Iftar Dishes from Around the World: Where Can I Get Them in Lagos?
As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, Muslims all over Nigeria (and the world tbh) are in due preparation for the month-long fast. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise till sunset. In preparation for the days fast, a pre-dawn meal – called the suhur is eaten. Muslims do not consume any meals between the hours of sunrise and sunset. When the sun sets each day, the fast is broken by a meal called the iftar.
Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates and water as this helps replenish depleted blood sugars and salts. Iftar can be observed individually but traditionally, it is observed with close friends and family. The observation of iftar is a religious experience and an equally important practice in Muslim communities.
Although the largest concentration of Muslims can be found in Northern Nigeria, the city of Lagos boasts well-thriving Muslim communities. Keeping this in mind, it is no surprise that halal delicacies – permissible foods and drinks – are available on a commercial scale. The fusion of cultural practices in the city of Lagos allows Muslims looking to enjoy a wider variety of iftar delicacies – possibly from around the world – the opportunity to do just that. Looking to enjoy traditional iftar delicacies from around the globe right here in Lagos? I’ve put together the perfect list just for you. All restaurants listed are halal!
For many Nigerians, the word ‘samosa’ rings only one bell – small chops. The Indian/Pakistani delicacy, however, is a staple at iftar dinners in Asia and parts of Northern Africa.
Samosas are savoury entrées stuffed with a wide variety of meats, vegetables and in some cases, cheeses. They are either fried or baked. Samosas can also come stuffed with only vegetables, for diners who prefer to observe iftar without meat.
Tabbouleh – also spelled tabouli, taboulah or tabbouli – is a vegetarian dish prevalently served at iftars in the Middle-East. Lebanese in origin, tabbouleh is a finely chopped salad containing parsley, onions, tomatoes, onions and bulgur, drizzled and spiced with olive oil, lemons, salt, pepper and sometimes, garlic.
Stuffed Grape Leaves
A gem of the Mediterranean and Middle East, stuffed grape leaves are a delicacy in countries including Egypt, Lebanon and Qatar. Traditionally, the grape leaves are stuffed with meat, rice, lemon juice and spices. There are currently vegetarian stuffed grape leaves which are stuffed with only rice, lemon juice and spices. The stuffing may also vary according cultural preferences.
Enjoy Lebanese style stuffed grape leaves – traditionally called warak enab – at Salma’s in VI.
A traditionally Middle Eastern/Mediterranean dish, hummus has spread in popularity across the world. Hummus – houmous or hommus – is a dip made predominantly of cooked and mashed chickpeas. Chickpeas are often combined with other beans such as fava beans. The chickpeas are cooked and mashed then blended with tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice. The blending ensures the hummus has a smooth, even consistency.
Kibbeh – also spelled kubbah or kubbi – is a deep fried Middle Eastern dish made of bulgur wheat, onions, meats and spices. Kibbeh can be rolled into balls or patties and fried. Kibbeh can be served alongside dips such as hummus.
Kick it back with kibbeh at Salma’s restaurant this Ramadan to take your iftar to the next-level.
Biryani is a multiple layered iftar dish of Indian origin. There are several types of biryani named after the places they originate from. The main components of the biryani are rice, meat, spices and a marinade. To prepare biryani, long grain rice such as basmati rice is preferred.
At Peppercorn Avenue, you can enjoy a butter chicken biryani this Ramadan!
Beyond its religious importance, observing iftar with close friends and family is an amazing experience. Iftar allows Muslims form stronger bonds with their families and communities over food, drink and pleasant memories. Enjoying good food while surrounded by good people is a privilege in itself and is one of the any things to be thankful for in the month of Ramadan.