One of the unique pleasures of Ramadan is the tradition of specially prepared Ramadan sweets that originate from a host of different cultures and nationalities across the Muslim world. These Ramadan sweets and pastries help create a festive mood around the iftar table, and the best thing about Ramadan in America is that we get to sample them all. Just as the Muslim American community is a melting pot of diverse cultures, our Ramadan plates are adorned with treats from every corner of the Muslim world.
My parents immigrated from South Asia, so our house was filled with Ramadan treats from their homeland – seviyan (roasted noodles served in a sugary, milky sauce), fruit chaat (cut up fruits served with masala spices & black pepper), and of course, Rooh Afza (a sweet, rose-flavored milk drink).
But the mosque I attended while growing up was very multicultural, so I got a chance to experience the Ramadan treats of the parents of many of my friends. Kunafa (shredded, sweetened phyllo dough) from Syria, katayef (kind of like a fried sweet pancake) and umm ali (a decadent bread pudding) from Egypt, raisin cookies from Iran, and güllaç (phyllo again, with pomegranates and walnuts) from Turkey. There are tenuous cultural links between all of these desserts, but they each retain a cultural uniqueness that all can appreciate.
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About Hungry for RamadanThe last update to the Hungry for Ramadan blog was in October 2007. We welcome your comments about Ramadan and Islam in general in our Muslim forums.
Shahed Amanullah, a frequent Beliefnet contributor, is one of the country’s foremost Muslim journalists. He has harnessed the power of the Internet to spread a positive view of Islam. Amanullah is the editor of altmuslim.com, a Muslim news website, and founder of Halalfire Media, a network of Muslim-themed websites with more than five million annual visitors. Through his work Amanullah has tapped into a strong force of online activism. He lives in Texas with his wife and two sons, and looks forward to the spiritual rewards of Ramadan every year.
- Ramadan 2009 (on Beliefnet)
- “Hungry for Ramadan” Recap
- These are the Days of Eid
- What a Difference 30 Days Can Make
- The Sweets of Ramadan
- Making Ramadan Festive for Children
- The Solitude of the Suhoor – The Morning Meal
- Sharing the Blessings of Ramadan with the Fast-a-thon
- A Golden Opportunity to Curb Addiction
- The Story of the USPS Eid Stamp