Ramzan cuisine: India

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Ramzan cuisine: India

Most of the food traditions mentioned below are not restricted to the city or region mentioned but are found in other regions, too. It is just that we obtained information about them from that particular region.

A 2022 overview

Anoothi Vishal, April 29, 2022: The Times of India

In Lucknow, back in the 1990s, when we visited Deeba didi’s family to wish them on Eid bi-annually, the menu remained unwavering: UP-style dahi bade – dressed with dark roasted cumin, rock salt and imli ki chutney, pretty similar to what my mother made for Holi (except that our chutney was made with saunth, which is dried ginger, not tamarind), qaliya-style thinly-gravied mutton (not qorma) to accompany a homely pulao (not biryani) and meethi seviyan.

The last was my favourite, a dish that now seems in some danger of disappearing, confined to homes but surprisingly unavailable in restaurants, stalls or the many “Ramzan food walks” you may have embarked upon this season, as the month ends with Eid-ul-Fitr, or “meethi Eid”, as, we, the UP-wallahs called it colloquially. 
Sweet memories

Meethi seviyan, not the better known milky sheer korma (vermicelli kheer), were synonymous with these festivities. Made with seviyan fried in ghee and richly browned, the dish got its real character from the overwhelming number of dried fruits and nuts like pistachios, almonds and raisins that went into it.

Meethi seviyan was once synonymous with Eid festivities.

In Delhi

Sheer Khurma

Sheer Khurma. Photo: Naved Yar Khan

By Naved Yar Khan

This is prepared in the walled city of Delhi by Muslim families only on Eid ul Fitr.


Vermicilli Noodles (Seviyan) 1 & 1/4 cup

Milk 1 litre

Dates (dry) 7-8

Almond 10

Pistachio 12

Black raisin 1/2 cup

Ghee 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp

Green cardamom 6

Clove 4

Sugar 10-11 tbsp

Cooking Directions

Soak the dates in water overnight and then slice cut them.

Take milk and add sugar. Cook it well.

Put a pot on stove and add ghee. Then add green cardamom & clove.

Cook them for a while. Then add almonds, pistachio and fry them.

Take them out of the pan and put aside for later use.

With hands, crush the siwaiyan and add in pan to cook till golden brown.

Cook the siwaiyan on low heat and be very attentive while this.

Add black raisins and cook on slow-medium heat.

Add milk, almonds, pistachio and black raisins in the above mixture.

Cook it for a while and add roh kewra for fragrance.

Cook for 15-20 minutes. Cool down the dish and serve.

Tip you can use condensed milk instead of normal milk.

Rooh Afza (with fruit salad and pakora)

Rooh Afza with milk and grated nuts

Naved Yar Khan writes: In Delhi fruit salad is essential during Iftar (fast opening)during Holy month of Ramzan.First date is taken then Rooh Afza then fruit salad and then Pakora or pakoris are taken later. Ramzan series

A Window Into The Indian Muslim Life


Posted on August 20, 2011 by Kashif

For millions of Muslims of South Asia, Ramzan is not complete without Rooh Afza. A red-colored drink in its unique bottle design that hasn’t changed since I was little has been the choice of the first sip of millions of rozedars every day of Ramzan for the last 100 years.

Rooh Afza was launched by Hamdard in 1907, and its popularity has only grown over the years. My memories of Ramzan involve sharbat Rooh Afza made in water and served sometimes with tiny pieces of cucumbers. Rooh Afza is also made in milk and in America I have seen people mixing few tablespoons of Rooh Afza in a gallon of milk.

na rooh afza sa koi sharbat,

kabhi banega na ban chuka hai

-sa’il dhlavi

Partition of India has also split the Hamdard Laboratories into three. Rooh Afza continue to be the flagship product of both Pakistani and Bangladeshi Hamdard. I have tasted Pakistani version of Rooh Afza but I found a bit synthetic and sweeter than its Indian counterpart. Hamdard India’s official admits that 15% of their sale happens in Ramzan

In Kolhapur

Ramzan fever in Kolhapur

Rahul Gayakwad, TNN Jul 19, 2013

The Times of India

The holy month of Ramzaan is a time when people offer prayers and gorge on some tasty delicacies to break their day-long fast.

From yummy keema rolls to spicy mutton curries and creamy shahi tukdas, Ramzaan is all about praying and feasting together.

Here's a look at the city's best places where you can relish some of the mouth watering delicacies like the Ramzaan special khichda, healthy dates, biryanis and more. However, one has to be careful about the diet post breaking the fast. Dr SH Mukadam elaborates, "There is no special diet that is necessary during Ramzaan but it is very important to maintain normal and healthy food habits and avoid over eating at the end of the fast."

Popular food items

1. Chicken Tandoori

2. Biryani

3. Keema Roll

4. Packed Khajoor

5. Egg Dry

Places offering Ramzaan delicacies

Ghudanpeer Masjid, Kasab Masjid in Bindu Chowk, Marcas Masjid in Bagal Chowk and Shahupuri Masjid in Shahupuri.


Shahi Tukda

Shahi tukda is a dessert which is made from fried bread soaked in creamy milk. It is garnished with nuts.

Chef Mohammed Momin of Quality Foods Bakery, Bindu Chowk, Kasab Masjid shares the recipe.


Sliced bread - 6 slices (Oil to deep fry)

Ghee - 2 tbsp

Full cream milk - 1 cup

Pista (blanched and chopped) - 2 tbsp

Sugar - ¼ cup

Water - ¼ cup

Powdered cardamom (Elaichi) - 1 pcs

Almonds (roasted and sliced) - 4-5 pcs

Few strands of Kesar (saffron)


1. Cut the edges of the bread and then cut it diagonally into two triangles. Fry in hot oil until brown and crisp. Make sugar syrup by mixing sugar and water and set the mixture to boil. Now, simmer the solution for about 10 minutes and add powdered elaichi in it.

2. Set the milk to boil. Keep stirring occasionally so that it does not stick to the pan. Add pista and few strands of saffron to the thickened milk. Apply ghee on the sides of the bread and lightly fry them until they turn golden brown on both sides. Dip the bread pieces into sugar syrup, drain well.

3. Arrange the fried bread on a plate and spread the milk mixture onto the bread and sprinkle some almonds, pista and saffron strands over it and serve when chilled.


Khichda has plenty of grains and various types of spices used in it to give it a unique taste.

This is the most popular food for Iftar.

Chef Mohammad Shakeel, owner of Jay Hind Snack Center in Bagal Chowk, shares his recipe.


Broken wheat soaked for 3-4 hrs - 1/2 kg

Tur, masoor, moong and channa dal - 100 gms each

Rice - 1 cup

Mutton - 1 kg

Ginger and garlic - 1 tbsp

Green chillies - 3 pcs

Red chilly powder - 2 tsp

Garam masala - 1/2 tsp

Haldi powder - 1/2 tsp

2 inch piece of cinnamon

Elachi - 3-4 pcs

Cloves - 4 pcs

Curd - 1/2 cup

Sliced onions - 3 pcs

Tomato pureed - 2 pcs


1. Fry onions till golden brown, then add whole spices, ginger and garlic.

2. Stir it and then add the tomato puree and green chillies.

3. Once oil floats on top (1/2 cup oil) add mutton and cook it further. Add 1/2 cup curd and pressure cook the same for 15 mins.

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