The iftar essentials list

Avoid harried dashes this Ramadan - stock up on these must-haves

A simple trip to stores equals a stress-free Ramadan – these products are on your side even when time isn't:

The storecupboard essentials:


Is rice the ultimate starch? We don’t know, but what we do know for sure is that it will get more than its fair share of table time at iftar.


From fatteh and hummus to salads and stews plus small bites like falafel, canned pulses can be used in such varied, thrift-giving ways.


Everyday uses, deep-frying, salad dressings – all kitchen occasions are covered by the range of oils in store.


Great for speedy soups, slow-cooked stews, curries and tagines, or stirred through rice recipes, canned chopped tomatoes are a must this month.


Just the tiniest drop of orange blossom water and rose water will immediately inject Middle Eastern flavour into desserts, drinks and smoothies.


Dates are of course the traditional way to break fast (we have a wide range, from the classic to the chocolate-covered), and alongside dried fruits and nuts they make edible gifts for your loved ones.

The fridge and freezer essentials:


It’s sensible to have Arabic bread in your freezer that you can defrost in the day, ready for nights when you won’t have chance to shop before iftar.


Griddled on skewers, stirred through salads – halloumi boasts so much versatility you will never be short for ideas to make it shine.


You can use yogurt in so many ways: some savoury (fold through hummus for a lighter result, or if you have time, strain for fresh labneh), others sweet – serve with crushed meringue, orange blossom water and stone fruit.


Ideal to have in the freezer for recipes you can prepare and freeze now – samosas, savoury parcels and baklava.


Fill your freezer with authentic, ready-to-bake Lebanese dishes from Trio Delights.

The drinks essentials:


Invite sparkle to iftar with spinneysFOOD Red and White Grape Juice – simply pour into ice-filled glasses and finish with pomegranate seeds.


It’s a good idea to try and reduce your caffeine intake in the weeks leading up to Ramadan. That said, a cup enjoyed with some sweet treats at the end of iftar is fine.

And because the prep doesn't stop until food's on the table, here are a few get-ahead recipes and spice mixes to add to your collection this Ramadan.