Festive Ramadan recipes that break the fast

With Ramadan in full swing, Muslims have been taking to Google looking for recipe ideas for their fast-breaking meals, making "Ramadan cuisine" the top rising food-related search term over the past week.

The yearly tradition, which started July 20 and ends August 18, involves fasting from dawn to sunset. Come sundown, friends and families gather together to break the fast with the nightly Iftar meal, which is traditionally preceded by the eating of dates to ease into the feast.

The pre-dawn meal, the Suhur, is often a hearty, rib-sticking breakfast to fuel followers through until the end of day.

The largest, user-generated recipe website Allrecipes.com offers a host of both Suhur and Iftar ideas that range from a simple rice porridge with milk and dates to Turkish-style poached eggs in a paprika butter sauce and garlic-spiked yogurt dip.

For the post-sunset Iftar meal, dates, hard-boiled eggs, milk and sweets are often staples at the nightly buffets.

In Morocco, fasts are typically broken by harira, a lamb, lentil and tomato stew, spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cayenne and turmeric.

Popular gourmet food site Epicurious.com also offers Iftar meal ideas courtesy of cookbook The Arab Table, like a stuffed leg of lamb or fakdeh mehshi khodra that calls for fragrant, pungent ingredients like mint leaves, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, cinnamon and 25 cloves of garlic.

And while traditional Arab cuisine isn't normally sweet on desserts, Ramadan offers a good excuse to bake up a storm, with nightly meals finished off with syrup-soaked, dried fruit pastries and cookies. Epicurious.com offers simple recipes for sticky baklava and qatayef, flat, Middle Eastern style pancakes filled with nuts and cheese.

Rice porridge: allrecipes.com/Recipe/Rice-Pudding-With-Dates/Detail.aspx

Turkish-style poached eggs: allrecipes.com/Recipe/Turkish-Style-Eggs/Detail.aspx

Harira: allrecipes.com/recipe/harira/

Stuffed leg of lamb: www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/ramadan/meals_bsisu/recipes/food/views/Stuffed-Leg-of-Lamb-Fakdeh-Mehshi-Khodra-233061

Baklava: www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Baklava-109545

Qatayef: www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Qatayef-366170

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