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7 Traditional Arab Dishes That the Whole Family Will Love During Ramadan

posted on: May 5, 2021

Photo: Sweet Pillar

By: Meral Abu-Jaser/Arab America Contributing Writer

Are you stuck on what dish to make during Ramadan? You’re not alone. Ramadan is known as the month of giving, caring, and worship. However, the task of cooking a dish that the whole family will love is also a part of this blessed month, and at times can be a real hassle. This is common because many family members do not share the same taste when it comes to food. Some might favor a dish over another, while some will not even dare to eat something with an ingredient they dislike. But do not worry because today I want to share with you seven traditional Arab dishes that you need to give a try. They’re not only be fun to make, but they are also meals that every family member will enjoy. Now, get ready to bring back those traditional Arab dishes to the dining room table.


Kofta and Tahini Bake - The Washington Post
Kofta with Tahini Sauce on top
Photo: The Washington Post

Want to make a dish where the main ingredient is ground meat? Whether it is lamb or beef, get ready to bring this masterpiece to your table. Kofta is a traditional dish in the Arab world, and if you have not tried it, now is the time to do so during Ramadan. You can make it in the oven along with over side dishes like potatoes and vegetables. This dish usually consists of ground meat, parsley, onion, tomato, eggs, and of course meat spices. You would usually mix all the vegetable ingredients into a shake-like drink and just add it over the ground meat of your choice and blend it together. Please feel free to add whatever vegetables you like to the mix, it is basically up to your preference. Once the dish is ready, you can pour tahini source on top to give it the final touch. If you are interested in trying this easy recipe you can check out this link.


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Photo: Levantine Recipes

Nobody says no to shawarma, so why not make it during Ramadan? This delicious meal is loved by most, and I am sure you won’t go wrong in making it your main dish! There are many ways to make shawarma. It can be made with beef, lamb, and chicken. It depends on what you personally prefer. When my parents make shawarma, it’s like an open sandwich-making buffet. Usually, pickles, french fries, cucumber, and raw cabbage are added. As for the meat, both beef and chicken are available and you can choose one or both to make a sandwich. Of course, the sandwich is not complete without a dazzle of sauce on top! This is the recipe that I follow,. Try it yourself during Ramadan!


Photo: Recipe Tin Eats

Biryani can either be made with chicken, beef, or lamb, and is a dish that no one can resist. It is easy to make if you follow this detailed recipe. You can also decide on which type of rice to use depending on what best works for you and your family.

Dolmas and Stuffed Squash

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If you have not made this dish yet during Ramadan, then maybe it’s time for you to try your hand at this culinary delight. This dish is not just healthy, but it is also fun to make with your family. You can either make dolmas and stuffed squash together as one dish, or you can make each separately. The way my mom makes it is by adding the stuffed grape leaves at the bottom of the pot and the stuffed squash on top. If you are interested in trying this recipe during Ramadan, you can do so by following this link for dolmas and this for stuffed squash.


Tanoreen Sumac Chicken with flatbread
Photo: Bonappetit

This dish is one of my absolute favorites. Musakhan is a traditional dish that is very time-consuming, but it is well worth the work because it is delicious. However, if you are still having trouble finding something new to make for iftar and you do not have time to make traditional Musakhan, then you should consider this recipe. This recipe is easy to make and would not take a lot out of your time. In fact, you might find it easier than other dishes you have made. Change the theme and make Musakhan that the whole family would love having during Ramadan.


Photo: Lemons and Anchovies

This easy and simple dish can serve as your quickly made Ramadan iftar dinner on the days that just have no time to cook a fancy meal. Mujadara is definitely considered a more humble meal, as no meat is used, which can make it the perfect dish to make if you are inviting your vegetarian friend over for dinner. It may not be fancy, but it’s filling and delicious. That being said, why not put a twist on it with a side of some lime chicken for your family or guests who love more variety. With Mujadara and lime chicken on the side, you can never have enough! Try it during Ramadan and enjoy your meal with the side dish of your choice. Also, do not forget to make the salad and a bowl of yogurt on the side to complete the traditional Mujadara dish.


Photo Fardos’s Kitchen

Maqloubeh is a dish that the whole family will enjoy eating during Ramadan. There are so many creative ways to add a twist to this dish and customize it to fit your family’s needs. You can add whatever vegetables you want. For example, you can add carrots, cauliflower, eggplants, potato, chickpeas and so much more. Maqloubeh is usually made with chicken and the rice of your choice. If you have not yet made this dish for iftar then you might need to consider it. It would fit great with a traditional salad as well as some yogurt on the side. Here is a recipe that you might find helpful if this is your first time making Maqloubeh.

Which Dishes have you Made?

With Ramadan coming to an end, you might have already tried some of these dishes, but why not consider choosing one for your next iftar. You can never go wrong with an Arab dish. There is always a twist that you can add which makes the dish unique. If you end up trying one that I have listed above please share with us which one you chose and whether you liked it or not in the comments below!

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