As a kid growing up, my sahur meals used to consist of leftover lauk (Malay-style dishes) along with rice. My father has (and continues to be) a firm proponent of a full meal at sahur, so that’s what we would usually eat as a family, with my mother usually getting up earlier than the rest of us to make sure all the dishes and the rice were reheated (thanks mom ❤️). As I grew older and started living on my own, I came to develop my own preferences for the types of meals I want for sahur, and I prefer that they are simple, quick, and easy to put together when I’m groggily stumbling about the kitchen in the morning 😂
So in the spirit of those who are always on the lookout for quick meals that can be pulled together, here are 8 simple recipes that would be perfect for sahur and can be made in just 10 – 15 minutes!
1.Banana oat pancakes
Pancakes don’t usually come to mind when you think of quick recipes, but this one is a true no-brainer. And the best part is, it’s healthy too! Having a blender makes things even easier, but don’t worry, you can also whip this up by hand (your pancakes will just be a somewhat different in texture as the rolled oats will be in whole pieces rather than blended up). There are a lot of variations to this ‘recipe’ out there, but here’s what I usually go for 😊
For a single serving, you’ll need one medium-sized ripe banana, a quarter cup of rolled oats, one egg, a 1/4 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. If you’re doing this using a blender, just chuck everything in and blend until smooth. If you’re doing it by hand, use a fork to mash up the banana, add everything and mix well until combined. If you have extra time to spare, you can leave the batter to stand for a while (5 – 10 minutes) as this will let it thicken slightly, but if you’re in a rush you can just head straight to the stove!
Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and used your choice of oil or butter to lubricate the pan (I usually just go with a quick spray of canola or olive oil, whatever’s in the pantry really), and then you can pour your batter to make pancakes of your desired size. Let the batter cook for about a minute or so, and if you want, at this point you can choose to add in any extra stuff if you’d like (like blueberries or chocolate chips). Let the pancake cook until you can see bubbles forming on the surface, then flip over and let it cook for about a minute or two more. To make it a more filling meal, you can top your pancakes with things like a drizzle of peanut butter, nuts, chia seeds, more banana, maple syrup, or anything else that tickles your fancy!
2. Avocado toast with egg
Avocados are often lauded as being a superfood (meaning nutrient-dense foods), and who wouldn’t want to eat a superfood for sahur? Especially when you have it on warm, crusty toast – a match made in heaven! To add a little protein, have it with a cooked egg (sunny-side up, scrambled, or any other way you like it!).
For this meal, you’ll need about half a medium-sized avocado (or one whole small one) that’s ripe, bread, salt and pepper, and an egg (or two, if you’d like more!). Toast your bread (if I’m in the mood to treat myself, I splurge on nice thick bread from a good bakery, but otherwise any bread will do!), and cook up your egg however you like it. Scoop out your avocado halve out of the shell into a small bowl, and mash it up with a fork (or you can have in chunks too if you prefer!), adding in salt and pepper to taste. Spread out the avocado mash on your toast, put your cooked egg on top, and you’re done! For extra zing, feel free to garnish with paprika, chilli flakes, or any sauce you’d like.
I feel like omelettes don’t get enough love, with some people seeing it as just a more troublesome version of scrambled eggs. But omelettes are the bomb! They are an awesome vehicle for any fillings you can scavenge from your fridge – I have made many an omelette using leftover lauk in the fridge for the omelette fillings (from ayam masak merah, to sambal goreng and ayam kicap). If that sort of fusion doesn’t appeal to you, feel free to opt for more traditional fillings like mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes or spinach.
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If you need a quick recap on how to make an omelette, it’s super easy! Crack 2 – 3 eggs (depending on how hungry you are) in a bowl and whisk together with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste – some people like to add a dash of water or milk at this stage, but if you skip it I think it’s fine too! Heat up your frying pan over medium heat, and melt some butter or spray with cooking spray (this will prevent the eggs from sticking onto the pan). Once the pan is nice and hot, pour the egg batter into the pan and swirl the pan around so the egg gets spread around. Let it cook for 1 – 2 minutes, and once you see the egg partially starting to set you can pile on your fills over half of the pan. Once the eggs no longer seem liquid, use a spatula or similar tool to pick up the side of the omelette with no filling and fold it over the side with filling (doesn’t have to be perfect, if your eggs tear it will still taste delicious!). Slide the omelette out of the pan and onto a plate, and voila. Sahur is ready.
I LOVE quesadillas. What’s not to love? Warm gooey cheese and fillings in a crispy tortilla shell can never go wrong. It’s super easy to make too – as long as you have tortillas and cheese, you’re pretty much good to go and can throw whatever you have on-hand as extra filling. Sometimes I buy a whole roast chicken from the deli counter at the supermarket, shred the flesh and keep it in my fridge so I can have chicken on hand for a quesadilla anytime the situation calls for it!
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To make a quesadilla, take a tortilla. I usually like to spread barbecue sauce on mine, but feel free to use (or not use!) any sauce you like. I then like to put my filling of choice on one side of the tortilla, top with cheese (I usually have a stash of mozzarella in the fridge or freezer, but any cheese that melts well will do!) and fold the other side of the tortilla over the filling so you have a half-moon. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then once it’s hot, lift your half-moon and put it in the pan (you don’t need to oil the pan first!). Press down on the tortilla with a spatula or similar implement so everything can heat through, the cheese will melt and will seal everything together nicely, and the tortilla will get brown and crispy – this will take just a few minutes. Flip it over and let the other side of the quesadilla get nice and toasty too. Then slide it out onto a chopping board, cut into triangles, and you have one cosy sahur meal!
#HHWT Tip: If you use a grill pan (the kind of pan that has ridges) to heat the quesadilla, you’ll get quesadillas with nice grill marks!
5. Rice with eggs and soy sauce (or nasi with kicap and telur!)
Ahhh, the old classic. Many of us have eaten this dish from when we were children. There’s a reason why this simple dish could usually please even the pickiest eater – it’s so good in its simplicity, and so comforting. It also makes for a quick sahur meal – especially when you have leftover rice from iftar the previous day (or if you’re the kind to plan ahead, keep supplies of cooked rice in your freezer!). When you get up in the morning for sahur, simply reheat the rice, cook up your eggs (I prefer telur dadar, which is essentially omelette style, though you can cook your eggs sunny-side-up too!), and have your kicap (soy sauce) on hand to pour to taste.
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If you’re willing to take one step further, feel free to fry up any frozen-food accompaniment like chicken nuggets (another childhood favourite!) or chicken drumlets. I was gifted an air-fryer as when I got married, and I have to say, it makes heating up frozen food like these so much easier. But even if you don’t opt for that, the combination of rice + soy sauce + eggs can’t really go wrong.
6. Eggy bread
This is another old favourite – and one I cooked many times when I was a student studying overseas. It’s like french toast but without any sweet tooth decadence, as it’s really just bread dipped in egg that’s fried 😂
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I’ve found that using thicker slices of bread that slightly stale works best for this, as that means it’ll absorb more of the egg without getting soggy, but use whatever’s on hand! For one serving, crack an egg into a wide bowl and whisk with a dash of milk, and salt to taste. Heat a frying pan on medium heat, put in some butter or oil and what for it to heat up. In the meantime take a couple of slices of bread, and doing one slice at a time, dip the bread into the bowl, let it get covered on both sides with the egg, then put it into the frying pan. Fry about 4 – 5 minutes until golden brown, then flip and continue cooking for the same amount of time on the other side. To serve, you can either eat plain (which is what I usually do), dip in condiments like ketchup or any other sauce of your choosing, or you can go the sweet route and serve with powdered sugar or maple syrup.
7. Overnight oats (make ahead of time)
We recently polled our readers on Instagram on their go-to quick sahur meals, and a large number declared overnight oats are the way to go! And they really are a no-fail option – not only do you make them ahead of time (meaning you can just take them out of the fridge and have your sahur ready then and there), they’re easy to make, full of fibre and a great way to keep satiated for a long while!
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For the uninitiated, overnight oats are made by soaking your serving of oats along with chia seeds in a milk of your choice (fresh milk, non-dairy milk, etc.) overnight, usually along with yoghurt and flavourings of choice. You keep the oats in the fridge overnight, and in the morning you can take them out, top with any toppings you want to add, and eat! There are many, many variations of overnight oats out there, but I think it would be good to recap a basic recipe here, that you can tweak and perfect to your liking 😄 For a basic recipe of overnight oats, use a one-to-one ratio of rolled oats to milk of choice (I usually use one-third of a cup of each). Some people also add plain yoghurt (greek or normal) in the same ratio, though I personally prefer my overnight oats without. Put this into a jar or container, along with about half a tablespoon of chia seeds.
At this point, you can add in flavourings of choice. I usually opt for some mashed banana or maple syrup for sweetness, and sometimes I’ll add in peanut butter and chocolate chips! In the morning, just take out the overnight oats and top with additional things such as more sliced bananas and peanut butter, chopped nuts, jam, a sprinkle of cinnamon, another drizzle of honey or maple syrup, etc. Then it’s time to dig in!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re not in the mood for cold oats, you can also heat up the overnight oats in the microwave! Do it before you add on the toppings you want on top of your oats.
8. Chia seed pudding (make ahead of time)
A close cousin of overnight oats is chia seed pudding (and since you have the chia seeds on hand for your overnight oats, you may as well try this too!). While it is similar to overnights oats in the sense that it’s prepared ahead of time, instead of using rolled oats, it is made using chia seeds soaked your milk of choice, plus any additional add-ins you want for flavour. The chia seeds will absorb the liquid, resulting in a gel-like texture that will be the vehicle for the toppings you put in! Chia seeds are often touted for many benefits, including being high in fibre and Omega-3 fatty acids
The preferred ratio of chia seeds to milk can often vary from person to person, depending on how stiff or loose you want your pudding to be, but a general rule of thumb is to go for a quarter cup of chia seeds to 1 cup of milk (be it dairy or plant milk). Add the chia seeds and the milk to a jar or container. At this point, you’ll also want to add any sweeteners (because on its own it won’t taste of much!), such as honey or maple syrup, as well as additional flavourings such as a dash of vanilla extract. Mix well, and leave in the fridge overnight.
When you wake up for sahur, pull your container of chia seed pudding – it would have thickened up considerably. Top with any toppings you desire (similar to what you would do for overnight oats) and enjoy!
9. Soft-boiled eggs with kaya toast
This beloved pairing is a must-have whenever we go to a kopitiam, but did you know it’s pretty easy and quick to make at home? Plus, it’s the perfect sahur because it has a combination of everything – savoury eggs doused in soy sauce and pepper, and crusty toast slathered with butter and delicious kaya 🤤
Now as a disclaimer, to keep this recipe under 15 minutes, you’ll need to buy pre-made kaya (we’re not making it from scratch), so go pick up a jar from your favourite brand.
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For sahur, to make the soft-boiled eggs, bring a pot of water to a boil about a litre’s worth or enough for the eggs to be submerged in), then turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove. For an even quicker method, you can boil water in an electric kettle then pour the water into the pot. Lower your eggs (room temperature is best, to avoid cracking) into the pot, then cover the pot with the lid and set the timer for 7 minutes. In the meantime, toast your bread and spread with butter and kaya (or any condiment of your choice!). When the seven minutes are up, take out your eggs and serve immediately. Add soy sauce and pepper (white pepper, if you want to be specific!) to taste. Serve alongside your toast and a hot beverage, and have a great sahur!
And there you have it! 9 great sahur meals that are sure to please. So the next time you don’t have leftovers from iftar to eat for sahur, you won’t have to worry – these quick and easy recipes will be there to save the day!