My Family Iftar

My Family Iftar

I was so excited when Yuppiechef approached me and a few other foodies to send them a short story on our family Iftar at home and a family recipe.

With my food blog still in its infancy, this was a great opportunity for me. The article was posted yesterday on Yuppiechefs online magazine.

This is the unedited full version of my article along with all the images from the photo shoot.


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” My Family Iftar – the Walnut Pesto Tradition 

As the sun sets on another Winters day, my family eagerly anticipate a special iftar – a peaceful time when we reflect on our thoughts and activities of the day and partake in a homecooked delicious meal.

Iftar, a daily event of great spiritual and emotional significance must be equally matched with a meal that is enjoyable and nutritionally balanced.


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Planning for iftar begins as the month of Ramadaan approaches. Its imporant to put together a well balanced and nutritional spread at Iftar after a day of fasting. This often involves making wise food choices for my family,  to allow them to feel healthier and fulfilled.

Iftar is a time to experience the spirit of ramadaan which is about kindness, sharing,  love and reconnecting with your spiritual side. Having the family together for iftar means being able to enjoy the presence of those around you, while nourishing yourself with food prepared with love and care.


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Some of the staple items that form part of my iftar table  include an assortment of dates and creamy labneh ( thick strained yoghurt ) topped with pistachio dukkah ( recipe below ).


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I also prepare an appetizer and a main dish, to include all major food groups to assist my family in getting their nutritional requirements for the day.

An all time family favourite is my middle eastern mezze platter to share. Having lived in Dubai for a few years, this type of cuisine has become popular in my home.


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I love the versatility of Middle Eastern food and the depth of flavours. Most recipes are easy to make and the spices can be found locally or online.

Iv shared below my personal recipes for homemade pistachio dukkah and shish taouk.”

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Homemade Pistachio Dukkah and Shish Taouk


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Homemade Pistachio Dukkah

Dukkah, in Arabic means ‘to pound’.
Dukkah can be eaten with olive oil and bread. I love to generously spoon it over homemade labneh and eat it with soft bread.

Preparation time : 20 minutes

Yield : 1 cup


Ingredients :

  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sumac
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Directions :

Place all ingredients in a small roasting pan and toast over low heat for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add in the sugar and a dash of salt and pepper.
Keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.




Shish Taouk

These spiced chicken strips are mild in spice and full of flavour and will soon become a family favourite of yours as well. They are so simple to prepare and make a perfect quick lunch or dinner.

Preparation time : overnight marinating time and 15 minutes cook time


Ingredients :

  • 500g chicken strips
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil


Directions :

Marinate chicken with all the above ingredients preferably overnight of for a few hours.
Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat and cook the strips until tender and soft.
Serve immediately with toasted pitas and hummus.