From snacks to desserts NIKITA CHAWLA shares the perfect list of delicacies you must not miss out on this Eid-al-Fitr!
Eid al-Fitr which literally means the ‘feast of fast breaking’ is round the corner and we can’t keep calm! The crescent moon on this day marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and is a much awaited festival across the nation. After a period of rigorous self-restraint is time to enjoy some lababdaar non-vegetarian food and gastronomical treats! Without further delay, check out our list of some must try delicacies this season. Eid Mubaarak! Let the festivities begin!
Go crazy over kebabs!
Traditionally barbecued by warriors in the Middle East over open fires, this meat has evolved to become one of the all time favorite snacks in pan Asia and how! The make is delicious and the range enormous. Right from Shammi Kebab, Lasooni Kebab, Tunde ke Kebab, Galouti Kebab, Haleem Kebab to the Hara Bhara and grilled varieties for vegetarians, there is something for everyone! Chunks of marinated meat (lamb, chicken etc) can be oven baked, cooked over the skewers or grilled like a hamburger for the desired effects. Different parts of the animal give the name to the kebab. For example the Kaleji Seenkh is made out of Goat liver while the Tangdi Kebab is spawned out of chicken leg. The accompaniments include tomatoes, capsicums and onions seasoned generously with spices.
Awadhi Mutton Biryani
The word Biryani means to roast or fry and this Persian dish is at the heart of every Eid celebration. The Awadhi Mutton Miryani is a traditional dish passed down the centuries right from the kitchens of the Nawab of Awadh. Once you’ve had it, it will win over your heart like no other dish. Add some shorba or raita to experience the richness of this timeless and flavoursome dish. It also has a famous cousin – The delectable Hyderabadi Biryani. With its long stem rice grains, cashews and native spices this highly evolved dish is something that is not to be missed! Are you a Vegetarian? Then don’t fret! You can always go for the Vegetable Biryani!
Sevayian Kheer and Namkeen Sev
If Biryani is the heart then this quintessential vermicelli dish is the soul of every Eid party without which the celebrations are incomplete! This spaghetti – like thin long strands are a staple delicacy served at every Eid al-fitr. They are easy to make savouries. While they don’t have any authentic flavour of their own, khoya, dry fruits and cardamom stirred in hot milk transform these noodles’ into a white mix of heaven! When fried in clarified butter and soaked in dates, they are taken over by the name of Sheer korma.
Pashtooni Zarda Pulao
Also known as Meethe chawal this saffroned basmati rice is enjoyed thoroughly from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Bay leaves, rose water and saffron lend to its rich and wholesome flavour making for a mouthwatering dish! Unlike the lasagna-like layering technique used in Biryani, the exotic and scrumptious flavours are deftly woven into the strands of basmati rice making it stand out on the dastarkhwan. So gear up for some piping hot pulao and inhale the blend of roasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms…need we say more? Pair it with some mutton stew, ghosht and lamb gravy or beef koftas for the ultimate foodgasm. Which brings us to our next dish.
Nalli Nihari with Tawa paranthas
Nalli Nihari is a sticky and spicy south Asian curry dating back to the last days of the Mughal Empire in 17th-18th century. The Nalli (Bone Marrow) gets cooked in desi ghee along with the chosen meat and a truckload of spices. The mutton or beef is slow cooked (Sometimes left to simmer just over 48 hours) along with the bone marrow making for the perfect bone broth! It is best enjoyed with tandoori tawa parathas and khammeri roti. The cooking process may be slow and arduous but highly rewarding. Well as they say, good things come to those who wait!
No dawaat or dastarkhwan is complete without the simple and sweet Phirni! This milky and creamy rice pudding comes in various flavours like Kesar (Saffron) and Gulab (Rose) tantalizing the taste buds with subtle hints of elaichi (cardamom) complete with dry fruits such as cashews, pistachios and diced almonds. It’s often made with basmati rice and khoya, so can be a tad heavy. Just like barfi, it is traditionally garnished with chandi ka wark and raisins. It is enjoyed in earthen bowls with small wooden spoons. The best part is that you can serve it both hot and cold. It tastes equally yummy without compromising on the taste.
Zaikedaar Koftas with Baida roti
The word Kofta comes from the classical Persian cuisine and literally means to pound or to grind. A type of a rissole, these soft and fluffy meatballs are cooked in spicy gravy and served with a variety of rice as well as bread. Chunks of goat meat or lamb are rolled into balls (the size of a baby tomato) and glazed generously with egg before deep frying. Often mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs and onions are added to the mix for a unique flavouring. Koftas can be baked, marinated or even grilled. While you’re at it, try pairing it with some Baida roti and green chutney. (A crispy egg roll stuffed with minced chicken pieces)
Unsalted butter, grounded walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds this world famous dessert pastry needs no introduction! Developed in the imperial kitchens of Istanbul, the baklava is painstakingly layered between pastry sheets (sometimes as many as 33 dough layers) and then baked. Delicious syrup made of honey, cloves and cardamom is then poured over the puffed pastry and served hot. While you’re at it, don’t forget to try the mouthwatering varieties like the chocolate baklava and the pistachio Baklava!
Moong Dal halwa, Chana dal halwa
Nutritious and high in fiber, the age old recipe of dal halwa is a yummy treat to enjoy with your loved ones! Made from popular household dals which are consumed on an everyday basis, this one is for all the health conscious folks in the family. Legumes like chana dal or moong dal are grinded into a coarse mixture and then simmered in a pan with dollops of desi ghee. The garnishing consists of dry fruits, nuts and rich raisins. This dessert is light on the stomach and quick to digest.