Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eid Delicacies

Eid delicacies

There so many distinctive customs and traditions that mark Eid Al Fitr celebrations in countries across Africa and Asia. The day begins with special Eid prayers at the mosque, and children are dressed in new clothes and receive cash gifts.

Later in the day, a festive lunch or dinner is spread out, usually at the house of a senior member of the family.

Have you ever wondered what fascinating celebratory spreads and festivities take place in various countries?

In Bahrain and the broader Gulf region, the family lunch consists of favourites such as biryani, a mixed rice dish of meat and spices, sago dishes, stuffed, savory and sweet pastries like sambouseh and other sweetmeats.

In Iraq, families delight in a breakfast of buffalo cream with honey and bread before having the family lunch together. Here, a lamb may be sacrificed for the occasion, and a special Eid sweetmeat called klaicha, a date-filled pastry, is made.

In Egypt, special doughy biscuits covered in powdered sugar (Called "kaack" and they are EVERYWHERE you escaping these cookies drenched in white) are made or bought to give to family and friends on the day. While the men are at the Eid prayers, (women go to Eid prayers too, jeesh come on... ) women (or maybe a man or two) will start work on the fish (this is a smoked dried fish, i have not tried it, don't make it , but it will be everywhere tomorrow, LOL) to be served as the piece de resistance at the Eid lunch.

In Palestine, during family celebrations, a special sweetmeat, ka'ak al-tamar, is made to serve with traditional roasted coffee, after the Eid prayers have been performed.

In Somalia, the three-day celebrations are headed by a family lunch that includes rice mixed with meat and vegetables, and pasta accompanied by anjira, a thin bread prepared like chapatti. Halva, a cumin-flavoured custard, is also served, along with special fried or baked biscuits made of flour, sugar, oil, warm water and baking powder.

One of the special dishes enjoyed in India, Pakistan and Fiji is savayya, a dish of fine, toasted vermicelli noodles, served for the first breakfast after the fast.

In Indonesia, the family lunch consists of dishes made of chicken, lamb or beef, but never fish, an everyday staple easily found. The traditional holiday delicacy is lapis legit, a rich layered cake.

In Malaysia, festive dishes include ketupat, rice cooked in wrapped coconut leaves, and lemang, glutinous rice cooked in bamboo cane, served with beef rendang.

With such appetising dishes and specialties, you might be lured into trying something different this Eid. Eid Mubarak to you all!

Source :

Lemon-flavoured lamb

Lamb 450g (1 lb) diced into 1 inch cubes
225g (1/2 lb) finely chopped onion
50g (2 oz) crushed garlic
50g (2 oz) blanched almonds
50g (2oz) ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
40ml oil sunflower
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste

To garnish: Slices of lemon and lime , Almonds and other nuts

Step 1: Grind the onion, garlic, almonds and coriander in a food processor, and then stir in oil, lemon rind and salt.
Step 2: Dip the lamb pieces in this mixture and place in the fridge for one hour.
Step 3: In a heavy bottom, non-stick pan, put the lamb and the marinade mixture, and start cooking until all the liquid evaporates and the oil starts separating (around five minutes).
Step 4: Add just enough water to cook the lamb. Cover and simmer until tender.
Step 5: Add garam masala and lemon juice, and if required, add water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
Step 6: Bring to a boil and then add a few slices of lemon, immediately covering the pan and removing it from the heat.
Step 7: Serve over a hot bed of rice, garnished with almonds and any other nuts you like, as well as lemon and lime slices.

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