Pumpkin Halvah (Assidat al-Boubar)
Like many traditional Emirati desserts, luscious pumpkin porridge (in Arabic it's a halvah, or sweet food) straddles the line between sweet and savory. The dish thickens as it cools, so be sure to serve it while it's still quite warm. Todd Coleman

Throughout the month of Ramadan, which begins this evening (July 19th, 2012) life takes on a different rhythm in the United Arab Emirates, slow and sleepy during the day, and absolutely joyful at night. Ramadan is also a month of reflection, piety, and charity. Those who are well off gather with their families to feast and enjoy each other’s company, and those who are less privileged eat in mosques or in tents erected in public places where wealthy patrons provide nightly meals, as described in Anissa Helou’s article Breaking the Fast. These six recipes, rich and generously spiced, are traditionally served during Ramadan to break fast.

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