Ramadaan Foods from Around the World

Ramadaan is an auspicious month for Muslims around the world, and a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, and fasting. During this time, many people break their fast with traditional Ramadaan foods specific to their part of the world. I was curious to explore some of the most popular Ramadan foods from around the world, including South Africa.

Let’s start with Indonesia. One of the most popular Ramadan dishes is Kolak pisang, which is a traditional sweet dish made with palm or coconut sugar, coconut milk, pandan leaves, and fruit. It is usually served warm or cold, and is a great way to restore energy after a day of fasting.

Kolak Pisang

In Yemen, Aseeda is a popular Ramadan dish. This soft wheat flour dough is usually served with seasoned chicken broth and eaten with the hands. The dish originated in medieval al-Andalus and is enjoyed throughout the Arab world during Ramadan and other celebrations.


In Saudi Arabia, iftar is almost certain to include Thareed, a rich, filling, full-bodied stew of lamb and vegetables and can also include chickpeas. It is said to be one of the Prophet Muhammad’s favourite dishes. It is served with flatbreads to mop up the rich sauce. 


In Morocco, traditional Ramadan foods include Harira, a soup made with lentils, chickpeas, and tomatoes, and bessara, a dip made with fava beans, garlic, and olive oil.


And back home in South Africa, traditional Ramadan foods include good old samoosas and refreshing falooda, a sweet drink of milk, rose syrup and sabja (basil) seeds, often dressed up with ice cream, almonds and vermicelli. Another favoured dish for Ramadaan is Haleem, a hearty soup made with meat and dhals (lentils). It’s served at iftar time before the main meal, and often made in large quantities to feed gatherings of people and distribute to the needy.


No matter where you are in the world, Ramadan is a time to come together and enjoy traditional foods. From Kolak pisang to Harira, there are many delicious dishes to enjoy during this holy month.

I’d love to know which part of the world you’re from and what is your favourite Ramadaan dish? Tell me in the comments.


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