Ramadan is a sacred month for muslims. They keep fasting through out the day without any food and water. As the sun sets, they break fasting with delicious snacks. The time of breaking the fast is called as “iftar”.
Iftar foods are mostly home made, but in some places, food is distributed in mosques also. Type of iftar snacks vary at a large scale depending upon the country and available ingredients. In India, north Indian iftar will have more sweets compared to south India.
South Indian snacks are mostly made with rice, wheat or urad dal. Tamil Nadu is famous for idly/dosa varities. But a lot of simple snacks are made with just the same batter prepared for idly/dosa.
Traditional Tamil Snacks For Ramadan Iftar
Godhumai paniyaram is a sweet snack made with wheat and banana. A batter is made from wheat flour and sugar is added as per taste. Mashed banana is mixed with the batter and fried until golden brown. This snack is a ‘kids favourite’ as most of the Tamil kids would have enjoyed this in childhood.
Kuzhi paniyaram is made with a unique vessel with small pits for filling batter. Kuzhi paniyaram is mostly made with leftover idly/dosa batter. The batter contains rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds. It can be baked in the kuzhi paniyaram pan directly and served with spicy chutney.
In modern days, a lot of new versions of kuzhi paniyaram has come to practice. Sauted onions are directly mixed into the batter to make “kaara paniyaram” (spicy) or sweet ingredients like coconut and jaggery are added to make “inippu paniyaram” (sweet).
Pettis is a very traditional iftar snack which is almost forgotten nowadays. It is made with a unique mould with designs on both sides. Method of preparation is same like samosa but this snack is comparatively easy to make. Spicy pettis is made with onions, grated carrots and cabbage. Sweet pettis is made with sugar and coconut.
Ulundhu vadai is one common snack, can be seen in any place in Tamil Nadu. It is made with a unique design with circular shape and a hole at the centre, like a donut. It is always combined with coconut chutney. Two vadai and a cup of tea is enough to fill a hungry stomach.
Being a common element in a Tamil breakfast plate, Ulundhu vadai can also be seen on an iftar table. It is made with a batter of urad dal and hence it is called ulundhu vadai. “Ulundhu” in Tamil means urad dal.
Paruppu vadai is made with channa dal and it is also circular in shape, but without any hole. It is crunchier when compared with ulundhu vadai. Also served with any type of chutney.
Pakoda is also a spicy fried snack made with gram flour or peas flour. Onions, chillies, curry leaves, fennel seeds etc are mixed to the flour and fried until golden brown. It is made with random shapes and baking soda is added to make it more fluffy and crunchy.
Bajji is also one of the common Tamil iftar snacks as it is easy to prepare and tasty to eat. Also made with gram flour, bajji has several types. Mostly raw banana is mixed in the flour and fried. Other types include onion bajji, milaga bajji (capsicum), potato bajji etc.
This is a list of few traditional Tamil iftar snacks which are served after a whole day of fasting. Iftar time is for prayers and food. Tamil iftar snacks are more appetising and healthy with a lot of varieties and locally produced ingredients.