Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad; an annual event regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, fasting begins immediately after the pre-dawn meal of Suhur and continues during the daylight hours, ending with the evening meal of Ifthar (‘break fast’) at sunset. The spiritual rewards of fasting are also believed to be enhanced during Ramadan, so this time often includes more prayers, and an increase of good deeds and charity.
But beyond its religious and spiritual significance, the Ifthar meal is a joyous celebration of family, friends and — of course — fabulous food! Newcomer Kitchen invites you to join us for a traditional Syrian Ifthar dinner, prepared with love by some of our most talented cooks. This intimate evening will also include a performance of traditional Syrian music by Esmaeel Aboufakher and Rahaf Alaakbani.
We invite guests to join us at 8pm, with a short musical programme starting at 8:30. Please keep in mind that no food or drink will be served until sunset (8:57pm), at which time dinner will be served. There will be some more music after dinner, before dessert is served.
Water & Dates
This is the traditional way to break the fast, in emulation of the Prophet Muhammad
Shorabit Adas شوربة عدس
This yellow lentil soup flavoured with cumin, onion, Aleppo pepper, black pepper and garnished with fresh coriander, is probably the most popular soup in Syria. It is an essential and traditional dish during Ramadan, when it is served hot with a slice of lemon.
Kibbeh Maklieh bil Lahmeh كبة مقلية باللحمة
Bulgur wheat, finely ground halal beef and spices are combined and formed into small football-shaped dumplings to be stuffed with a spiced mixture of ground beef and toasted pine nuts. They are then fried to give them a crispy, dark auburn exterior.
Freekeh with Lamb, Chicken and Nuts فريكة
Freekeh is made from green durum wheat that processed in a special way to create a unique flavor. The wheat is harvested while the grains are yellow and the seeds still are soft; it then is piled and sun-dried. The piles are carefully set on fire so only the straw and chaff burn, not the seeds. In these controlled conditions, the high moisture content of the seeds prevents them from burning, but imparts them with a unique smoky flavour. Next, the roasted wheat is threshed and sun-dried before being cracked into smaller pieces so they resemble a green bulgur. This Syrian freekeh recipe is seasoned with onion, butter, black pepper, cinnamon, and cumin, topped with tender braised lamb and chicken legs, and garnished with fried nuts.
Many versions of Maldoum can be found in Levantine kitchens from Turkey to Lebanon; this is a more rustic, summery and vegetarian version of the dish. All the sliced vegetables are traditionally arranged in attractive layered patterns in a large shallow round pan before being baked.
Khyar Belaban خيار بلبن
Yogurt and cucumbers with a touch of garlic is popular combination throughout the Mediterranean, but the addition of mint makes for an especially delightful, cool and refreshing summer salad.
Originally from the mountains of Syria and Lebanon, tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. A fragrant herb salad of parsley and mint, tomato and onion, with a scattering of bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon, and salt.
Qatayef (or Katayef) is kind of sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts commonly served during the month of Ramadan, traditionally prepared by street vendors as well as households throughout the Levant and Egypt. A yeasted batter is used to make small round pancakes which are filled with ricotta cheese or a mixture of nuts and/or dried fruit before being drizzled with a fragrant sugar syrup.
One of the most well-known traditional Syrian desserts; a simple cake of semolina, butter, sugar and yogurt drizzled with simple syrup scented with lemon. This version features a generous sprinkling of pistachios.
Coffee or Tea
Newcomer Kitchen is a new project that invites groups of Syrian newcomer women to use our kitchen to cook traditional Syrian dishes in a fun, social setting. Meals are prepared and packaged, and then sold online for pickup or delivery to pay for all the ingredients and provide a source of revenue for the cooks.
We also offer “Guest Cook” spots on Wednesdays where you can help & hang out in the kitchen, learn the recipes and join the ladies for family meal. These can now be booked via AirBnB Experiences.
Proceeds from the sale of meals goes directly to the newcomer cooks. However this does not cover the costs of the enormous amount of behind-the-scenes coordination required to keep this project going. You can support the Newcomer Kitchen project directly and our vision of expanding this model to support more women in more neighbourhoods!