5 Magical Disney Iftar Ideas: Unleash the Disney Chef in You!

Disney movies have inspired millions of people over the years with their captivating stories, lovable characters, and music that’s become the playlist of our lives. The food that has been featured in many Disney films has also offered a glimpse into diverse culinary traditions and a celebration of family and traditions.

This Ramadan, let’s explore some of the dishes featured in beloved Disney movies and how they could become a way to celebrate the Holy Month with your own family and loved ones.

Spaghetti and Meatballs – Lady and the Tramp

It’s been almost 70 years since audiences first watched that iconic scene from the beloved Disney movie ‘Lady and the Tramp’. A lovingly pampered cocker spaniel named Lady, and a mutt with a heart of gold named Tramp to share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs under the moonlight outside an Italian eatery – and, as they say, the rest is history. Like the film itself, the dish that the pups shared on screen has been a classic for many years.

A Disney-inspired feast

Spaghetti and meatballs is a popular, evergreen dish made of spaghetti, tomato sauce and meatballs. It was originally inspired by similar dishes from southern Italy. However, the comforting and wholesome modern version we know and love was developed by Italian immigrants in the USA.

The hearty meal is a perfect addition to your Ramadan recipe line-up as it’s easy to prepare for one person or even 10, makes for delicious leftovers and can be adapted to please a variety of tastebuds – it can be made spicy or healthy or cheesy.

Did you know?

Rumor has it that the spaghetti scene almost didn’t make it into the ‘Lady and the Tramp’ film. It
was allegedly cut from the film’s first storyboards as the doggy duo eating at a restaurant didn’t
sound graceful.

Remy’s Ratatouille – Ratatouille

In 2007, in one of Paris’ finest restaurants, a determined young rat named Remy had audiences laughing and crying as he realized his dreams of becoming a renowned French chef. With the help of his human pal Alfredo Linguini, Remy also introduced many people around the world to a humble French dish, ratatouille. The vegetable preparation played a central role in the movie as it showcased how food has the power to stir up emotions and become embedded in our memories.

A Disney-inspired feast

Ratatouille is a French Provençal dish that originated in Nice and is made up of stewed vegetables such as tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and herbs. In the movie, Remy’s ratatouille was an artful variation called ‘Confit Byaldi’, which was created by French chef Michel Guérard and later reinvented by American chef Thomas Keller.

The more elaborate but true-to-the-movie version features thinly sliced rounds of vegetables that are neatly arranged in a spiral over a layer of piperade, a tomato and bell pepper sauce. Add it to your Ramadan recipe line-up for a healthy side dish with flair.

Did you know?

American celebrity chef Thomas Keller included his variation of Guérard’s dish in the 1999 cookbook, ‘The French Laundry Cookbook’. Fast forward a few years, and Keller served as the food consultant to the movie ‘Ratatouille’.

Arepa Con Queso – Encanto

One of the things that unite many food cultures around the world is the love for comforting dishes made up of fried dough stuffed with a delicious filling. In ‘Encanto’, we’re introduced to a version of this hearty staple from Colombia – arepa con queso. The dish went viral after being featured in the heartwarming and magical animation, which taught us about unconditional love and embracing differences in a family.

A Disney-inspired feast

Arepa is a savoury, flat and round corn cake that can be prepared in numerous ways – grilled or fried, boiled or steamed, plain or filled. It was said to be first created by the indigenous people of South America and is now a central part of the gastronomy and identity of Colombia and Venezuela.

In ‘Encanto’, the lead character Mirabel shares an emotional moment with her mother, who is in the middle of preparing arepa stuffed with cheese. Maybe this dish could inspire families and friends to unite to make something delicious together for the Iftar table.

Did you know?

By some estimations, there are around 75 types of arepa that are made in Colombia – this includes arepas costeñas which are fried and stuffed with eggs and costeño cheese; arepas de choclo, which is made with fresh sweet corn; and arepa de pabellón, which is stuffed with cheese, fried plantains, black beans, and braised beef.

Beignets – Princess and the Frog

In the 2009 animated film, we meet a young girl named Tiana who has big dreams of owning her own restaurant in New Orleans. Along the way, she meets a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and together they embark on a hilarious adventure filled with music, magic, and delicious beignets. On their journey, we see how food can bring people together.

A Disney-inspired feast

Tiana’s sweet and simple treats of fried dough dusted in mounds of sugar are a staple in New Orleans, Louisiana, and are featured prominently in the movie as her signature dish. Louisiana-style beignets are square or rectangular in shape and are made from leavened dough.

In New Orleans, the fluffy, cloud-like treats are best known as a breakfast food served with powdered sugar on top – and they must be eaten fresh and hot. If you’re looking to serve up an impressive dessert that will please everyone this Ramadan, this is it!

Did you know?

One of the most iconic places to eat beignets is at Café Du Monde in New Orleans, which was established in 1862. The state of Louisiana loves Beignet so much, it was even named the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.

Mushu’s Breakfast Rice Porridge – Mulan

In the 1998 classic, the clever Mulan proves her worth outside of her tradition-bound society when disguised as a male soldier “Ping,” she bravely takes her father’s place in China’s Imperial Army. On her journey, she’s helped by her outrageously funny guardian dragon Mushu, whose favourite dish is a comforting breakfast rice porridge – congee. This dish may seem unremarkable, but it serves as a symbol of the bond between Mulan and Mushu, and the importance of belonging and family.

A Disney-inspired feast

Congee is a Chinese porridge made from rice and other wholesome and fragrant ingredients – combined to make a warming bowl filled with nutrients. Variations of this rice porridge are eaten all over Asia and go by different names. But there are things they all have in common; the rice is boiled in a large amount of water until it turns soft.

In some cultures, congee is eaten for breakfast but it is an all-day comfort food for many. Some of the popular toppings include eggs, coriander, dried shrimp, crispy shallots, kimchi, and chicken. The possibilities are endless and would be an interesting addition to the Iftar table.

Did you know?

Congee has been eaten for around 3,000 years, appearing in South and East Asian texts since the Chinese Zhou dynasty. However, the English name of the dish that we know today is rooted in the Tamil word ‘kanji’ (meaning ‘boilings’).

For more information on the shows, please visit the official site of Disney+.

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