رمضان کی سوغاتیں

In Pakistan, almost everybody stops to rejoice for a few minutes following the iftar sirens and adhan (call to prayer). Preparations for iftar commence about 3 hours before, in homes and at roadside stalls. The fast can be ended by eating dates or drinking water, if the former is not available. Many restaurants offer iftar deals specially in the big cities like Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad. As a meal in Pakistan, iftar is usually heavy, consisting mainly of sweet and savoury treats such as jalebi (pretzel-shaped, deep-fried batter, soaked in sugar syrup), samosas (minced meat and/or vegetables, wrapped in dough and deep-fried or baked), pakora (sliced vegetables, dipped in batter and deep-fried) with ketchup or chatni and namak para (seasoned cracker), besides the staple dates and water.
Other items such as chicken rolls, spring rolls, Shami Kebabs, fruit salads, papad (sheets of batter that are then sun-dried, deep-fried or roasted until they have the texture of potato chips or crisps), chana chaat (chickpea salad), and dahi balay (or “dahi baray”—fried lentil dumplings served with yoghurt) are also very common. Amongst the Punjabi, Sindhi and Mohajir households, iftar is often, but not necessarily, followed up by a regular dinner later during the night. Those in the north and west, including Pashtuns, Balochis and Tajiks on the other hand combine dinner and iftar. Laghman soup (noodle soup), locally called Kalli, is an iftar staple in Chitral and parts of Gilgit.
After iftar, Muslims rush to the mosques to offer Tarawih (an 8 or 20 rakat Muslim prayer during the month of Ramadan). Various television channels also stop their normal telecast and broadcast special Ramadan transmissions, especially at the time of Sehar and Iftar. The whole month of Ramadan is marked in Pakistan as a festive season when people make donations to the poor and give charity. Some organizations or companies also offer free iftar means to the common people.

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