Eid is celebrated to mark the end of a month of fasting and prayer. It is the month in which the holy quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad and it is believed that the gates of heaven are opened wide all through this month and the gates of hell are shut tight. So with Satan out of the way, it’s a great time to do charity (zakaat), prayer (namaz) and fast (roza) to cleanse your spirit of all that’s toxic.
Eid in Lucknow means food and lots of it. Understandably so, since it comes after days of abstinence.
Siwain (vermicelli) is a staple at a traditional Eid fare but no two houses will serve you the same kinds, we kid you not! There’s Qimami, the caramelised brown siwain cooked in sugar syrup (qimam), and the Muzafar a slightly drier version of the same. Then there’s the Sheer Qhurma — the creamy, cooked-in-milk siwain. There’s also a Sharbati siwain (likened to a sweet drink if you notice the name), which is a more liquid-y version cooked in water and to which milk is added later. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! The variations are many and varied and each house specialises in their own unique version!
Popular on the menu are also snacks like delicate qeema (meat mince) filled samosas, kabuli matar cooked until soft and served with spices and a sweet tamarind chutney. Dahi bade (made from urad dal) and dahi phulki (made with besan) are also served as snacks.
The dinner regulars include sheermal, kabab and the piece de resistance, the world famous Lakhnawi biryani! Kababs — both the shaami (with the filling) and the galawati (melt-in-your-mouth soft ones) enjoy immense popularity and can be savoured in most households.
So, all in all, the Eid feast is a gastronomical delight, an excellent way to spread bonhomie and good cheer. Happy eating folks and yes, Eid Mubarak too!
By Tazeen Husain
Tazeen is a freelance writer and blogs by the name of Dreamer Forever. She calls herself a social warrior, and has a witty and incisive take on social issues that’s hard to ignore.