‘Recipes for Ramadan’ – An Invitation to Participate

‘Recipes for Ramadan’ – An Invitation to Participate

Food is about People and Places. Culture and Identity. Memory and inheritance. Who we are. Where we came from. What we love to share.

Recipes for Ramadan – family recipes and family stories from our homes to yours – is a virtual invitation to break the daily Ramadan fast with us, to share our food and our stories and celebrate the diversity of Australian-Muslim heritage and culture.


The world over, Muslims break their Ramadan fast with a date. But the meal on the table is very different if you come from Pakistan or Palestine, Syria or Somalia, Morocco or Malaysia, Iraq or Indonesia, Egypt or Eritrea, Bosnia or Bangladesh… Your history is different. The inheritance and baggage you bring with you is different.  Your culinary culture is different.  You may eat with your fingers, or with bread, or chopsticks, a spoon, or a fork.  Your family stories are different.  So too your conversations and concerns….

This virtual invitation to Iftar in the form of recipe and story sharing is an invitation into the lives, homes, traditions and beliefs of Muslims from diverse geographic, racial, cultural backgrounds to share food, history and culture; recipes, stories, conversations and concerns which reflect the different backgrounds Australian Muslims come from. And sometimes, how the culture in the kitchen and at the table is changing.


We are asking contributors (students, families and a range of community leaders and Australian-Muslim public figures) to

  1. Talk to grandparents and/or older relatives about
    – the food they love to cook and to serve; their special recipes; their memories of food, cooking and eating and related memories of people, places, stories, smells, flavours..
    – Ask them to think about the relationship of food to their faith, their culture, the land of their ancestors, their inheritance and the legacy and memories they (the older generation) would like to pass on to their children and grandchildren.
    – Explore how food unlocks history and culture;
    – And what your older family relatives traditionally served in Ramadan and why; the menu they might put together for an Iftar dinner (and/or pre-dawn breakfast)
    – Unpack the meaning and significance of Ramadan and of fasting and inviting others to share your food.
    – Identify one particular recipe they’d like to share and pass onto their family and grandchildren as a legacy item;NB Older participants can reflect backwards to memories of their own parents and grandparents and forwards to their children and grandchildren, reflecting on the role food and Ramadan have played in their lives
  1. Write an account of the stories, recipes and reflections that mean so much to their families (especially their grandparents) and to reflect on what this means to them as grandchildren (or similar)
  2. Cook the recipes with their grandparent, parent or sibling and capture this intimate experience in photos or video using their mobile device. We imagine most will find the experience quite a special intimate thing to do. (Videos can be edited by contributors or subject to funding, by Mustafa Allawi and his team at Hazen Agency who we are working with.)
  3. Track down relevant memorabilia and images such as photos of people, food, ingredients, preparation, cooking, cooking utensils, the finished dish, your family eating; and/or a handwritten recipe or much loved family recipe book; maybe a much-loved bowl or pan that belonged to a grandparent or something else that represents an inheritance such as a rug or a piece of furniture?; and/or photos of places, location shots, a family home, map, old family photos or non-copyright photos to recall the place of your grandparents or ancestors called home. Have fun!
  4. Email the people they usually invite to Iftar, saying how COVID-19 means they can’t extend an invitation to Iftar this year but that Recipes for Ramadan is offered as a virtual Iftar to visit the website, follow on social media and enjoy and share the recipes and stories…
    The schools and individual families, AMUST, Affinity Intercultural Foundation, Dr Ibrahim and other partners and participants will be doing this too.

Remember how the best food transports you in time and place, introduces you to another world; every food has a story, and every family has a story.

For sponsorship opportunities, participation and further information, please contact:

Jane Jeffes (Firefly Productions) – 0403 232134 / [email protected]

Mehar Ahmad (President of Seena, AMUST publisher) – 0413 695373 / [email protected]

Serkan Iner (Community Engagement Manager, Amity College) – 0477 423391 / [email protected]

Almila Koca (Girls High School Pastoral Care Co-ordinator, Amity College) – 0431 766 001/ [email protected]

Osman Karolia (Head of Community Engagement, Unity Grammar) – 0422 934115 / [email protected]


Walk in someone else’s shoes. Eat their food. (Anthony Bourdain, presenter CNN’s ‘Parts Unknown’ exploring international culture, cuisine and the human condition)

Sit at someone’s table. Eat their food. Hear their stories. Get to know them. Build relationships.. Absorb their recipes and stories into your own life. (Recipes For Ramadan)

About The Author

Jane Jeffes

Jane Jeffes is a producer and director and former head of ABC Religion & Ethics. A UK-Australian dual national she is based in Sydney, Australia.

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