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The Khan family gather for Iftar at their Dubai home on April 4, 2023. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: It is a special Ramadan for this Pakistani household. It is the first Ramadan for six month-old baby Aizen Orhan Khan. Parents Adeel Ahmed Khan and Maryam Adeel Khan are very excited to welcome the holy month with their fourth born.

Mum Maryam has been going all out bonding with the family, praying and cooking special Iftari dishes.

“Ramadan is a reminder to give and share. Our children Nyle, Mikha’el and Ranya become more sensitive to caring for others. Prayers also become more frequent.”

Adeel said: “This Ramadan, particularly we are so grateful. We have received a beautiful gift with baby Aizen. Our little baby is a reminder to be grateful for life.”

Nyle said: “Having been born and brought up in the UAE, we are so grateful for all that our parents have been able to provide us. During Ramadan we just become more aware of the need to reach out to people who need our help. Also fasting teaches us patience and self-introspection.”

The Iftari menu

Gulf News visits the Khan household for Iftar and we are pleasantly surprised by the massive spread prepared by the new mother. “My baby is very supportive. He lets me prepare special Iftari every day for the family.”

On the table the spread includes dahi bhalley, kebabs, chicken cutlets, puff pastry, pakoras, kebab, fruit chat, salty dahi bhalley, cholay chat, chicken cheese rolls, roo hafza milk.

“All the food is made at home. We don’t like to buy anything from outside. The children love chicken cutlets. It is a special preparation – a recipe I have in years developed and different to what you usually see around. Cheese rolls are a favourite with children as well. My son Mikha’el especially adores them.”

There are two kinds of Dahi Bhalley – the sweet version and the salty version. “It is a very popular dish prepared during Ramadan,” explained Maryam.

She added: “We don’t prepare full course meals for Iftar. Iftar is always with dates, Ramadan drinks and snacks,” said Maryam.

Breaking the fast and prayers

The family breaks fast together. Maryam, a new mother is also keeping fast. “It is a blessing to keep fast. I will not miss it,” she said as she serves some Dahi Bhalley to her husband. “It is his favourite and that is why it is on the table,” she said.

Adeel and his two sons lead the prayers after Iftar. They soon head out to the mosque for prayers.

“Soon, Aizen will be joining us. This year Ramadan is doubly special with our new born in the household.”

Mikha’el said: “During Ramadan I spend a special time with my family. My father, elder brother and I pray at home and head to the mosque every evening. We wake up early morning as well to eat at 4 am. For me personally I feel closer to my family during Ramadan. We do many things together. We also look after each other more during the fasting time. I am thankful for Ramadan.”


Chicken cutlets

  • Potatoes - 1 kg
  • Boneless Chicken - 500 gm
  • Elbow macrones - 250 gm
  • Capcisum - 2 medium size
  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Green chilli - 5-6
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Black pepper - 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli flakes - 2 teaspoon
  • Shan chat Masala - 2 teaspoon
  • Egg
  • Bread crumbs - 250 gm

Boil the potatoes, peel the skin and mash them. Boil macronies a little bit more than you usually do. Cook the chicken, add salt, black pepper and red chilli flakes, when its cook shred it.

Mix the mashed potatoes, macronies and chicken. Knead it so that it binds together. Add chat masala, red chilli flakes and salt if required. Chop capsicum, onion and green chillies, add to the mixture, make round or oval shape according to your choice.

Dip it in beaten egg then in bread crumbs. Fry it in a little bit of oil, but no deep frying. Serve it with your choice of sauce and enjoy.