Bakra Eid Delicacies Prepared In Muslim Communities
Image Credit: Image credit: Shutterstock| Eid Feast

In India, festivals can signify a variety of things, including getting together with family and friends, the excitement of receiving gifts from the elderly, new clothes, and a break from daily activities. Unrestrained joy. They also refer to food. The fragrances and flavours one remembers sweeping through the home on festive occasions, the family recipes one brushes off only on these special days, and most of all, that satiated, sleepy relaxation after an exquisite repast — these are the memories we connect with festival cuisine. 

For Muslims, Eid-ul-Adha, also known as Bakri Eid, is a significant festival. While the Bakri Eid custom is similar worldwide, where a goat or sheep is slaughtered and its meat is divided into three halves, one for the home, one for family, and one for the poor, there is difference in the culinary treats that are prepared throughout locations. Along with the traditional biriyani and kebabs, the feasts of this event also contain a significant amount of traditional foods prepared using heirloom recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next.  

Image credit: Shutterstock


In Srinagar, Bakri Eid is observed in a manner that is identical throughout the city and completely distinct from that observed in other regions of the nation. The natives in Kashmir prefer to eat sheep meat rather than goat meat. Kashmiris don't call Eid-ul-Adha because of this. Instead of calling it Bakri Eid, people in Kashmir refer to it as Bodd-Eid, which means the large Eid. Kashmiris cook a wide variety of meals entirely using meat as the main ingredient. During Bakri Eid, there are no biriyanis or kebabs in Kashmir, despite talk of them throughout the nation. For Kashmiris, Rogan josh is the name given to all the dishes that go into preparing a Wazwan, with the exception of rista and gushtawa, which are made in no family. Kashmiris have a curd-based meal called Yakhni that is made with chicken. One dish that makes extensive use of meat is Methi maaz. It is an appetiser that is put on rice. Each person just needs one or two tablespoons at the beginning of the meal. 

Bohri Muslims 

A well-known Bohri treat created during this celebration is called malida. While sheerkurma has come to be associated with Eid-ul-Fitr, malida is a characteristic of Bakri Eid and represents festivity, joy, and community. Whole wheat flour, jaggery, ghee, and copious amounts of dry fruit make up this nutritious mixture. Malida is sometimes sweetened in some Bohri families with gundar, charoli, and some dried coconut shavings. Today Malida preparation has changed and been passed down down the years. It used to be bread stuffed with dried fruits. People continued to innovate and add to it over time, and the result is what we now refer to as malida. People wait till Eid to indulge in the homemade malida; they eat it all week long. Apparently, the longer it is preserved, malida gets more flavorful. 

Tamil Muslims 

A subgroup of Tamil Muslims, the Ravuthars are centered in Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala. Eid-ul-Adha in Ravuthar's home is marked by an abundance of meat and dishes made with meat. An authentic recipe from this community is Uppu kandam. People did not know how to cook so many meat-based dishes [on the same day] back then. In addition, there was no refrigeration available to them. They pondered how to preserve meat and ultimately developed this dish. Uppu kandam is a salty, peppery, crispy, and rustic preparation of mutton in which the flavour of the sun is most overpowering. Traditional foods typically take a long time to prepare, however the Uppu kandam cooks quickly. Despite being comfort food, the dish is nevertheless a significant component of Ravuthar cuisine. 

Malabar Muslims 

Calicut (now Kozhikode), one of India's major ports for the spice trade, owes a lot to the varied interactions it had with foreigners. Thus, just like the region's art and culture, food has been greatly influenced by the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, Syrians, French, British, and Jews. The Mopilla/Mapilla cuisine, which is more often known as the local cuisine, has evolved over time into a hybrid of native and foreign culinary techniques that is both new and old. Aleesa is a chicken-based Mughlai haleem dish that was given to the Malabar region of India as part of the Eid celebrations. It is typically served just before the main course. Then there is Mutta Mala with Mutta Sirka, also known as kinnathappam, which has Portuguese origins and is thought to have been known as egg chains. Every celebration in the Mopilla Muslim community (a name used to refer to the Muslims in the Malabar region of Kerala) has its own distinctive desserts, including Bakri Eid. Mutta mala and mutta sirka are no longer prepared in home kitchens and are now only (and infrequently) prepared by caterers. When people learn that mutta mala is on the menu, they become interested in a lunch or dinner reservation. Making this meal with such little ingredients could be difficult. In the past, mutta mala served as a test for women's culinary skills. 

Odia-Andhra Muslims

Due to the border culture and South Indian influences, Muslim households in the regions of the Odisha–Andhra Pradesh border have evolved their own distinct culinary styles. (In the middle of the 18th century, the state's southern region was a part of the larger Madras Presidency.) Families excitedly await enjoying Dum Ki Seviyan. Once this dish is cooked, the roasted seviyan, desi ghee, almonds, and mawa give it a wonderful twist. Everyone would tuck into bowls of this treat while the seviyan's fragrance and smell floats around the home. 

Murshidabad Muslims 

The Chitua, a type of pancake that is produced during celebrations like Bakri Eid both in homes and on the streets of Murshidabad, is one of the city's traditional delicacies. Jaggery made from molten palm sugar, which the Persians introduced to the Indian subcontinent, is typically placed on top when it is served. As a result of the Mughlai influence on Murshidabad's cuisine, biriyanis and kebabs are a core part of Eid celebrations. For the villagers back then, meat was a luxury. When they received meat from the nobles and royals for Bakri Eid, they would endeavour to maximise its possibilities. Tikiyas, the local name for kebabs in Murshidabad, are made from minced meat and dried pea lentils. Because dried peas are inexpensive and have a longer shelf life, the Persians also gave dried peas to the Murshidabad cuisine.