4 Dinner/Iftar Appetizers You Need To Try (dairy-free + vegetarian options) ft. Ayesha & Ceres

Hey girl hey. And boy.

That title was definitely a mouthful but I am back with another Ramadan post for you all. I only have like 64834 more Ramadan posts planned so don’t worry we’ll be back to our regular posts in no time. πŸ˜‚ Whether you’re Muslim or not, I hope you love food because today’s collab is the whole day’s menu. I’m joining Ayesha from The Mind of Ayesha and Ceres from cLuEless_CerEs to bring you:

Check them out rnrnrnrn!!

In a traditional Arab household, Iftar consists of dates and milk then a break for prayer, then soup, an appetizer, salad and the main meal. I have no idea why Arabs do it this way because when you’re fasting, you get full after the first bite so I don’t get the whole buffet either.Β  πŸ˜‚ But today I’ll be sharing two salad recipes (one dairy and one without dairy) and two appetizer recipes (one veggie and one meat) so I hope you can try these no matter what your dietary restrictions are! Without further ado, let’s get starteddd.


1. Cucumber & Yogurt Salad

I know it sounds gross but hear me out. πŸ˜‚ It’s one of the easiest and tastiest dishes to make and tastes really good with bread. This is a staple dish for Middle Easterns and we usually have it next to spicy food or dry food such as the meat appetizer that you will see in a bit. It requires less than 5 ingredients so it’s a perfect last minute option.


what you need:

  • cucumber
  • carrot (optional)
  • onion (optional)
  • yogurt (1-3%)
  • oregano (optional)
  • olive oil
  • salt

#step 1: dice all your veggies (I typically use cucumber, carrot and an onion) and measure them out according to your serving size

#step 2: pour yogurt so that when you mix it, it is a higher ratio than the veggies

#step 3: add a bit of olive oil and salt to taste, you can also put oregano and some people put in diced garlic

and tada!

If you try this with greek yogurt, you’ll end up with tzatziki, a Greek dip dish which can be perfect for appetizers.

Tzatziki (Low Fat Yogurt & Cucumber Dip) Easy Authentic Tzatziki Sauce - Bowl of Delicious


2. Kubba (football meatballs/croquettes)

This is a very traditional Arab cuisine dish but it’s pretty difficult to make. I took photos of my mom making this but I’ll just wait til I’m 60 before I try to make it lol. πŸ˜‚ Nonetheless, it tastes really good and can be a dinner recipe on its own because it’s so filling.


what you need:

  • ground beef
  • kubba dough (we get this storebought from the butcher but click herefor a recipe online)
  • nuts (we usually use pine nuts but my mom used walnuts this time – any nut works!)
  • herbs (paprika, salt..etc whatever you want to flavour your meat with)
  • pomegranate molasses (or any molasses)

step #1: “Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet or frying pan. Saute the onion until just golden, then add the ground beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is fully browned. Add the toasted pine nuts, the spices, and the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.” – Suzy‘s recipe

step #2: You can do the filling part two ways – by hand or through a machine

My mom uses a machine to make the dough hollow and then she stuffs it by hand, closing off both ends to make a football shape. I just found the machine manual and it’s called Ultragrind Pro by Gourmia (model #GMG7100) It’s a meat grinder that makes sausage and kubba and my mom also uses it for falafel. It’s fairly pricy ($180) but it’s good investment if you make many dishes with meat that require it. HOWEVER, you can also make it by hand which my mom also does sometimes:

Kibbeh shells filled with meat mixture Meat mixture completely surrounded by Kibbeh shell

Those photos are from Suzy ^

step #3: freeze your balls if you want to fry later (my mom makes a big batch and freezes them for up to 2 weeks) but feel free to fry it instantly after making it


step #4: fry it

Please get someone to help if you’re not comfortable frying because if I was the one frying, I would accidentally burn the house. 100%.


Tada!! This is probably the hardest recipe on this list but I thought I’d share it in case you wanted to try them! Check out Suzy’s recipe to make everything from scratch.


3. Sambosas (veggie)


I always argue with my desi friends about whether it’s samosa or samboosa (the arab way of saying it) but it originated in Central Asia so I always loose the argument. πŸ˜‚Anyways, samBosas are an ESSENTIAL Ramadan appetizer and they’re super easy to make! We usually make them with spring roll/puff pastry sheets but you can make it from scratch too. You can fill it with meat, veggies, potato or cheese but here we use potato and cheese. And you can fry it but we baked it here.

what you need:

  • puff pastry sheets
  • mashed potatoes
  • mozzarella cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • feta cheese
  • flour and water (1:1 but make sure it isn’t thick)
  • a bit of oil to paint

step #1: make mashed potatoes and mix it with the cheese. This will be your stuffing.

step #2: mix a bit of flour and water for the pastry glue

step #3: separate your pastry sheets


step #4: add a small spoon worth of stuffing into the bottom right corner of the sheet and fold like so

Essentially, you just want to make sure that you’re always a right-angled triangle.

step #5: dip your fingers in the flour and water mixture and close off the triangle like an envelope.

step #6: we made 90 of these so I put 4 batches in the freezer and used one for that day. This is the step where you package and freeze these with containers or large Ziplock’s.

step #7: bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden


And you’re done!


4. Tabouleh Salad (dairy-free)

We made this many times but I didn’t make it the day I took photos. I thought I’d share it though because it is 100% vegan and is a little more interesting than your average salad.

My Mother's Lebanese Tabbouleh Recipe on Food52

what you need:

  • parsley (a lot of it)
  • bulgur
  • tomato
  • onion
  • lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt

step #1: cook your bulgur or soak it according to instructions until tender and soft

Tony Tahhan Β» parsley

step #2: dice your parsley into small pieces – make sure you dice lots as this will be your main ingredient

Eva's Lebanese Cooking Blog - EVA'S LEBANESE COOKING

step #3: dice your tomato and onion into very small pieces (they should decorate the parsley, not be as high of a quantity)

Cutting Onions GIFs | Tenor

step #4: add your veggies and bulgur to the parsley

step #5: dress with olive oil, lemons (taste until a bit sour) and salt

Tabbouleh - A Gluten-Free Classic - Foodtastic


Anddd that’s all for today.

Which recipe was your favourite?

What’s your favourite type of cuisine?

Don’t forget to check out Ayesha and Cere’s posts and I’ll see you soon.

Bayyy. πŸ’ž

19 thoughts on “4 Dinner/Iftar Appetizers You Need To Try (dairy-free + vegetarian options) ft. Ayesha & Ceres

  1. Amber says:

    Ahhhh *mouth waters* πŸ’– Gosh please virtually pass me some!! πŸ˜‚ Like samosas are my FAVOURITE food, like, EVER!! They’re just so good, and ah I get them so rarely it’s such a treat and now I see this pic my mouth is like gasping for them πŸ˜‚ I totally don’t have an addiction to them, like at all! Loved this post Bay, honestly I’m going to screenshot these eclipse encaustics it all looks so delicious! The meat footballs look yum πŸ˜‹ Loving all these Ramadan themed posts and will look forward to the other one-thousand-six-hundred-and-something of them!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bayance says:

      I’ll pass them through the screen the next time my mom makes them no worries. πŸ˜‚ Someone get Amber a samosa rehab kit. Same hereee there are two malls in my city that have fresh sambosa shops and I miss themmm. Amber back at it again with her complex words – what are eclipse encaustics? πŸ˜‚ Tysmmm!!! <3πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amber says:

        Ah please do! ☺️ Omg are those really a thing?! I want one! πŸ˜‚ Oh that sounds amazing, a fresh sambosa/samosa 🀀 Noooo that was autocorrect with its complex words! πŸ˜‚ I think I meant to say β€œexciting recipes”? I am so sorry about that πŸ˜‚ Aw no worries!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ayesha says:

    So today for Iftar, I actually MADE (that’s right, I actually did something productive yayyy) the cucumber and yogurt salad and it was an instant HIT. My brother practically took 60% of it all!πŸ˜‚ Now he’s been begging me to make it everyday!
    so victory for me!! πŸ’ƒ Thanks a bajillion!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hiddenzzzzz says:

    Ramadan is not Ramadan without sambosa!! I can’t imagine surviving ramadan without it πŸ˜‚ Yogurt salad is the first thing in mind for suhoor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BriN says:

    Oh goshh who would have thought cucumber salad would look so gorgeous!! That’s my favourite😍🀩 XX
    I’m guessing it’s because of the killer yoghurt?! (*dreams about yogurt*)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It's Yusra Patni says:

    wow, all of this looks so good. Amazing post!!
    also, I don’t know if you use instagram but I sent you a message on BayanceBlogs so if you could check it and reply I would appreciate it

    Liked by 1 person

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