Billions of Muslims around the world are getting ready to observe Eid al-Fitr in a few days. The festival marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and celebrations focus on community, family, friends, and a spirit of generosity. Everyone gathers early morning for a communal prayer, to show gratitude to God, and the feasting begins right after. Gifts and Eid mubarak greetings are exchanged; alms are given; family, friends and neighbors visit each other’s homes.
Since Muslims live all over the world, with the highest concentration of the community in Southeast Asia, the food served on Eid vastly varies from region to region, from Indonesian nastar (pineapple jam cookies) to “butter chicken lasagna” to macarons filled with sticky date paste. Eid al-Fitr particularly is very heavy on sweets, cookies, and dessert, and no matter where you are in the world, spices like cardamom, cinnamon, saffron; floral waters like rose and orange blossom; and nuts like pistachios and almonds will make cameos.
With Islamophobia rising by the day in our nation and across the globe, it’s more important than ever to forge bonds and create conversations over food. As the founder of With A Spin, one of my goals is to spread the beauty of Islam by showcasing the rich and diverse, contemporary Muslim lifestyle, be it through food, art, or culture. So this year, I reached out to my network of Muslim food bloggers and collected Eid recipes to share with you. Some of the recipe recommendations also came from my friend Leyla of OneThirdFood. I hope that this potluck would be an icebreaker for many conversations about Muslim food and culture, unfiltered by bias.
1. Chef In Disguise | Nastar
In Indonesia and Singapore, Eid doesn’t feel complete without nastar, an immensely popular pineapple jam cookie.
2. Lisa’s Lemony Kitchen | Samperit
These gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth custard cookies, shaped like flowers, can be seen in many Malaysian households during Eid.
3. With A Spin | Spice Eid Cookie
These fabulous Eid cookies riff on American molasses spice cookies, and add warmth (and eye candy) to any Eid celebration.
4. Amanda’s Plate | Maamoul
Maamoul is a pastry-like cookie traditionally filled with date paste and chopped walnuts and/or pistachios, topped off with a dusting of powdered sugar. Eid in the Levantine region of the Middle East is incomplete without these shortbreads.
5. On My Table | Baid al Qata
Baid al Qata is a Kuwaiti cookie filled with a creamy mixture of walnut, cinnamon, rosewater, and cardamom. It’s a deep fried cookie tossed in icing sugar. The word baid means eggs, and al qata is a name of rare bird (the crowned sandgrouse). The name is derived from the shape of the cookies.
6. Kitchen Maestro | Baklava nest
How can you improve on baklava goodness? Add pistachios and ashta (a thick table cream popular in Middle Eastern desserts). It’s the perfect marriage of crunchy and smooth.
7. Modest Munchies | Sticky Date Brown Sugar Macarons
Dates are very significant during Ramadan, so don’t be surprised to see this non-traditional take on the French classic, filled with sticky date paste and butterscotch sauce.
8. My Tamarind Kitchen | Seviyan
Sweet vermicelli in cardamom-infused milk with pistachios and raisins is a very popular Eid breakfast or dessert in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.
9. My Moroccan Food | Almond Mhencha
This cute pastry consists of a delicious almond paste tucked in a filo sheet (warqa for Moroccans), then rolled to form a swirling snake and finally dipped in simmering honey. In Moroccan Arabic, mhencha comes from the word hench which means serpent, so in a way, mhencha means serpentined.
10. Fil Mishmish | Pidesi – Turkish Bread
This traditional, soft-leavened Turkish bread is round and flat in form, with a weave-like crust. The bread is topped with sesame and nigella seeds.
11. Cooking Simple Chinese Food At Home | You Xiang
The most symbolic food in China for Eid is You Xiang. It literally means “oil fragrance.” These fried, flour-based breads can be eaten as snack, or with congee.
12. Ghezaeshiriin | Saffron Flavored Pistachios
These are perfect to nibble on in between heavy Eid meals.
13. Queen Of Sheba Yemeni Recipes | Lahma Mahshoosha
You have to cook the meat and then broil it in this Yemeni delicacy.
15. Cooking with Alia | Boulfaf
Boulfaf, in Moroccan, means “wrapped.” In this recipe, pieces of grilled liver are wrapped in sheep fat, put into skewers, and barbecued over hot coals. It is a popular Eid dish for Moroccan families.
16. Kitchen Art-ist | Middle Eastern Kofta and Potatoes in Tahini sauce
Who doesn’t love meatballs and potatoes? Add a sauce prepared with tahini, yoghurt, and lemon to it and you have flavors that dance.
17. Fa’s Kitchen | Haleem
This wholesome, hearty stew prepared with goat meat or beef, wheat, lentils and spices is a very popular dish for Eid in the Indian subcontinent.
18. My Mouth is Full | Butter Chicken Lasagna
If you don’t see regular pasta or pasta salad on an Eid spread, you might come across this innovative lasagna.
19. Wandering Spice | Eggplant & Cauliflower Maqloubeh
In this dish, rice is layered with broiled eggplant and cauliflower, then inverted onto a plate (maqloubeh means “upside down”) and garnished with toasted nuts and fresh mint to crown the top.
20. Chocolate and Chillies | Baklava Cheesecake
Love cheesecake? Fancy Baklava? Well, you are in luck! Baklava + Cheesecake = Divine! This rich fusion dessert is becoming very popular during Eid around the world.
21. All Floured Up | Mango Panna Cotta
When Eid falls during the hot summer months—because of the lunar calendar, the holiday moves about 11 days every year—a light, fruity, and cold dessert at the end of a big meal is the perfect finish.
22. Gulab Jamun Cheesecake | Savory and Sweet Food
This is a no-bake cheesecake made by combining paneer, yogurt, and sweetened condensed milk, and garnishing the finished product with pistachios and rose buds.
23. Table For Five | Rose Lassi
This is a cooling and refreshing lassi made with rose syrup, pistachios, and a pinch of cardamom. Add fresh rose petals, and it’s perfect for a summer Eid.
24. BitesMind | Qahweh Arabiyya
Qahweh Arabiyya or Arabic Coffee is the sumptuously flavored, unfiltered version of coffee brewed from Arabica beans. It is prepared in a traditional pot called a dallah or bakraj and then served black in an espresso-sized cup called fanajin.
Any Ramadan or Eid favorites that regularly make it on your table? Let us know in the comments!