Five days into Ramzan, I’ve finally pulled my act together and appeared onto your computer screen to claim the title of “most likely to procrastinate”. You see, I’ve been trying to put this post together for a few weeks now. My potato-like state remained unfazed, however, as I watched any possibility of getting it done before Ramzan dissipate before my eyes. It only took 36813 self-administered pep talks to finally make this happen. I hope you’re all proud of me c:
So guys, I’ve scoured the inter-webs to find these awesome recipes (okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but I HAVE gone through a whole bunch of recipes to narrow these down). They all come from some of my favourite food bloggers and at-home chefs which brings me to the best part. Each one has been tried and tested by them so we know it won’t end up in a kitchen disaster that will propel you into an unnecessary existential crisis. The purpose of this list is to give you (and me) some cool ideas to change things up from the usual pakora/samosa/omelette/paratha that usually graces desi iftars and sehris. There’s also a mix of healthy and not-so-healthy options because let’s be honest – despite all our promises to stay away from fried things in Ramzan, we all need some cheat days.
“Give me the goods, already!” you say?
1) Desi Chicken Patties by Mirchi Tales
These flaky, oven-fresh patties are the perfect addition to change up your iftar spread. Get the full recipe with step-by-step photos here.
2) Lagan Ki Seekh by Recipe 52
This bohra-style recipe is easy, unique and tastes like kabab without any hassle. Haven’t tried it myself but that’s what this list is for, right? See the full recipe with step-by-step photos over here.
3) Butterfly Chicken by Mubarrah Sajid
Juicy chicken cubes enclosed between crispy potato slices, this one tastes as delicious as it looks, according to the many people who have tried this so far! I’m hoping to soon be one of them.
250 grams boneless chicken
2 potatoes cut into medium thin slices
1/2 tsp butter
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red chilli sauce
1/2 tsp chat masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of red colour
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 lemon juice
3 tablespoon all purpose flour
3 tablespoon cornstarch
Oil for frying
Cut chicken into medium sized cubes. Slice potatoes and soak them in water with 1 tsp of vinegar for 2 to 3 hours. Marinate the chicken with butter, ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, red chilli sauce, chat masala, red chilli powder, food colour, salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Mix well and keep aside for 2 hours.
At the time of frying add equal amount of maida and cornstarch into chicken marination and mix it well.
Now skew the chicken piece in the middle of the potato slice and deep fry in medium hot oil till done. Take out the chicken, sprinkle chat masala, grated cheese, and coriander.
Serving suggestion: Serve hot with mayonnaise or szechuan chutney.
4) Prawn Tempura with Dynamite Sauce by Zainab Cooks
This crispy prawn tempura accompanied by dynamite sauce is a great way to add some variety to your fried stuff platter! You can find the full recipe over here.
5) Pizzadilla by 704 Kitchen
This delicious, cheesy delight breathes new life into any rotis you’ve got lying around! You can also use pita bread, of course. Get the full recipe along with a how-to video, over here. You can also follow these guys on Facebook for more, scrumptious food videos.
6) Aloo Ki Kuyian by Bia Sheze
These tiny, boiled potato bowls are a relatively healthy treat for your iftar meal and you can play around with the toppings according to your preference.
Boiled potatoes, as required
Boiled chickpeas (small), as required
Green chillies, chopped
Green coriander leaves, chopped
Chat masala, as required
Green chutney (1 bunch coriander leaves,1/2 bunch mint leaves, lemon juice of half lemon, 1 tsp zeera, salt to taste. Blend all together with a little water.)
Imli ki khatti meethi chatni (1 cup imli pulp soaked,1/2 cup gur or sugar, 1 tbsp red chilli flakes, salt to taste. Cook all the ingredients together and use.)
Take boiled potatoes and make hollow with the help of a scooper, knife or spoon. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and fill in the potatoes. Sprinkle coriander leaves and serve.
7) Crispy Chicken Chapli Kabab by Hungry for Goodies
This half Pakistani, half Filipino food blogger lives in Italy and loves coming up with variations of traditional Pakistani recipes such as this crispy version of the chapli kabab. See the full recipe here.
8) Potato Bombs by The Good Life
Deep fried potato, stuffed with cheese – what could possibly go wrong? Get the full recipe and step-by-step instructions over here.
9) Fried Meatballs AKA Qeema Ki Goliyan by Aymun Zafar
1 kg beef mince
4 tbsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp crushed heaped coriander
2 tbsp heaped toasted crushed cumin seeds
1 tsp heaped cumin powder
3/4th cup besan made in to a thick paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients well. Let it rest for at least an hour. Make small balls and deep fry on medium flame. Serve with chutney.
Note: There is no need to use meat tenderiser since you’re making really small balls. The frying will cook the meatballs well. You can add finely chopped green chillies and onion if your prefer. Anaar Dana is also a good option to add.
10) Chicken Mac Magnum Bars by Renu Luq
These mac n chicken magnum bars are a total crowd pleaser. Perfect for any iftaris where you’re planning to have guests over.
1/2 kg chicken (cut into cubes)
1 slice of bread
1 tbsp oyster garlic sauce
1 tsp mustard paste
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp salt or to taste
2-3 green chillies
In a chopper add all the above ingredients (except egg and bread) and chop until it becomes like a smooth paste. Boil 1 cup pasta and mix into the chicken paste. Shape the mixture into a magnum-like shape and insert ice-cream sticks. Use eggs and bread crumbs for coating. First dip the bars in egg, then coat with bread crumbs. Now shallow fry and enjoy with different toppings such as corn, jalapenos, olives, parmesan cheese or cheese sauce!
11) Watermelon Lemonade by The Rimsky Project
Tangy and sweet, this chilled watermelon lemonade is the most refreshing way to start off your iftar. Get the full recipe here.
12) Baked Sweet Potato Fries by The Desi Wonder Woman
When you can have an (almost) unlimited amount of fries without feeling guilty, who wouldn’t want to give it a shot? See the full recipe here.
13) Chana Cones by Hadeel Aqueel Yousuf
A whole new take on serving chanas, this one is great for entertaining during Ramzan or on Eid. It’s super simple too. You can find lots of other great recipes by Hadeel on her Facebook page here.
Imli chutney (sweet and sour)
Mix chutney and chaat masala into the chickpeas and keep separately. You can add anything else you want according to preference. For the cones, wrap the roll pattis over a cone mould using a little water to stick it into place. Bake it for a few minutes. Un-mould and stuff it later.
14) White Sauce Cutlets by Ruks Cooks
Crispy cutlets filled with a creamy sauce, coated with vermicelli and fried to golden perfection – these have all the potential to become an all-time favourite! For this recipe and other delicious, comfort food check out Ruks Cooks on Facebook and Instagram.
4 boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste.
1 cup shredded and boiled chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
5-6 chopped mushrooms
I packet of uncooked fine vermicelli
2 eggs whisked with a tablespoon of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon chicken powder (optional)
Oil for frying
For béchamel sauce
3 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoon flour
1 cup cold milk
white or black pepper (optional)
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together to form a paste. Cook for 1 minute while whisking continuously. Remove from the heat.
Add 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth. Repeat adding a little bit of milk at a time, whisking until smooth with each addition, until all of the milk is added. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Let simmer one minute and then take off the heat.
Add the shredded chicken, chicken powder, chili flakes, cheese and mushrooms to the bechamel. Season it according to taste. Cook it again till it becomes thick and can hold its shape. It will become thicker as it cools down.
Meanwhile mash the potatoes and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with milk and keep them ready. Spread vermicelli on a plate.
Lightly wet your hands, roll and spread the potato mixture on your palms. Spoon in the chicken and white sauce mixture in the center and gently seal in the edges giving it the desired shape. Dip it in the egg mixture and finally the vermicelli. Shallow fry till the vermicelli turns golden brown. Enjoy!
15) Tali Mirch by Shahina Zeenat Waseem
Red, green, yellow chillies
Slit the chillies and sprinkle profusely with cumin powder, salt and chaat masala before shallow frying them. After draining on kitchen towel, sprinkle some more chaat masala (there can never be too much 🤣).
16) Aloo Paratha by Sadia Shabbir
A classic that can make a great choice for sehri or iftar.
2 medium sized potatoes
Salt to taste
Crushed chilli, to taste
Roasted coriander powder
Roasted cumin powder
1 onion finely chopped
Boil potatoes, mash them and add salt, crushed chillies, fresh coriander, roasted coriander powder, roasted cumin, green chillies and onion. Mix everything well. Now knead flour (attah) and make 2 round rotis. Add the potato mixture on one. Put the other on top and slowly press them together to make a perfectly sized paratha. Use desi ghee for added flavour!
17) Potato Tikki with Plum Sauce by Hadeel’s Healthy Lifestyle
More recipes by Hadeel here.
Red chili powder
For plum sauce: Boil plums (remove seeds) in water, grind it, add brown sugar, salt and tamarind pulp. Cook for a while and let it cool down. For potato cutlet: Boil potatoes and remove skin. Mash it, adding 1 egg, bread crumbs, chat masala, lemon, red chilli powder, salt, garlic paste, cilantro and vegetable masala. Combine everything well, make small cutlets and shallow fry. Dip cutlets in beaten yoghurt (you can add pink salt and normal salt in the yoghurt. Add plum sauce over it and enjoy!
18) Mango Yoghurt by Simply Tasmay
Refreshing as dessert at sehri or iftaar. Read the full recipe plus other lifestyle posts on her website right here.
1-2 mangoes (or any fruit), pureed
Take fresh cow’s milk OR 9 tbsp milk powder dissolved in 3 glasses of water (3 tbsp per glass). Warm the milk. It shouldn’t be “hot”. Add sugar to the milk as per your liking.
Puree one medium sized mango in the food processor or any other fruit (peaches, strawberries, which ever flavour you love). Add the puree to the milk and mix until dissolved.
Pour your flavoured milk into a large bowl in which you want to set the yogurt. Add 1 tsp yogurt to it and mix. This 1 tsp of yogurt will act as your yogurt starter. Make sure you only use yogurt made from fresh cow’s milk as the starter, not Nestle or any other packaged brand.
Keep the bowl in a warm place for 4-6 hours or until the yogurt starts to set. Indication of setting is that its consistency will be jiggly and not runny. Once that happens, you need to move it to the refrigerator and cool it completely before consuming. You can also warm up your microwave for 2-3 minutes, turn it off and leave your bowl there. Top cooled down yoghurt with your choice of fruits and enjoy!
19) Chicken Chilli Bread Rolls by Aymun Zafar
1 cup chicken, boiled and shredded
3-4 tbsp heaped mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
4 large bread slices, sides removed
Homemade or store bought green chilli sauce
Mix together the mayo, chicken, salt and pepper and put aside.
Using a rolling pin flatten the bread slices.
Spread green chilli sauce and the chicken spread over it.
Roll and secure with a toothpick!
20) Garlic Butter Wings by Shahina Zeenat Waseem
These are meant to turn out juicy, tender and flavourful with a crispy skin.
1 tbsp Garlic paste
Salt, to taste
2 tsp Cracked black pepper
1 tsp Ground white pepper
2 tsp Dried red chilli flakes
2 tbsp butter
4-5 chopped garlic cloves
1 Chicken cube
Marinate chicken wings (skin on) in garlic paste, salt, cracked black pepper, ground white pepper, dried red chilli flakes, and olive oil.
Place on a foiled oven tray. Drizzle over with some more olive oil. Cook in the oven for 12/15 minutes each side or until meat is done and skin is crisped.
Melt butter in a saucepan, add lots of chopped garlic, cracked black pepper and a crumbled chicken stock cube. Fry until fragrant.
Transfer the wings to a large bowl, pour the butter sauce in and toss, toss, toss.
21) Overnight Oats by The Rimsky Project
This is the easiest, healthiest and most filling sehri option ever. Even on days when you’re unable to fight off the sleep monster and are running super late, this will come to the rescue. See the unbelievably simple recipe here.
22) Homemade Chicken Popcorn by Hungry for Goodies
Deep fried or baked (if you’re in a healthy mood) these bite-sized pieces of chicken are kind of addictive. Get the full recipe and cooking tips here.
23) Stuffed Peppers by 704 Kitchen
Minimal effort and mouthwatering results, these stuffed peppers are the stars of your next veggie show. Find a step-by-step video and full recipe over here.
24) Pasta Cake by Sadia Shabbir
It doesn’t need to be anyone’s birthday for you to make this cake!
Boil pasta shells in water until tender. Add some oil and salt when boiling to avoid clinginess.In a pan, pour a little olive oil, add a garlic clove, finely chopped and let it cook until you smell the aroma. Add chicken, cut into strips and fry till almost done. Now in a separate pan, add fresh vegetables (capsicum, carrots, spring onions) and sauté. Add a cup full of tomato sauce (for 1kg pasta) along with some chicken stock to the vegetables. Sprinkle seasoning (salt, black pepper, 1/2 tsp vinegar, mixed herbs). Layer the pasta, chicken and vegetables according to your taste in a pan with loads of cheese and let it bake at 180 degrees Celsius for half an hour.
25) Date Shake by The Desi Wonder Woman
When one date at iftari just isn’t enough 🙂 Check out this super simple and instantly energising date shake recipe here.