Vegetarian dishes for Ramadan

Posted · 24th May 2015
Vegetarian food for ramadan
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Cauldron Foods and Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic holy calendar, when Muslims abstain from food and drink during daylight hours for one month, as an act of worship. This year, Ramadan started on June 17th so Cauldron’s Ultimate Guide To Street Food is exploring the Middle Eastern flavours that fasting vegetarians can look forward to as the sun begins to set.

We’ve been speaking to Palestinian-British restaurateur and foodie, Joudie Kalla, who shares her tips and a recipe for vegetarians at iftar, the time at sunset when the fast is broken.

Falafel choices for Ramadan

Joudie said: “Ramadan is hard, but when Ramadan falls in the summer, it’s even harder, as the sun goes down very late in the UK. But it’s no more difficult for vegetarians than it is for meat eaters. Palestinian cuisine enjoys some really hearty vegetarian dishes that satisfy even the biggest of appetites. We have a delicious garlicky chickpea dish called Msabaha and a chilli broad bean dish called Ful Mudammas. It’s topped with olive oil and usually served with toasted flat bread. Both are perfect Ramadan dishes.

Joudie is paying homage to her mother and aunt’s traditional Palestinian recipes through the creation of an app called Palestine on a Plate. Her simple but delicious dishes are beautifully photographed and easy to recreate.

“Palestinian food is wonderful for vegetarians. Approximately 35% of the people who use my app are vegetarians and they’ve told me how varied, flavourful and delicious Palestinian food is. Our food is typically 60% vegetarian and we love to make vegetarian food at home, such as freekeh soup and dandelion leaves with sumac and pomegranates.

“We also love street food dishes such as falafel and manaeeswh with zaatar (flatbread with Middle Eastern seasoning). We cook these at home, but there is something so authentic about getting them from a street food vendor.”

If you’ve tried Palestinian cuisine and would like to break the fast with other Middle Eastern delights you could try:

  • Mujadarra – a Lebanese dish with lentils, rice and onions
  • Tabbouleh – a Lebanese salad with tomatoes and fresh herbs
  • Qatayef – an Arabic pancake filled with sweet cheese and nuts

For more vegetarian Ramadan inspiration with a Middle Eastern twist, check out Cauldron’s Middle Eastern recipes or check our Jodie’s special recipe for Hindbeh.

The key to making it through Ramadan is to eat meals which keep you fuller for longer and that’s true for vegetarians and meat eaters. Stock up on good fats like oils and nuts, go for whole grains like brown rice and quinoa and have plenty of protein like tofu, for a happy Ramadan.

Also check out Joudie’s blog, which documents her supper club adventures and shares her opinions on the turbulent political landscape in the Middle East, and how that has had an impact on the food in the region.

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