As Ramadan draws to a close each year, thoughts in the Muslim world quickly turn to Eid al-Fitr. Celebrations at ‘Eid’ centre around acts of generosity and, of course, the feast that marks the end of Ramadan. If you’re already planning dishes and treats to mark this Eid al-Fitr, continue reading for more inspiration on what to cook and eat.
1. Tagine – Morocco
Where else to start than this legendary dish from Morocco. The word tagine is unique in that it refers to both the clay or ceramic cooking pot and the meal prepared inside it.
Tagines are a slow-cooked meat stew made with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Depending on your tastes, you can add olives, lemon, garlic and spices such as coriander, paprika, cassia and cardamon.
Whereas chicken tagines are widespread in Morocco all year round, lamb tagines with dried fruits are an Eid-al Fitr speciality.
The benefit of cooking a tagine (the meal) in a tagine (the pot) is that the pot seals in all flavourful ingredients during the cooking process. The moisture from the meat and the vegetables goes up the lid’s sides and back down over the stew. The tagine’s unique shape and material create a self-basting, flavour-enhancing cycle.
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2. Baklava – Turkey
Eid al-Fitr is also known as Meethi Eid (Sweet Eid), as sweets are just as important as hearty meals at this time of year. Crunchy and delicious, baklava is a Turkish sweet made with filo pastry layers laced with butter and pistachios.
Baklavas are then soaked in rose-flavoured sugar syrup, which gives the pastry its signature fragrance and sticky feel. Although baklava has its origins in Turkey, the ingredients can vary depending on which country you’re celebrating Eid al-Fitr.
3. Haleem – India
Haleem is a meaty, soup-like lentil dish that’s the perfect comfort food for Eid al-Fitr in India. The rich mutton stew is cooked with broken wheat, barley and made with a delicious mix of garam masala, coriander, cumin, chillies, turmeric and black pepper.
The dish is slow-cooked and usually eaten during both Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr feast.
Haleem is synonymous with the iftar (the meal that breaks the daily fast) during Ramadan because it works as an energy booster, and it also keeps you full for longer. Even better, haleem is not only delicious, but it is also a powerhouse of essential nutrition.
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4. Sheer khurma – Bangladesh
Translated as “milk with dates,” sheer khurma is an Eid al-Fitr favourite in many countries, including Bangladesh. It’s prepared with vermicelli, milk, sugar, dates and, depending on the country, pistachios, almonds, or raisins.
Popular as a breakfast treat, sheer khurma is prepared by heating milk that is thickened slowly with roasted vermicelli. The vermicelli is a type of rice noodles, and the starch allows milk to thicken.
Depending on your tastes, you can ‘cook’ the milk until it’s creamy, thick as custard or somewhere in between. However, if you want a pudding-like consistency, you’ll need more vermicelli.
5. Sindhi Biryani – Pakistan
Originating from the province of Sindh in Pakistan, a Sindhi biryani is an aromatic biryani with a twist. What sets a Sindhi biryani apart from other biryanis is that it uses potatoes in the masala and dried fruits and nuts in the garnish.
Often mistaken for a type of curry, biryanis originated in Persia as a rice and meat dish baked together in an oven.
Sindhi biryani is a great choice for Eid al-Fitr because of its meaty and thick textures, many layers and its vast array of spices. In fact, in kitchens all over Pakistan, some spices only leave the spice cabinet when it’s time to cook biryani.
6. Bolani – Afghanistan
Many traditional Eid al Fitr treats are either extremely sweet or contain meat. Bolani, a flatbread stuffed with spinach, potatoes and lentils, is one of the few savoury dishes enjoyed by Muslims during Eid. Usually enjoyed in Afghanistan as a so-called “streetfood”, Bolani is an excellent addition to any feast during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
Quick and cheap to make, you can also mix and match the ingredients to suit your tastes. Swap the spinach for kale, potatoes for butternut squash or the lentils for pumpkin seeds – it’s up to you.
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