Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. In Mauritania, Ramadan is a significant event in the country’s calendar and is marked by a unique culture of Iftar and Suhoor.
Iftar is the evening meal that Muslims consume after sunset to break their fast during Ramadan. In Mauritania, Iftar is a communal affair, and families and friends gather together to break their fast. Dates and water are typically the first things consumed to break the fast, followed by a range of traditional dishes.
Some popular Iftar dishes in Mauritania include:
Thieboudienne: This is a traditional Senegalese dish that is widely popular in Mauritania. It consists of fish cooked in a tomato-based sauce with vegetables and served with rice.
Couscous: This dish is a staple in North African cuisine and is commonly served during Ramadan in Mauritania. It consists of steamed semolina grains served with a stew of meat or vegetables.
Chebakia: This is a sweet pastry made from fried dough that is shaped into a flower and coated in honey and sesame seeds.
Suhoor is the pre-dawn meal that Muslims consume before beginning their fast during Ramadan. In Mauritania, Suhoor is typically a lighter meal compared to Iftar and is eaten in the early hours of the morning.
Some popular Suhoor dishes in Mauritania include:
Baghrir: This is a type of Moroccan pancake made from semolina flour and served with honey or jam.
Harira: This is a hearty soup made from lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and a range of spices. It is commonly served during Ramadan in Mauritania as a filling and nutritious Suhoor dish.
Bissara: This is a traditional Moroccan dish made from split fava beans and seasoned with cumin and garlic. It is often served as a Suhoor dish in Mauritania.
In addition to the food, Ramadan in Mauritania is also marked by a range of cultural and religious practices. Many people spend more time at the mosque, and the daily prayer schedule is adjusted to accommodate the fast. Additionally, many people engage in charitable activities and give to the poor and needy during Ramadan.
In conclusion, Ramadan in Mauritania is a significant event marked by a unique culture of Iftar and Suhoor. The communal spirit of Ramadan is evident in the way families and friends come together to break their fast and share traditional dishes. From Thieboudienne to Baghrir, there is a wide range of delicious dishes to enjoy during this special time.