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Dhaka Tribune

The Turkish Iftar spread

When it comes to Turkish food, the luxury of the Ottoman Sultanate is seen in their food too

Update : 14 Mar 2024, 05:06 PM

As the holy month of Ramadan has begun, the kitchens in Muslim households are bustling to prepare the dishes that will take place at the Iftar table.

Iftar is not only a meal to break the day-long fast, it is also a cultural heritage that allows family members to spend time at the table together while eating.

The United Nations cultural agency recognized Iftar on its list of intangible cultural heritage.

Like all other Muslim countries, Bangladesh has a rich food culture when it comes to Iftar.

A traditional Iftar platter in Dhaka comes with items like Beguni, Piyaju, Jilapi, Chola Boot, Aloor Chop, Ghugni, Vegetable Pakora. Haleem is also a favourite dish in Dhaka’s iftar. Fresh fruits and sherbets are served with dates on the iftar table as well.

When it comes to Turkish food, the luxury of the Ottoman Sultanate is seen in their food too.

A Turkish iftar platter is nothing less than a feast. From soup to Kebabs, from Sherbets to desserts, Turkish people celebrate the Iftar with their versatile menu packed with taste and flavours.

Dates and dry fruits along with fresh fruits are a staple in Turkish Iftar. Different types of bread with dips, cheese, nuts and olives are some of the most common items on the Turkish iftar menu.

Beverages range from the famous yoghurt drink Ayran to freshly squeezed fruit juices on the Iftar table. Shorba or soup is a must, be it Ottoman lentil soup or chicken soup. Pide -- an oval Turkish pizza made with meat, cheese, tomatoes, or borek, a rolled pastry filled with meat and cheese or veggies can be seen on the Iftar table.

Turkish people are fond of Dolma -- grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice mixture, seasoned with spices and herbs. Also, they go for meat stew with pilaf- rice cooked with orzo pasta in Iftar. Slow-cooked lamb or beef is very common in Turkish Iftar.

Turkish food is incomplete without Kebabs. They have a variety of kebabs on the Iftar menu, ranging from Shish Kebabs to Sultan Kebabs. Desserts like Turkish Delight and Baklava followed by Turkish red tea are an Iftar ritual there. 

How to make Ayran at home

Blend yoghurt with cold water and salt to your taste. The measurement of yoghurt and water should be the same. Serve it with ice cubes and mint leaves.

Ramadan comes with the message of self-discipline, self-reflection, and strengthening the faith. The ritual of fasting comes to teach us the sufferings of the poor. So it is important that we uphold the main theme of Ramadan and do not waste food.

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