7 Mouthwatering Middle Eastern Iftar dishes to try

From Sambousek to Baklava, here are seven popular Middle Eastern dishes that you should try for a filling, appetising Iftar.


Rida Jaleel

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Published: Thu 6 Apr 2023, 10:59 AM

Last updated: Thu 6 Apr 2023, 11:07 AM

After an entire day of fasting, Iftar is the time of breaking fast with delectable, nutritious food. And there’s something special about delicious and protein-packed Middle Eastern meals. These dishes are often made with meat, potatoes, onions and a wide variety of spices that will feel like a hug from within. If you’re running out of Iftar dish ideas, here are seven popular Middle Eastern dishes that you could try making for yourself and your family this Ramadan!



Fattoush is a popular salad made in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. It is made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and cubes of toasted bread and is dressed with a tangy dressing made of lemon juice and sumac. It is an incredibly fresh and yummy salad that will help your stomach ease into an Iftar meal


The Sambousek is the Middle Eastern cousin of the Indian 'Samosa'. The thin pastry is lined with a filling of meat and onions that have been sautéed together and then fried in vegetable oil. A sweet version of the Sambousek is made with cheese inside, drizzled with honey upon frying or baking.


Nobody needs an introduction to the beloved Shawarma. Warm pita bread (or Rumali Roti, if you want to change it up) is lined with roasted chicken or beef meat, sauces like tahini and mayonnaise, and as many vegetables as you want. Making this dish at home will give you more control over its ingredients and help you make it healthier than store-bought ones.

Lentil Soup

If you’re a soup person, look no further than this widely popular lentil soup to break your fast. It is made with lentils, onions, garlic, and spices, and is often served with a dash of lemon juice and pepper. It comes with multiple health benefits and is a great coolant on your stomach after hours of hunger.


Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish that is made by tossing eggs, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and spices into a pan and sautéing until golden brown. Easy to make, it is a nutrient-packed dish and a step up on regular scrambled eggs. If you want to make your Shakshuka more filling, you could serve it with a slice of toasted bread to dip in it.


What is Iftar without a sweet treat? Baklava is a massively beloved sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough, chopped pistachio, and drizzles of honey syrup. The phyllo dough is stacked in layers, one after the other, with each layer coated in chopped nuts in between. It is a popular dessert in many Middle Eastern countries and is often served during Iftar.


The Kibbeh is essentially made by grinding meat, pureed onion, and bulgur wheat together. This mixture is then rolled into balls with a filling made of toasted pine nuts, beef, and spices. It is often served as an appetiser during Iftar, and is usually shaped into balls or patties and deep-fried. If you want a healthier option, you can always bake or grill the kibbeh.

Note: the Kibbeh is most enjoyed with a yoghurt-garlic dipping sauce.

In conclusion, Middle Eastern cuisine offers a rich variety of dishes that are traditionally served during Iftar. From hearty soups to sweet pastries, these dishes are a testament to the cultural diversity and sheer flavour profile of the region. The inclusion of meat, chicken, and eggs in most of these savoury dishes mean that they assure Iftar delicacies that are dense, flavorful, and thus, satisfy both your hunger and tastebuds!

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