Many will be celebrating today for it is the observance of the Holiday (Eid) known as Bakr Id/Eid ul-Adha. Usually began by special prayer sessions by the men, and then a visit to the graves of their lost ones to pay their respect. It is a day to visit with family and friends as well as doing a little shopping! The women spend time skillfully decorating their hands and feet in beautiful designs made from Mehndi (Henna).
Additionally, it’s common for many following the Islamic faith to have been doing some travelling to Mecca around this time. It is said that a Muslim must take this trip at least once in their life to Saudi Arabia to perform a pilgrimage (Hajj). Often times the trip is well plan and organized, sometimes having saved money for years. Eid ul-Adha is also said to mark the end of the Hajj.
The background for this Holiday is said to follow the story of Ibrahim (Abraham) and how he was advised by Allah to lift the foundations of Kaaba (a Holy black stone). This is the most sacred shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is where Muslims turn to face during prayers. After having this dream, Ibrahim immediately responds and sets off for Mecca, bringing his wife and son, Ishmael along. During this dream and talk with Allah, Ibrahim knew he had to make a sacrifice.
Unfortunately, this sacrifice was to be his son, Ishmael. Ibrahim told his son of what had occurred in his dream and Ishmael was thoroughly willing to give his life, telling his father he was ready to give up his life for God. Ishmael was so brave to give his life graciously and asked his father to close his eyes as he brought the knife down upon him. He knew his father may not have the nerve to do such a thing… and agreeably, who really would? Ibrahim then closed his eyes and drove the knife downwards.
However, when Ibrahim opened his eyes he was astounded by what he saw. A sheep was there, right where his son had been moments before, slaughtered. Miraculously, Ishmael was safe and standing close by. Allah had spared the boy’s life, and thus Eid ul-Adha has become known as the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ in Islam.
It is not uncommon for many on this day to continue tradition by sacrificing a sheep or goat to share with their friends, neighbors, and other family members. Though this is not legal in some countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and United Kingdom. So instead, going to a butcher or slaughterhouse to make this purchase, usually of a whole carcass, is done and separated amongst themselves. However, this communal meal is not the only dish eaten around this time. There are many tasty treats and savory dishes that are prepared and shared as well.
Here are 5 great recipes for you to try!
Shahi Nawabi Biryani
The aroma alone is enough to have you prone to craving this dish again and again! Luckily there are many recipes to choose from ranging from spicy, veg, chicken, and more! Though this particular recipe is most fancied during Eid.
Nihari Gosht with Varqi Paratha
This is a slow-cooked stew made with lamb and is known for it’s spiciness. It’s a popular dish throughout south Asia, and is usually eaten with varqi (warqi) parathas. These are a type of flat bread, and parathas can be made differently! I’ve had some made with Aloo (potato) and paneer (cottage cheese), and I must say they are really tasty! Usually crispy on the outside but soft once you break it apart. Great for dipping!
This particular Kebab is made using minced meat (usually goat) but you can use whatever your favorite is. It’s usually finely ground, mixed with herbs and spices, and then fried until it has a crispy outer layer. It makes a great dish for lunch or dinner and although it is tasty all by itself, I like to dip mine in different sauces like barbeque or a spicy salsa!
Often made during special occasions, and is certainly a dish that can be loved by all! It is a genuinely creamy dish, but if you add some nuts or dry fruits it will add some crunch! Sheer Kurma is normally eaten for breakfast, although I find that it makes for a great dessert or snack any time of the day!
These are typically stuffed with dates, walnuts, or pistachios and then formed into dome shaped balls or flat cookies. They almost remind me of fig newtons. You can also add different fruits or other fillings (this recipe includes orange) to customize or create fun flavors!