The holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is an intense period of spiritual fasting and worship. The month-long event culminates with Eid ul Fitr, a three-day observance that celebrates the end of Ramadan and the beginning of a new cycle.
Ramadan is a month of sacrifice, in which believers must fast from sunrise to sunset. Women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating are excused from the ritual fast.
Ramadan is a time for deeply introspective reflection, since Muslims must abstain during the day from food, drink and other pleasures in order to focus on praying, giving alms to the poor and reading the entire Qur’an at least once.
Lebanese Muslims observe Ramadan according to the lunar Islamic calendar with an extra 29 or 30 days, depending on the lunar cycle. They have a month-long break between Ramadan and the next, Shawwal, which is followed by Eid ul Fitr, or Eid el Fitar (Fastbreaking). There are four main types of Ramadan meals in Lebanon:
Types of Ramadan Meals:
The first time Muslims break their fast, they should have a light meal to break their fast. This is usually done about 30 minutes before the sunset.
The second meal of Ramadan is called Suhur which means ‘to be successful’. It is eaten before the sun rises during Ramadan and has a large emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables.
Iftar or ‘breaking the fasting’ refers to the evening meals Muslims eat after sunset during Ramadan. The time of iftar is determined by the time of maghrib prayer which marks the end of Ramadan fasting.
The last meal of the day is called dessert which is eaten at night during Ramadan. Its main focus is on fruits and desserts.
Ramadan Recipes are specially prepared by lebanese. The main ingredients are dates, nuts such as almonds and walnuts, chicken, lamb, rice, spices and vegetables like parsley. The traditional food is eaten especially by people who visit their relatives during Ramadan. These recipes are also eaten by people who live in the city and in the villages.
Lebanon Traditional Recipes for Ramadan:
Mediterranean meal of lamb cooked with vegetables. It takes its name from the Arabic word “”qutqut”” which means “”sink into”” because it is cooked until it becomes soft. It is sometimes served with the traditional Arab flatbread known as “khubz”. Doqq is eaten on Eid El-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and other feasts including weddings and graduations. It is also served as a main dish.
In Lebanese culture, doqq is served in the winter monsoon season, when the rain starts bringing down the temperature and humidity in Lebanon.
(جبنة) or “Jordanian salad” is a type of Lebanese salad that is very popular as a fast food in some parts of Lebanon. It consists of cubed pita bread, tomatoes and cucumbers. Also added are onion, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.
is a popular dish served in Lebanon. The meat can be chicken, beef, shank lamb or goat or any combination of those. The meat is first seasoned with herbs such as oregano and marjoram and then skewered on iron sticks and grilled on a grill over charcoal fire. After the meat has been cooked the vegetables are placed around the holes in the skewers. The vegetables can be onions, tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers or cabbage. The most popular vegetables for shish kebab are cabbage and tomatoes.
very popular Lebanese street food that is similar to the Arabic dish tabbouleh. It consists of lamb or beef cooked with tomatoes, parsley and garlic. Some people add fried onion to it while others prefer pita bread as breading.
The ingredients for this dish can be found at many Middle Eastern grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Lamb is a traditional dish in Lebanese cuisine, and is eaten on Eid-al-Adha and all other festivals such as weddings, birthdays, births, etc. The meat is usually marinated in lemon juice for several hours before grilling it on the grill. The meat can be served with or without any of the ingredients above except the bread or pita which are added for texture and flavor purposes. A popular Arabic bread that is used as a side dish is “Khobz”.
Lebanease Desesrts for Ramadan
Many desserts are usually served during Ramadan. A very popular one is the “Baba Ghannoug”.
Baba Ghannoug is a dessert made with dried figs mashed by hand, pine nuts and sometimes walnuts, cardamom powder, sometimes cinnamon and orange blossom water. Another traditional dessert is Bammieh (also spelled as “Bamieh”), which means sweet. It is prepared with semolina, sugar and dried figs or dates. It is served on special occasions like weddings and graduations in Lebanon.
Ashura is a Lebanese dessert that is traditionally eaten during Ramadan to break the fast at sunset. Ashura are sometimes made before Ramadan as well, and are known to be delicious. It consists of rice flour dough shaped into rings, deep fried and dipped in honey or sesame syrup.
Kanafeh is a form of dessert from the Levant, composed primarily of cheese and sweet syrup. The dish takes its name from the small copper pots in which it is traditionally steamed, usually overnight.
The dish originates in Jordan, where it is served on celebratory occasions and as a traditional treat for children at school on study days (Thursday). It can also be found throughout the Middle East including Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Ramadan is a time of self-reflection and spiritual growth for Muslims around the world. As well as a chance to reconnect with family and friends, it’s also an opportunity to share food and be charitable. With all this in mind, we’ve put together an infographic complete with etiquette reminders for Lebanese Muslims during Ramadan, as well as how to ensure you’re not eating too much or too little!