For Chapter 7 – Ramadan An Event to Share, we have with us Mrs. Zaatar. This one word Zaatar portrayed the entire middle east. Fascinated by the name and to know more , I contacted her. A Lebanese by origin but living in Denmark, Sara our Mrs. Zaatar is sharing with us a Lebanese Ramadan with three recipes.
Ramadan Kareem to all the muslims around the world, and thank you so much Huma for giving me the chance to talk about Ramadan’s traditions in Lebanon.
My name is Sara, I am a wife and a mother of two girls and boy, and I am the owner of @mrs_zaatar, an instagram account. I live in Denmark since 2001, but my family lives in Lebanon. Usually I celebrate Ramadan in Denmark, but I like to celebrate it in Lebanon, so I can feel the Ramadan Spirit.
Ramadan has a special pleasure for the rest of the year. In Lebanon there are some traditions that we do. Our traditions include our worship, our food and our social relationships.From the first day of Ramadan, we begin to read Quran to conclude it at least once the end of the Holy month. There is alot of Duas and Prayers like Taraweeh prayer, which we pray it in the mosque or at home.
As for the food, the lebanese cuisine is full of traditional dishes and delicious mezze that decorate our Ramadan table. The lebanese Ramadan table contains at least 4-5 dishes. There are some traditions that we inherit from our grandmothers and mothers, which are related to Ramadan.
First , start submitting dates, then Ramadan drinks such as Tamer Hindi (Tamarind), Jallab, Amar Al Din and Orange juice. Then we move to the soup, lentil soup or vegetables soup is usually the most appropriate choice.As for the salad , Fatoush is the daily dish in the Ramadan table, because it contains many kinds of vegetables and that’s what our bodies need after a long day of fasting. There is also , at least one kind of mezze everyday such as Kebbeh, Sambousek, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Fatteh, Fried Potato and ofcourse the main dish. After Taraweeh prayer, the sweet dish is ready to be serving and it is usually Qatayef (lebanese pancake) or Kunafa.
Before the time of Suhoor comes, we begin to hear the voice of Al Moosaharati calling people to wake up to eat the Suhoor meal. Suhoor meal is a light meal like Labneh , cheese, za’atar& oliveoil, eggs or bringing Manakish from a nearby Bakery.
As for the beautiful social traditions, which I adore, are family feasts, which we invite each others to eat Iftar and taste the best food and talk about the atmosphere of Ramadan, and Ramadan’s programs and series that we follow.
A few days before the end of Ramadan, the women in the family or neighbors meet to bake Eid Cookies that are stuffed with dates and nuts. On the first day of the Eid, we celebrate with the family by eating the lunch and giving the gifts or a small amount of money to the children. After that, Eid visits begin at relatives.
I would like to share with you the recipes of some Ramadan dishes in Lebanon.
Fattoush, Cheese Sambousek and Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves.
– 3/4 cup lebanese bread
– 250 g cucumber
– 1/2 lettuce ( medium size)
– 250 g tomato
– 4 pieces radish
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1/2 mint bouquet
– 1/2 onion(medium)
– 1/2 parsley bouquet
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 4 tbs lemon juice
– 1/3 cup oliveroil
– 1/2 tsp sumac
– 2 tsp Pomegranate molasses
1- Cut the bread and fried them.
2- Cut all the vegetables small pieces and put them all in one bowl except the garlic.
3- Mix the garlic with sumac, lemon juice, Pomegranate molasses and oliveoil.
4- Mix the mixture with the vegetables and put the fries bread above.
1- Mix the flour, salt, egg, butter and water until you have a dough, and let it rest for 30 min
2- Mix the cheese and the parsley.
3- Mix 2 tsp flour with 1 tsp (this mixture closes the sambousek very nicely, while frying them)
4- Cut the dough into 3 pieces
5- Form the dough into 30×20 cm and make it very thin.
6- Cut it into 3 pieces, each piece 10×20 cm
7- Put the cheese in the middle of the dough, and cover the cheese above and below, then rull it like the sandwich and brush the side with flour mixture.
8- Heat the frying oil, and fry the sambousek in a high heat until it is gold.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
– 200 g grape leaves
– 1/2 cup chopped mint
– 1/2 cup short grain rice (clean & dry)
– 1 1/2 chopped parsley
– 2 tomato medium (chopped)
– 1/2 cup oliveoil
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp peber
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
1- Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. As the water is heating trim the leaves by cutting the stems off, flush with the leaves.
2- Place the leaves in the boiling water and let them soften for 3-5 min, till they become pliable.
3- Drain the leaves and put them to dry.
4- Mix all the ingredients.
5- Cover the bottom of the pot with grape leaves.
6- Place the rice mixture in a straine above the pot, so all the liquid ingredients comes down to be cooked with stuffed grape leaves.
7- Place a grape leaf shiny( smooth) side down, vein (bumpy) side up, on a flat surface like a cutting board.
8- Place the rice mixture to the middle of the leaf and fold it and roll .
9- Put all the stuffed grape leaves inside the pot and put a plate above them.
10- Add the water to the pot ( water should equal the plate level).
11- Turn heat to medium , when the pot is boiling, bring it to the low and cover the pot.
12- When all the water dry, turn off the heat and serve them cool.
To know more about Sara connect with her on Instagram.