Ramadan is coming up, and now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can prepare for a smooth month ahead. Below you’ll find several make-ahead freezer-friendly recipes and ideas. I’ve also included tips on how you can freeze and reheat many of them.

Make Ahead Ramadan Recipes and Guide

I started getting wise about freezing a few months ago when I became a mom of two. I had to shed any food snobbery and really think about maximizing my time in the kitchen. What I found was that if you freeze the right things in the right way, there’s actually little to no detectable difference in the quality of most food.

Here are 3 helpful rules for Freezing:

  1. Water expands when frozen, so any food that can take a little dehydration will freeze well. Most South Asian foods (curried meats, lentils, beans, etc.) fit into that category.
  2. Reheat food in the way it was cooked. For example, curries reheat best on the stovetop since they were cooked there. An exception is – some foods (like banana bread) will lose too much moisture in the oven and it’s better to microwave them.
  3. Air is not your friend. Remove air as much as possible from bags and containers.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed by the thought of planning and prepping. I’ve found the best way to meal prep is to just add it on to something I’m already doing. For example, if I’m making cookies, I just make a double batch and freeze half of them after forming balls of cookie dough.

Let’s begin!

Freezer-Friendly Suhoor Recipes:

  • Parathas: When preparing the dough, add a bit of oil to help them stay soft after freezing. Roll them out as you normally would, then place each uncooked paratha between parchment paper and freeze in an airtight container. When ready to cook, heat a pan over high heat and place the frozen paratha on the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook, buttering and flipping as necessary.

Laccha Paratha

A paratha is a traditional South Asian unleavened flatbread. It’s similar to roti, but with ghee/butter is folded to form layers.
Check out this recipe
This image shows mooli wala paratha on a plate with a bowl of yogurt

Easy Mooli Wala Paratha Breakfast Recipe

5 (1 rating)
These traditional Punjabi stuffed flatbreads are popular breakfast item in Pakistan and India. This recipe includes step-by-step photos and simple directions!
Check out this recipe
  • Pancakes: Prepare and freeze between parchment paper in an airtight container or bag. Microwave for about 10-15 seconds and then pan-fry again to get them crispy.
  • Frittata: Freeze uncooked in a glass pan with a lid. When ready to bake, place from frozen into the oven and give some extra time to cook. I’ve tried (and loved) the recipe below with some extra red chili pepper.

Mushroom and Spinach Frittata | Ricardo

Ricardo’s recipes : Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Check out this recipe
  • Baked goods: Most baked goods freeze very well as long as they’re tightly sealed. I’ve successfully frozen baked banana bread, french toast loaves, and of course cookie dough balls (breakfast cookies would be wonderful for Suhoor).
  • Oats: I often make a double batch of oats and refrigerate half for later. I used to make steel cut oats in the slow cooker, but lately I’ve been making them in my Instant Pot. Microwave or reheat over the stovetop. Before serving, add a splash of milk to freshen them up and make them creamier.
slow cooker steel cut oats

Date Sweetened Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

5 (1 rating)
I love the texture of steel cut oats, and this an easy/lazy/delicious way to cook them. Plus, I’ve naturally sweetened them with dates. By morning, the dates take on a beautiful purple hue, and become very easy to mix in. Add to that, you’re amping up the nutrition factor with milk. Milk provides protein and other nutrients that will set you up for the day. It’s a complete breakfast.
Check out this recipe

Freezer-Friendly Iftar Recipes:

  • Shami Kababs: Form into patties (don’t pan-fry yet) and freeze on a flat tray. Once firm, remove and place in an airtight ziplock bag or container.When ready to use, microwave on a plate until thawed and then dip in egg wash and pan-fry as needed. This recipes has stovetop and Instant Pot instructions.
A white plate with Shami Kebab alongside a bowl of raita, lemon wedge and garnished with mint leaves.

Easy Shami Kebab (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

4.93 (27 ratings)
Shami kebabs are tender patties made with beef and (yellow split peas) along with onion, herbs and spices. This recipe includes Instant Pot and stovetop instructions! Naturally gluten-free!
Check out this recipe
  • Seekh Kababs: Seekh kabab are another great freezer recipe. I’ve tried forming them into kabobs before cooking and after cooking, and they both work. If you freeze while they’re uncooked, don’t allow them to thaw but cook directly. If thawing from cooked, pan-fry to get a nice char.
Seekh Kebab garnished with cilantro on a white plate

Pakistani Seekh Kebab (Ground Beef Skewers)

5 (11 ratings)
A simple, uncomplicated Seekh Kebab recipe made with ingredients you likely have on hand. This recipe includes tips on how to make flavorful, tender kebabs that don't break or fall off the skewers. Includes pan-frying, baking, and air-frying instructions.
Check out this recipe
  • Aloo Ki Tikki (Potato Cutlets): I haven’t tried freezing these myself, but I’ve heard from many people who’ve successfully frozen them.
Stack of three Aloo Ki Tikkis (Pakistani-Style Potato Cakes) on a round white plate garnished with mint leaves.

Easy Pakistani Aloo Ki Tikki – Potato Cutlets

5 (7 ratings)
This recipe for Pakistani-style Aloo Ki Tikki is made with mashed potatoes, onions, herbs, and spices. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian (or optionally vegan).
Check out this recipe
  • Date balls/bars: Date balls or bars make an excellent option for both Suhoor and Iftar and freeze very well. For best results, freeze in an airtight container.
Coconut Cacao Date Balls

Coconut Raspberry Cacao Bliss Balls

5 (2 ratings)
These coconut cacao date balls are quick, easy and nutritious as a snack or dessert. They’re perfect for kids and make a wonderful Valentine’s day treat.
Check out this recipe
5 minute chocolate date energy bars

5-minute Chocolate Energy Bars

5 (4 ratings)
These 5-minute Chocolate Energy Bars are the perfect pick-me-up. They’re quick and easy to make, raw, vegan, gluten-free, customizable, satisfying, nourishing, happiness-inducing and chocolatey! 🙂
Check out this recipe

Freezer-Friendly Dinner Recipes:

Most South Asian dinner recipes are exceptionally freezer-friendly. After thawing, reheat over the stovetop on relatively high heat with a little bit of water for a like-new taste. Garnish and serve.

Freezer-Friendly Lentil & Legume Curries

  • Dals are perfect for freezing. I prefer to freeze dal without finishing it with a tarka (tempering). After thawing, reheat on the stovetop and add the tarka for a completely fresh dal.
Lentil Dal in a plate

Instant Pot Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentil Curry)

5 (6 ratings)
Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentil Curry) recipe made quick and easy in the Instant Pot. This is a no-soak (unless you want to), dump-and-go recipe you can make using any brown lentils. Healthy and flavorful with only 15 minutes of total hands-on time! Naturally vegetarian and vegan optional.
Check out this recipe
Easy Red Lentil Curry - Masoor Dal

My Go-To Masoor Dal Recipe (Red Lentil Curry)

5 (6 ratings)
Extremely delicious and authentic Red Lentil Curry (Masoor Dal) that can be prepared quickly and easily with ingredients you have on hand! Pair with white rice for a wholesome and comforting, yet light weeknight dinner.
Check out this recipe
Holding a plate of chana dal with a spoon in it

Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Dal

5 (14 ratings)
This is an easy Pakistani Chana Dal made in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker). Chana Dal (or Split Chickpeas) are cooked with spices and given a simple tadka for an easy dinner. Naturally gluten-free and Vegan optional.
Check out this recipe
Plate of Maash Ki Dal (Urad Dal) with cucumbers and carrots garnished with sliced onions, green chilies and cilantro beside a plate of roti.

Pakistani Urad Dal (Maash Ki Dal)

5 (19 ratings)
Maash ki Dal, or sukhi (dry) split urad dal, may not be mainstream, but it's beloved by all who've tried it. This recipe makes it in the traditional Pakistani and Punjabi way – dry, as in firm, but cooked through – and adorned with delicate slivers of ginger and warming green chili peppers.
Check out this recipe
  • Chickpeas: Beans are also wonderful to freeze. Allow to thaw, then reheat over the stovetop.
Authentic Chana Masala garnished with cilantro and julienned ginger in a black skillet

Authentic Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry)

5 (15 ratings)
This authentic Indian & Pakistani-style Chana Masala recipe is vibrant, with just the right amount of tanginess, and rich in spicy flavor. This recipe makes tender, flavorful chickpeas in a perfectly spiced curry and requires simple ingredients that are commonly used in South Asian cooking. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that’s healthy, naturally vegan, and gluten-free.
Check out this recipe

Freezer-Friendly Meat Curries

  • Kofta: These can be frozen by themselves before cooking. You can also make the entire curry and then freeze. Allow to thaw, then gently reheat over the stovetop.
Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry-2

Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)

4.96 (66 ratings)
Beef Kofta Curry, or simply kofte, is a traditional Pakistani curry made of tender meatballs simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce. This recipe has all the authentic flavor of old-fashioned kofte but it’s made in an easier, more approachable way.
Check out this recipe
  • Keema: Other than potatoes (which lose texture and taste when frozen) most vegetables can be frozen along with curries. Keema serves as an excellent filler or topping for samosas, puff pastries, pasta, and so much more. Simply freeze in an airtight container.

Easy Instant Pot Keema

5 (10 ratings)
This Instant Pot Keema (Ground Beef Curry) is quick and easy to prepare and full of traditional flavor. It requires simple ingredients and has no whole spices to bite into, which makes it incredibly versatile and perfect for as a filling for samosas, puff pastry, and more. This recipe also includes instructions on how to adapt it to the stovetop.
Check out this recipe
Keema Matar

Keema Matar (Ground Beef and Peas Curry)

5 (26 ratings)
This Pakistani and Indian-style Keema Matar (Ground Beef and Peas Curry) is an easy, one-pot keema recipe that’s deeply flavorful with no whole spices used. This recipe also includes tips on how to make Keema curry with ground chicken.
Check out this recipe
  • Chicken Curries: To reheat chicken curries, thaw to room temperature and then reheat over the stovetop on medium-high heat. Add a splash of water to make up for the dehydration. Be careful not to heat too much to prevent any breaking of the chicken.
Holding Chicken Karahi in a karahi

Pakistani Chicken Karahi

5 (89 ratings)
This is a restaurant-style Pakistani Chicken Karahi recipe that can be prepared quickly and easily with no finicky steps.
Check out this recipe
Closeup of Achari Chicken garnished with green chili and julienned ginger

Easy Achari Chicken

5 (8 ratings)
This is an easy, fuss-free, yet flavorful recipe for Achari Chicken, or Indian and Pakistani chicken curry made with pickling spices.
Check out this recipe
Authentic Chicken Curry in a dutch oven garnished with cilantro

Authentic Chicken Curry (Easy Chicken Salan)

5 (5 ratings)
An Authentic Chicken Curry (or Chicken Salan) recipe made in the traditional Pakistani and North Indian style. This is a simple, one-pot curry recipe that you can make in under an hour. This recipe includes instructions for using bone-in or boneless chicken.
Check out this recipe
  • Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry: This can be frozen in its marinade before being baked. Place into the oven directly to cook.
Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry

Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry (Easy & Authentic)

4.88 (24 ratings)
This Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken curry recipe is so simple, but tastes like you spent hours on it. 20 minutes of prep time only! Easy and authentic, with no finicky steps.
Check out this recipe
  • Haleem: As with dal, add the final tadka after thawing it.
Instant Pot Pakistani-style Haleem made with beef and grains in a white bowl with wooden spoon and garnishing

Easy Pakistani Haleem Recipe (Instant Pot)

4.95 (18 ratings)
This Pakistani-style Haleem recipe is authentic, full of classic flavor, and the perfect consistency…Yet easy to achieve in the Instant Pot.
Check out this recipe

Freezer-Friendly Vegetarian Curries

I find cooked vegetables do not freeze well if they have a high water content. Though you could freeze curries like Zucchini (Courgette) curry, they may not taste as delicious as their pre-frozen versions.

  • Saag: A wonderful freezer-friendly vegetarian recipe. As always, for best results, freeze before topping with tadka.
Sarson Ka Saag with a dollop of butter on a plate with spoons and makai ki roti on the side

Easy Sarson Ka Saag (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

4.91 (11 ratings)
This Easy Instant Pot Sarson Ka Saag recipe is made in the Authentic Indian and Pakistani (Punjabi) style but in half the time! Stovetop instructions included. Vegetarian/Vegan optional!
Check out this recipe
  • Baingan Bharta: Because of it’s naturally puréed texture, Baingan Bharta makes a great freezer-friendly vegetarian recipe.
Baingan Bharta (Oven-Roasted Eggplant Curry) in a speckled bowl with naan and garnished cilantro.

Easy Baingan Bharta (Oven Roasted/Broiled Eggplant Curry)

5 (23 ratings)
Baingan Bharta is a prized Indian and Pakistani (Punjabi) dish. It consists of roasted eggplant in a delicately spiced dry curry. This recipe includes instructions on how to broil it in the oven, plus some essential tips on how to get it to taste amazing!
Check out this recipe

Freezer-Friendly Breads

  • Naan: These gluten-free naan freeze wonderfully. Microwave them covered in a paper towel (no need to thaw) or reheat over the stovetop.
Gluten-Free Naan Bread on a platter with cilantro sprinkled on top and yogurt on the side

Gluten-Free No Yeast 30 Minute Naan

4.93 (39 ratings)
This easy gluten-free naan recipe requires no egg or yeast and comes together in 30 minutes. 
Check out this recipe

Freezer-Friendly Dessert Recipes:

  • Carrot Halwa: I’ve had great luck freezing and reheating Carrot Halwa over the stovetop.
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa (Gajar ka Halwa)

Easy Instant Pot Carrot Halwa (Gajar ka Halwa)

5 (13 ratings)
This authentic Instant Pot Carrot Halwa recipe is made in the traditional Pakistani & Indian style but without hours of active time over the stove. So comforting, naturally gluten-free, and only requires 6 ingredients!
Check out this recipe
  • Panjeeri: Leave out the exotic ingredients (fox nuts, kamarkas, etc.) and you’ve got a wonderful snack of semolina, wheat, nuts, and raisins that’ll fuel you throughout the nights of Ramadan. Thaw at room temperature and it’s ready to eat.
Panjeeri - Postpartum Healing and Lactation Recipe in a white bowl with a silver spoon

Panjeeri – Postpartum Healing and Lactation Recipe

5 (14 ratings)
Panjeeri (or Panjiri) is a tasty traditional Pakistani/Indian postpartum healing and lactation food that is perfect for new moms and for strengthening the body.
Check out this recipe

If you try any of these recipes or freeze them, do share with me in the comments or on Instagram. Also, I’d love to hear about your freezer-friendly recipes too. Thank you for reading!

A white plate with Shami Kebab alongside a bowl of raita, lemon wedge and garnished with mint leaves.
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Freezer-Friendly (Make Ahead) Ramadan Recipes Including Easy Shami Kabob (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

Shami kababs are freezer-friendly patties made with beef and (yellow split peas) along with onion, herbs and spices. Plus, check out many more freezer-friendly recipes with tips on how to freeze!

Ingredients 

Whole Spices

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into a couple pieces
  • 1 small black cardamom
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and pod discarded
  • 8-10 whole cloves

To Cook

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup chana dal (yellow split peas), washed and soaked for 30 minutes, then drained
  • 1 cup water*, for Instant Pot
  • 1 medium to large onion, roughly chopped
  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 1 ” piece ginger, minced or crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2-1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala, optional

To chop

  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 thai or Serrano green chili pepper, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp mint leaves

For mixing

  • 1 egg, whisked

For pan-frying or baking

Instructions 

  • Add all of the ingredients listed under ‘Whole Spices’ in a spice grinder and grind until a powder is formed. You may also crush them in a mortar and pestle, though this will be more tedious. This will come to around 2 ½ tbsp ground spices. Set aside.

Instant Pot Instructions

  • In the Instant Pot, add all of the ingredients listed under ‘To Cook’ as well as the freshly ground spices. Mix very well to combine.
  • Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting and set the cook time for 20 minutes at high pressure.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, and then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and select the high Sauté setting.
  • Sauté, stirring often, for 10 minutes, or until all the moisture has evaporated and the mixture starts sticking to the bottom. Turn off the Instant pot and allow the mixture to cool. Remove the bay leaf.

Stovetop Instructions

  • In a medium dutch oven, add all of the ingredients listed under 'To Cook' along with the freshly ground spices and 5 1/2 cups of water. Mix well to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Use a slotted spoon to skim off any scum that rises to the surface. 
  • Place the lid ajar and continue to cook on high heat for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chana dal (yellow split peas) is completely cooked. During the last 10-15 minutes, stir frequently to completely evaporate any moisture. Turn the heat off and allow to cool.

After Cooking

  • Combine the onion, green chili peppers, cilantro, and mint in the bowl of a food processor. Use the pulse setting to finely chop (but not blend) this mixture. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the cooled beef and lentil mixture from the Instant Pot to the food processor. In batches, process this mixture until smooth. Then add to the large bowl with the chopped onion mixture. Mix well, then taste and add salt, if desired. Add the whisked egg and mix to combine.
  • Using your hands, shape ¼ cup heaped of the mixture into a flat, round patty about 2 3/4 inches in diameter. Continue with the rest of the mixture. You will have around 20-22 patties. If you wish to freeze them, do so at this point.*
  • Place the egg in a shallow bowl so that you can dip the kababs as you cook. Heat a large skillet, frying pan, or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Dip both sides of each patty into the egg wash. Place 3-5 patties in the pan and allow them to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, using a spatula to turn them over. Be careful not to crowd them too much or it will be harder to turn them. Reduce heat as necessary.
  • Remove from the pan, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Repeat until you have finished pan-frying all the patties. Cook any leftover egg in the remaining oil and serve with the patties.

Notes

*For Stovetop, you will need 5 1/2 cups water.
*As you shape the kebabs, place them on a tray and freeze 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then carefully remove from the tray and transfer them to an airtight container or zipper storage bag.
Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 384mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 119IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 2mg