Suhoor Ramadan 1


Ramadan (Ramazan in Turkish) is a holy month for muslims and they fast during this month as a worship. It started about a week ago and you can feel  the excitement of people everywhere in Turkey now. Although we can’t say that Turkey is a muslim country, a big number of  its citizens is muslim. The time of Ramadan was arranged by Islamic calendar and as this calendar is a moon calendar, it is 11 or 12 days shorter than Gregorian calendar. As a result, the month Ramadan starts about 10 days earlier each year.

Fast (oruc in Turkish) as a term means not eating or drinking anything and no sexual intercourse from sunrise till sunset. So the starting time and ending time of fast changes in each city depending on their direction.
The first step of fast begins after midnight, which is called suhoor (sahur in Turkish). People must prepare for the fast during suhoor. They can’t have any food after they hear the voice of imam calling all muslims to prayer (there are one or more mosques in a neighborhood and imams call to prayer from these mosques with loudspeakers). Imam’s voice is the reminder for the starting time of fast.

Do you think all muslims wind their alarm clocks and they wake up in the very early morning for suhoor  with its striking? As Ramadan is the month of ritual like traditons, there must certainly be something more interesting to wake people up. Believe or not, some men walk around the streets banging  drums during suhoor time to wake residents of that neighborhood. These men are called Ramadan drummer. They share the streets, so each street has its own Ramadan drummer. Although, some people are afraid of the sound of drums during night, this is one of my favorite traditions about Ramadan. When I was a child, I used to love watching the Ramadan drummer through the window every single night of the month. I found them…well…how can I say? Different from others. Maybe they look like people from a different world or maybe I find them so brave. Can you grab a drum and go out after midnight and bang it with all your might? I can’t. But Ramadan drummers can easily do it. I have many times wanted to ask one of these drummers to borrow me their drum and try it once.  However, I could never even dare to ask it. At the end of Ramadan, each Ramadan drummer walks around the street he is responsible for during day time and rings the doorbells to get some tip. And people give them how much money they want.


At suhoor time, people wake up and prepare some food to eat. This is so exciting to wake up at a very unusual time of night and eating some food with all family members. Doesn’t it sound enjoyable? Doctors say that people shouldn’t have heavy foods at suhoor not to have any health problems. And of course they shouldn’t forget to drink enough water at suhoor. People should prefer healthy and filling foods. People sometimes prefer having Turkish breakfast foods such as olive, cheese, sliced cucumber and tomatoes and of course boiled eggs (egg makes people feel full for a long time) and they have Turkish black tea as a drink. They sometimes have a warming soup and rice or bulgur pilaf or a kind of borek (doctors advice borek with vegetable filling, no meat).  And most people follow doctors advice and they always have compote (komposto or hosaf in Turkish) with their meal at suhoor. Compote is a very significant dish at suhoor as it prevents low blood sugar during the fast. When you have compote at suhoor, you don’t have vertigo caused by hunger and low blood sugar during day time. The other importance of compote is that it meets your need of drink during fast.

As we remember how compote is important for our health during Ramadan, I wanted to share how to make compote of cornelian cherries, which we can find during summer.

Kızılcık Kompostosu

–    250g cornelian cherries
–    1 cup sugar
–    5 cup water
–    A few cloves

Put the water in a pot and heat it. When it boils, add sugar. I don’t like it too sweet, so you can add extra sugar if you like. Taste and decide. Boil it for 1 or 2 minutes. Then add cornelian cherries and cloves. Boil it until the color and texture of cherries change, for about 20 minutes. Let it cool and put it in refrigerator. Serve it cold. This can also be a very good cold drink during hot summer days.

cherry compote |

What do people generally have first to break their  fast? Do you have any idea? I’m going to tell about this in my next post.


  1. says

    I don’t know if I can find cornelian cherries here but anyway the compote looks marvelous!
    Stunning color…my stomach is growling…

    Excellent article Zerrin!



  2. Leesie says

    I found this post very interesting Zerrin, especially that compote is a means to prevent low blood sugar. Thank you for sharing. I am looking forward to your next post to learn more.

    When does school teaching start up again for you? My son goes back to school on September 2nd, next Wednesday – earlier than usual this year!

    I hope all is well with you ;o)

  3. OysterCulture says

    What a great education on Ramadan, I loved learning more about this event. And bonus I got a recipe for another incredible dish.

  4. says

    This drink looks beautiful and refreshing. My husband and I fast Ramadan and we typically break our fast with dates a sip of water (not too much water or we get too full to eat our meal!). I loved hearing about the Ramadan drummers…great post!

  5. says

    Gera- These cherries are generally so sour if they are not so ripe. But I love them much in compote!

    Leesie- Doctors always advice it here as a prevention for low blood sugar. Such fruit compotes are like medicine as they say.

    And thank you for asking, teaching starts towards the end of September for me. Hope your son has a successful shool year.

    Jessie- Its color is so shining, isn’t it?

    pigpigscorner- Actually, they are not as soft as grapes and they are so sour if they are not much ripe.

    Sophie, Parita, Oyster- Thank you all for your valuable comments.

    Faith- It’s definitely so surprising for me to hear that you fast during Ramadan. How nice! And yes, people here also generally break their fast with dates, too. And drinking a little water is a very good strategy or we can’t have enough food, can we?

    Natasha- If you have the chance of finding cornelian cherries, you must try this. I’m sure you’ll love.

  6. says

    I don’t think I’d find Cornelian cherries here so I’d have to be satisfied with your beautiful photos :)

  7. says

    Ramadan drummers – interesting :-) Although Muslims are only a very small minority in Trindad, I grew up in a small village there, where there were about 5 Muslim homes right next to each other. No drums, but you could smell the food at Suhur time and then join the others outside to head to walk down to the mosque for Fajr. (Some of our neighbours like their roti and curry or other spicy dishes for Suhur which you can smell easily in the quiet dark morning. Our family prefers normal breakfast foods.

  8. says

    Thank you for sharing the Turkish Ramadan tradition. The explanation of the Ramadan drummer is fascinating – like a community alarm clock, allowing people to wake up together and make a healthy and filling meal together. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing and the compote is gorgeous/delicious. i will try it soon.

  9. Juan says

    Salamaleykum! Greetings from Albuquerque NM :) I’m having this today for my suhur meal, and it is very refreshing. But I better put it down, here comes daybreak!


  1. […] excelent la gătit și din ele se face în mod tradițional gem, marmeladă, sosuri, dulceață, compot și sirop. Se pot consuma și uscate, ca atare, sau adăugate în preparate dulci sau sărate. […]

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