Ramadan 2024: 6 Sweet Dishes For Iftaar
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Ramadan is a special time in Bhopal. The city was once ruled by Nawabs, who brought rich cultural traditions. During Ramadan, the streets come alive at night with people breaking their fast. Delicious smells fill the air from samosas, kebabs, and sweets. Families and friends gather to share iftar meals. It's a month of celebrating faith, spending time with loved ones, and sharing food.   

Iftaar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Iftaar is the meal that breaks this fast each day. The fast is broken by eating dates and drinking water or milk. Some popular iftaar items include pakoras (vegetable fritters), fruits like dates and bananas, sweet dishes like kheer (rice pudding) and seviyan (vermicelli pudding), and hydrating drinks like sherbet or lemonade. 

Here are the six tasty desserts that are eaten at Iftaar, which are famous in Bhopal: 

Nukti Khaare 

While most of India eats boondi and sev separately, Bhopalis uniquely combine them.  Nukti is a crunchy little pearl made from chickpea flour and sugar syrup. Khare are thin, crispy noodles made from chickpea flour. The sweet nukti balances out the salty khare perfectly. During Ramadan, it's tradition to break the fast with dates, nukti-khare, and fried treats like pakoras.   

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Kulfi Falooda 

This chilled dessert is a must-have to break the fast at sunset. The creamy kulfi ice cream made with nuts and saffron provides cool, sweet relief after a long day of fasting. Paired with soft vermicelli noodles and rose syrup, the flavours and textures come together in a perfect balance. The falooda is a light yet satisfying treat, not too heavy on the stomach after a day with no food or water. During the hot summer month of Ramadan, Kulfi Falooda is the ideal way to rejuvenate.

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It's made from a dough of semolina, butter, wheat flour and sugar. The dough is fried in ghee, which gives pheni its unique flavour and texture. Unlike regular vermicelli, pheni doesn't need any further cooking. It's already pre-cooked! All you have to do is dip the crispy fried pheni in hot milk. The milk softens it into a delicious, sweet treat. The combination of the fried vermicelli with hot, creamy milk is comforting and satisfying. It's often served with a sprinkle of nuts and sugar for extra flavour.

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Sheer Khurma 

Ramadan is a special time, with the smell of sheer khurma wafting through the streets. This rich milk pudding, also called sheer khurma, is an iconic iftar treat that families look forward to breaking their fast with. Milk is boiled for hours on the stove with dry fuits, mawa, and sewaiyan in it, till it becomes thick and creamy. It is then cooled down and served chilled when it is time to eat. Its sweetness represents the joy of coming together, and its smooth texture is a balm after a long day of fasting.   

Barfi Rasmalai 

This sweet, milky dessert is a signature treat that people eagerly await when the holy month arrives. As the sun sets and the fast is broken, crowds flock to the bustling market stalls to get their hands on these chilled delights. The rasmalai itself is a decadent pleasure, with delicately flavoured rose syrup.  With each chilled bite, you get an explosion of flavours: the sweetness of the milk, the rose essence infusing the syrup, and the refreshing chill of the ice. It's an unbeatable combination that cools the body and delights the soul. 

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Why is muzaffar, a sweet sevai halwa dish, eagerly awaited during the holy month of Ramadan?  Using vermicelli, ghee, sugar and aromatic spices like cardamom, they devised a halwa that melts in your mouth. Its delicate strands of sevai soaked in perfumed syrup make it unlike any other halwa. That first sweet, nourishing bite of muzzafir is a much-anticipated reward.