Sharing some of my favourite sehri and iftar items that you could make-ahead or freeze in advance to save time and efforts during fasting.
Ramadan is just around the corner. To make it easier to prepare my food during fasting, I like to make some preps in advance. You can twist and tweak the ideas that are shared here to suit your preferences.
Watch this 5-minute video with a compilation of Ramadan prep ideas.
What food items to include during Ramadan?
To be able to keep up the energy and good mood during fasting, our body needs certain components especially during the Ramadan period. When putting together food on the table make sure to include food groups that provide you with:
A combination of these components nourishes the body and keeps you energetic for a longer period of time.
Click on the recipe names to follow the links.
- Overnight Oats/ Muesli: I prefer making my own museli mix at home so I can decide what to add and in what quantity. I make mine using rolled oats (fiber), crushes flax seeds (omega 3 and healthy fats), chia seeds (antioxidants and hydration) and a mix of chopped nuts (protein). Soak the muesli before going to bed and you will have your bowl ready at sehri time. You can add some dates (fiber) and fresh fruits (hydration) too.
- Spelt Flour Spinach Parathas/Rotis: I prefer using spelt flour, especially during Ramadan because it releases energy into the body at a slower pace making you feel energetic for a longer time. Spelt flour is also lighter on the stomach as compared to wheat flour. Since I use whole grain flour and add spinach too, these have good amount of fiber. You could serve these with eggs (protein), vegetables (hyrdation) or make rolls like I have made here. These freeze really well and take only minutes to reheat.
- Dry Sabzi Variations: Vegetables cooked in a dry form with minimal oil and limited spices, is also very helpful. You could choose a variety of vegetables of your choice and cook it in a way similar to this beans-aloo recipe. This sabzi could be used in a number of different ways (as shown below). You can use the same sabzi to make sandwiches, rolls, salads and scrambled eggs. Make sure to combine fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, spring onions etc into your meals.
Click on the names to follow the recipe links.
- Smoothie Pouches: Fruits are a great addition to the iftar table. They are hydrating and a good source of fiber too. You cannot make fruit salads way ahead of time, but what you could do intead, especially if you are a fan of drinks is make these smoothie pouches instead. Just wash and cut up several variations of fruits. Take some ziplock bags (size depends upon the quantity of smoothie you want to make)and fill them with different combinations of fruits. Mark the ziplock bags with name and date and throw them into the freezer. You could also add flax seeds and vegetables like carrots, cucumber, spinach etc. as well. These ready-to-use pouches will help you make your smoothie within minutes at iftar time. Add some jogurt (protein) or kefir(probiotics) instead of milk to blend the smoothie.
- Boiled Chickpeas: Chickpeas are very versatile item for iftar. They are rich in fiber and protein. You can boil them in bulk and freeze in portions. Use these to make quick chaat waale chhole or add them to your salads to make it more filling.
- Beef kababs: These are also a versatile option to have for iftar and are a good source of protein. They could be served on their own, with some green chutney and lemon marinated onion, or used as a filling for rolls and sandwiches (along with some veggies). You could also add them to salads to make it more filling. Use minimal oil to fry them so they aren’t too heavy on the stomach. They freeze really well and only take minutes to fry.
- Chutneys: Chutney are a must-have item for iftar. They take any snack/meal to the next level. Almost any kind of chutney could be made ahead and frozen in advance. Divide it into portions before freezing so you can defrost it individually. Here is a whole bunch of chutneys that I have shared. Have a look and I am sure you will find your favourite one on the list too. The two most popular kinds are the green chutney and the sweet chutney.
- Oven-fried onion: A very convenient and easy way to bulk fry your onions, using less oil. I experimented and discovered this method just recently which is now proving to be very helpful in preparing my meals. Frying onion to a golden brown perfection takes a huge amount of time, especially when the meals involve big amounts of onion. Fry them in bulk in your oven with this technique and you will be thanking yourself later.
- Baked Pakoras: I know that so many of us grew up having pakoras during Ramadan. So it’s only natural to crave them from time to time. For those occasions, you can try this baked pakora recipe instead of deep frying them. These baked pakoras are as delicious and crispy as the deep fried ones, but way less greasy. However, pakoras taste best when prepared fresh. You cannot make and freeze pakoras ahead of time. But you can definitely do some prep for it. Since this recipe involves quite a lot of onion you could slice and freeze your onion in ziplock bags. This will save you the hassle of slicing and chopping while fasting.