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Cook From the Book: The Ramadan Cookbook

by Francesca Sleet

published on 16 March 2023

Packed with filling ideas for suhoor, satisfying dishes for iftar, and plenty of celebratory feasts for Eid al-Fitr, The Ramadan Cookbook by prominent Muslim food blogger Anisa Karolia is the ultimate guide to cooking during Ramadan and beyond. With eighty flavourful, family-friendly recipes to enjoy, including curries, noodle dishes, snacks, and desserts, we couldn’t wait to put the recipes to the test. We gathered a team of home cooks who are all preparing to observe Ramadan in a few weeks’ time and invited them to try out their favourite recipes and to share, much like Anisa does in the book’s introduction, their reflections on what the holy month of fasting means to them.

From the book

Who: Sami Rahman, Head of Data Engineering and Data Platform, and Chair of The Muslim Accord

What Ramadan means to me: Ramadan is the time for me to better improve myself and my spirituality.

What I made: Spinach, Potatoes and Peas, and Chicken and Potato Curry

What I thought: The recipe for the chicken and potato curry resulted in chicken that was so soft and tender. I also really loved the spinach, potatoes and peas (and I didn’t even know that I had the capability to enjoy vegetables!). I loved both dishes overall and will be making them again.

Who: Tanzim Kamali, Puffin Production Assistant

What Ramadan means to me: It is my favourite time of the year, when I am closer to my faith, my family, and my inner self. It helps me be more empathetic, disciplined and, most of all, thankful. 

What I made: Chicken Chow Mein

What I thought: This is a great recipe to try out if you’re bored of making the same noodle dish again and again. I was a bit doubtful about how much chilli and garlic sauce was advised in the recipe, but honestly, it was so yummy and very spicy! This was such an easy recipe too, perfect to prepare for an iftar when you’re tired and hungry.

Who: Bisma Khalid, Data and Insight Analyst, Ebury 

What Ramadan means to me: I love having the time to self-reflect and it’s also a great way of bringing people together. 

What I made: Sticky Lamb Chops

What I thought: This was surprisingly quite straightforward to make. The sauce and marinade were really easy to put together and enhanced the flavour of the dish. It didn’t take long to prepare, which I thought was great, as it would be easy to make while fasting. The lamb chops were easy to cook and the addition of the sauce was delicious! I’m glad I tried this dish before Ramadan starts as this is definitely something that is easy to make and will be a family favourite during Ramadan. 

Who: Shaheena Ormerod-Sachedina, Internal Communications Manager for Penguin Random House UK

What Ramadan means to me: For me, Ramadan is a time to reflect and reset. There is a focus on the tangible aspects of fasting and being more diligent in your prayers, for it’s a time to try and live by the values of your faith under trying conditions, being the best version of yourself (taking time for prayer and meditation, actively being kind to others, not getting angry) all while not having access to food and water.  As individuals, we all find different aspects of the month of Ramadan challenging but at the end of the day, when you break your fast with family and friends you have a sense of solidarity and support that makes this month really special. It’s also a great reminder to be grateful for what you have and appreciate the plight of others less fortunate than you – particularly when we live in a society that is all about the next achievement to strive for.

What I made: Butter Chicken

What I thought: I love butter chicken and have tried many different recipes, and this is one of the best ones I’ve tried (it uses full-fat cream for a more indulgent version but if you’ve been fasting all day, why not!).  I made this after work and, time-wise, it is definitely manageable to make for your evening meal after a day of fasting. I even had time to make a quick flatbread while I made rice in my slow cooker, so I was very happy. I loved the richness of the dish and my kiddos commented on how good it smelt while it was cooking. All in all, a big hit with the fam (completely clean plates) so I will definitely be making it again.


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