For the people work through iftar – doctors, law enforcement officials, journalists, politicians in campaign mode and others — breaking one’s fast can become a chore.
You yearn for homemade food but do not have time to make any, and have to make do with either standard office food or spicy, greasy and unhealthy takeout before you rush back to work.
Here we list some outlets that provide healthier options for people who have to work through the evenings, want something easy and convenient to take with them if they are travelling or just want a break from cooking.
The ideal takeaway iftar is convenient to eat in a work environment, easy on the pocket, light and, for the sake of everyone else in the office, not too pungent.
With its bread-based menu and lack of reliance on sauces and spice for taste, Loafology is certainly filling a niche in the capital city. That is why its salads, sandwiches and iftar menu are ideal for people who want something light to eat.
The deli and café has introduced three new salads this summer. It is perhaps the first restaurant here in the capital city to use zucchini noodles in a salad.tossed in with seasonal greens.
The Vietnamese chicken salad is a mix of carrots, various nuts and shredded chicken with just the right amount of vinegar.
This salad, in one of Loafology’s baguettes with some Sriracha would also make a great sandwich to take to work.
The chicken and grape salad wins the show, however, brilliantly balancing the crisp, savoury chicken with sweet grapes and crunchy walnuts.
The salad is light, comes in a generous portion and is packed with nutrients which will set you right for going back to work right after breaking your fast.
All of the sandwiches are made with sourdough bread. They are a simple assembly of well-treated cold cut meats, fresh seasonal greens, lent a chewy hand by sundried tomatoes at times, and that is it.
The seasoning is done with lemons, rosemary and thyme. Rock salt is used instead of table salt. The sandwiches are light, flavourful and rich in vitamins and proteins.
The iftar special is a bit more elaborate and includes pakoras, samosas, beef pie, chicken stuffed in a flaky, well-risen croissant, a mini mushroom quiche, a mini chicken burger and mini tarts along with the usual drinks and dates and costs Rs995.
If had at the deli, all this is served on a tiered rack, but the iftar menu is also packed for takeaway and delivery and the convenient and packing of all items sold at the outlet is also a plus.
Gaining citywide fame on Facebook, this almost eight-month-old establishment was started from her home by Erum, a housewife who said she had always been complimented on her cooking.
Erum makes the usual desi fare and some Italian-continental foods. The difference in her food and that found in restaurants across the capital is that her food is homemade, very affordable – it averages Rs350 per person – and very clean.
The kitchen she works in appears hygienic and she uses ingredients that every house uses in their cooking such as quality corn oil and fresh vegetables.
There is not really a fixed menu, but she posts the items she will be making the night before on her Facebook page.
Some of the dishes which stand out are the Manchurian, which is lightly spiced with an aftertaste of green chillies and, just like homemade Manchurian, sets the traditional recipe aside to include a variety of vegetables.
The stir fry is not rich in oil and is packed with protein. It includes toasted cashew nuts, grilled chicken, baby corn, green beans, carrots and whatever other vegetable is in season.
The pastas come with a choice of red and white sauce. The red sauce is very reminiscent of a mother’s version of pasta, with an overpowering tomato flavour, while the white sauce also does away with traditional recipes to include a hint of jalapenos.
With its quirkily named dishes and truckers’ restaurant ambiance in Islamabad’s swanky F-7 sector, Sattar Buksh is a not-so-surprising competitor in our search for light, affordable, deliverable iftar meals.
Their orders are also delivered faster than most other restaurants’, usually under half an hour, and, more importantly, if you order drinks, they are packaged to prevent spillage.
Their bun kababs are just as flavourful as they are affordable. The dumdaar qeema bun kabab is marinated in papaya, while the Peshawari chapli kabab bun kabab is a bit spicier.
They come without the nuisance of French fries, which makes it easy to watch the waistline in Ramazan.
Sattar Bukh also serves everyone’s favourite dish, daal chawal, and a variety of chai, including elaichi chai and cheeni rok ke patti thok ke, which is delivered piping hot.
Originally published in Dawn, June 4th, 2018