Friday, 29 April 2016

Fasting Month - 8 Day Prep Plan

Yes, Ramazan (the fasting month) is a month away (InshaAllah) but how I look at it, it is only 8 days as I just have 4 two-day-weekends before my favourite month starts! (leaving this weekend) I need to do some preps and having a full time job leaves me with only weekends to do extra chores around the house.  

Ramazan is a month in which we must engage in spiritual reflection, offer prayers and spend more time in worship. Ramazan is a special blessing from Allah, a whole month where all the rewards are multiplied. Our focus should solely be on prayers, recitation of Quran, zikr (remembrance of Allah) and other good deeds.

But, fasting also requires you to spend a lot of time in kitchen. No matter how much you try, you cannot ignore the cooking and eating needs of this month. I don't agree with spending all your time in kitchen and also don't agree with the concept of fasting and sleeping all day as it just kills the whole purpose. You must carry on your daily activities and increase prayers. That is why you must eat enough so that you can make through the day. In fact, you should eat smart that gives you energy and keeps you full without making you spend a lot of time in kitchen. 

The best is to cook some dishes in advance. I am really no expert but here are the things I will do in next 4 weekends starting 7th May (InshaAllah) for preparation of Ramazan. If it appeals to you, let's do this together. Trust me, it makes my life really easy and gives me more time to focus on remembrance of God, renewal of my commitment to noble values and spiritual fulfillment which is the real essence of this holy month. 

In this post I will give some ideas. recipe links and tips that you can always pick and choose. Thanks to Rubab's Treasure Box for the valuable input.

Here is my 8 Day Prep Plan for Ramazan

Clean my Kitchen (1st day of the 1st Weekend)

A messy, unorganized kitchen is the worst thing to have in a time which requires a lot of cooking. The first thing that I will do is clean up my kitchen thoroughly. Throw away expired spices. Put the things away that I may not need and take out electrical devices and other things that I will be using frequently. Make a list of what needs to be bought. Clean my freezer to make space for the stuff that I will cook for the month. Have plenty of storage boxes, zip lock bags ready. Prepare the first grocery list and probably buy the dry ingredients to make these dishes in weekends to follow: 

Shami Kebabs

There is no person that I know who doesn't like Shami Kebabs. A very Pakistani way of making kebabs that can be easily stored in freezer and can be eaten with bread, parathas, chapati or just as is. There are plenty of recipes online but here is one that is closest to how I cook Shami kebabs. I will make enough to last for whole month or at least 20 days. I use them for Sehri (Suhoor, pre dawn meal before fasting) because hubby likes full fledged spread on Sehri. I can also make sandwiches or rolls at Iftaar (evening meal to break fast at sunset). For me, making kebabs is half a day job as I am not a very enthusiastic cook! Once done, I will spread them on a tray and freeze them. To freeze, due to small size freezer that I own, I will stack them on top of each other, separating each layer by cling film. I will store them in a zip lock bag to save space in freezer once kebabs are frozen. You can also do other kebabs in case you are one of those rare people who do not like Shami Kebabs. Kebabs are just easy to freeze and can be used in many ways. 

Here is site about kebabs that might interest you. 


Haleem is a Pakistani dish. Something like a porridge of meat and lentils. Here is a beautiful recipe of Haleem. Watch it just for the sake of watching it! if you can follow this recipe, great! But, if you have never cooked it, I would advise you to buy ready made packets of Haleem Masala, if available where you live, and follow the recipe on the box. These packets are a life saver. You can google Shaan or National Haleem Masala to see availability in your country. I saw it is available on Amazon as well. In Malaysia, you can get it easily from Aeon, Aeon Big, Cold Storage, Village Groccer, Marcato. Basically, all grocery stores (limited stocks though so start looking now)

Haleem can be frozen in small portions in storage containers depending on your family size. It is eaten as is or with naan. It is very filling and extremely delicious. You can eat it in Sehri or Iftaar. 

Cooked Mincemeat (Qeema in Urdu)

Hubby wants me to write Qeema because he says by calling it mincemeat I am killing the flavour. He loves to have mincemeat especially for Sehri. Thankfully, he cooks it himself and he knows many varieties like with potatoes or  green chillis or tomatoes or green peas etc etc. It can be easily stored in small boxes. Here is a nice and simple recipe. 

Mincemeat is filling and will keep you energized.

Boil Chickpeas 

I prefer boiling chickpeas myself instead of buying canned. I boil them and make portions and stuff them in my freezer. I just add them in boiling water for 5 minutes to thaw and make chickpea salad or Hummus.

Here is what I do with chickpeas and here are some easy Hummus recipes. 

Spring Rolls & Samosa

Fried stuff is a must on a typical Pakistani Iftaar spread. I make rolls and samosa at home. I will prepare as much as I need and freeze them just like the kebabs and fry them for Iftaar. Here is a recipe of spring rolls and here is how to make samosa 

Tip: I use the ready made spring roll and samosa sheets instead of making my own.


If you love chutneys, you can make them in advance and refrigerate them. There is a super website for chutneys that is also a visual treat. Check it out here

Nuggets and Cutlets.

I am not a fan of nuggets, so I don't usually make nuggets but those can also be done in advance.

See simple recipes here and here.

Fruit Pulps

Freeze pulp of your favourite fruits! I usually do this for mango, passion fruit and chikoo. I also keep washed and cut strawberries, berries and even peeled bananas which I just throw in a blender for a quick milk shake or smoothie. It is very refreshing and healthy to have a glass at Iftaar time.

Some tried and tested tips for Sehri that I'd like to share as Sehri is an important meal.

As a part of my preps, I will stock up these things. So, they will go in my grocery list. 

1. Fruit Yogurt. I always have yogurt in Sehri whether plain or flavoured. It prevents bloating after Sehri. I will stock up for one week depending on the expiry date.  

2. Isotonic Drink. Someone gave me this tip long time ago and it really helps. Isotonic water quenches thirst and provides energy. Usually people think it is taken only after sports but in Malaysia the famous Isotonic drink, 100 plus, is consumed by everyone. Especially since this time Ramazan is in summer (in most regions), having an isotonic drink will be beneficial.

3. Multi Vitamin. I take 'Executive B' by Blackmores. It keeps me energized throughout the day. I know there are many theories regarding multi vitamins but based on my personal experience, it really helps. After Sehri, I don't go back to sleep, so my day starts really early and ends really late. This multi vitamin really gives me a boost. 

4. Dates. We all know how good dates are! For Sehri you need to have fiber rich diet. Date is rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants and other essential minerals. Dates at Sehri replenish the lost minerals due to fasting and gives you energy for the day. 

6. Nuts and Dried Fruits: Keep a jar of mixed nuts and dried fruits. You can add them in yogurt or have just a handful. Nuts will help you feel full longer because of their fat and protein content. Try combining nuts with dried fruit for a high-fiber snack. 

You can also see my post about life saving hacks here that I did sometime ago. This also has some really great tips if you want to add more variety. 

Trust me, this is a very doable list and it reduces my cooking time to half. I just need to plan the activities. I will start with cleaning the kitchen and then keep updating on my Facebook page here. We can do this together!

 If you find these tips useful, please share them with your friends and family. Remember me and my family in your prayers during the holy month of Ramazan. 
May all our efforts and supplications be accepted and 
may we all reap the maximum benefits of this holy month. 


  1. Very good tips! Thanks for compiling

  2. Practicle tips. I love Haleem.

  3. What are Isotonic drinks?

  4. Are you sure about freezing bananas? I have never heard of this. but this list is comprehensive.

  5. I have no clue why I cant individually reply to you all.. Thanks for your comments.

    Isotonic drink contains electrolytes and salts that human body needs. Gatodrade for example. ORS also serves the same purpose.

    Yes! I freeze bananas all the time... Just peel them and shove them in a box to freeze:)

  6. My husband like proper food. We dont make all these snacks and directly go for dinner. I still need to cook

  7. Bisma...I know it is a bit tough. But thankfully my hubby is ok with a little snack like dates and rolls etc before prayer with a glass of shake. And after prayers, we usually have sandwiches or burgers or paratha rolls :) Works fine for us!