From A Smorgasbord Of Ramadan Fares

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Ketaki Latkar-Mahajan

Pune, 4th May 2021: The holy month of Ramadan has already begun, although the revelries may have dulled down due to the present-day pandemic situation. However, the spirit of Ramadan doesn’t seem to have dampened.

During Ramadan, Muslims observe a day-long fast (roza), typically worshippers eat the first meal before sunrise, and later maintain a strict fast till dusk. Following this, the fast ends with a scrumptious Iftar meal. has curated a series of Ramadan specialities that are certain to leave you feeling satiated.

Recipes (1 ,2 and 3) and pictures by: 

Reetu Uday Kugaji

Culinary Expert, Food Blogger, Hospitality and Food Consultant

Recipe 1: Royal Hyderabadi Haleem

Preparation Time: 8 hours 

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Serves: 4 to 6


Mutton, boneless- 450 gm.

Clarified Butter (Ghee) – 03 tbsp.

Mutton Stock – 1 ½ cups + 03 cups/ or more as required

Broken wheat- 01 cup

Urad Dal, (Split black gram skinless)- 1/4th cup

Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)- 1/4th cup

Barley- 1/4th cup

Golden brown Onion- 1/4th cup

Ginger paste- ½ tsp. + ½ tsp

Garlic paste- ½ tsp + ½ tsp.

Green chillies, chopped- 2 nos.

Yogurt whisked- 01 cup

Freshly ground peppercorn- ½ tsp

Turmeric- ½ tsp. +¼th tsp

Coriander powder- ½ tsp

Ground cumin- 1/4th tsp

Caraway seeds- 1/4th tsp

Red Chilli powder- ½ tsp + ¼ th tsp.

Saffron strands broiled -1/4th gm.

Mint leaves, chopped- 1/4th tbsp.

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped- ½ tbsp.

Whole Spices:

Cinnamon stick- ½ inch

Cloves- 3 small sticks

Cardamom- 2

Black peppercorns- 4

For the Sprinkling:

Garam masala powder- ½ tsp.

For the Garnishing:

Spiced Ghee 

Clarified Butter 1/4th tbsp.

Red chilli powder- ½ tsp

Other Garnishes

Golden Brown Onion- 1/2 cup

Fried Cashew nuts- 2 tsp (Optional)

Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped- 1/4th tbsp

Ginger juliennes- 1/4th tbsp

Red chilies, chopped- 1

Lemon- 1


Soak overnight, the dals and barley separately in water.

Soak the broken wheat for 02 hours.

To the mutton, add golden brown onion, ½ tsp each of ginger and garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric, coriander powder, ground cumin and caraway seeds. Pressure-cook the mix with 1 ½ cups / or more of mutton stock for 10 minutes and simmer for another 20 minutes. Shred it with the back of the spoon or fork and set aside. (You may blend it with a hand blender to a coarse paste)

Boil the cracked wheat along with barley, urad and chana dal with ginger, garlic paste, turmeric, green chillies and freshly ground pepper corns in 08 cups of water until it is cooked completely and the water is absorbed. Blend this mixture till it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.

Heat the clarified butter in a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan; add whole spices, the shredded mutton, remaining green chillies, half a cup fresh coriander, mint leaves and sauté for 2 minutes. Add whisked Yogurt and sauté for another 15 minutes. Add three cups of mutton stock and bring it to a boil.

To this, add the blended wheat, barley and dals and mix well. Add a little clarified butter. Add saffron. Add salt to taste.

Simmer for at least an hour.

In a small non-stick pan put the ghee and turn on low heat. Add 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder and turn off the heat. Keep separately for garnish.

Serve very hot sprinkled with garam masala powder, garnished with the prepared spiced ghee, golden brown onion, chopped coriander leaves, ginger juliennes, chopped red chillies and lemon slices/wedges.

Recipe 2: Sheer Khurma 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


Vermicelli, fine, broken- 3/4th cup

Milk, full-fat, boiled- 01 litre

Clarified Butter (Desi Ghee)- 02 tbsp.

Sugar- 30 gm. / or more as desired

Dates, seedless and chopped- 08 nos. / more if sugar is excluded / not added.

Almonds, slivered- 15 gm.

Pistachio nuts- 15 gm.

Cashew nuts, chopped- 15 gm.

Golden Raisins- 10 gm.

Chironji (Charoli), blanched- 01 tbsp.

Green Cardamom powder- ½ tsp.

Saffron strands, broiled- 1/4th gm

Rose Water- 01 tsp.

For the Garnish:

Rose Petals, dried and edible- 02 tsp

Almonds, slivered- 1/4th tbsp.

Pistachio nuts- 1/4th tsp.


Heat the desi ghee in a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan.

Add the slivered nuts and sauté till light brown. Add raisins and the blanched chironji (charoli).

Add the vermicelli sauté till it gets a light rust colour.

Add the boiled milk and chopped dates.

Let it cook for 10 minutes. Add the saffron strands, sugar, green cardamom powder and rose water. Stir. Let it cook for another minute. Switch off the flame.

Transfer into serving bowls and serve chilled/hot/warm garnished with rose petals and slivered nuts.

Chef Tip:

  1. You may add nutmeg powder if desired.


Recipe 3: 

Murgh Dum Biryani


Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Marination Time of Chicken: 2 hours

Cooking the Biryani on Dum: 45 to 50 minutes

Serves: 4


Ingredients and Quantity:

Chicken – 500 gm

For the Golden-brown onions divided into 3 parts:

Refined Oil – as required to deep fry

Onion thinly sliced – 3 (large)

Salt to apply on sliced onion

For Marination:

Yogurt, whisked – 200 gm.

Kashmiri red chili powder- ¼ th tbsp.

Turmeric- ¼ th tsp.

Coriander powder- 01 tsp.

Shahi jeera – 01 tsp

Ginger paste- 01 tbsp.

Garlic paste- 01 tbsp.

Crushed golden brown onion- 01 part.

Powdered 1 inch cinnamon, 4 green cardamoms, 4 cloves

Bay leaf – 01 no.

Garam masala powder- 1/4th tbsp..

Freshly ground black peppercorn- ½ tsp.

Coriander leaves, finely chopped-01 tbsp.

Mint Leaves , finely chopped- 01 tbsp.

Green chillies, chopped- 02 nos.

Lemon juice- ½ tbsp.

Salt- to taste

For cooking the rice:

Long grained Basmati rice- 500 gm.

Lemon Juice- 1/4th tbsp.

Black cumin (shahi jeera)- ¾ th tsp.

Star anise-02 nos.

Water- 04 times or 06 times the quantity of rice

Salt -to taste

Whole spices:

Muslin cloth for preparing Bouquet garni of the whole spices- 1/4th metre

Cinnamon stick- 1 inch

Green cardamoms- 2

Black cardamom- 1

Mace- 1 strand

Cloves- 4

Bay leaves – 8 for placing at the bottom of the Handi.

For the layering:

Hot Pure Ghee for pouring over layers of biryani- 03 tbsp.

Hot milk to steep / soak the saffron strands- 20 ml

Saffron strands- ½ gm.

Mint leaves, finely chopped- 02 tbsp.

Coriander leaves chopped very finely-02 tbsp.

Green chilies slit- 02 nos.

(Screw Pine Water) Kewra water- 15 ml

Raisins, fried– 30 gm

Cashew nuts, fried- 30 gm.

Cardamom powder- ½ tsp.

For sealing the handi:

01 cup of kneaded dough

For the garnish:

Golden brown onions – 2 tbsp.


Thinly slice the onions, apply salt, keep aside for 10 minutes, squeeze out the water completely and deep fry them in oil till golden brown in colour and crisp. Set these aside on a kitchen absorbent paper.

Marinate the chicken with the ingredients mentioned under marination. Keep it covered for 2 hours.

For Cooking the Rice and Layering the biryani:

Clean, wash and soak rice for 30 minutes

Steep saffron strands in hot milk to extract colour and flavour from it.

Prepare a bouquet garni of the mentioned Whole spices in a muslin cloth. Tie it like a small potli.

Place the Bay leaves on the bottom of an empty handi. Now place the marinated chicken and ensure that you spread the marinated chicken evenly.

Heat 04 times of water in a deep bottomed pan. Add shahi jeera, star anise, bouquet garni, lemon juice and salt to taste. Water when tasted like your tears. Bring it to a good boil.

Add rice, cook until rice is half done, take out half of the half-cooked rice using big perforated spoons and immediately spread it over the marinated chicken evenly in the handi. Sprinkle 1/4th cup of hot rice water on this rice layer.

Sprinkle half of the coriander leaves, mint leaves, half of the brown onions, a little saffron steeped in milk, melted hot ghee, fried raisins, cashew nuts and cardamom powder over it

Allow remaining half rice to cook until al dente (Just done).

As soon as rice is al dente (Just done) i.e. 70 % cooked, immediately strain and add the remaining rice making it top most layer.

Ensure that you take out bouquet garni and discard it

Sprinkle remaining, coriander, leaves, mint leaves, golden brown onions, saffron steeped in milk, kewda essence and melted hot ghee.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid and seal it with the kneaded dough.

Keep it on a high flame for 15 minutes.

Place a hot griddle underneath the handi and keep it on “Dum’ exactly for another 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, switch off the heat and leave it as it is another 10 to 15 minutes.

Open the lid carefully as there is hot steam in it.

Serve the Biryani very hot garnished with golden brown onion with your favourite Raita.


Chef Tips  

1. Place a few bay leaves at the bottom of the dum vessel so that the biryani does not stick to the bottom, it also imparts a beautiful flavour to the rice. Ensure that you remove the 8 bay leaves before serving the biryani.

2. Lemon juice is added while cooking the rice, as it not only keeps rice grains from sticking together, also it will help keep your rice beautifully white, which makes the appearance of biryani simply perfect to eat.

3. Do not overcook the rice.

4. The dum utensil is sealed with whole-wheat flour dough, so that the flavour and aroma does not escape from the biryani.

Recipe 4: Kimami Seviyan

Recipe and picture by: Happilo, a health food brand 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


1 litre full-fat milk

1 cup condensed milk

Few strands of saffron

½ cup water

1 tbsp ghee

1 cup seviyan/vermicelli

1 cup khoya

1 cup sugar

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 cup phool makhana/lotus seeds, finely chopped

¼ cup California almonds finely chopped

1 tbsp whole cashew nuts finely chopped

1 tbsp raisin finely chopped

2 tbsp dried coconut


1. To begin, lightly roast the seviyan in a pan on low flame until it turns brown. Once roasted, move off the flame and keep aside.

2. Next, lightly fry the phool makhana in ghee over medium heat till it turns crunchy. Once cooked, add the chopped dry fruits and dried coconut, continue sautéing for a few minutes and avoid burning the ingredients. Once done, keep aside.

3. Combine the sugar, cardamom powder, khoya, milk and water in a deep saucepan over high heat. Stir continuously and allow the mixture to come to a boil. After boiling, reduce the heat, but continue stirring until the mixture thickens.

4. To the now reduced mixture, add the condensed milk, and allow to come to a boil.

5. Once boiled, add the saffron, as well as the phool makhana and dried fruits mixture. Cook on low heat for a further 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat.

6. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.


By: Chef Sharad

City Chef, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality


Wheat Grain (Dalia) 1 tbsp

Channa Dal 1 tsp

Toor dal 1 tsp

Moong dal 2 tbsp

Mutton leg meat (boneless) 1kg

Mutton stock 500ml

Ghee 5 tbsp

Garam masala powder 1 tbsp

Cumin seed 1 tbsp

Onion (sliced) 1 kg

Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp

Chopped green chilli 1 tbsp

Green cardamom 1 tsp

Black cardamom 1 tsp

Mace ½ tsp

Cinnamon stick 1 no


Haleem 300 gm

Panko breadcrumbs 5 tbsp

Ginger, chopped 1 tbsp

Green chilli, chopped 1 tbsp

Refined flour 5 tbsp

Eggs 3 no

Nihari masala powder 1 tbsp

Chaat masala 1 tbsp

Refined oil for deep frying 300 ml


1. Wash and Soak wheat grain and all dals for 2 to 3 hours

2. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add ghee. Add all the whole garam masala and sauté till they emit an aroma. Now add sliced onions and continue cooking till they are golden brown

3. Add ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies and the mutton dice. Mix well and continue to sauté. Add all the powdered spices

4. Now add the soaked dal and mutton stock. Cover with a lid and cook till mutton and dal is completely mashed

5. Season with salt to taste and finish with ghee


1. Refrigerate the prepared arancini at least for 4 to 5 hours or till the Haleem becomes tight enough to form small balls

2. Once the Haleem is set, add chopped green chilli and ginger. Mix well and form equal sized balls (approx. 20 gms each)

3. Dust the Haleem balls with refined flour. Dip them in egg and then coat with panko bread crumbs

4. Refrigerate crumbed Haleem arancini for 1 hour

5. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the crumbed arancini till golden brown

6. Drain out excess oil using paper towels

7. Sprinkle with nihari masala powder, chat masala and serve hot with dip of your choice