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The season of Ramadan is upon us, and Muslims around the world are on a month-long spiritual journey of fasting from dawn to dusk.

Fasting during the most important month in the Islamic calendar nurtures empathy for the less-fortunate and develops spiritual discipline. 

When dusk comes, families gather to break their fast (buka puasa in Malay) with iftar, the Arabic term for the meal observed after evening prayers during Ramadan. Popular buka puasa options include comforting (and often fiercely guarded!) beef rendang recipes courtesy of their grandmothers, a sumptuous iftar buffet at their favourite restaurant, and takeaways from the neighbourhood Ramadan pasar malam.

Hari Raya at FairPrice

For the 16th year running, to facilitate the convenient breaking of fast, FairPrice Group will offer Muslim customers refreshments 30 minutes before and after iftar. Until 9 April 2024, more than 60,000 sets of iftar snacks will be distributed across 61 stores. Each Muslim customer will receive a drink such as milk, an isotonic drink or water, and a snack such as dates, beef slices or biscuits, which will be served by staff on a while-stocks-last basis.

This festive season, FairPrice Group will also bring the community together with two Hari Raya Block Parties at Bedok North and Bukit Batok on 20 April 2024. At these events, 300 halal bento sets will be distributed to residents who can also take part in festive games, sample food and drinks, and capture the day’s memories in the photo booth. Visitors who spend a minimum of $20 in a single transaction at the FairPrice on Wheels truck will also receive a free henna painting.

Until 17 April 2024, there will be special discounts on Ramadan and Hari Raya essentials like 10 assortments of dates, baking essentials, cleaning supplies and snacks. To find out more, click here.

To stock up on even more Hari Raya goodies, drop by the FairPrice Hari Raya Mini Bazaar at FairPrice Woodlands 888 and FairPrice Xtra AMK Hub. There, you’ll find macarons, keropok lekor (Terengganu fish crackers), dried fruit and nut trays, and more.

Iftar ideas from around the world

Ramadan food generally involves communal meals that families can share and that are easy to prepare so think soups, stews and porridge. This is why these buka puasa ideas from around the world are perfect — and they'll be a surprise treat on the menu for your family!

From India: Fruit chaat

Break your fast with this light fruit salad that’s popular in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Use bananas, apples, starfruit and whatever you like but don’t forget to sprinkle chaat masala for a yummy twist. The seasoning — which can be bought in stores or online — is made of ingredients like dried mango powder, cumin, black salt, coriander, dried ginger and chilli powder.

Pair it with: Biryani Rice Bowl

From Lebanon: Tabbouleh salad

This refreshing vegan starter takes just 15 to 20 minutes to prep and is made up of chopped parsley (lots of it!), soaked bulgur wheat, mint, scallions, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon juice. All the bright colours make this dish look appetising on the table — and on Instagram!

Pair it with: Rendang Shepherd’s Pie

From Türkiye: Ramazan pidesi

In some countries, Ramadan is known as Ramazan, the reason behind the name of this Turkish flatbread that’s baked only during the holy month. Made with dough, egg wash, and sesame and nigella seeds, it has a distinct weave-like pattern. Ramazan pidesi is typically enjoyed with soups, dips and meat dishes. It’s sometimes used as a base for pizza toppings, so you can get creative and the kids will love it.

Pair it with: Chicken Rendang

From Morocco: Harira

Who doesn’t love a hearty soup for dinner? This tangy Moroccan mainstay is slow-cooked with lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon, then thickened with flour and egg yolks. For a more filling meal, add lamb or chicken.

Pair it with: Mug Date Cake

From Indonesia: Mie glosor

This noodle dish is a must-have for buka puasa in Bogor, West Java. Instead of wheat flour, they are made from cassava flour and turmeric, and have a unique silky, slippery texture. Elevate this Javanese street food at home with additions like shredded chicken, fried omelette, cabbage and mushrooms.

Pair it with: Pisang Goreng with Cheese (Cheese Banana Fritters)

From the Middle East: Maamoul

These popular semolina cookies are stuffed with dates and nuts, and topped with powdered sugar. They will make a sweet dessert for all in the fam.

Pair them with: Honey Buih Thai Iced Tea

From Egypt: Fatta

A tummy-warming dish that’s perfect for sharing, this is made with white rice and lamb or beef, and toasted pita bread served in layers and doused with a garlic-vinegar sauce as well as a tomato-garlic one. Buy leaner cut of meats to make this carb-laden meal healthier.

Pair it with: Honey & Nut Baklava

For more Hari Raya recipes, click here.

Click to find out more about the best beef cuts for your meals.

All photos: Shutterstock

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