Ramadan Iftar Recipes

Planning the Iftar menu and Ramadan Iftar can be overwhelming during the day while fasting, especially if you have a revolving door of guests coming through your home during Ramadan. If you are in need of Iftar inspiration, we have got you covered! From salads and appetizers to main courses and desserts, here are some delicious    

Bechamel Baked Pasta


For the pasta

600g Penne pasta



1.5 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon black pepper

For the Bechamel sauce

1 cup flour

1 cup butter

1 L milk

1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water or 1 cup chicken stock

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the meat sauce

700 g lean ground beef

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion

2 cups tomato sauce


1. Preheat your oven to 375F.

2. Start by boiling the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. For the meat sauce, finely dice the onion and cook in a pan with the vegetable oil, stirring occasionally until softened for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the meat and break it up using a wooden spoon and cook until browned, for about 5-7 minutes.

5. Add all the spices and the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

6. Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter over medium heat.

7. Add the flour in a few tablespoons at a time and continue whisking as you do this to form a roux. Cook for 3-4 minutes as you continuously whisk.

8. Warm the milk by heating in the microwave for a few seconds until its room temperature or slightly warmer (you don’t need it to be hot). Cold milk works too but warm milk is easier to incorporate.

9. Pour the milk in slowly while continuously whisking. The sauce may look lumpy but don’t worry – keep pouring in the milk and whisking. If you feel your sauce is catching on the bottom of the pan, turn the heat down to medium low.

10. When milk is finished, add in the chicken stock and continue to whisk for 4-5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Check by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it – it should stay separated.

11. Mix the pasta with roughly 1 cup of the Bechamel sauce.

12. In a deep, large casserole dish, add a tablespoon of Bechamel sauce and spread it around, then add half the pasta.

13. Add all of the meat mixture on top and even out the layer, then add the remaining pasta.

14. Cover with all of the Bechamel sauce and smooth it out. You should have enough sauce to cover the whole thing well.

15. Cover the casserole with aluminium foil and bake at 375F for 45 mins. Uncover and broil for 15 minutes to brown the top.

16. Allow the pasta to cool for 15-20 minutes to set, then cut into pieces and enjoy.

Tabbouleh Salad


3 Parsley bunches

5 green onions

1 large tomato or 2 small ones

½ cup fine bulgur wheat

½ cup water

For the Dressing

Juice of 3 lemons about ½ cup

¼ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce per preference

1.5 tablespoons BBQ sauce

1 tablespoon sugar


1. Wash the fine bulgur wheat and soak in ½ cup of water for about 10 minutes.

2. Wash and dry all vegetables.

3. Chop the parsley very finely, along with the green onions and tomato and place in a mixing bowl.

4. Mix all the dressing ingredients together well. Taste and adjust per preference.

5. Mix the salad with the dressing well. Cover and cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving, for best results.

Chicken Machboos


4 full chicken thighs skin on, bone in

½ cup vegetable oil

3 medium onions

4 medium garlic cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

3 dry limes substitute 2 teaspoons dry lime powder 

3 bay leaves

5 green cardamom pods

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon cardamom powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon black pepper

2.5 teaspoons salt

1 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3.5 cups basmati rice long grain

4.5 cups water

⅓ cup raisins

⅓ cup slivered almonds or 

pine nuts


1. Start by preheating the oven to 400F.

2. Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic.

3. To a large non-stick pot, add the oil and heat for 1 minute. Then add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened.

4. Add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, dry lime, and bay leaves) along with the crushed garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.

5. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, using a wooden spoon to smear the paste on the bottom of the pan and caramalize it.

6. Add the ground spices (salt, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and allspice) as well as the tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes.

7. Add the washed chicken and cover them in the sauce mixture. Cover the pot and allow to cook for 20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through.

8. Wash and rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear.

9. Remove the chicken, sprinkle with extra salt and pepper (if desired) and place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. To finish cooking them, bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until juices run clear. Broil for 2 minutes to crisp the skin.

10. Add the rice to the pot along with the remaining 3.5 cups of water. Mix well but gently to incorporate the rice. Cover and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Once boiling, keep the rice covered, lower the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not uncover the rice before the 20 minutes.

11. Turn off the heat and let the rice stand for 5 minutes.

12. Toast the pine nuts in a skillet with ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium heat, stirring constantly until golden. This should take no more than 5 minutes.

13. Remove the nuts and add the raisins using the same pan. Stir on high heat for 1-2 minutes to heat through and slightly caramelize.

14. Open the pot and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve in a large dish, with the chicken legs on top and garnish with the pine nuts/almonds and raisins.

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers


For the peppers

10 medium peppers

For the stuffing

2 cups rice any type

1 onion

1 medium pepper

4 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons tomato sauce

2 tablespoons pomegranate

molasses see notes

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons oil

For the sauce

1 cup tomato sauce dry cup

3 cups water

1 stock cube vegetable or chicken

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons oil

For the garnish

Handful of parsley or mint optional

1 teaspoon seven spices

½ teaspoon cinnamon


1. Start by preheating the oven to 450F.

2. Wash and dry your peppers, then hollow them by creating a round cut around the stem 

and removing it. Also remove the seeds and any extra skin from the inside.

3. Finely dice the onion, garlic and pepper for the stuffing.

4. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together well.

5. Stuff each pepper with the stuffing about ¾ of the way through (the rice will expand).

6. Place in a dutch oven or an oven safe dish, preferably with a lid (you can also use aluminium

foil to cover).

7. Mix together the sauce ingredients well and ensure the stock cube is dissolved by using hot water.

8. Pour the sauce over the peppers, ensuring that each you pour some into each pepper then pour the rest around the peppers in the pot.

9. Cover and bake for 35 minutes.

10. After 35 minutes, uncover and baste the peppers with the sauce. Check that the rice and the peppers are soft (if not – continue baking covered for another 10 minutes).

11. Bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

12. Serve with a side salad and enjoy.

 Jajik Salad


3 small cucumbers roughly 2 cups chopped

1 cup whole plain yogurt

1.5 tablespoons dry mint or substitute with fresh

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large garlic clove

Drizzle of olive oil


1. Wash and dry the cucumber, then using a teaspoon, spoon out the seeds from the inside. This is optional but it ensures the salad doesn’t get watery, especially if you’re leaving it in the fridge for a while.

 2. Finely dice the cucumber to your desired size. If you want it to be more like a dip, you can grate the cucumber.

3. Mix together the yogurt, cucumber, mint, salt, and garlic. Taste and adjust. Raw garlic can have a strong taste, so if you’re not a fan you can skip it or use garlic powder for a more subtle taste.

4. Serve chilled with a drizzle of olive oil.



1 cup flour

1 cup fine semolina

2 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2½ cups warm water

1/4 cup ground pistachios

Simple syrup or honey for drizzling.

A batch of Ashta

    ½ teaspoon instant yeast


1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients well.

2. Add water and mix until everything is well incorporated, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. In a skillet set over medium heat, pour 2 tablespoons batter.

4. Cook until the batter has no visible wet spots you will notice bubbles forming on the surface. Do not flip.

5. Lay the pancakes, bubbles side up on a large plate or baking sheet without stacking them on top of each other or they’ll stick together, and keep them covered with a clean towel while you make the rest.

6. Allow to cool completely before filling.

7. Scoop about a teaspoon of the Ashta filling in the middle of the Qatayef.

8. Pinch the edges together sealing them two-thirds of the way. Dip the open side into ground pistachios.

9. Arrange nicely in a serving dish and drizzle some thick simple syrup or honey over the Qatayef. Cover until time to serve.

Chicken Fatteh


For the Chicken & Chickpeas

2 lbs boneless chicken thighs or legs bone-in 

chicken works too, or pre-cooked leftove

r rotisserie chicken

3 cardamom cloves 

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1 can chickpeas

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2.5 teaspoon Arabic seven spices

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

For the Pita

4 round pitas 8” in size

½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons sumac

For the Yogurt Sauce

2 cups plain yogurt 3% fat preferred

½ cup tahini paste

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

1-2 tablespoons water

For the Garnish

¼ cup slivered almonds or pine nuts

2 tablespoons olive oil for the nuts

¼ cup parsley finely chopped

¼ cup pomegranate seeds optional


For the Pita

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Cut the pita into 1 inch squares and coat well with the olive oil and sumac.

3. Lay them in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 mins or until golden (OR fry in a non stick pan on the stove in batches without overcrowding and continue stirring until golden).

For the Chicken

1. Wash the chicken and place in a pot covered with water along with the whole cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves.

2. Boil for about 30 minutes until cooked. Drain and cool.

3. Shred the chicken into but size pieces using your hands.

4. Dice the onion and crush the garlic. Drain and wash the chickpeas.

5. In a non-stick skillet, add the oil, diced onion, and crushed garlic cloves. Cook for 5-7 minutes until onions are soft.

6. Add the shredded chicken and the drained and washed chickpeas, along with the seven spice and salt and pepper.

7. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes until flavours are combined. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.

8. For the sauce, add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust for salt.

9. Toast the almonds or pine nuts in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir constantly to ensure they toast evenly and don’t burn.

10. Finely chop the parsley.

11. Layer the fatteh starting with the pita, then the chicken and chickpeas mixture, then the yogurt sauce.

12. Add the parsley, almonds and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.

 Kunafa with Mozzarella Cheese


  For the Simple Syrup

2 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ cups water

1 tablespoon rose water or orange

 blossom water optional

1 squeeze lemon juice

For the Kunafa

454 g Kataifi Dough (shredded phyllo dough)

1 cup melted butter

600 g mozzarella cheese, high moisture at least 50%

170 ml thick cream (see photos in post)

½ cup crushed pistachios to garnish

2 tablespoons dry rose petals for garnish optional


For the simple syrup

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar and squeeze of lemon and place on high heat. Allow it to come to a boil.

2. Once it boils, lower heat to medium and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes then turn off the heat. It should have a runny syrup consistency (not too thick). Add the tablespoon of rose water at the end if using, and allow it to cool to room temperature on the counter.

For the Kunafa

1. Take out the frozen kataifi dough and leave it to thaw for an hour or so on the counter. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Shred the cheese or cut it up into small cubes, and mix it with the thick cream.

 3. Break up the kataifi dough and place it in a food processor. Whiz it for a few seconds until it is broken up into small pieces. If you don’t own a food processor, you can do this with your hands or by cutting it up using a knife.

4. Place the shredded kataifi dough in a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Using your hands, massage the butter into the dough making sure you saturate every strand. The better you incorporate it, the more evenly crispy it will be.

5. Brush the bottom of your pan with a bit of butter. Use a 12 inch pan for one large one or you can make 2x 9 inch ones.

6. Take half of the kataifi dough and pack it into the bottom of the pan using the flat bottom of a cup. Pack it to form a slight edge around the perimeter.

7. Spoon the cheese mixture inside and spread it out evenly.

8. Take the remaining kataifi dough and spread it over the cheese, covering it all and packing it in lightly.

9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the outside is deeply golden and crispy.

10. Immediately drizzle the kunafa with about ¾ of the simple syrup, ensuring you cover the full surface. Reserve some syrup to the side for anyone who wants extra. 

11. Allow it to cool and soak the syrup for 10 minutes or so, then invert it onto a serving platter (you can also keep it in the tray), garnish with pistachios, cut into pieces and serve.