Ramadan recipes
People wait in line for a free Halal meal for Iftar during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in front of the Masjid at Taqwa mosque in New York. Source: Stephanie Keith/AFP

As Ramadan begins, so does the religious tradition of fasting. Quick, fast and no less delicious Ramadan recipes help Muslim students abroad cope with the certain challenges that arise during this holy month — where do you get food in the early hours of the morning, what can you cook up to break your fast, and how will the experience be for you? We all know overcoming such things can seem scary, especially in a foreign country, so we’re here to make it easier for you by providing three delicious Ramadan recipes you can whip up with leftovers in your dorm fridge.

Check out these Ramadan recipes that are halal and easy to make:

Spicy smoked duck aglio olio

Ducks forage and eat a larger variety of natural foods which in turn gives it more brownie points than chicken. It weighs less on your wallet instead of beef options too. Part of the smoked duck’s appeal is its flavourful fat and aside from being Muslim friendly, it’s an easy find on your trip to the grocer’s at an average price of US$10 for a breast. 

Ramadan recipes

Duck is more flavourful than chicken. Source: Philip Fong/AFP

Ingredients: One piece of smoked duck (200 grams), six pods of garlic, two chilis (habanero or equivalent), one pack of cherry tomatoes, three tablespoons of olive oil or sunflower oil, some parsley or coriander, one pack of spaghetti or equivalent and one tablespoon of lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste.

Method: Slice the smoked duck evenly or to preferred size (thin slices work best) and chop up the chilies, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Heat a sizeable pan with the oil and toss in the garlic and chilies. Keep stirring to distribute heat and make sure not to burn the garlic!

Once garlic looks slightly brown, add your tomatoes and cover the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow for it to cook for five or six minutes. After, take the lid off, add your duck in and bring the heat back up to medium high. Make sure to stir the tomatoes until crushed so it will form into a nice sauce. 


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Add in salt, pepper and your chopped-up coriander or parsley so you can stir and put the lid back on for two to three minutes. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil (always double the amount of your pasta or noodles). Once it’s boiling, add in a handful of salt and a tablespoon of your cooking oil. 

Throw in your pasta and once it’s cooked, use tongs to swiftly move the pasta into your pan that should be sizzling nicely. Try and shake off as much water while doing so. If the dish looks dry, add a few tablespoons of leftover pasta water (liquid gold) and give it a good toss. Finish the dish by squeezing lemon juice on top and play with the coriander or parsley garnishing to your artistic taste. This has been timed to 15 minutes on the clock — easy Ramadan recipe with accessible ingredients.

Leftover rendang nachos

Rendang is a rich and tender coconut beef stew popular in Southeast Asian countries and one of the staple dishes in Ramadan feasts. While more difficult to find, packets for the rendang curry can be found in Asian grocery stores around the world and more easily on the internet — Amazon has got your back here (also handy to keep extra in your dorm cupboard!).

Ramadan recipes

This picture shows a rendang dish — a staple dish in Southeast Asian Ramadan feasts. Source: Adek Berry/ADP

Ingredients: Rendang, tortilla chips, cheese (to your preference), one red onion, lemon juice and parsley. 

Method: Take the beef out from the leftover rendang and shred. Lay the tortillas on a plate, add cheese and cover the plate to put in the microwave on high heat for 30 seconds until cheese is melted. Take out and add onions on top and microwave a further 20 seconds. Heat the leftover rendang and put it on top of your nachos. After, feel free to add onions and toppings of your choice (sour cream, guacamole, etc).

Chicken rendang ramen with lemang

Lemang is a Minang (a region in Indonesia) traditional food made in a hollowed bamboo tube coated with banana leaves and is basically glutinous rice with coconut milk and salt. While this ingredient would be more challenging to find, there are substitutes and options: check Southeast Asian embassies abroad as they usually host events with their local cuisine or simply make your own coconut sticky rice.

Ingredients: Any packet of your favourite ramen (beef preferred), one egg, garlic, lemang, pepper, spring onion, coconut milk, and vegetable of your choice. 

Method: Add an egg and grated garlic to a bowl with 250ml of water along with the seasoning packet from the ramen. Bring this to a boil (microwave or in a pot on the stove) and then add your leftover rendang. Dice your lemang pieces, add in your coconut milk and let noodles cook. Garnish with parsley and onion and you have yourself an easy homemade rendang laksa.

For more tips on how to find nutritious immunity-boosting foods, click here.