Ramadan is one of the months in the Islamic calendar and lasts for 30 days. Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islamic faith and it’s an obligatory act for each adult Muslim to fast from sunrise to sunset. Muslims will be fasting, performing good deeds, praying more, and reading the Quran during this month. Families around the world are eating delicious food and sugary treats every night when they break their fast. Most meals often include a salad, soup, a main dish, some bread, and a sweet dessert. In this post, you’ll learn about five amazing Ramadan dishes that you can make with your kids.
Involving kids in the kitchen helps develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, learn math and science concepts, and new vocabulary, use their 5-senses, and learn about healthy foods. Before preparing the dishes you could talk about the history of the dish, how it is prepared, what ingredients it needs, how it is served, and how it is eaten. Below you will find five traditional Ramadan dishes and the ways in which kids can help prepare and make them.
Red Lentil Soup
This is one of the first recipes that I learned when I started making Turkish cuisine, probably because it is one of the easiest ones. This soup is a staple of Turkish cuisine as it is served in most Turkish households and restaurants. When you are invited to dinner in a Turkish home, you will most likely eat this soup. Red lentil soup is quick to make, cheap, and very filling. This is because lentils provide a good source of protein. Red lentils are also easier to cook than the green or brown lentils and they create a creamy texture when blended.
Kids could help prepare the soup by peeling and chopping onions, carrots, and potatoes as well as pouring and measuring the red lentils out of the box into a bowl, placing the onions in the pot with the oil, have them scoop out the pepper paste, tasting the soup, putting the spices in and boiling water.
Qar al deen
Qar Al deen or Apricot pudding is a special guest that appears on our dinner table every Ramadan. This dessert fills the bellies of many Egyptians including my own grandparents who introduced it to their kids and then to us.
Kids could help prepare the pudding by measuring out the ingredients and garnishing the dish with raisins, coconut, and nuts.
It seems like people eat a lot more during the holidays, no matter which holiday it is, think dinner rolls during a Thanksgiving meal. We’ve been making all kinds of bread about every week, for example, fried bread, stuffed cheese bread, Turkish pizza, Ramazan pide, and traditional flatbread.
Kids could help measure out the flour, prepare the yeast, knead the dough, check on it to see if it has risen, and roll out the dough. They could also check that the bread isn’t burning in the oven.
Stuffed Grape Leaves
Stuffed grape leaves are another dish that is enjoyed by cultures around the world. From Greece to Turkey to Armenia and Bulgaria, each country has its own way of preparing them. Basically, they are grape or vine leaves are wrapped around a rice-based filling which includes some combination of meat (often lamb, although there are also vegetarian options), fresh herbs like mint or parsley, onions, spices, and sometimes nuts or dried fruits. Stuffed grape leaves take a few hours to make and only a few minutes to eat. We usually prepare a lot in advance so that we can freeze them and eat them throughout the month of Ramadan.
Kids could peel and dice the onions, get the ingredients out of the pantry, measure out the rice, mix it in the bowl, help fold the leaves, and put them on the plate before serving.
Baklava is a popular dessert eaten around the world during Ramadan; there is even a national baklava day in November! Each culture has a unique way of making it. I take the easy route and prepare mine with store-bought phyllo dough, walnuts, and butter. The syrup is a simple syrup made with water, lemon juice, and sugar.
Kids could help chop up the nuts or put them in the food processor, carefully hand you a phyllo sheet, help brush the sheets with butter, measure the water and sugar for the syrup and remember when to take it out of the oven.
Today, I shared with you five traditional dishes eaten at Ramadan with tips on how to prepare them with your children. Children love to be involved in cooking and baking and the benefits they gain through cooking are countless.
If you’re interested in learning more about cooking with kids, Ramadan as well as check out my delicious recipes, check out my series Ramadan Cooking Around the World.
What is a favorite dish to cook or bake with your kids?
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