Food and Eid – 7 Countries with Unique Sweets on Eid-ul-Fitr:
What is joy without a bit of food? Our lives and our celebrations are almost unimaginable without the foods we love. Treats or desserts are a staple in our festivities. In fact, with time, they stand as our central celebratory ornament. Eid-ul-Fitr is a religious holiday joyously experienced by fasting Muslims. So, after completing a thirty-day journey, Eid-ul-Fitr is the moment to reap the fruits of our effort.
Each Muslim country owns unique cultural traditions for celebration. But one thing is for sure: they never compromise on food. Different countries champion luscious and candied delights. Here, we list seven popular desserts from seven other Muslim countries that treat sore eyes (and inspiration for food and Eid).
Spekkoek is an Indonesian delicacy that is the hero at all Eid-ul-Fitr gatherings. It is their delicate take on a multi-layered cake, but it is stacked proudly with around a thousand layers. The beauty rests in its measured thin layers, the softness of touch, and the accuracy of its shape. So, when one cuts into the cake, the symmetry catches the eye before the aroma and taste hit the senses.
The variation ranges from simple chocolate to mixed flavours, and the most exquisite of all types is the rainbow Spekkoek. Thus, Indonesian delight requires attention, labour, and loads of precision that comes with practice. However, it is made from a simple cake batter. Slowly, a layer is added, and the cake builds layer upon layer. Most adorn their cakes with nuts garnished with cardamom and a delicate sprinkle of ground spice.
Luqaimat is an Emirati classic sweet served specially on Eid-ul-Fitr. It is a lovely, one-bite, mouthwatering dumpling packed in taste and nutrition. Though they have the soft texture of a doughnut, they are shaped like balls. Luqaimat is known for its marshmallowy interiors and crunchy outsides.
Lastly, almonds, pistachios, or syrups coat the dumplings from the top. The date syrup is a local favourite and adds to the sweetness. So, if you are fond of making a stunning piece of art with healthy food, this sweet dumpling is the right call for your Eid.
Kahk, also popularly known in Arabic as Kaak-al-Eid, is a one-bite, circular biscuit. Kahk is cherished as a festive delight in almost the entire Arab world, especially in Egypt. Here, this gooey delight is a baked cookie crust filled with a mixture of honey, ghee, and all kinds of nuts. Of Kahk’s most popular variations, the date-filled cookie loved for its sweetness.
Mostly, the biscuits have special moulds, which create stunning designs. A Kahk is presentable in all shapes and sizes. So, baking these sweet bites becomes a family affair. After filling the stuffing in dough and sealing it in a circular shape, kids and adults are free to adorn the biscuits with all rich sweetness.
Perhaps, a unique element on our list is Iraq’s Kleicha. These small stuffed bites come in varying designs and fillings. The most celebrated type of Kleicha is the seed-shaped date filling. Also, the forms of techniques may go from moons to discs. The filler may contain a fine mix of ground nuts, powdered spices, coconut, or plain sugar.
So, while this biscuit is a national delicacy, it is open to personal interest and diversity. Even though the cookie is a perfect blend of sweetness, locals sometimes brush rose water or egg water to give the biscuit a glimmer.
Turkey is hailed for its exquisite selection of pastries. Baklava is arguably the most loved and well-known delight from Turkey. Baklava is a mouthwatering dessert packed with a chewy filling. So, the filling is often a fine mix of different chopped or crushed nuts. Almonds, pistachios, or walnuts all come together to create a divine stuffing.
Later, a sugary syrup, mostly honey, is added into the mix to keep the stuffing gooey and sweet. Each layer of pastry is carefully built upon the other to create a light tower. Then, Baklavas are baked in ovens to achieve a soft golden crust and a glossy shine. At times, a sweetener is added on top of the Baklava’s to keep the sweet tooth begging for more.
Xalwad is a particular type of Somali Halwa hailed for its nutty richness. The Halwa is also popularly referred to as Halwo. Cornstarch, oil, and sugar combine with mixed spices like nutmeg and cardamom to create a chunky, chewy delight. Since the dish is easy to prepare, Somali locals add their favourite nuts to jazz up their sweets.
Moreover, Kahwa is a beloved partner for this special Halwa. The tea’s leaves infuse some bitterness with the bright sweetness of the Xalwad. Also, the best thing about this food and Eid dessert is that you can enjoy it for a long time.
Sheer Khorma (Pakistan):
Lastly, we end with Pakistan, a country that has held its own in religious celebrations. Pakistan boasts many delectable treats in its vast culture. However, we cannot help but award the crown to Sheer Khorma. It is a traditional, slow-cooked vermicelli pudding. Surprisingly, Sheer Khorma is made early in the morning at breakfast. Mostly, families enjoy this light and milky delight shortly after offering Eid prayers.
The dish is made with condensed milk, sugar and vermicelli accompanied by a selection of nuts and spices. Almonds, pistachios, and cardamom are among the most popular combinations found across Pakistan. Sometimes, saffron and raisins hold centre stage and give a delightful aroma to the cooked sweet. Since it is best served chilled, Sheer Khorma is kept in homemade earthen pots.
So, Have You Tried Any of These Sweets?
Muslims worldwide share the same festivity but celebrate food and Eid in their unique ways. Where distances cannot be surmounted, sharing our cultures keeps us united.