A Month of Fasting
Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, involves abstaining from food, drink, sexual relations, smoking and other vices between sunrise and sunset. Its conclusion is marked by Eid Al-Fitr, one of the two major Islamic holidays.
Although the focus of Ramadan is spiritual – making extra prayers, giving charity and other other acts of worships are recommended – many cultures place a surprising emphasis on food during this holy month. Iftar, the meal at which Muslims break their fast, is highly anticipated, and even children who aren’t fasting look forward to the spread of food each evening.
The Iftar Table
At a Moroccan iftar, dates, milk, juices, and sweets typically provide the sugar surge needed after a day of going without food. Harira, a hearty lentil and tomato soup, satisfies hunger and restores energy. Hard-boiled eggs, meat- or seafood-filled pastries (briouats), fried fish, and pancakes might also be served.
Large batches of sweets such as sellou and chebekia are traditionally prepared in advance for use throughout the month, as are cookies and other pastries. These, and other specialties found in the list of Ramadan Recipes can be made all year round, but they are especially popular during this holy month.