Most of us start off Ramzan with a pact to strive for a healthy lifestyle and eat in moderation. And logically, given the 15-hour long fast, shouldn’t one be shaking off the excess pounds packed on during the year? So why is it that instead of emerging like a butterfly from a cocoon at the end of the month – fit, lean and ready to take on the world – you end up feeling like a polar bear growling his way back to his cave?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Given the abundance of unhealthy food options that are deemed essential for a respectable iftari, it’s a wonder that one doesn’t keel over from a coronary at the end of the 30-day period.
This year, why not do your body a favor and stay away from the samosas and pakoras? Of course no one should deny themselves the occasional indulgence, but as a rule staying away from fried foods, carbs and anything processed will help you stay in shape and increase your sense of well-being.
Instep proves that eating right doesn’t have to be bland or boring as we round up five of the healthier iftar options available in Lahore.
by Cosa Nostra
Healthy eating has never been as delectable as with the arrival of The Deli on Lahore’s culinary landscape. Their salads, packed with the crunchy goodness of fresh ingredients, are a light and scrumptious way to break the fast. The crisp and juicy rotisserie chicken, roasted to perfection and served with gravy on the side, is a perennial favourite. The soups, grilled sandwiches and fresh juices are all good choices for a non-calorie laden meal.
Lebanese cuisine, with its focus on grilled meats and fresh salads, is a great option if you’re looking to stay away from carbs and fatty foods. L’auberge, the Lebanese restaurant at Falettis, serves up some scrumptious grilled delicacies, such as Lamb Mashwi, Grilled Hamoour and Shish Taook. The Tabouleh and Fatoush salads, made with fresh vegetables and authentic seasoning, make for great accompaniments to the main meal. The restaurant is also introducing an iftar buffet this year with a selection of authentic Lebanese dishes as well as standard Ramzan fare such as samosas and dahi baray. But at close to 3k per head, it’s not particularly easy on the pocket or on the stomach. We suggest you make your own choice from the ala carte menu if you are looking to eat healthy.
Grill n’ Bake
Desi food enthusiasts should head over to Grill n’ Bake in Model Town, the restaurant that has turned barbequing into an art. What’s more, it guarantees the finest cuts of meat and healthy ingredients such as olive oil and organic shakkar. House specialties include Tandoor Baked Rack of Lamb, Mutton Rogan Josh and Desi Murgh Qorma. The best part is, you can give in to your carb cravings here guilt-free, because the naans are whole-wheat and brushed with a coating of extra virgin olive oil. Grill n’ Bake is offering complimentary dates and Doodh Rooh Afza at iftari as well as a 10% discount at iftari and sehri.
Ghar Ki Murghi
When the summer temperatures feel like too much to brave and you don’t want to step out of the comfort of your home for a meal, the wonderful people at Ghar Ki Murghi will deliver a delicious iftari to your doorstep. Ghar ki Murghi is a home-based catering service that makes fresh, wholesome and preservative-free food to suit any occasion. Whether you want to stock up on their home-made chatnis, pickles, sharbats and cheeses for the whole month or order a one-off meal from their Hyderabadi or international menu, you can count on the murghis to use locally-sourced produce and organic ingredients. Place your orders at least two days in advance to ensure smooth delivery.
It used to be impossible to find a decent Chinese restaurant that didn’t use flavor-enhancers and dollops of cornstarch in its soups and gravies. But with rising awareness about the health hazards of MSG, a number of eateries have banned the offending ingredient from their kitchens. One such restaurant in Lahore is the Pan-Asian X2, which is offering a lavish iftar/dinner buffet this Ramzan. The menu has a selection of salads as well as fish, chicken and beef entrees that won’t leaving you that unhealthy and heavy feeling you get after a particularly over-indulgent meal. X2 has a special sehri offer too – 20% off the entire menu from midnight to sunrise.