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Monday, May 15, 2017

Make Ahead Meal Preparations For Ramadan

Meal Preparation for Ramadan
Make Ahead Meal Preparation For Ramadan

It is hard to believe that there are people who cook good food without even tasting it. Tasting while cooking is the most basic step while preparing any dish. You cannot proceed unless you know if the seasoning is right or not. But I must tell you, in the month of Ramadan, most of the Muslim women have this skill of cooking without just following their instinct and other senses. I hereby dedicate this post to all the women who in spite of fasting the long hours...stand in the kitchen... taking in all the spice aromas...which is not an easy task for a fasting person and selflessly prepares awesome food for the entire family. I hope these meal prep ideas will go a long way in helping all those who either don't like to cook or who do not have enough time.

Let me first clear the myth regarding the month of Ramadan, where everyone thinks of having deep-fried and sugary food just after they break their fast. Since last year...if you remember, I have been striving to promote healthy eating habits in this holy month, through my food blog. It is a golden opportunity for us to detoxify ourselves physically as well as mentally. I would also like to mention about the huge amount of food which gets wasted in this month. This happens mainly because a fasting person tends to underestimate the quantity of the food prepared, thinking that it will not be enough. Whereas just after breaking the fast, we realize that however hungry we are, a person cannot eat more food than his limited capacity. Meal planning and preparation will definitely help in minimizing such waste.

This post is a collection of pictures and recipes which I have been following for last 6 years.  I have been practicing this kind of 'Meal Prep' for every Ramadan till now, which has not only helped me be more efficient, less tired but also helped me spend more time in devotion and with my family rather than standing and cooking for long hours in the kitchen.

These meal preps are not only meant for Ramadan alone but also for all the working mothers who have very limited time to spend in the kitchen. Other than Ramadan, we can always follow these small and efficient meal preps in our daily routine to make our life easier.

I would like to know from you a feedback on this post and also feel free to share your tips and methods on 'Make Ahead Meal Preparation' which you always follow. Let us all take some time out to prepare for this month of self-restraint and spend more time in understanding the Book of Allah and in His remembrance.

Ginger Garlic Paste
Ginger and Garlic Paste

Click here for the recipe: Ginger & Garlic Paste

Fried Onion
Crispy Fried Onion: Peel and slice the onion evenly (not too thin, not too thick). Heat enough of oil for deep frying. Fry sliced onion in the hot oil without crowding the saucepan, by leaving enough of space while the onion is frying. When the color starts to change to light brown, lower the heat and start removing the fried onion from the oil. Take a large plate or tray with a kitchen towel on it. Spread the fried onion evenly over the paper without overlapping them. As it cools down, the onion gets crispier. Store in a container only when the onion has completely cooled down. It remains fresh in the refrigerator for 1 month.

You can use this for making: Chicken Tikka BiryaniHaleem, Methi Chicken

  1. Fish Curry Masala
  2. Goan Prawn Curry Masala
  3. Fish Fry Masala
  4. All Purpose Curry Paste
  5. Biryani Masala Paste
  6. Ghee Roast Masala Paste
  7. Chicken Tikka Masala Paste

Kitchen Hacks
These are some of the basic preps which also speed up the cooking process.
  1. I usually remove the stems of green chilies, wash them and dry them.
  2. Peeled garlic remains fresh for 4 to 5 days or almost a week.
  3. Wash and dry the coriander leaves completely and the store in a plastic bag with small holes in it.
  4. Curry leaves can also be washed and dried before storing.
  5. A small piece of ginger but without washing.
All these need to be stored together in 1 box so that you can remove all at once from the refrigerator, instead of wasting time to search for it.

You can also dry roast the cumin, coriander and red chilies separately and powder them. These homemade powders are far better than store bought.

Powdered nuts like cashew nut can be used for Mughlai curries, almond powder for smoothies, and chopped pistachio for desserts.

Squeeze out the juice of the lemon with help of a juicer and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. This can be easily used in curries or for making lemonade.

Stuffing Recipes

Click here for the recipe: Stuffing Recipes

Boiled Chicken
Boiled & Shredded Chicken

Boiled & Shredded Chicken: Heat 4 cups water in a large saucepan. Add 1 onion sliced, 3 to 4 garlic pods chopped (1 tablespoon), 1 carrot (optional), salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper powder and 500 grams chicken pieces with bones. Boil till chicken is cooked and tender. Reserve the water as chicken stock and use it in soups. Discard the bones and shred the chicken pieces and freeze in a sandwich bag. It can be stored in the freezer for 10 days.

You can use this for making: Chicken Mushroom Sandwich, Creamy Chicken Sandwich
Chicken Paratha

Cooked Chickpeas ~ Hummus
Boiled Chickpeas

Boiled Chickpeas: Wash and soak 1 cup chickpeas for 5 hours or overnight. Cook the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker with enough of water ( water should be just above the level of chickpeas) and salt. The timing of cooking in pressure cooker varied according to the size and shape.
Once it is cooked, separate the boiled chickpeas from its water. Use the stock for cooking other things. Once the chickpeas have completely cooled down, store in a box or a sandwich bag and freeze. It can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks. Defrost in a microwave or by leaving it out at room temperature.

You can use this for making: Hummus, Aloo Chana Chaat, Chana Masala  

Seekh Kabab
Murg Malai Seekh Kabab

Murg Malai Seekh Kabab - After shaping the kebabs into the desired shape, place it on a tray with butter paper on it. This way the kababs will come out easily. Place them side by side without touching each other, as shown in the picture. Freeze it on the tray for 1 hour or till the raw kebabs turns hard. 
After 1 hour, when kababs have turned hard, remove from the butter paper and store them in a plastic or sandwich bag. To defrost the kababs, leave them at room temperature for a couple of hours.
Click here for the recipe: Murg Malai Seekh Kabab

Pasta Sauce
Pizza & Pasta Sauce

Pizza & Pasta Sauce: This sauce works well for both pizza and pasta. After preparing the sauce, cool it completely before storing it in a glass jar. You can store this in the refrigerator for 1 week. If you need to store it for more than 1 week then it needs to be stored in a freezer, which should be used within a month.
Pasta: Heat butter in a saucepan, add uncooked boneless chicken pieces or mince with salt and cook till it is done. Then add pasta sauce as required. Cook for sometime and add boiled pasta. Stir well and finally add cream or grated cheese. A simple pasta preparation is ready.
You can use this for making: Spicy Chicken Pizza

Potato Cutlets
Potato Cutlet

Potato Cutlets: Cutlets when made in bulk and frozen turn out to be the most versatile of all the preps. Just fry them and there it goes into a Kathi roll, cutlet sandwich, chats....and the list goes on.
After giving shape to the cutlets, place them on a large tray with butter paper, side by side. Keep the tray in the freezer for 1 hour till all the cutlets turn hard. Now remove the frozen cutlets and store them a freezer bag. Now you can remove only the required amount of cutlets without them sticking to each other.
You can use this for Ragda patties

Beetroot Cutlets
Red Velvet Cutlets
Red Velvet Cutlet is the healthiest option where you can include a variety of vegetables in your iftar menu. This is the best way to feed vegetables to kids by changing the name from beetroot cutlet to 'Red Velvet' cutlet.
Click here for the recipe: Red Velvet Cutlet, Red Velvet Cutlet Rolls

Chicken Spring Rolls
Sezchuan Chicken Spring Rolls
Click here for the video and recipe: Sezchuan Chicken Spring Rolls

You can freeze a batch of marinated tandoori chicken, which comes in handy when you need to cook something at a short notice. It can be stored in the freezer for 1 week.
Click here for the recipe: Tandoori Chicken

Pudina Chutney

Just like potato cutlets, mint chutney is also a versatile dip which goes with dishes like sandwiches, rolls, and chats or as a dip for kababs.
Click here for the recipe: All Purpose Mint Chutney, Bombay Style Vegetable Sandwich,

Ripe Bananas

If you have ripe bananas and have no time to make anything out of it, just peel them and cut them into desired pieces. Wrap the banana pieces in a cling wrap and freeze it. Just use the frozen bananas in smoothies without defrosting it.

Mince Stuffing

This stuffing is perfect for samosas, but you will not find any pictures as there are more healthy options than a deep fried samosa.
Click here for the recipe: Mutton Mince Stuffing, Mince & Cheese Puffs, Mince Bread Rolls

Seekh Kabab
Mutton Seekh Kabab

Click here for the recipe: Mutton Seekh Kabab

Frozen Fruit Pulp

To make a frozen fruit puree, just peel the mango and blend the pieces in a grinder till smooth but without adding water. Transfer the puree into an ice cube tray and freeze till it solidifies. Remove the cubes and store in a freezer bag.

You can use this for: 


  1. Such a lovely post dear! I am somebody who hardly does any preps for Ramadan, though every year I decide I will do something and be ready, but it never happens. Last time, I wrote down weekly menus, making it easy for me to decide on what to make. May Allah reward you abundantly when this post helps people manage their time better... :)

  2. Parveen juzar burmawalaMay 18, 2017 at 7:11 AM

    Lovely. Very helpful post for ramadaan ThankS Shanaz...

  3. A very useful post, thanks for sharing

    I do very limited preparation for Ramadan as keep our meals very simple...and hubby prefers fresh

  4. Oh my God! So many wonderful ideas here! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing this it's a really simple idea and will benefit other people

  6. These are some great ideas! I don't really cook with most of these spices but you've given me a great blueprint for the ones I do use :)

  7. These are great tips and ideas for saving time in Ramadan. It would indeed be helpful, to consider all these options and to pray rather than spending time in the kitchen.

  8. Oh wow, these tips are amazing! I'm really considering using some!

  9. these are some fab ideas! I was just thinking about what else I could freeze and refrigerate to ease myself during the fasts.. and this article just came right on time!

  10. This tips are amazing, thank you. I most definitely want to try some. Also the pictures of the food are making me hungry.

  11. This is a super useful post mashaAllah. Bookmarking and sharing. JazakiAllahu khair!