The Eid special in our house is undoubtedly Sheer Khurma. It is a dessert made with milk and vermicelli, with dry fruits added. It ranks as my favourite dish on this special occasion. As everyone in my family loves it, it is a kind of bonding for us. Nowadays, as Western influence is growing, we need to know about our rich traditional foods and enjoy the delicacies.
According to me, one of the unique things that we do on Eid al Fitr is to forget all the misunderstandings between each other and greet everyone equally with smiling faces and say, Eid Mubarak.
After Eid namaz, all family members have food together, including special dishes like biryani and sheer khurma. Younger kids get their Eidi. Eid ul Fitr is also called meethi Eid because not only do we eat sweet dishes, but also from the core of the heart we have love and kindness for each other.
Sheerkhurma and naan khaliya, with hand made snacks such pakodas, murkool and samosas for guests.
Many non-Muslim friends and dignitaries visit our homes on Eid day. We gift hand-made finely cut ‘sheer khurma dry fruits masala’ to them for them to be able to recreate it at their own convenience.
In our country, we make a feast on the first day of Eid, where all family members gather in the elder brother’s house. The main dish is Zurbian. It’s more like mutton biryani, but with less spices. There will be lots of other dishes, such as curry with traditional bread called salta and malooj. My favourite is the sweet dish called bint alsahan.
Tamil Nadu is a vast place and we have area-wise traditions and culture. In one southern area of Tamil Nadu, Kayalpatnam, almost all houses have one special delicacy known as koliappam. Ingredients used in making this dish are maida, eggs and coconut milk and salt. Maida and eggs are mixed and slowly, coconut milk is added to it and this makes a batter. This batter is spread on a non-stick pan, adding a little ghee and is allowed to cook. When fully cooked, it is inverted on a plate. Its fine and thin texture and rich taste is lip-smacking and loved by one and all. This delicacy is eaten along with chicken curry. Children love to eat it plain without any side dish.
It is our tradition to cook Handulu Bondibai in every Eid and that is a traditional dish which I look forward to have on happy occasions such as Eid. It is made of rice, sugar, rose water, coconut cream and water.
Our Eid celebration is incomplete without Sheer Khurma. The taste & aroma of it, when prepared on Eid, is so special. It’s a blend of milk, vermicelli, pure ghee, dry fruits, saffron, lotus seeds, cardamom, sugar & lots of love. All ingredients in proportion are a must. The end result is soothing to the eyes & relishing for the tastebuds. Having a bowl of sheer khurma gives unique strength to get ready for the rest of the 11 months to spend with strong Emaan, true Ibadah & complete Tawakkul in Allah SWT.
“Kheer ki meethaas aur,
Allah par vishwas kare Eid ko khaasmkhaas.”
I make a few traditional dishes like dahi barah, keema cutlet and dry fruit sherbet along with it. Dahi barah made from urad daal dipped in curd with sweet chutney, green chutney and spices is one of the favourite foods in my family. Keema cutlet is prepared from minced meat covered with boiled potatoes. A unique dry fruit sherbet prepared with khoa (dry milk) and lots of dry fruits and a pinch of saffron is also popular.
Almost every home makes its own payasam. After we finish our Eid prayers, we start visiting each other’s houses in the neighbourhood, and every house serves their guests the payasam they cooked. By the time we reach back to our homes for lunch (usually biryani) we are usually very full with all the payasam of the neighbourhood in our tummies.
In the evening, people usually go to their mother’s place (as we spend Eid prayers at our homes which is the father’s place). There again, the payasam continues. There is so much sweet consumption in one day that it starts affecting us with a feeling of sedation by the end of the day, so much so that the sleep we get during the Eid night is
Minced buff meat cooked in spices including the spice mix Kachriyan , with chopped onion, chillies and ginger on top is one of the traditional Eid food dishes in Old Delhi. ‘Kachriyon ka masala’ is a blend that is sold by locally-grown, internationally popular brands as well. Masala Kachori, another Old Delhi delicacy is bought from a local sweets shop while the Qeema is cooked at home.