بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Ramadan (spelled Ramadhan here in Algeria ) is a holy month for Muslims. We fast, we pray, we give charity, we do good deeds, we try to better ourselves and our relationship to God. I talked about Ramadan in depth before and how I usually prepare for it.
Ramadan is nearly here, and I 'm really glad I made the effort to prepare for it. You can feel the excitement of people everywhere in Algeria now. Mosques qre being cleaned. Houses are given a fresh coat of paint. Temporary stalls selling zlabia and kalb ellouz are opening up. Book shops are selling out of Qur'ans and also cookbooks. Women are fine tuning their cooking skills.. New dishes and coffee services are being bought. Even the rhythm of life is changing. It's time to welcome Ramadan!
Fast (or saum in Arabic) as a term means not eating, drinking, smoking, engaging in sexual intercourse, gossip, cursing and any other worldy habits from sunrise till sunset.
The first step of the Ramadan Fast begins after midnight, with what we call suhour. People must prepare for the first day of fasting. Most reserve some hours in the night for quiet reflection and making the niyyah (intention). And most will have suhour, which is a meal before the fasting begins. The muezzin calls people to warn them that the time is almost near and they can’t have any food after they hear the voice of imam calling all Muslims to prayer.
Most Muslims may stay up all night in worship the whole Ramadan, while others set their alarm clocks to be able to wake up for suhour. In some countries, you may be so lucky to hear the muezzin or even have Ramadan drummers. But at the time of suhour, worldwide anywhere Muslims live it is for sure, you'll hear the clanking of pots, brewing of coffee; women preparing food for their families and people getting ready for worship. While waking up at that time of night and cooking isn't so appealing to me, it's an exciting time for my children. Waking up at that unusual hour. Having something special (well least to them) on the table to eat. Stories of the Prophets and Ramadans past. Even the ones, not yet fasting love t share in on the traditions of Ramadan.The stories in the Hadith remind us that suhour (the meal before the fast) is an important and essential to health during Ramadan. One Sunnah we should not forget.
I used to take my Suhur meals with my family and then hurry up for presenting myself for the (Fajr) prayer with Allah’s Apostle.
The Prophet said, “Take Suhour as there is a blessing in it.”
Experience I got from the previous years, as a working wife and mom of four, suhour meals can be easier be when you pre-make/prepare everything. There is minimal work and peace of knowing it's already donne. Pre-set or better yet, have your children pre-set the table before going to bed. All you need to do is reheat the food. I know some sisters, who even go as far as prepare coffee, and milk ahead and keep them hot in carafes. The food should be light yet nourishing foods; and selected for the nutritional value.
Protein packed omelettes, low sodium (or better yet homemade) cuts of meats, porridges made from complex carbohydrate grains and legumes like chickpeas, barley, oats and amaranth. Breakfast breads, pancakes like Beghrir and oatflour crepes are great options. You can easily adapt these to your dietary needs: whole grains, gluten-free or even grain-free. You can prepare them in bulk, wrap and freeze. Rounding out your suhour meal with yoghurt, date milk, lben (buttermilk)and fruit like dates, bananas, apples, or figs that are easy on the stomach. Caffeine is a diruetic that stimulates water loss faster, leading to dehydration. I know for most this caffeine boost allows for nomal functioning during Ramadan and is a part of culture, but it advised to be reduced.
It's also widely recommend to choose foods that nourish the body for the full fasting day. Stay clear of greasy fried foods that are heavy. And also foods that lead to bad taste in the mouth and are difficult to digest like very salty cheese and olives, and heavy pastries.
Remember never sleep through the time of suhour. And try to eat suhour as late as possible, not earlier after Taraweeh. Even for a sip of water, always get up for suhour. Because "there is abundance and blessing of suhour".
The most important thing to do in heat is to hydrate your self with WATER. The best thing to do if you plan on being in the heat is to hydrate in the morning before sunrise. Please make it a priority to drink water at suhour. Add teaspoon of pure sea salt in a bottle of water.You can start with sea salt in the first bottle followed by 1 or 2 bottles more. The sea salt should not have any other ingredients in it. The salt helps pull the water into the tissues and into the cells which makes the water maintain in the body for a longer time.
Here is my selection for suhour meal ideas. More will be added as we go.
Beghrir choco | Classic Homemade Labneh | Strawberry Flax Pancakes | Bradj | Beghrir choco |
Maârek / M'semmen | Chrik Constantinois | M'halbi | 4 Ingredient Oatflour Crêpes | Skinny Apple Almond Muffins | Bradj | Oranais aux abricot briochée
Spiced Date and Banana Smoothie
Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie
For more suhour ideas, check out my Pins on Pintrest.