Iftar is as important as suhoor during Ramadan. And there is a great tradition during this month. You can see iftar tents at certain streets of cities. Iftar tents are the places where homeless people or poor people are served various dishes for free. They either eat there or bring their pots and have them filled with dishes, then take them to home.
During Ramadan people invite guests for dinner more often than in other months. Muslims call this dinner iftar (just in this month), which starts with breaking fast (with water, dates and olives), and then goes on with other dishes. Inviting friends for iftar is like a tradition as people want to end their fast with people they love. In Islam, doing anything like eating, praying, working together is always advised. They pray together to thank God aither before meal or after it. And to go on enjoying iftar together, if you are invited for iftar, you may take something you cook or buy a kind of dessert as a gift. If someone invites you for dinner, you should invite them back after some time.
Stuffed vegetables are always popular at iftar tables as it shows the importance you give to your guests. They are served either as the main dish or as side dish. As we are in Summer, in the season of red bell peppers, I want to share stuffed red bell peppers with you. As I love them more than the green ones, I make these more often. When they are cooked well, their skin can easily be removed and it becomes more appealing.
Kırmızı Biber Dolması
Ingredients (servings 6)
- 6 red bell peppers
- ¾ cup rice
- 2 medium sized onions, minced
- A handful of minced parsley
- A handful of minced scallions
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon
- ½ tbsp pepper paste
- 1 cup water
Wash the rice well and drain. Add onion, parsley, scallion, garlic, spices, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper paste. Mix them well.
Cut the heads of red bell peppers and remove their seeds. Then stuff them with the rice mixture you prepared. Do not overstuff the peppers as the rice will get bigger when cooked. Put the stuffed peppers vertically in a big pot.
Pour water in the pot and cover it. Cook it over the lowest heat for about 40 minutes. Then check if the rice is cooked. If it is, then you can take it from fire. I love to eat this when it’s still hot, but some people let it get cold and then serve. And we generally serve it with some yogurt near it.