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issue-specialEid is round the corner and everyone is eagerly awaiting that day which brings together families in celebration. And then there’s the food! Yummy, delicious and special delicacies that mark this occasion and make it even more special. Here’s a peek into what’s cooking in kitchens around the world this Eid!

After a month of fasting, Muslims across the world come together to celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr, a day reserved for praying, feasting and merry times with the family. And we all agree on one thing – it’s the food that truly marks  the auspiciousness of the day. Here is a look at the special spreads that are prepared in some of  the most interesting culinary cultures on Eid.

Let’s take a trip to Morocco first. After a breakfast of Malwi and tea, preparations for a sumptuous lunch begin. Most families feast on Djaj Mhamar, Morocco’s festive version of roast chicken, flavoured with fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro and saffron. This is occasionally accompanied by other family favourites like Couscous Tfaya, a meat and couscous dish with sweet, spicy caramelised onions and raisins that form the Tfaya. Then there is Seffa Medfouna, Morocco’s famous dish that features chicken, lamb or beef flavoured with saffron, encased in a dome of steamed couscous or Chaariya (broken vermicelli) that is packed with the richness of sweet raisins, butter and cinnamon with ground fried almonds to add some crunch. These delicacies, along with mouth-watering lamb kebabs, complete the sumptuous Moroccan Eid feast, not to mention the joy of sharing with loved ones.

Eid feasts of Lebanon include Moghrabieh, the Lebanese equivalent of couscous, cooked with chicken and fragrant, flavoursome spices. A light, fresh element is served alongside in the form of Tabbouleh, the popular Levantine Arab salad made of burgul, fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables. Add to this Farareej Mashwieh, the Lebanese version of broiled chicken made with lemon and garlic sauce and you have a feast that is truly Eid-worthy!

Moving on to Turkey, a country that’s known more for its sweets (think of the Baklava) than anything else, Eid here is also more of a ‘sweet’ celebration. In fact, the local term for Eid, Bayram, is usually prefixed with the word Seker; Seker Bayram loosely meaning Sweet Eid. While most of the special preparations here are usually made during Ramadan, visiting a Turkish home for lunch or dinner will have you feasting on delicious lamb kibbeh, koftas and kebabs, served with minted yoghurt, kohlrabi and carrot salad. This is served with Yaprak Sarma, a meat and rice dish flavoured with spices, cooked in grape leaf. Or there’s Turkish pulao, made with minced meat, peanuts and red peppers. A special meat dinner, Et Yemegi, is also commonly served here on Eid. All this is washed down with a thick, creamy chorba, the lentil soup that’s indispensable in every meal.

Different countries, different food, different tastes. But one thing binds all these cultures together in celebration – the joy and merriment that comes with sharing food with loved ones. It makes these dishes taste so much more special, making them truly fit for the wonderful celebration that this day is!

Ramadan Kareem!

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Yaprak Sarma

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– Sanam Khan Maner