Ramadan certainly is different this year. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Holy Month traditions have now been put on hold. It’s meant as a time of reflection, prayer, appreciation and community while fasting. Families often congregate to break their fast for iftar (or boeka, as it’s colloquially known in the Cape Malay community) and send sweet treats (boeber on the fifteenth night) around to the neighbours. But now those traditions cannot be observed.
Abdeah Davis says she’s finding the threat of coronavirus and still working full days stressful: “Especially when you have this overwhelming need to comfort eat during this pandemic. Coffee has been getting me through lockdown, but during the Ramadan, it’s not an option. It’s also really hard to get up in the morning. I just take it one day at a time.”
“My husband and I are both working from home, full-time. Along with juggling our 18-month-old daughter. There is very little time and energy to fit in cooking a feast and then cleaning up after,” says 28-year-old Shameez Patel Papathanasiou.
With that in mind, here’s a list of iftar (or boeka) meals or treats that won’t take you forever to make, but are still really satisfying after a long day.
For when you need comfort food:
For those cold nights:
For something sweet:
For when you’re thinking ahead