Celebrations are simply incomplete without a feast of flavours to indulge the senses. Here are some popular dishes you could make at home with the family this Eid.
Usually accompanying an Eid meal, sherbets can be prepared from various fruits such as dates, limes, pomegranates, tamarind and grapes.
200 grams tamarind
2 litres water
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 sage sticks
a pinch of linden tea
a piece of ginger
Peel and soak the tamarind overnight. Boil it with all the ingredients for 1 ½ hours. Sieve it well and serve warm or with ice.
GRANDMA’S QUICK QOUZI
This is a dish that’s handed down through generations and is symbolic of the generosity of the Gulf. It is prepared differently throughout this region. However, it’s important to the note that the lamb carcass must be cleaned thoroughly before cooking.
(serves 20 people)
Marinade for 8-10kg lamb
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon roasted coriander and cumin, dry ground
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 teaspoons black pepper powder
2 tablespoons Bahraini spice mix
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon ground dried black lime
1 teaspoon saffron threads soaked in 1 cup of rose water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt to taste
For the Stuffing
4-6 tablespoons of cooking oil
4-6 garlic cloves
7 cups of long grain Basmati rice (more or less depending on size of lamb)
15 hard-boiled eggs
1 large potato
2 cups split yellow peas
6 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cardamoms
4 whole cloves
6 black peppercorns
6 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 1/2 tablespoon mixed Bahraini spice
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2-3 tablespoons ground black dried lime
1 1/4 cup blanched and peeled almonds
1 cup sultanas
1 bunch chopped coriander
2 teaspoons saffron threads soaked in 1 cup rose water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt to taste
Drain off excess liquid from the lamb and marinate it very well inside and out with crushed garlic cloves, salt, the spices, ginger and lemon juice. Rub with half a cup of the rose water. Set aside for an hour.
Prepare the stuffing:
1. In a large pot, stir fry onions on a medium heat till golden brown.
2. Add crushed garlic with spices, lemon juice and salt to taste.
3. Add almonds, sultana, chopped coriander and sprinkle ¼ cup of rose water.
4. Cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
5. In another pot, boil rice with the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, cloves). Add salt to taste.
6. Strain the rice and mix it in the pot with ingredients in step 3. Add the remaining rose water over the rice.
8. Stuff the lamb with the prepared rice stuffing, boiled eggs and potato and stitch it shut with trussing needle and twine. Cook the lamb on high heat for an hour, then reduce it for another 6 hours, turning half way through.
To complete your meal, this dessert can be served hot or cold and with variations of fruit of choice – mango, lychees or strawberries.
4 cups dry sago
1 1/3 cups sugar for caramel
2 to 3 cups sugar
1 ¼ cup melted butter
¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
few saffron threads soaked in ½ cup rose water
1 ½ teaspoons cardamom powder
6- 8 cups boiling water
Thoroughly wash, clean and soak the sago for 30 minutes. Strain.
Melt the 1 1/3 cup sugar for caramel over a medium heat until golden brown.
Remove pan from heat, add 4 cups of water. Heat until mixture is boiling and add the rest of the sugar to totally dissolve.
Add sago and mix till the water is absorbed.
Mix in butter, stir on medium heat frequently adding small quantities of water till the sago becomes translucent.
Simmer for 15 minutes then add rose water, cardamom, chopped walnuts and mix. Serve with sultanas, desiccated coconut or fruit of choice.
Whatever your choice of dessert, it has to be accompanied with a cup of ghahwah (Arabic coffee) or karak chai (tea with milk and spices) to complete your meal. Needless to say, traditionally prepared khoubiz (breads), soups and salads will also have a large part to play around the table, so keep those clothes worn as loose as possible.