Ramadan, the 9th month in the Moslem calendar, is a time when Moslems concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation.
Throughout Ramadan, Moslems fast the entire month. This is called the Fast of Ramadan. During this period, strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Moslems. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. At the end of the day, the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Moslems to go out visiting family and friends.
For iftar, the food prepared is rather unusual and appears almost only during Ramadan. Iftar begins with dates, in imitation of what the Prophet ate during the iftar of the first Fast of Ramadan. Then kanji is served. This is very different to the kanji that Sri Lankans normally enjoy. Spices and herbs and often chicken or beef is added to this kanji, making this almost a meal in itself.
Some of the other dishes found during this month are surtapam – rolled pancakes with panipol (grated coconut mixed with treacle and lightly spiced with cardamoms), pillawoos – crunchy, deep-fried banana batter, drizzled with treacle, ada – soft, juggery cakes, addukku Roti – layers of pancakes with a minced beef or chicken filling, baked in a pastry covering, pastol - rice flour and coconut patty with tripe filling and al-basara – shredded beef or chicken with semolina and baked like a cake.
When the fast ends (the 1st day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr – the Feast of Fast Breaking. Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals.
Visit www.bojoon.com for free recipes of the special food and drinks prepared for Iftar and the wonderful festive lunch of mutton biriyani and accompaniments.
Sandamalee foundered Amazing Lanka Tours & Travels (Pvt.) Ltd to introduce to the world the classy travel destination Sri Lanka is. Though her expertise lies in Information Systems her passion is in food, as her core-product bojoon.com proves. With absolutely no inhibition when it comes to food her mission is to bring out Sri Lankan cuisine, one of the least known, yet a most exquisite culinary delight to the World palette.