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Iftar meal planning by new brides and busy bees

Ankita Vaidya
Written by Ankita Vaidya

Eid Kareem! The holy month of Ramadan is upon us. Strict fasting post sehri, until the sun sets along with the five important prayers of the day- Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha. After the Maghrib Azan is called, fast is usually broken by consuming dates and water, post the prayer.

And we all know what happens after that!! Iftaar, yes! A lavish set up of mouthwatering delicacies, very creatively displayed for the entire family to feast on! From delicately wrapped mutton samosas to silky smooth, creamy kulfi; there are about 10 different dishes prepared absolutely without tasting, yet perfectly seasoned!

Naturally, Iftar meal planning creates a lot of pressure on newly married girls and working women. It is quite tiring to carry out all the usual tasks at work and then taking care of iftar meal for the family. We have some tips for all you girls who are nervous about time management or cooking for the ‘new’ family.

Nail the recipes

Finding recipes is not that hard. Most of us have recipes passed down by our mothers or aunts. What is important is to understand the recipe and comprehend how it works. Trying something new is always exciting and encouraged when you have lot more time on your hand. However, it could be crunch time and you do not want to test your luck. Watch videos, read blogs, talk to your friends or mom or ask our team of experts.

Menu planning

All well executed things are always planned. Be it a wedding or buying a house. Similarly Iftar meal planning makes everything function smooth as butter. For example, having meat marinated in the fridge or a pot of soup, ready to be cooked or boiled makes the entire process stress free and a lot more enjoyable. Always good to know how many heads are to be fed, what can be made that day depending on your schedule, or even getting a take-out! Planning is one of the keys to success.

Keep it simple and healthy

Unlike your mother, you might not have all the resources to cater to everyone’s liking by putting out a lavish feast. Maybe on the weekends, if you have guests coming over, otherwise it’s better to keep it simple and healthy. Try to include a bowl of nourishing soup like paya or bone broth, or a full serving of salad with lean meat. Other options include barbeque meat and rice or pulao, Haleem and roti, one pot roast or one pot biryani with raita or buttermilk. Have a bowl of dry nuts and fruit, coconut water, rose sherbet and dates ready for breaking fast or for sehri. Also homemade granola with milk, breakfast protein bars, ragi porridge, rajgira porridge or laddoo make an easy, hassle free and healthy sehri option. Always better to stay away from the greasy, buttery snacks that could give a heartburn.

Domestic help

If you are lucky to have a maid, have her roll out chapatis, wash greens and chop, do all the prep work for you, marinate meat for future or anything that helps you plan following day’s sehri. It’s a boon to have a person working for you. However, it’s up to you how you decide to make the most of it. Be the boss of your kitchen. (A good one, please!)

Grocery lists

Always, always, always write down your list on a piece of paper or on your phone, whatever you prefer, before you leave for shopping. We all think, ya it’s only 5 items that I need and I can do this without writing it out. But, looking at 10 other things in the store is quite mesmerizing and could potentially sidetrack you. Besides, it saves you $$ by not buying unnecessary items that are ‘on sale’. A big part of preparing a shopping list will take you back to my point#2: Menu planning. They are interrelated. You either belong to the category that plans a menu and shops accordingly. Or you belong to the other category that likes to check ‘aaj market me kya fresh hai’ (like me) and then plan a menu accordingly. Either ways, lists, planning, binders, label makers are all made to make your life easier!

 

Let us know if you find above tips helpful. If there is something that I missed here, please mention in the comments below as it’s never too late to learn new things. If you are a new bride and are celebrating your first Ramzaan with your in-laws, send us some pictures, I am sure it is quite special and an exciting time for you. For the working bees, take snaps of your usual iftar meals and everyone, don’t forget to tag us #metime. Eid Kareem!

 

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About the author

Ankita Vaidya

Ankita Vaidya

A computer engineer on paper, chef by profession! Being born in a gastronomically enthu household was sheer luck and definitely some good karma. I left India at the age of 22 with 3 suitcases full of parents’ love, passion and determination to chase my dreams.

A connoisseur of Indian cuisine, I enjoy sharing my love for traditional Indian cooking wherever I go. Nurtured with extreme affection, this ‘lil princess’ is all set to touch millions of hearts with her holistic zeal for food and cooking.

I believe life is like a box of spices- though some moments may seem overwhelming, a thoughtful use and correct application will definitely give you extraordinary results. Feel free to share food related anything with me ‘cause I am a student for life!

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