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Ramadan Mubarak! Celebrating with a month-long food journey

Bela Mazhar, mother of Michigan Radio's Nisa Khan, shares some of their family recipes used while breaking fast (iftar) during the month of Ramadan.
Nisa Khan
Michigan Radio
Bela Mazhar, mother of Michigan Radio's Nisa Khan, shares some recipes used while breaking fast (Iftar) during the month of Ramadan.

Ramzan Mubarak! (I write this Monday morning, trying to ignore how dehydrated I am.)

This past Saturday marked the beginning of the month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

And for each week, Michigan Radio aims to deliver you recipes Michiganders have to break their fast during Iftar, from different backgrounds and traditions.

This week, my mom, Bela Mazhar, was excited to share her desi staples: pakoray, fruit chaat, and dahi bara.

If you end up making one of the recipes shared here, let us know! Share at @michiganradio on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.


For the batter:

  • 1 cup gram flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • pinch of baking soda
  • thinly sliced green peppers
  • chopped cilantro
  • 3 cups oil for frying

You can use several vegetables to dip in this batter and deep fry. We used eggplants, baby spinach leaves, and potatoes.

Cooking instructions:

  1. First, pour one cup of gram flour and one cup of water. Make a thick paste. Adjust water to your liking.
  2. Add salt, red chili powder, and a pinch of baking soda. Mix. Make a smooth batter. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 3 cups of oil in a deep frying pan.
  4. When the oil is hot enough, dip the vegetables in the batter, and then deep fry.
  5. Make sure they are golden brown when you take them out.
  6. Let them rest on a plate with paper towels.
  7. Eat with ketchup or chutney (our favorite brand is Swad’s Delhi Ki Chaat.)


  • bananas
  • mangos
  • apples, guava
  • grapes
  • pomegranate
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Shan’s chaat masala


  1. Slice all fruit into small pieces. (Remember to cut the grapes in half!) Pour into a large bowl.
  2. Add a cup of orange juice.
  3. Add the Shan chaat masala (adjust to your liking!)


  • Shan’s Dahi Bara Mix
  • 2 1/2 cups of plain yogurt
  • 3 cups of oil/ghee
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar
  • chopped onions
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped green peppers
  • chopped cilantro
  • chaat masala
  • oil for frying


  1. Mix one cup of water with in the mix to make a smooth batter. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In hot oil, pour tablespoons full of batter. Fry until light golden. Remove and cool on a paper towel. You just made a bara!
  3. Refry the bara in the oil until it's golden brown and cool again. Then soak it in water for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add powdered sugar to the yogurt and mix.
  5. Squeeze the water softly out of the bara with both of your hands. And place the baray in the yogurt.
  6. We added chopped onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cilantro, and chaat masala in it.
  7. Top with chutney (our favorite is Swad’s Delhi Ki Chaat.)
Nisa Khan joins Michigan Radio as the station’s first full-time data reporter. In that capacity, she will be reporting on data-driven news stories as well as working with other news staff to acquire and analyze data in support of their journalism.
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