Globetrotting Eid al-Fitr Dishes You Should Try at Home

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After a month of fasting comes a grandiose feast. Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr (which literally translates to “Festival of Breaking the Feast”) usually during the first week of June.

Here in the US, most Muslims celebrate the Sweet Eid by going to their favorite restaurants in large groups, whether with friends or family. Now because Muslims come from different cultures and backgrounds all over the globe, there’s really no strict ‘rules’ or tradition as to how they should celebrate it. But one thing’s for sure though-- a lavish and hearty feast of delicious food is but a must!

So whether you’re hosting this special occasion in your home or you just happen to crave for spicy and savory Middle Eastern flavors, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few favorite Eid recipes from different parts of the world:

Keema Biryani, from the UK

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Your celebration of the end of Ramadan wouldn’t be complete without the most-loved Biryani Rice. And while it is a staple in every Muslim home worldwide, Muslims in the UK particularly love spicin’ up their versions of this classic Middle Eastern rice dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Minced Mutton (goat or lamb meat will do) - 200 grams

  • Basmati rice, soaked - 1 1/2 cups

  • Oil - 2 tablespoons

  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick

  • Black cardamom - 1

  • Green cardamoms - 2

  • Cloves - 5 to 6, depending on size

  • Black peppercorns - 8-10

  • Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

  • Onion chopped - 1 large

  • Salt - to taste

  • Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon

  • Ginger paste - 1 tablespoon

  • Tomatoes chopped - 2 large

  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon

  • Green chillies chopped - 3

  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped - 2 tablespoons

  • Mint leaves

  • Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon

  • Fried onions - 1 cup

  • Saffron (kesar) dissolved in ¼ cup milk

  • Extra virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons

Heat oil in a deep non stick pan. Boil plenty of water in another deep non stick pan.

Add cinnamon, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns and cumin seeds to the oil in the pan and saute till fragrant. Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add mince and mix well and continue to saute till well browned.

Add garlic paste, ginger paste to the mince and mince. Add tomatoes, red chilli powder and salt and mix. Add green chillies, some coriander leaves and some mint leaves and mix.

When the rice is done strain it. Add some garam masala powder to keemaand mix. Add salt and mix. Add ¼ cup fried onion and mix.

Put half the keema mix in a rice cooker. Spread half rice over keema and spread some fried onion, some mint leaves, some coriander leaves, some garam masala powder, half the saffron milk, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, remaining keema, remaining rice, remaining fried onions, remaining mint leaves, remaining coriander leaves, remaining garam masala powder, remaining saffron milk, remaining extra virgin olive oil. Cover the cooker and cook till done. Serve hot with a raita of your choice placed in lovely ramekins.


Beef Rendang, from Malaysia

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This rich beef curry dish is a year-round favorite in Southeast Asia not only by the Muslim community but even other cultures and nationalities who truly appreciate spicy savory dishes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, dry outer leaves removed, roughly chopped

  • 3 medium-sized red onions, quartered

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 25g/1oz fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 75g/2½oz chunk galangal, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3 plump red chillies, roughly chopped without deseeding

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz beef chuck steak (or any good braising beef), trimmed and cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes

  • 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk

  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste or freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime

  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt, plus extra to season

  • ground black pepper

  • toasted coconut flakes, to serve (optional)

In a food processor combine the lemongrass, onions, garlic, ginger, galangal and chillies. Blend to a fine paste (you may need to remove the lid and push the mixture down a couple of times with spatula until the right consistency is reached).

Heat  sunflower oil in a large flame-proof casserole and fry the paste gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric and cook for two minutes.

Add the beef to the pan and stir to coat in the paste and spices. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly until the meat is very lightly coloured all over. Pour the coconut milk and 400ml/14fl oz cold water into the casserole. Add the lime leaves, cinnamon stick, sugar, tamarind paste or lime juice, soy sauce and salt and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat and leave to gently simmer uncovered for about 2½-3 hours, or until the meat is meltingly tender and the sauce is very thick, glossy and rich. Stir the beef occasionally towards the beginning of the cooking time then more often as the coconut milk reduces. You don’t want the sauce to stick. Season to taste with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spoon curry into warm serving dishes, pick out the kaffir lime leaves and cinnamon stick, and sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Best enjoyed with basmati rice.


Tangri Kebab, from India

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This chicken kebab recipe is an instant hit for everyone. As it is usually served with lemon wedges, onion rings, and a yogurt dip, it’s truly a favorite of kids and adults alike. Best of all, this one is super easy to make!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 Gram Chicken drumsticks

  • 1 Cup Hung yogurt

  • 1 tsp Ginger paste

  • 1 tsp Garlic paste

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

  • 1 tsp Garam masala

  • 1 tsp Coriander powder

  • 1 tsp Green chillies, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

  • Onion Rings & Lemon Wedges

Prick the drumsticks with a fork or make slashes with a knife. Mix together with all the ingredients, except onion rings and lemon wedges.Leave marinated for 4-5 hours, or even overnight.

Place an upturned saucer in a dish and arrange the drumsticks over it in a circle, with the thicker sides outwards. Cover and cook at HI for 5 minutes, turning once. Cover and cook on HI for another 3 Minutes. Uncover and cook at HI for 2 Minutes.Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving with onion rings and lemon wedges on the side.


Ghraybeh Butter Cookies, from Lebanon & Palestine

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One may think of having too much of the spicy, salty, and savory dishes when celebrating Eid, but that’s not really the case. In fact, most of them, like in Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, and Syria, love to end their feast with simple desserts like these shortbread-like cookies. Taste it to believe it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 125g butter, softened

  • 90g (¾ cup) icing sugar, sifted

  • 200g (1⅓ cup) plain flour, sifted

  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water or rose water or vanilla, to taste

  • 30 whole blanched almonds or pine nuts

Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, icing sugar and orange flower water until pale and creamy. Add the flour and mix on lowest possible speed until just combined.

Roll 2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays. Press a whole almond into each biscuit to flatten slightly.

Bake the biscuits for about 20 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, until pale golden and cooked through. Place on cooling trays before serving.