During Ramadaan, Suhoor at my house tends to be a blurry eyed fog of getting through the early morning breakfast meal in a hurry cos I’m one of those, just 5 more minutes kind of people. I’m not a morning person, so I need to meal prep at night or at least know what I’m going to have in the morning or else I’m just not going to get a balanced meal before Fajr. I’m a terrible planner so I roped in some well known foodies to ask about their morning prep in the hope it would inspire me to up my game. They revealed some of the favourite suhoor meals and some recipes. If you’re not inspired by this deliciousness….. well, not possible. Enjoy.
Mariam Jakoet Harris from Cooked.inc
Mariam is well known for her cooking classes and her wholesome and healthy daily meal service. A convenient service that helps take the guesswork out of what to have for lunch or dinner. Having overcome her own health issues by changing her diet amongst other things, she is on a mission to inspire cleaner eating and living. Visit her website at www.cookedinc.co.za.
I always try to cover all my food bases and get enough fluids in for the day. So it’s always a carb, protein, good fat and obviously caffeine 😆
Spinach and Orange Smoothie:
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 cup baby spinach
1 peeled orange
1/2 frozen banana
1 cup water
Blend all together. If I have this then I’ll have 2 eggs on the side.
I also love my Shroom Coffee. The Chaga shrooms takes the edge off the caffeine and gives you a more sustainable kick.
1 cup hot water
1 cup of brewed chaga
1 tbsp gelatin
1 tbsp nut butter
It’s always quick n easy. Veg and fruit for smoothies are always prepared in advance and popped into the freezer.
Aneesa from Aniseeds
Aneesa is all heart and shares her love for cooking both decadent and healthy in her hugely popular Instagram blog, @Aniseeds. Her authentic family recipes, artful creativity with food and innovative spin on traditional favourites never fail to amaze. Visit her Instagram page here: @Aniseeds
My favourite Suhoor on a cold morning is my creamy mushroom mozarella bake. The elements can be prepared and layered the night before to be popped into the oven for a few minutes before eating. This dish is extremely versatile in that any of the leftovers from the night before could be added to the mix to bulk it up for a hearty breakfast. I often toss in scrambled eggs or chicken pieces and enjoy it with a side of toast and tea.
Creamy Mushroom and Mozarella Bake
2 tblsps butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 punnet mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cream
1/2 tsp dried sweet basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in cream, herbs, salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened.
Layer in an oven proof dish. Cover with grated mozarella cheese. Garnish with dry parsley and bake in 180 deg C till cheese is melted and golden.
Saaleha Idrees Bhamjee from Saaleeha.com
Looking at Saaleha’s feed on her Instagram account has me wanting to go for photography lessons. Saaleha started blogging in order to document her culinary journey. A journey which has had her writing for a newspaper, styling and shooting both food and lifestyle and most recently writing Zikr, a book of poetry which has just been published. Visit her food and craft blog at www.icecreameveryday.co.za.
For suhoor, I like making things that don’t require much brainpower at that hour of the morning.
I recently got a Nutribullet and I’m currently obsessed with smoothie-ing everything.
My current suhoor smoothie consists of oats, banana, date, whey powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon and a bit of coconut milk. I top it up with water and it’s ready to blitz. I sometimes toast the oats before I add to the blender, and add other fruits like apple, pear or strawberries, whatever’s on hand. And that’s my suhoor done. Naeem will usually have scrambled eggs with vienna sausages or a sandwich with leftovers.
I can’t function without coffee but every Ramadaan I switch my habit around and have my first cup at iftaar.
Echi Ismail from Halaalifect
Echi is Indonesian born and has made Cape Town her home. She blogs about Indonesian cooking, modest fashion and family and is well known for her reviews of halaal restaurants all over Cape Town. She offers Asian cooking classes at Lemongrass Cooking Class and you can check out her page at @lemongrass_halaalife
For Suhoor Indonesians usually eat rice or noodles with a simpler accompanying dish. But sometimes I just follow my husband’s kind of suhoor such as toast with mashed avo or caramelized onion. Fried rice is my favourite though. It’s a versatile dish that you can make with leftover rice and chicken or just add egg or veggies.
Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) ala Indonesian Street Food
2 tablespoon oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
Chili Paste/Sambal Oelek* to taste (optional-can be replaced with sliced green/red chili))
1-2 cooked diced/shreded chicken fillet/pieces
1 sliced spring onion
1 sliced celery (optional)
2 cups cooked rice (rice must be cooled, works best with left over rice)***
1-2 Tablespoon Kecap manis (Indonesian Sweet Soya Sauce) or to taste
salt and white pepper to taste
Heat a wok/a pan add oil.
Add garlic and chili paste
Add the eggs in the wok, scramble the eggs.
Add the chicken,spring onion and celery
Add the cooked rice, stir fry until combined
Pour the Sweet Sauce kecap manis
Add salt and pepper.
Served with extra sunny side up for Suhur
Waseema Reyaazuddien from Stylexplora
Waseema is a make-up artist and fashion designer and is always on the cutting edge of what is trending in the modest fashion world. She blogs lifestyle, fashion and food and you can find her stylish gallery on Instagram at @Stylexplora.
My favourite things to have for suhoor and keep my family and I sustained for a day of fasting are:
1. Overnight oats mixed with chia seeds, fruits and nuts.
2. Rooibos tea definitely keeps us hydrated far more than any other tea or coffee variety and stays in our system longer than plain water.
3. On other days, nuts and bran cereals mixed with another high carb cereal like Cheerios actually keeps me full the whole day. I eat this dry, and sip on warm milk after, as this aids digestion.
One of my other Suhoor favourites is baked French Toast.
Chocolate & Berries Baked French toast
1.5 cups milk,
1/2cup brown sugar,
2 tablespoon sifted cocoa,
½ tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon and Cardamom(elaichie) powder,
8 croissants (that are a day old) or 2 or 3 croissants and 3 slices of bread.
Fresh, frozen or canned berries.
1. Whisk together a little of the milk with the sifted cocoa, then add the rest of the ingredients except the bread/croissants and berries.
2. Butter a casserole dish large enough.
3. Cube or slice the day old croissants or bread. I used both croissants and bread.
4. Soak each piece of bread and croissant in the egg mixture and layer flat overlapping each other in the casserole dish.
5. Then pour over remaining egg mixture, use a flat side of tablespoon to press the bread or croissants in to soak the mixture.
6. Place berries in between the bread or croissant pieces and scatter more on top.
Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake, allow to rest at room temperature for 30mins and then bake at 180 deg for 30mins covered with foil or casserole lid and then a further 15 mins uncovered. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and/or icing sugar.
To up the nutritional factor for suhoor, I add sliced almonds and a tablespoon or 2 of oats with a little extra milk), you can even add chia seeds instead of oats and lower the sugar and add dates for sweetness. This basic recipe let’s you have fun at suhoor mixing it up as you like.
Raeesa from Pots, Pans and Pancakes
If you’re an active foodie on insta then you would have come across the Savoury Revolution. Raeesa is the founder of this movement aimed at inspiring a change in mindset during Ramadaan. Raeesa advocates dropping the savouries in favour of cleaner healthier eating at Iftaar time. We love her ethos and are big fans of the Savoury Revolution. Follow her Instagram account here and be inspired too.
I opt for foods that are slow releasing and whole grain. I balance natural proteins, grains, protein smoothies and loaded toast throughout my suhoor menu. Steel cut oats are my go to grain. It’s minimally processed thus giving me a stable flow of energy throughout the day.
Carrot Cake Oats
1 cup steel cut oats
1 and half carrots
3 cups water
3 cups milk
3 large cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons Coconut oil
Dates and Banana (optional)
Cinnamon / mixed spice
Chia and linseeds
2 tablespoons double cream yoghurt
Soak oats over night with two cups of water. (One can substitute large rolled oats instead of steel cut. If doing so, Reduce the water content by 1/2 cup)
The next morning heat a non stick pot with 2 solid tablespoons coconut oil. Add three large cinnamon sticks to it and cook. Grate 1 and half medium size carrots and add to the pot. Simmer for a few seconds then add in the soaked oats. Add 3 cups of milk and an extra cup of water and let it cook on high. Stir to avoid sticking.
Once it starts to bubble reduce the heat and cook with the lid open for 15-20 minutes / until the desired thickness. Stir in intervals to avoid sticking. This can be made the day before and warmed up with hot milk / water if too thick.
Lastly stir in the yoghur. Serve with honey, cinnamon/mixed spice, chia seeds and linseeds, a drizzle of honey and a hot drink. Add in banana and dates for a traditional carrot cake variation.
Yaaseen Barnes from ya_a_seen_him
Now strictly speaking Yaaseen Barnes is a comedian rather than a foodie. But this self deprecating, quick witted but still humble guy who is famous for his dry humour and one-liner comedy shows has attended and been part of so many foodie events and campaigns that we think he deserves honorary foodie status, which we herewith bestow upon him with all power vested. Find some of his crazy antics on Instagram at @ya_a_seen_him.
Yaaseen sent us a lengthy voice note with lots of great advice, tips and tricks and details of his favourite Ramadaan Suhoor choices. It was so comprehensive we struggled to fit it all into this one article but in short and in his words:
Uhmmmm, Jungle Oats… ya, and a date.