5 Simple Steps for Planning Ramadan Meals

Do you believe we’re in the middle of summer already? Ramadan is just a few weeks away. Time to plan your menu…

Scottsdale Supermarket

For those who don’t know much about Ramadan, let me briefly explain that Muslims believe this to be the most blessed month of the entire year. “Ramadan” is an actual name of one of the Islamic calendar months, the ninth to be exact. Muslims believe this was the year that the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) by the Angel Gabriel, so it is a very important time for Muslims to read and reflect upon it in its entirety. The most commonly known fact about Ramadan, however,  is that it’s a month of fasting for all Muslims, except those who are excused: pregnant women, nursing mothers, menstruating women, children, and those with a medical condition whose health would be at risk by fasting.

arabic calligraphyWhile a Muslim is to fast from just before sunrise to sunset, food is still a significant aspect of the fasting month. The right types of foods need to be consumed for a healthy fast and to provide enough energy to sustain the fasting person throughout the day, which will be long this year. No food or drink-not even water- is consumed throughout the fasting period. When the fast is broken at the end of the day, it is to be done slowly- with a date or water at first and a light meal later, gradually introducing food into the stomach. At the end of a month-long fast, one is left to really understand what it feels like to go hungry just as the poor and impoverished throughout the world so often do, unwillingly.

So, with all this talk about refraining from food, why is it so necessary to plan a menu full of delicious, tempting meals? Because if you don’t, you’ll be scrambling each day to get the iftar (meal at the time of breaking the fast) on the table, not to mention the fact that you may be exhausted from a very long day of fasting.

Use these 5 Simple Steps for Planning Ramadan Meals and finally spend less time in the kitchen and more time in prayer, worship and good deeds.

  1. List Family Faves: Jot down 15-30 of your family’s favorite main meals. Cross out the ones you know you won’t realistically prepare during Ramadan and keep the rest. Indicate the ones you may want to repeat during the month to make sure you’ll have enough meals for 30 days to feed everyone in your family. On the side margin of each of the meals, list the main component (i.e. turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, fish, etc.) to be sure you have a good variety.
  2. Grab a Calendar:  Find a blank calendar you can write on. I download mine from here and type my meals right into the calendar where I can later print them out. Add the name of one dish you will make for iftar to each calendar day. If you think you’ll have leftovers, indicate the same meal for two days. Keep in mind, you may use some leftovers from iftar for the next morning suhoor(breakfast before beginning the day’s fast) so try to underestimate how much food will be left over so you are not left to scramble for an unplanned meal.

calendar

  1. Create a Shopping List: You’ll need to see what types and how many pounds of meat and staples your recipes call for in order to do this. Calculate the number of servings you’ll need to make at each meal and start crunching numbers. Although this is the most tedious aspect of the plan, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.

Shopping List

  1. Go Shopping: Buy your meat in bulk but call your butcher ahead of time. If not, you may be waiting a long time for them to cut and wrap your orders, especially if everyone else is buying in bulk for Ramadan, too. Don’t forget to buy things like bread in bulk, too, since it freezes so well.
  1. Put Things Away: Label and freeze your items and organize your staples. Now all you have to do throughout the month at meal time is to buy fresh vegetables and fruits. You can relax knowing that you have a plan for every day of the week and can fit cooking time into your daily schedule. No excuses for reading Qur’an, ibadah(worship) and extra salah (prayer)!

To get your halal meats, call these Chicagoland grocers ahead to place your order:

  • Mediterranean Oasis Market (Naperville, IL):  630.420.9507
  • Sara Meat Market (Niles, IL): 847.581.0792
  • Fresh Farms International Market: 5740 W. Touhy Avenue (b/n Austin Ave. & Central Ave.), Niles, IL 60714. 847-779-7343. They sell roasted chickens (halal) and Crescent brand halal chickens packaged whole, legs, wings, breast, etc.

For Cleveland area halal meat markets, call Al-Madina Imports at (216) 671-4661 or visit them at 11550 Lorain Ave,
Cleveland, OH 44111.

Online Halal Meat Retailers

Crescent Foods: antibiotic and hormone-free halal chicken

Taaza2u.com- halal beef, chicken, goat and veal delivered to your door (mostly Chicago but delivered to other areas, too)

Related Food Products

Saffron Road – convenient halal frozen meals, chicken/vegetable/lamb broths, Simmer Sauces. Part of nonGMO project, certified humane and many items are also gluten free. 

 

32 comments

  1. MashaAllah,
    I luv this idea of pre planning! :)

  2. Do you offer personal menu planning for families with a culinary-challenged mother/wife?

    Well-written and helpful!

  3. assalamoalikum .
    i liked the planning for ramadan about food . inshallah we will try not to spend much time for preparing food .

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I love learning about other cultures:)

  5. Assalamvalekum,

    Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family…..The above post is really helpful dear…….Will plan something like this for my family too…thank you for sharing.

  6. This one has bot to be one of the most helpful posts I’ve read on your blog!!!! I can’t seem to ever find a way of planning my meals for the week… but this year for Ramadhaan I will take heed of your advice!! Thanks tons. :D

  7. Great post! I think I will plan a Ramadan menu ahead of time this year. I have always found that cooking gets to be very challenging in Ramadan.

  8. Sumaya Umm Sara

    Salaam Alaikum,

    This was sooooo helpful!! Especially the tip about buying bread in bulk!! Yes, I forgot how well it freezes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think the links for Green Zabiha and others didn’t work when I clicked them (I got error 404 it might just be my comp though) But I googled them and found their site. AWESOME!!! I didn’t know organic grass fed beef was available for us halal :) Super excited about Ramadan coming. You are my favorite blog! Keep up the great work!

    Fee aman Allah,
    Sumaya

  9. Aneesa Umm Imaan

    Assalaamu alaikum shukran dear sis for sharing this info, I wish I had a big deep freezer it would be so much easier to buy meat and bread in bulk and maybe making double and freezing the second meal portion, especially in Ramadaan.

    Jazzakallahu Khair

  10. Assalaamu aleikum sister
    JAK for these ideas, I plan to implement them in sha Allah. Anything that = less kitchen time and more time for what Ramadan is really all about has to be good!

  11. Assalamualaikum, wishing you a good Ramadhan, good idea for preparing the fasting month

  12. can you give us some ideas of things to add to our menus? I know i sometimes draw blanks when deciding what to make. its always nice to be reminded of “forgotten” dinners!!!

  13. Salaam, and early Ramadan Mubarak to you. I have also found that preparing the list of meals with your children can be very helpful and fun. On the night that I am planning to cook the meal that they like, I will let them help prepare the meal. It’s a great opportunity to spent quality time together, stop them from asking when it will be done and teach them basics of cooking at the same time.

    On a separate but similar note, I also try to prepare a list family and friends’ Eid gifts ahead of Ramadan, because it can be very overwhelming to complete all of the Eid activities and shopping during the last ten days of Ramadan.

    Best of luck to all of you, may you have a successful Ramadan!
    Wa’salaam.

  14. Assalaamualaikum to everbody at halal kitchen and specialist sis Yvonne.
    I have been to Mediterranean Oasis Grocery last weekend with my hubby and we like very much especially the meat and the food. We have Mediterranean lunch and it was good. Thanks Yvonne for recommend this place and Happy Ramadhan to all of you…

  15. assalamu ‘alaikum and Ramadan Kareem! This is a great post, especially for families. I can be a bit more flexible on my own, but there’s the other reason for planning for Suhr and Iftar – fasting can affect your appetite – in the early days of Ramadan I find it hard to eat at Suhr unless something is particularly enticing..and as ramadan nears an end, your stomach has shrunk a little and it’s harder to eat in the evenings. My experience anyway.

    • @Chennette- wa’alaikum as salaam. Thanks for your comments and for visiting. I’m eager to know how these tips helped you out. Come back soon!

  16. I am Amazed at all the receipes that u guys have. They look so delicious nd tantalizing i am definately gonna try them all. Well done with the halaal kitchen Us home executives need inspiration to prepare meals for our families every day and this will make it so much esier.

    Have a fantastic Ramadaan and Salaams to all the sisters out there.

  17. you can also order online Halal meat and authenthic imported Turkish food at
    http://www.myhalalmeat.com/

  18. What a find, I am so glad that you put an invitation to this newsletter up on twitter right when my eyeballs were looking there. I have been wanting to know more about Ramadan in terms of food and cooks and cooking and, well, everything! And here you are! Many thanks for letting me visit Your Halal Kitchen!

  19. Very Educative. Jazakalahu Khairan.

  20. Assalamualykom
    I am from south Africa.what a mashallah Ramadaan spirit alhumdulilah jazaks for the freezer tips.just curious do you guys also do the samosa pies story from month before like us in SA we stock up on savouries and I think most eat it the entir year.
    Would love to keep in touch
    I have loads of recipes too all SA ones
    Duaas

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