Ramadan Recipes

Though the tradition is to break the fast after the sunset with the dates and water or the apricot drink, followed by a soup like lentil and a salad like fattoush, the meal may be good dish. Given here are recipes to make your Ramadan dishes more delicious, yet without being too gorgeous. Even these dishes including the desserts fit well with the Eid-Day mood.

Syrian Bread | Black Glutinous Rice Porridge | Spicy Pakistani Zucchini | Jarjeer Salad | Fig and Lemon Chicken |
Nutritional Lentil Soup | Moroccan soup | Beef Meatballs | Tomato Sauce | Fresh Fig Cake | Rich Semolina Cookies

Syrian Bread

Ingredients:
1) Water - 1 cup and 2 tablespoons.
2) Vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons.
3) White sugar - 1/2 teaspoon.
4) Salt - 1 1/2 teaspoons
5) All-purpose flour - 3 cups.
6) Active dry yeast - 1 1/2 teaspoons.
7) A bread machine.
8) Kitchen knife.

Instructions:
1) Put all the ingredients properly in the pan of the bread machine in the order advocated by the manufacturer. Choose Dough cycle and push on the Start button.
2) Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
3) When the dough rises, take it out and spread onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out and cut into eight equal pieces.
4) Roll and form the dough pieces into smaller dough bits. Cover these with a damp cloth and keep aside for sometime.
5) Now spread and roll the dough bits into thin flat circles of about 4" radius.
6) Place the dough circles (two at a time) on preheated baking sheets/baking stone. Cook for five minutes, or until they puff up and turn golden brown. Cook all the remaining loaves in similar manner. Serve hot.

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Black Glutinous Rice Porridge

Ingredients:
1) Water - 1 2/3 cups
2) A pandan leaf
3) Black glutinous rice - 3/4 cup.
4) Brown sugar - 1/2 cup.
5) White sugar - 1/4 cup.
6) Coconut milk - 2 cups.
7) A medium-sized saucepan.

Instructions:
1) Pour water into the saucepan. Add the water and the pandan leaf. Bring to a boil.
2) Add rice to the mixture. Stir with a ladle. Turn down heat, put a cover over the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
3) Take out the pandan leaf. Add in brown sugar and white sugar. Stir with the ladle and cook for 5 minutes.
4) Add in the coconut milk. Take away from heat. Serve hot.

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Spicy Pakistani Zucchini

Ingredients:
1) Cooking oil - 1/4 cup.
2) Onion - 1, thinly sliced.
3) Zucchini(Small cucumber-shaped vegetable marrow) - 6, peeled, seeded and cut into semicircles
4) Salt - 1/2 teaspoon.
5) Water - 2 cups.
6) Chili powder - 2 teaspoons.
7) Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon, grounded.
8) Garlic powder - 1/2 teaspoon.
9) Coriander seed - 1 teaspoon, grounded.

10) 3 whole cloves
11) Whole peppercorns - 6 or 7.
12) Tomatoes - 4, chopped.
13) Plain yogurt - 2 1/2 tablespoons.

Also needed:

1) A skillet,
2) A ladle (to stir).

Instructions:
1) Peel the zucchini, take the seeds out and cut into semicircular pieces.
2) Pour oil into the skillet and heat in medium temperature. Add in onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden.
3) Next, pour in all the other ingredients and stir with a ladle. Turn down heat to LOW and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.

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Jarjeer Salad

Ingredients: 1) A bunch of arugula.
2) Onion - 2, thinly sliced.
3) Mushrooms - 1 cup, chopped finely.
4) Tomato - 1, diced.
5) Refined olive oil - 1 teaspoon.
6) Lemon - 1/2, juiced.
7) Sumac - 2 teaspoons.
8) Salt to taste

Also needed:
Kitchen knife, a large plate.

Instructions:
1) Wash the arugula leaves and dry thoroughly.
2) Place the leaves on the plate. Place onions, mushrooms and tomato in layers on top.
3) Add in olive oil, lemon juice and sumac. Whisk together with a spoon.
4) Add salt for taste. Serve with other food items.

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Fig and Lemon Chicken

Chicken thighs roasted with figs and lemon slices in a lemon, vinegar and brown sugar glaze. Yet it's easy and delicious.

Ingredients:
12 chicken thighs
2 lemons, 1 sliced, 1 halved
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 pounds dried figs
salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions
Preheat the chicken thighs in oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Squeeze juices from halved lemon into a small bowl, then stir in brown sugar, vinegar and water; set aside.
Place figs and sliced lemon segments in the bottom of an 11x16 inch baking/roasting dish. Arrange chicken thighs on top, then pour vinegar mixture over chicken. Finally, sprinkle with salt and dried parsley to taste.
Bake/roast at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 50 minutes, basting frequently (turn figs if they begin to brown).
With a slotted spoon, remove chicken, figs and lemon slices from baking dish and place on a warm platter. Skim fat from cooking juices, then pour over chicken as sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings

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Nutritional Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
6 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (19 ounce) can cannelloni beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried mixture of cloves and cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions
In large pot sauté; the onions, garlic, and ginger in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
Add the water, lentils, chick peas, white kidney beans, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, clove, bits of cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne pepper and cumin. Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer, until the lentils are soft.
Puree half the soup in a food processor or blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir and enjoy! This is a highly balanced food with protein, minerals, and fiber. Makes 6 plus servings.

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Moroccan soup

Ingredients:
1 lb. lamb, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped celery and leaves
2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley and cilantro, chopped
1 2-lb. can of tomatoes, chopped
salt
3/4 cup lentils
1 cup chickpeas (canned are fine)
1/4 cup fine soup noodles
2 eggs, beaten with the juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions
Put the lamb, spices, butter, celery, onion, and parsley/cilantro in a large soup pot and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomato pieces, and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. Salt lightly.
Add the juice from the tomatoes, 7 cups of water, and the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
When ready to serve, add the chickpeas and noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Then, with the soup at a steady simmer, stir the lemony eggs into the stock with a long wooden spoon. Continue stirring slowly, to create long egg strands and to thicken the soup. Season to taste. ladle into bowls and dust with cinnamon. Then there's always those little bowls of extra lemon juice for you inveterate sour pusses.
Now a little attention to the desserts which plays a very important role in the season, both during the Ramadan fast and also on the day of the great Eid feast.

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Beef Meatballs

Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons grated Italian cheese (Parmesan and/or Romano)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 cup cool milk
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Directions:
Mix ingredients in given order one by one. After completely mixed by hand, let stand for at least 20 minutes. Form into meatballs (golf ball size) and fry slowly until golden brown. Do not turn until completely done on one side and do not crowd pan. If not using teflon pan, cook in 2 tablespoons oil.

To make it taste real mouthwatering dunk it in rich tomato sauce. Here is the tip for such a yummy sauce:

Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
No 2-1/2 can Italian Tomatoes
2 6 oz cans tomato paste
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:
Saute onion and garlic in butter for 5 minutes. Crush tomatoes into medium pieces. Add all ingredients except baking soda, mushrooms, and meat balls. Simmer in covered saucepan for one hour. Stir sauce often and keep heat low. Add browned meatballs and simmer 30 minutes. During last 15 minutes add mushrooms. During last 10 minutes add baking soda. If sauce is too thick, add water. If sauce is too thin, cook uncovered for 15 minutes.

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Fresh Fig Cake

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup chopped fresh figs
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups chopped fresh figs
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray two 8-inch round cake pans
with vegetable oil spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the evaporated milk. Fold in vanilla and almond extracts and chopped figs.
Divide into two prepared 8 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.

To make the filling: In a saucepan, combine 2 cups figs, brown sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. Spread thinly between layers of cake and on top.

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Rich Semolina Cookies:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup clarified butter
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon orange flower water
30 blanched almonds

Directions
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, and semolina and set aside.
Beat the butter for at least 10 minutes until it is fluffy. Then beat 2 more minutes while sprinkling in the blossom water and confectioners' sugar.
Fold in the flour mixture gradually. Then refrigerate the soft dough in covered bowl for about 10 minutes.
With the help of a diamond shaped cookie cutter, shape the dough into 1 inch sided diamonds and place them 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Then place an almond in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in an oven preheated to around 275 degrees F. Do not overbake. Let the cookies cool for at least an hour. They are best served when cooled for several hours.
Makes 2 dozen

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