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My Ramadan routine: the Somali baker who loves cooking traditional and western food for Iftar

Welcome back to My Ramadan Routine, the series spotlighting the lives of Muslims celebrating the holiest month of the Islamic calendar.

So far we’ve had Cherno – the man with enviable levels of discipline – who’s been eating the same iftar for 11 years. We were also delighted to join mayor of London Sadiq Khan for his community iftar – a first to be held at the historic Tower of London.

This week we’re joined by Sarah Mire, 25, a baker from London who often shares her delectable offerings on Instagram.

Sarah tells HuffPost she keeps her iftars varied, fluctuating between traditional Somali dishes – suqaar (a curry-style item), Sabaayad (similar to rotis), Luhooh, (which is made using self raising flour/yeast), and sambusa (which is a samosa) – to Western foods, like the iftar she’s prepared today.

Let’s see what a typical fasting day looks like for Sarah.

Sarah, what are you having for Iftar?

“My iftar tonight will be dates, maple lamb chops, freshly made tabouleh, courgette, and parmesan pasta. After, I will drink lots of fluids and sometimes fresh juice – today it is cloudy lemonade!

“I love food and I appreciate the wonders of it. In my Somali culture we typically have our Somali rice with lamb, however, we understand that this cannot be consumed every day and tend to have this beautiful traditional meal once a week.”

Tell us about your Ramadan routine

“My Ramadan routine consist of prayers, reading Qu’ran and reflecting on the things God has blessed me with. Truthfully, eating suhoor (pre-dawn meal) can really overwhelm me, so therefore I keep it light with fruits, nuts, and dates. I always prioritise that my mornings consist in a conversation with God as that is when I am more in present.

“I love wearing silk and earrings are always a must. This Ramadan I am wearing my lemon earrings from Italy, Sicily. I am so grateful for lemons; my favourite dessert is a citron tart! Alhamdulillah (praise to God).”

A Ramadan staple (Photo: Sarah Mire)

Are there any rituals you do throughout the day?

“Attending my favourite parks in London. It is truly where I connect the most with God – seeing flowers bloom, squirrels create alliances with each other to hide nuts or birds drinking water from the fountain, I am reminded that these gardens here in London, will be a similar experience in heaven but infinitely better!

“Nature is a true testimony of God’s creations and to experience this in Ramadan is a blessing. It is so humbling to see nature before me, I am reminded that this universe is far bigger than me.”

How do you break up your fasting day?

“I run 7km twice a week and also do strength training – this normally happens either in the morning or in the evening depending on my work schedule. In between I take a pause during my work schedule to pray and to be mindful.”

What do you love baking for Iftar during Ramadan?

“I love baking desserts and this Ramadan I have baked my incredible tiramisu. It is made with mascarpone, sour cream and ricotta infused with coffee sitting on a bed of 65% chocolate ganache and dusted with dark cocoa! It is the perfect pick me up dessert – literally!”

What are some Ramadan rituals that you love?

“I love the emphasis on the importance of family. To ensure that everyone else is fed and happy. I apricate the inclusivity and centralisation of God in this very capitalistic world where currency is adorned and sometimes worshipped a bit too much.”

And finally, what do you crave the most while fasting?

“That’s easy – breakfast!”

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