Pro tips: 4 dishes you can prepare minutes before iftar

Ten minutes left for iftar and you have nothing ready?

Sumaiya Asif June 27, 2016

Ten minutes left for iftar and you have nothing ready? We have all had unexpected guests or dishes that go wrong last minute. But don’t worry — whether you are trying to deal with a recipe fail, unexpected guests or just don’t want to spend  hours behind a stove in Ramazan, here are four handy recipes for delicious dishes you can whip up minutes before iftar.

1) Pita Pizza

Pita bread should get the ultimate ‘go to in a hurry’ food award.  Here’s one way to use it in a hurry and it’s as simple as it sounds.

All you have to do is spread the pita bread with some tomato paste, whatever protein you have on hand; sausage, salami or leftover mince. Add canned mushrooms or any vegetables you prefer, the choices are endless. Finally scatter some cheese on top and finish in the oven.

2) Date and Ricotta Salad

With rich and light components, this date and ricotta salad with almonds and greens is thoroughly satisfying as you break the fast.  With just six ingredients the salad will take less than 10 minutes to prepare.

All you need is some soft and sticky dates, crumbles of ricotta cheese, crushed almonds (you can even use walnuts) and rocket leaves or any soft green salad leaves. Dress these ingredients with a tamarind paste and olive oil dressing. (You can season according to taste).

3) Thai inspired rice noodles with summer vegetables

You can use any kind of noodles for this but rice noodles are the most time-friendly choice. All you have to do is soak some rice noodles in hot water for two to three minutes, drain and keep aside.  Julienne some vegetables such as carrots, peppers, cucumbers and toss in a dressing of rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil (you can also use olive oil). Mix together with the noodles and you’re ready to serve. Strips of beef and chicken go very well with this recipe. You can add red chili flakes or Siracha sauce to the dressing to spice things up. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

4) Sandwiches

Because you just can’t go wrong with them. A tuna mayonnaise sandwich and a grilled cheese are two quick options. For the tuna sandwich use one can of tuna and mix together with some mayonnaise, black pepper and chili if you like. Add some cucumber slices and assemble the sandwiches. You can also add sweet corn, celery or chopped onions if time permits.

For the grilled cheese sandwich, layer some cheese between two slices of bread. You can use a variety of ingredients along with the cheese such as sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onions, sliced tomatoes, or even some sausages or salami to really make it hearty. Next, butter a hot pan and fry the sandwich on both sides pressing lightly. Remove from pan when the bread starts to take on a golden colour and the cheese starts to melt.

Count down till iftar begins.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2016.

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