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Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast

Above photograph via Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki

 

Vegan Ramadan meals are becoming increasingly common. From vegan holiday potlucks at mosques to a growing number of vegan Muslim food bloggers, more Muslims are embracing a plant-based diet.

Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, introspection, community, and prayer for Muslims. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is celebrated as the month during which Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran—the central religious text of Islam. In 2021, Ramadan begins at sundown on April 12, and concludes at sundown on May 12.

In addition to being marked by periods of intense prayer, the month-long holiday also has strict rules about food, specifically when it can (and cannot) be consumed. During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to abstain from food and drink during daylight hours, from sunrise to sunset. However, there are exceptions made for small children, as well as those who are pregnant or nursing, elderly, or ill. This fast, known as sawm, is one of the five pillars of Islam.

In order to make it through the fast successfully, people typically wake up early to eat a meal called suhur before daybreak. Their days then typically consist of acts of charity, prayer and reflection, and reading the Quran.

Later, the fast is broken each night with a second meal, called iftar, which is eaten once the sun sets. While Muslims can enjoy iftar in their own homes, it is often a family or community event, and is frequently eaten at long tables set up in mosques or community centers.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
The Quran with a bowl of dates, which are eaten to break fast during Ramadan. | Abdullah Arif / Pexels

Can Muslims Be Vegan?

For some Muslims, reconciling their religious beliefs with a vegan lifestyle can be difficult, because eating meat is a part of Muslim culture. In Islam, consuming meat is regarded as halal, which means Muslims are allowed to do it under the rules of their religion. This is why some Muslims believe that rejecting what has been allowed by the word of God is haram—against the wishes of God.

But that doesn’t mean going vegan as a Muslim can’t be done, especially as more people across the globe are shifting to flexitarian and plant-based diets. There are even reports that suggest the number of vegan Muslims is on the rise, in part because younger people are increasingly worried about animal welfare and climate change.

Animal cruelty is not in line with Islam,” a vegan Muslim woman named Mara told BBC in January 2020. “The sacrificial tradition during Eid al-Adha can make things difficult for Muslim vegans, but I know some who, instead of sacrificing an animal, will instead use their time to help others or give to charity instead. And that’s what I’ll do too.”

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
Eating plant-based during Ramadan is entirely possible. | Jasmin Merdan / Getty

How to be Vegan During Ramadan

While Ramadan isn’t a strictly vegan holiday, there are practicing Muslims who opt not to eat meat or animal products during the holy month or any other time of year.

In order to maintain a vegan diet during the month of Ramadan, it is especially important for people to ensure that they are consuming foods with plenty of protein and fiber. These nutrients in particular have been proven to boost satiety, which is crucial when you are fasting for several hours at a time.

Since satiety is key, it’s no surprise that many vegan Ramadan meals are packed with fiber-rich foods such as lentils and fresh vegetables, as well as foods with plenty of protein like chickpeas and tofu.

For Moroccan Muslims (and many other Muslims around the world) it’s common to break the daily fast with dates, which are inherently vegan. According to Moroccan food writer Christine Benlafquih, this tradition stems from religious teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, who is quoted as saying: “When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.

Dates, which are common in many parts of the world including Morocco, the Middle East, and Pakistan, are mentioned in the Quran more than 20 times.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
Here are some ideas for your vegan Ramadan meals. | Muslim Girl / Getty

Celebrate Vegan Ramadan With These 7 Recipes

LIVEKINDLY reached out to food bloggers of Muslim faith for some of their favorite vegan Ramadan dishes. Each blogger included personal details about what the dish means to them.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
This egg-free omelet uses chickpea flour. | Muzammil Ahmad

1 | Chickpea Omelet

Growing up, I would wake up in the morning prior to sunrise during Ramadan and would look forward to the omelet I would eat for breakfast with my family. After shifting towards a whole food plant-based diet and going fully vegan, that was not an option,” explains Muzammil Ahmad, a medical student and a nutrition coach who runs the popular dr.plantbased blog. “The chickpea omelet has been a great alternative to an egg-based omelet for me, as I am still able to have an omelet for my breakfast during Ramadan. It’s highly nutritious, very satiating, and much healthier than an egg omelet.

According to Ahmad, the best part of this breakfast option is that “no animal needed to die for this delicious meal.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
Recipe creator Davina Da suggests serving this dairy-free yogurt for suhur. | Davina Da

2 | Tofu Yogurt

Ramadan month allows the digestive system to take a breather. Dishes with minimal ingredients—like this delightful dairy-free yogurt—will highly encourage this too,” says Davina Goh, author of the Davina Da Vegan food blog. “It’s easy to make and great to enjoy with fruit and granola for an energizing, power-packed suhur to help sustain you until iftar.”

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
This staple soup is packed with chickpeas and comforting spices. | Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki

3 | Moroccan Harira

This traditional soup is made with plant-based ingredients such as chickpeas, tomatoes, and onion. It gets its heartiness from lentils and long-grain rice, and its flavor from an array of spices including turmeric and paprika.

Harira is a staple item during Ramadan in nearly every Moroccan home. The recipe base is quite simple and is then adjusted based on the family,” says Amanda Ponzio-Mouttaki, a Moroccan food and travel blogger. “It’s nutritious and very filling—perfect after a day of fasting!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
Pakora, a type of fritter, uses chickpea flour as the base so it’s also gluten-free. | Shruthi Baskaran

4 | Pakora Fritters

These vegan fritters are my grandmother’s recipe. When I lived in India, she would make these as a late night snack for us,” explains Shruthi Baskaran, a recipe developer, photographer, and blogger behind Urban Farmie. “It’s a great way to use up a lot of different vegetables, and it’s both vegan and gluten-free since it uses chickpea flour as the base. It’s a great bite-sized dish for either the suhur—the meal before dawn—or the iftar, the meal to break your fast after sunset.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
These fried potato balls are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. | Shelly Kaur

5 | Crispy Potato Balls

Potato balls is one of the most popular recipes on my blog because it neither needs eggs nor breadcrumbs, and requires very basic ingredients. It is freezer-friendly, which is a plus for iftar meals,” says Shelly Kaur, who runs the Shellyfoodspot blog. “This recipe can also be prepared with leftover boiled mashed potatoes.

She adds: “These potato balls have a crispy exterior and soft potatoes, onion and green bell peppers stuffing inside.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
This silky dairy-free mango mousse calls for only three ingredients. | Haifa Odeh

6 | Mango Mousse

This refreshing and super easy three-ingredient mango coconut mousse is the perfect dessert after a long day’s fast. It is light on the stomach yet filling, much healthier than most desserts, and simple to put together,” says Heifa Odeh, who runs the Fufu’s Kitchen food blog and released an E-cookbook called Soufrati. “All things that are important in Ramadan as the focus isn’t to spend too much time preparing food but focus on spirituality. You can make this way ahead of time and enjoy it later in the day.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Ramadan Recipes to Break Fast: Chickpea Omelet, Pakora, and More
Nicknamed “the King of Fruits,” durian is famous for its distinct flavor and texture. | Davina Da

7 | Durian Panna Cotta

This panna cotta delivers the unforgettable taste of durian with a silky, melt-in-your-mouth sensation of a good dessert. Ramadan is a time of abstinence from sinful deeds and peaceful self-reflection,” Goh explains. “A vegan lifestyle fits perfectly into this special time, and this panna cotta is worthy of a moment of quiet gratitude.

Get the recipe here.

Written by Samantha Leffler

NEW YORK, NY | Samantha Leffler is s writer and editor who writes about food, health, and entertainment. She was previously the Food Editor at Us Weekly. Her work has appeared in BuzzFeed, MarthaStewart.com, FoodNetwork.com, Cosmopolitan, The Hollywood Reporter, and other outlets.

Written for and originally appeared on LIVEKINDLY

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