Linda Yu and Dania Khan in the Chicago Sun-Times kitchen.| Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Food We Love: Celebrating Ramadan with Dania Khan

Welcome to Food We Love, our Sun-Times video series featuring stories about Chicagoans family food traditions, secret recipes, special ingredients and unusual favorite dishes. Each week we’ll hear a new story about food and family and learn some amazing recipes that you can try at home. Our host is Chicago journalist Linda Yu who loves cooking at home, as well as exploring new restaurants throughout the city.

We’re proud to welcome Arun’s Thai Restaurant as the presenting sponsor.

Today’s episode: Making a special family treat for Ramadan

Join Linda Yu every week for cooking and conversation on Food We Love.

Join Linda Yu every week for cooking and conversation on Food We Love.

It’s sometimes called “the best of times”…. Ramadan, a month set aside for spiritual reflection, additional prayer and acts of charity (this year it’s May 15-June 14). For millions of Muslims it also means fasting — each day for an entire month, from sunrise to sunset.

Dania Khan, a 23-year-old Chicagoan who grew up in Texas, lovingly calls it “Muslim boot camp.” That’s because its tough to fast all day, though she has learned to appreciate her family’s religious tradition and she loves the feasting that begins at sunset. For Dania, those meals are a celebration of food and family.

Dania’s parents came to the United States from Pakistan. They, like many, many other hard-working immigrants came in search of a better life for themselves and their children, and the hope that their children would grow up to become doctors or professors. Things didn’t turn out exactly as they planned: Dania’s dream was to drop out of college and move to Chicago to become one of the first students at Second City’s new Harold Ramis Film School, where she’s learning to channel her hysterical sense of humor into words for herself and other comics — and thriving!

She came into our Sun-Times kitchen to show us how to make a Pakistani snack: pattie (pronounced pay-tee). Patties are “filled” with so many word memories for her: family, toil, delicious, mother, sister, feasts, tedious, hundreds. To find out why Dania makes patties, and why they help her celebrate Ramadan — even when her family is far away — visit Food With Love at

Dania’s patties (pay-tee)




  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tsps. pepper
  • 2 tsps. garlic powder
  • 2 tsps. paprika
  • 2 tsps. red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsps. cilantro, chopped
  • 2 packages of puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm has a frozen variety)
  • Mango Chutney sauce for dipping (optional)


Finely chop tomato and onion, set aside. In medium frying pan add oil, let heat. Add tomato and onion. Sprinkle with salt, cook until onions become translucent.

Add ground beef, break apart with spatula until onion and tomato are mixed in evenly.

Add all of the spices to the pan and cook thoroughly (meat should be a nice brown). Add cilantro, then set aside to cool.

Retrieve the puff pastries, cut into even squares. Before the pastry has time to cool add a spoonful of beef in center of square, fold diagonally into triangle. Use fork to press edges together to seal.

Place patties on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Flip over and cook another 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

The completed dish: patties.  A favorite of Dania Khan and her family. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The completed dish: patties. A favorite of Dania Khan and her family. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

We hope you’ve enjoyed this segment of “Food We Love with Linda Yu.” Check the links below to watch Linda’s other #foodwelove videos. Each one has a great story plus recipes for you to try at home. You can also follow Linda on social media to get the latest on her CST series.

I’m really easy to find on social media. I hope you’ll follow me for updates & beautiful photos and much more.

Related Articles:

WATCH: Linda Yu shares her family recipe for Chinese Rice Stuffing

WATCH: Best friends Linda Yu & Sylvia Perez cook up something special

WATCH: Who knew prunes could be so amazing? Learn two recipes from Koval Distillery.

WATCH: Grandma’s zest for life inspires Ambitious Kitchen’s Monique Volz.

WATCH: Risotto is music to the ears of Ravinia’s Welz Kauffman.

WATCH: A zesty coffee recipe from Vicki Reece of “Joy of Mom.”

WATCH: A pasta recipe from her childhood still inspires Chicago foodie

WATCH: ABC7’s Jim Rose shares his favorite pot roast recipe.

The Latest
The visitor, a college student, did the redecorating while host was away.
The outgoing Cook County state’s attorney has said prosecuting corrupt government officials is a priority, but many of these cases her office has pursued over the past four years have been relatively minor.
The girl was crossing the street with two women in the 9500 block of South Paxton Avenue about 8:40 p.m. July 18 when the driver drove through a red light and struck her. The girl was injured.