With the month of Ramadan set to begin on 23rd April this year, we sat down with Joudie Kalla, chef and author of Palestine on a Plate: Memories from my mother's kitchen, for some comforting Middle Eastern recipes. These are perfect for anyone to enjoy at any time of year, but are also an ideal choice for breaking the fast and nourising your body during Ramadan.
"Muslims fast between the hours of sunrise and sunset, so when you do eat it’s important to focus on the quality of the food you’re putting into your body," says Joudie. "You want to utilise ingredients that are going to nourish your body with vitamins and minerals. I’ve chosen these recipes because they do just that..."
Figs & labneh on toast
Creamy yogurt, sweet figs and crunchy toast. This match made in heaven is perfect for Suhour — the meal eaten before dawn to keep you going all day.
Joudie says: "Labneh, or strained yogurt, contains 'friendly' probiotic bacteria, along with protein, calcium and B vitamins. It’s a great snack before dawn."
Shorabat bil khudar
Joudie says: "Use barley or freekeh in this soup. It fills you up, so it’s ideal for Iftar, the meal eaten right after sunset to break the fast."
These delicious, juicy stuffed peppers are colourful and filling, and contain an impressive 4 of your 5-a-day.
Joudie says: "It’s important to include dishes that contain plenty of veg to make sure you reach your 5-a-day – and this one has amazing flavours."
Warbat bil ishta
Creamy pastries covered in crumbled pistachios? Count us in. These sweet treats are a rich, syrup-drenched, irresistible treat that's well worth the wait after a day of fasting.
Joudie says: "These cream-filled sweet filo pastries are the perfect end to your meal – a wonderful treat."