Ramadan Dishes/Recette Ramadan!


Ftour or Iftar Recipes
All Yum Yummy Ramadan Recipes in Moroccan Table!
Cuisine that combines History, Tradition and Culture!

Recettes bien gourmandes pour Ramadan sur notre table marocaine.
 Héritage, Culturel et Tradition!

وصفات رمظان 

I often receive emails from my blog readers asking if it is ok to visit Morocco during Ramadan and what this celebration exactly means, and how long it lasts etc..., so I have decided to write this page to talk about Ramadan in Morocco, hoping it will be helpful and answer all your questions..

Ramadan {R A M A T H A N} in classic Arabic and Ramdan {R A M D A N} in Moroccan Darija is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and the most sacred of the twelve months of the year. The blessed month of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the revelation of the Quoran (also spelled as Coran or Koran) to our Prophet Mohammed SAW, in the Cave of Hira.  During Ramadan, all Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink during the daylight hours. It is One (1) Month Celebratory Holiday, but there are also deeper spiritual meanings tied to this month.  Ramadan is not all about "Food" and "Drink", but it is an occasion that marks the beginning of the Month, during which all Muslims reflect upon their actions over the past year, seek forgiveness for their transgressions, purify their soul, refocus on spiritual practice and help the poor and needy.

The fast starts the 1st day of the month of Ramadan according to the Islamic calendar, and since the Gregorian date changes every year, so whatever date Ramadan starts, it is assumed that it will start about 10-12 days earlier the following year, and so on.  Last year Ramadan started on August 2nd, 2011 (I remember so well the date, since it was my son Nassim's Birthday), so this year the First Day of Ramadan is likely to start around July 20th or 21st, 2012, and then around July 11th or 12th, 2013 (the year after), and so on...

Ramadan is viewed as the Month of giving and generosity and all Muslims have the obligation to assess and pay their Zakat during Ramadan. Zakat is the arabic word for the acts that we call "Charity" as known in English language, and it refers to the obligation that all Muslims have to donate a certain proportion of their wealth each year.  However the act of  "Charity" is quite different from the obligation of Zakat in Islam.  If Charity suggests a magnanimous act by a small group of people who are very wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor or a certain institution, Zakat is rather a mandatory process, and not considered as a magnanimous act. It is obligatory upon all Muslims to give a certain percentage of their wealth and assets each year to the poor and needy.  Zakat is viewed as an act of justice, fairness in taxation, and a Muslim's duty.

Even if Ramadan means fasting all day from dawn to sunset, this does not mean "Light Food or Less Cooking". Actually, in Morocco, there are so many traditional, rich and versatile dishes made specially for Ramadan and which differ widely from one region to another.  The main meal in Ramadan is called "FTOOR" in Moroccan Darija  (known in Classic Arabic as "IFTAR"), which means the end of fasting at sunset.  Ftoor is a happy, special occasion for all families to get-together around the table, listening to Quoran, or to Tarab Andaloussi (Moroccan Classic Music), or simply watching TV, chatting, sharing recipes, etc.....  Ftoor, an important meal which lasts for a good couple of hours, happens just after the sunset after Maghreb prayer, and this meal is served surrounded by all family members, and sometimes Ftoor is served on 3 or 4 tables especially during the four (4) weekends of this month, it is pretty much akin to Christmas Night!

During the few days before Ramadan arrives, everyone becomes excited especially children and mums: children because they know Ramadan means less hours at school, less exams, less homework and most importantly a lot of special and traditional treats on the table every single day for 30 days. It is almost like a party atmosphere every night for the happy children.  As for mums, they are responsible for a well stocked pantry and an essential list of ingredients to have on hand before the start of Ramadan, and the dads have to pay the bills, of course. If you go to the Souk or market few days before Ramadan, you can see mums shopping, hustling and bustling about preparing the most popular Ramadan treats in Morocco i.e. Chabakiya, the famous tressed cookies soaked in honey, Krachel, Hrira, Briwat, Mini-Bastilla, Salloo, Rziza, Mssamen, Malwi, Baghrir, Harsha etc... That's why, exactly one week before Ramadan, Morocco streets are transformed into Food Workshops or Iron Food Competition!

Most tourists avoid travelling to Morocco during Ramadan, but if you happen to be there during this month, it is good to know before you land there that Ramadan is a very special time for Moroccans as all Muslims in the world. Of course you are not expected to fast and Moroccans are very tolerant of non-Muslims eating, drinking and smoking during Ramadan.  Morocco is not Saudi Arabia that threatens to expel non-Muslim expatriates who eat, drink, or smoke in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.  In tourist areas, you will be able to find a few restaurants and food stores open during the day to serve non-Muslims, but it is good to show some respect and avoid doing this publicly, instead, you can eat in the Hotel during the day. It is also beneficial in some way to visit Morocco during Ramadan since during the day, especially in the morning, the streets, markets, souks etc.. are less crowded and less busy as usual. The beaches are almost empty, no Moroccan will go to the beach while he or she is fasting, so tourists usually will have the whole beach for themselves. There are also interesting flight deals to travel to Morocco during Ramadan, so you can have a nice trip to Morocco in 5 stars hotels for 1 or 2 weeks without blowing your budget.

If you have Moroccan friends, don't hesitate to ask to join them for Ftoor meal to experience this special moment in a 'proper' home setting, because in hotels, to be honest, it's not the right place to taste the authentic Moroccan food, especially the one prepared for Ramadan. Enjoy your trip!


Traditions of Ramadan in Morocco:

1 )Air Raid Siren, called "Zowaka" = الزواكة

This is a traditional practice of Ftour in Morocco.  An Air Raid Siren (Zowaka {Z O W A K A}) goes off and can be heard throughout the whole town to announce the end of fasting.   So if you happen to be visiting Morocco in Ramadan, don't be surprised if you hear the air raid siren blasting out at sunset.  Eventually this loud sound is followed immediately by the ritual “Adan or Athan” , which means "the call to prayer".  For some reasons, this tradition has been stopped in some towns, and replaced by a recorded sound, aired on national TV or Radio.

2 )Charities

During the whole Month of Ramadan in Morocco, there are many charities, volunteers and mosques throughout the kingdom, who hand out free Ftoor meal to the poor and the needy.

3 )Night Promenade

After Ftoor meal, most families, including children and women will start going out to have fresh air, forget about food and enjoy the rest of the evening.  Needless to mention that working and school hours are greatly reduced to suit Ramadan hours.

4 )A volunteer who is a kind of town "Crier" = النفّار

This is another special, old tradition of Ramadan in Morocco.  A volunteer is a kind of town "Crier", whose task is walking down the streets, and playing a special instrument, like a trumpet, or calling people by their family names, to wake them up for Shoor meal, which is the last meal before sunrise.

5)Greetings

Since Ramadan is the time for celebrations, all Moroccans send greetings and best wishes to their family members, hoping that they have a long life and a healthy one.  A long time ago, greetings were conveyed by family visits one or two days before the starting of Ramadan, talking about the excitement and preparation of Ramadan, and enjoying a fresh mint tea.  However, nowadays, most greetings are conveyed in the form of phone calls, text messaging, e-mail, facebook, twitter, blogging, etc...


Wish all of  you and your Family a very Blessed Ramadan Mobarak!
Ftourkom Mabrouk, as we say in Morocco
فتوركم مبروك

6) Ramadan Food in Morocco

There are so many traditional dishes, served during this special month, these are only very few of them that I have posted in my blog.

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بغرير 
حَرْشَة / مْبَسّسْ / كسرة
مْلْوي   
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عصير الحامض الخْظْرْ- بُوعْوِيدْ

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Thanks for stopping by my site! 
Mamatkamal, K. El Mary









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