eggs if desired.
- Fattoush Salad: A refreshing mix of crispy pita bread, fresh vegetables, and tangy sumac dressing. It’s light and complements the main dishes perfectly.
- Falafel with Tahini Sauce: These crispy chickpea balls are both tasty and filling. Serve with a side of creamy tahini sauce for dipping.
4. Desserts for first day of ramadan
- Kunafa: This cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup is a delightful way to end your meal. Topped with crushed pistachios, it’s a dessert that epitomizes the richness of Ramadan.
- Qatayef: A special Ramadan pancake filled with sweet cheese or nuts, this treat is a must-try.
5. Refreshing Beverages for first day of ramadan
- Minty Lemonade: After a long day of fasting, rejuvenate with a glass of cool minty lemonade. It’s both refreshing and hydrating.
- Rose Sherbet: A traditional drink, its sweet and floral notes are perfect for the holy month.
Ramadan 2024 Tip: Always remember to balance your iftar meal. Include proteins, carbs, and plenty of veggies. Stay hydrated and avoid overindulging.
Celebrate the commencement of Ramadan 2024 with this curated menu. The combination of traditional favorites and new dishes will ensure your first iftar is both memorable and delicious. Enjoy your meal and Ramadan Mubarak!