During Ramadan, even parsley looks delicious, says Khalida Djeriou, who has worked as a server across New York City since immigrating from Algeria in 2013. Ramadan, the ninth month of Islam's lunar calendar, marks the revelation of the Koran with month-long, dawn-to-sunset fasts ending with Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival of breaking the fast. This year's Ramadan -- April 2nd to May 1st -- is her first time waiting tables around the food of her childhood. Nomad, the Algerian restaurant where she works, is bracing for how $16 iftar platters -- dates, milk, a boiled egg, harira, homemade bread, beef bourek and a cookie -- become wildly popular even among non-Muslim diners. In all, 70% of Nomad's staff is fasting. But you can smell food as much as you want, and on the first day of Ramadan, Djeriou breathed in Nomad's lamb tagine. I recommended that dish to everyone, mostly so I had more opportunity to smell it, she laughed. Nomad sold 53 lamb tagines that day -- 38 sold by Djeriou. She took the next day off.

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