5 Day to go

Lets Makeover Recipes and Swap Ingredients for your most common dishes in Ramadan. Start implementing some of these options to make your special foods healthier

Day 5Haleem, Harees or Harira:

  • Use chicken breasts only (avoid red meats)
  • Use oats or barley instead of wheat – or use whole wheat. Eating barley is Sunnah
  • When eating – limit the amount to no more than ¾ cup
  • Have a side of salad (cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes), cooked vegetables or lassi and fruits with it. Do not eat rice, bread or meat curries with it. You need to give your body time to digest the aleem first.

Biryani, Mansaf or Khabsa:

  • Cook with Chicken or chicken breasts
  • You can also make a different version called “Qubuli” – made with lentils (chana or other daal) or make it with fish!
  • Use parboiled rice or brown rice instead, it takes a little longer to cook but give it a try – you’d be doing your blood sugar a big favour. If you can’t find it then use long grain basmati rice (but less)
  • Replace the ghee (or clarified butter) and butter with vegetable oil instead
  • Cover only half of your plate with the biryani/kebsa/mansaf. The remaining plate should be vegetables (salad, vegetables curries/gravy or grilled) and yogurt dips (raita, or yogurt salad)


  • Do not over eat the kababs – eat 2 – 3 kababs per meal
  • If using Hummus – use little or replace with baba ganoush instead. Hummus and Kababs are both protein and they will be too much together – try keeping ¼ of your plate with both.
  • Eat mahshy or stuffed vegetables with kebabs, instead of a whole plate of rice and pita.
  • Use labneh or other yogurt dips on the side

General Tips:

  • Always cook a vegetable dish with every meal. The vegetables in your gravy is not enough, always plan a second vegetable dish. This should be half your plate.
    • For example cooked or baked: ladyfinger or okra, eggplant, bell peppers, grilled vegetables, cauliflower, beans, etc.
    • Salads: tomato-cucumber salad, carrots, Raita, etc.
  • Begin your meal with a salad or vegetable dish
  • Always measure out 1 cup (use a ladle or spoon which holds ½ or 1 cup) of rice or pasta and put it on your plate first. This way you are aware of your portions.
  • Control the portion of your meats and beans to ¼ of your plate and no more than 1/3rds
  • Finish your first round of rice/bread/pasta, the vegetables and beans/meat. Eat slowly. If you are still hungry then do for a second round, but start with vegetables again.

What tips would you like to share? Please share any recipes or ingredient swaps that you tried and enjoyed.


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