Here’s a curated list of 20+ traditional & modern Iftar recipes. This list features the top 5 traditional Pakistani Iftar foods according to a recent poll and shares many ideas to help inspire you. It also includes tips on whether a recipe is freezer-friendly or can be made-ahead of time.

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What is Iftar?

Iftar is what Muslims eat to break their fast at sunset during the month of Ramadan. The word “iftar” does not imply a dinner or main dish, but a variety of snacks, fruit, and foods you could consider appetizers. That said, Iftar can be as simple as a date and a glass of water. Typically, the heavier the Iftar, the lighter the dinner. Many families (around 40-50% from an Instagram poll), combine Iftar and dinner into one meal.

Top 5 Iftar Foods – The Traditional Iftar

Recently, I asked my Instagram community to share what they most often have on their Iftar table, both from their childhood memories and now. Specifically, I wanted to know what the #1 most common Iftar item was (apart from dates). From the 100+ responses I received, here are the top 5 Iftar recipes people mentioned:

  1. Fruit Chaat (44+ responses)
  2. Pakora (36+ responses)
  3. Samosa (17+ Responses)
  4. Chana Chaat or other Chaat/Kala Chana/Chickpeas (17+ Responses)
  5. Dahi Bhalla OR Dahi Phulki (12+ Responses)

Other popular answers: Rose drink (Rooh Afza), spring/egg rolls, lemonade, lassi, potato cutlets, egg or chicken sandwiches, and puff patties. Many shared general answers like ‘fried items’ or ‘mixed fruit’.

Some fun answers/ideas: Indo-Chinese style chicken lollipops, cheese balls, croquettes, soup, congee/Kanji, Kachori, and pierogies.

Fried chicken in a paper towel lined dish.
Crispy chicken from my Chicken Manchurian recipe

A Note on Air-Frying to Reheat Iftar Foods: I have found my air-fryer to be the best at reheating Iftar items. Examples: Samosas, Pakoras, Puff PastriesKebabs of all sort, Chicken Nuggets/Tenders, and so much more. If you have one, skip the microwave and oven and reheat in the Air-Fryer on 350°F until crispy and heated through.

20+ Iftar Recipes


  • Chaat Masala: Chaat Masala is the essential spice blend for Ramadan. It lays the foundation for countless Iftar foods. This recipe mimic’s Shan’s Chaat Masala.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes.
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
Chaat Masala powder in a gold bowl with a golden spoon sitting on a rustic surface

Easy, Authentic Chaat Masala Recipe

5 (6 ratings)
Love Chaat Masala but want a fresher, healthier alternative to store-bought? This easy Chaat Masala recipe has been years in the making and tastes just like (if not better than) store-bought! The best part? You only need 5 essential ingredients to make it!
Check out this recipe
  • Mint Raita: There’s a reason restaurants almost always serve this chutney. It keeps well in the fridge and elevates everything from kababs to biryani.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes, before adding yogurt.
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
Cilantro Mint Raita (Dahi Pudina Chutney) in a bowl

10-Minute Mint Raita (Restaurant-Style)

4.94 (15 ratings)
This Mint Raita recipe is the perfect condiment for biryani, kebabs, and so much more. Make this restaurant-style raita in less than 10 minutes!
Check out this recipe

Chutney Recipes

No official recipe, but are my 1-minute recipes for whipping Imli and Green Chutney:

Imli (Tamarind) Ki Chutney

This tangy and sweet chutney is a compulsory for chaat. Here’s my 1-minute recipe:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp water, preferably hot/boiling
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (I’ve tried Indira’s brand and Tamicon)
  • 1/8 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients in the order listed. Refrigerate or allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes so that the sugar dissolves and the chutney thickens up.

Mint and Cilantro Green Chutney

This is like my mint raita but without the yogurt:

  • 1/2 cup (~12 g) cilantro leaves
  • 3 tbsp (~4 g) mint leaves, try not to use stems
  • 1/2 small Serrano pepper or small Thai green chili pepper, deseeded (choose how thick the slice depending on how spicy you’d like)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt, more or to taste
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp water, as needed to blend
  1. Add all the ingredients to a small blender or spice grinder. Blend, until it reaches a fine consistency. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons more water to make it easier to blend. It should become a runny paste, with the leaves no longer visible. If needed, strain excess water to get the desired consistency.

Top 10 Iftar Recipes

  1. Fruit Chaat: The #1 Iftar recipe for a reason. Fruit Chaat is refreshing after a long day of fasting. Great for getting a variety of fruits in your limited sundown time. We all know Fruit Chaat doesn’t require a recipe, but if you want the basics of what makes a good fruit chaat, don’t miss my tips!
    • Freezer-friendly: No.
    • Make-ahead: Yes, just hold off on adding mushy fruits like bananas or mandarins.
Fruit Chaat in a bowl with a spoon garnished with mint leaves.

Pakistani Fruit Chaat (with essential tips!)

5 (10 ratings)
This authentic Pakistani-style Fruit Chaat recipe is full of flavor yet light and healthy! Use store-bought or homemade chaat masala, or a small-batch 5-ingredient chaat masala recipe included in the post. Don't skip the orange juice (or juice of choice)!
Check out this recipe
  1. Pakoras: Traditional pakoras are on their way, but if you prefer not to deep-fry, these pan-fried pakoras will satisfy your pakora craving.
    • Freezer-Friendly: No, unless you plan to reuse for Kadhi.
    • Make-ahead: No, but you can mix the dry ingredients beforehand. My friend Sarah at Flour & Spice Blog has a recipe for Pakora Mix.
Fried pakoras on a plate drizzled with green chutney.

Crispy Pakora Recipe (Simple, Homestyle)

5 (3 ratings)
A simple, flavor-packed Vegetable Pakora recipe with tips to make them soft yet extra crispy. These are homestyle pakoras – light and airy, not heavy or dense like restaurant ones can be. Use onions and potatoes, plus cabbage, spinach, or any veggies you like. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
  1. Chicken Puff Pastry: Use any filling. Creamy chicken as per the recipe, keema, or even Butter Chicken leftovers.
    • Freezer-Friendly: Yes. See post for in-depth instructions.
    • Make-ahead: Yes, these reheat well, and they’re great at room temperature.
A bowl of partially eaten Chicken Puff Pastires with tamarind chutney.

Chicken Puff Pastry (Pakistani Chicken Patties)

5 (8 ratings)
Inspired by Pakistani bakeries, this Chicken Puff Pastry recipe is a party-favorite appetizer/snack that your guests will reach for again and again. Foolproof, easy-to-follow, and includes detailed instructions for freezing and reheating.
Check out this recipe
  1. Chana Masala: Use this as a base for Chana Chaat or other chaat. (A reader recently used this recipe to make Samosa Chaat.) Add crunchy elements like chopped red onion, tomatoes, and papri. Top with Tamarind or Green Chutney or Mint Raita.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes.
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
Authentic Chana Masala garnished with cilantro and julienned ginger in a black skillet

Authentic Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry)

4.93 (151 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
  1. Dahi Bhalle: This is a reliable, fail-safe recipe for soft and fluffy Dahi Baray, or Bhalle. Serve these as-is or make a chaat out of them by topping with all sorts of crispy and savory add-ins like potatoes and papri.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes, this recipe is designed to be freezer-friendly. Just double or triple the bhalla batch as recommended in the recipe, and you’re good to enjoy several Iftars in Dahi Bhalla heaven. Details on how to freeze and thaw in post!
    • Make-ahead: Yes. In fact, the yogurt helps soften the Bhallas over time. Don’t refrigerate for more than 2 days, or the yogurt will release water and the bhallas may start to disintegrate. Details in post.
Dahi Bhalla (Dahi Bharay) in a bowl with mint chutney and green chutney on top.

Easy Dahi Bhalla (Dahi Bara) – Foolproof!

5 (13 ratings)
Here's an easy-to-follow, foolproof recipe for fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth Dahi Bhalla (or Dahi Bara). This recipe includes troubleshooting tips and tricks to get them soft yet fully cooked inside. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
  1. Stovetop Chicken ‘Roast’: We grew up calling this steam roast. This is such a great chicken recipe to have in your back pocket for Iftar. Makes juicy, moist, and flavorful chicken with little effort. Also, you don’t have to use chicken thighs. The majority of times, I make this with a whole, cut-up chicken.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes, freeze before cooking, with its marinade.
    • Make-ahead: Yes, but best fresh. Leftovers are great in sandwiches, wraps, buns, etc.
Bone-in Chicken Thighs Recipe

Bone-in Chicken Thigh Recipe (Stovetop)

5 (19 ratings)
This easy Bone-in Chicken Thigh Recipe requires 30 minutes, one pan, and 5 pantry ingredients if you don't count good old salt & pepper.
Check out this recipe
  1. Aloo Tikki aka Potato Cutlets: Great for using this as a base recipe to use up leftover chickenfishkeema, or vegetables. Reduce the amount of potatoes, chop up your leftovers with the rest of the ingredients, and adjust seasoning to taste.
    • Freezer-friendly: No.
    • Make-ahead: Yes. Refrigerate mixture or Tikkis before frying. See post for reheating options.
Partially eaten Aloo Tikkis on a plate with green chutney.

CRISPY ALOO TIKKI – Shortcut Potato Cutlets

4.95 (18 ratings)
This recipe for Pakistani-style Aloo Tikki is made with mashed potatoes, onions, herbs, and spices. It's easy in that it uses a microwave to cook your potatoes and a food processor to chop up your veggies.
Check out this recipe
  1. Chicken Kofta: Bite-sized chicken meatballs are a great protein option for Iftar. This recipe is adaptable and works with many variations.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes, freeze the Koftas before or after cooking them. 
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
A platter with Baked Chicken Kofta garnished with chopped cilantro.

Chicken Kofta (Ground Chicken Meatballs)

5 (12 ratings)
A quick and easy Chicken Kofta (or Ground Chicken Meatballs) recipe packed with spices and aromatics for fresh, fusion flavor. This recipe includes pan-frying, baking, and air-frying instructions.
Check out this recipe
  1. Shami Kabab: Because of their freezer-friendly texture, Shami Kabab make an ideal snack to keep on hand for quick Iftars.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes.
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
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)

4.87 (50 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
  1. Fish Tikka: This is one of my favorite salmon recipes. Buttery soft inside and smoky and charred on the outside. A great fish option for a combined iftar/dinner with crunchy red onions, mint raita, and naan.
    • Freezer-friendly: No.
    • Make-ahead: No.
Top view of a partially eaten plate of Salmon Tikka with rice, vegetables, onion and lemon.

25-Minute Salmon Tikka (Fish Tikka)

5 (11 ratings)
A quick, easy, and mess-free Salmon Tikka recipe that's surprisingly delicious. Salmon (or your choice of fish) is coated in a flavorful marinade, then oven-broiled until it's moist and tender on the inside and slightly charred on the outside. Includes baking, pan-frying, and air-fryer instructions.
Check out this recipe

Kabab Recipes

  • Chapli Kabab: My favorite Kabab recipe on the blog. Though Chapli Kabab are not categorically an Iftar item, they’d be a great combined iftar/dinner with mint raita and naan or rice.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes.
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
Chapli Kabab Recipe

The Best Chapli Kabab

4.81 (26 ratings)
A Chapli Kabab recipe that's simple and easy to make yet tastes like it's from an Afghan or Pakistani restaurant. This recipe includes tips on how to get them crisp and juicy without breaking or falling apart. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
  • Seekh Kebab: These would also be great rolled up in paratha rolls for an Iftar/Dinner combo.
    • Freezer-friendly: Yes.
    • Make-ahead: Yes.
Seekh Kebab garnished with cilantro on a white plate

Pakistani Seekh Kebab (Ground Beef Skewers)

4.88 (41 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
  • Peri Peri Chicken: A copycat Peri Peri chicken recipe. I created this recipe using a store-bought Peri Peri spice blend, but it works with a simple substitute of paprika and chili flakes.
    • Freezer-friendly: No.
    • Make-ahead: Yes, but best fresh.

Homemade Peri Peri Chicken Recipe (with Sauce)

4.86 (7 ratings)
Here's an easy homemade Peri Peri Chicken recipe (with sauce!) that gives the most tender, juicy results. This recipe requires just 10 simple ingredients and any cut of bone-in chicken (leg quarters, thighs, or even a cut up whole chicken). 
Check out this recipe

Drinks for Iftar

  • Mango Lassi: Use frozen mangoes to make this easy Iftar option. Mango Lassi is a cooling respite from the heftier fried foods.
    • Freezer-friendly: No.
    • Make-ahead: Yes, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mango Lassi in a clear glass with white straw

The Best Mango Lassi (Restaurant-Style)

5 (17 ratings)
This Mango Lassi recipe makes better-than-restaurant lassi with six easy-to-find ingredients. The base of the recipe is strong while allowing you to adjust to taste according to your mangoes. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
  • Plain, Sweet Lassi: Many responses shared that their Iftars contained yogurt. This Sweet Lassi is hydrating and refreshing.
    • Freezer-friendly: No.
    • Make-ahead: Yes, refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Perfect Sweet Lassi Recipe

5 (24 ratings)
Watered down, not cold enough, coarse, or just bland. I’ll admit, I’ve had many a mediocre Lassi. It wasn't until I tasted my brother-in-law's version that I realized how good a classic Punjabi Lassi can be. This is my take on his Sweet Lassi recipe – creamy, smooth, frothy perfection.
Check out this recipe

Other Iftar Recipes I’ve tried

I’m always wary of sharing recipes I haven’t tried myself. (What if the recipe fails? That’s what my nightmares are made of.) These are recipes I’ve personally tried that I think would be great options for Iftar.

Chilli Cheese Toast with Garlic & Olives | Becky Keeps House

This chilli cheese toast with garlic and olives recipe is as versatile as it is tasty. It’s the perfect canapé, breakfast, lunch, snack or tea time treat!
Check out this recipe

Indian-ish Nachos With Cheddar, Black Beans and Chutney Recipe

This recipe combines elements of Chaat with Nachos to create a fusion dish. The cruncy, savory, chatpata characteristics make it a befitting option for Iftar.
Head to NYT to check out this recipe

Nur’s Borani Banjan (Eggplant with Yogurt) – Pakistan Eats

This is my friend’a take on the Afghan classic, borani banjan, fried eggplant on a flavorful tomato-onion base, drizzled with sour yogurt.
Check out this recipe

Firecracker Chicken Meatballs Recipe

The best way to eat chicken meatballs. It’s like eating firecracker chicken sauce on meatballs. Baked not fried so they’re healthier and ideal for game day!
Check out this recipe

Post Iftar Recipes

Browse my Main Dish/Dinner archives as well as my Dessert recipes. And if you’re like me and crave Chai after Iftar, try these recipes:

Masala Chai (Tea) being poured into a cup

Easy Masala Chai (Tea) Recipe – Spiced Chai

4.98 (73 ratings)
An authentic recipe for Masala Chai (tea) or Indian Spiced Chai. This easy recipe uses black tea bags (or leaves) and whole spices and takes less than 20 minutes to make!
Check out this recipe
Close up of Authentic Pakistani Chai in a white teacup.

Authentic Pakistani Chai

5 (30 ratings)
The typical Pakistani or Indian family drinks chai very different from the chai latte you get at your local coffee shop. This is an authentic cup of chai you will find brewing in the typical Pakistani kitchen.
Check out this recipe

More Resources

Here are a few more relevant articles:


Suhoor Recipes + More Ramadan Recipes

Eid Recipes

Meal Plan

Before you leave, be sure to grab your free Ramadan Iftar & Dinner Meal Plan. It has tons of ideas to keep you inspired the whole month!

If you try any of these recipes, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know how you liked it! If you’re on Instagram, snap a photo and tag me so I can see. I always love hearing from you!