A prominent festival for Muslims around the world, Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi marks the birthday of Prophet Mohammed. Many traditional festive recipes, known as Mawlid, are prepared to observe the festivities. Here are some traditional Mawlid recipes for Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi that you must try.
One of the most important Islamic festivals of the year, Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi marks the birthday of Prophet Mohammed. Traditionally celebrated on the 12th Rabi’ al-Awwal, which is the third month in the Islamic calendar, Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi will be celebrated on September 27-September 28 in 2023 according to the Gregorian calendar. Equally important for both Shia and Sunni Muslims around the world, Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi is celebrated by wearing new clothes, praying in the mosque and participating in celebratory Juloos or processions.
As with every festival, Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi celebrations include the preparation of a feast consisting of Prophet Mohammed’s favourite foods. These festive dishes prepared to mark the birthday of Prophet Mohammed are traditionally known as Mawlid recipes. The Prophet Mohammed, who was known for leading a life of simplicity in the holy cities of Mecca and Madina, reportedly loved dates, honey and sweets. This is the reason why Mawlid recipes usually include plenty of sweet dishes, whether they are being cooked in the Middle East, Africa or South Asia.
And yet, there are plenty of savoury festive dishes that are also a part of the Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi celebrations, with dishes featuring lamb and mutton holding special significance. In South Asian countries like India, there are plenty of traditional Mawlid recipes—both sweet and savoury—that are prepared on Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammed. If you are celebrating Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi in 2023, then here are some traditional sweet and savoury Mawlid recipes you should try out.
Video Credit: YouTube/Hebbars Kitchen
A traditional sweet rice dish known for its saffron-gold colour and aroma, Zarda is prepared with simple ingredients like basmati rice, ghee, sugar and saffron. The rice is soaked, fried in ghee and then cooked with saffron milk and sugar. The dish is garnished with almonds, pistachios and dates. Many people also flavour the Zarda with cardamom and rosewater to make it even more aromatic.
A traditional sweet dish prepared in parts of North India that were previously known as Awadh, Qiwami Sewai is a must-have in cities like Lucknow, Rampur and Kanpur. Qiwami Sewai is made by roasting vermicelli in ghee, then cooking it in an aromatic syrup made of sugar, water, cardamom and saffron. The dry sweet dish is then topped with dry fruits, nuts and seeds before serving.
A favourite across most Indian Muslim homes for festive occasions, whether they are weddings or Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi, Gosht Korma is a rich and hearty slow-cooked stew made with mutton or lamb meat. Usually, tomatoes are not added to Korma, and the base of the stew is made with fried onions, yoghurt and a blend of whole and powdered spices. The rich dish is paired with a variety of flatbread like naan, khamiri roti, parathas, etc.
Dates Honey Sharbat
Since dates and honey were two of Prophet Mohammed’s favourite foods, making a Dates Honey Sharbat for Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi makes perfect sense. The dates are soaked in milk overnight to make them softer and sweeter. The dates-infused milk is then mixed with honey, rosewater and often even rose syrup is added to give the aromatic and delicious beverage a pink hue. Many people also add soaked almonds and pistachios to make the drink richer.
Dudhi Ka Halwa
A festive favourite across India, Dudhi Ka Halwa celebrates the flavours of bottle gourd, an underrated vegetable that makes for a great sweet dish. The bottle gourd is grated, cooked in ghee until softened, and then a sugar syrup is added to make the dish. To make Dudhi Ka Halwa aromatic, cardamom is usually added to it. The Halwa is topped with dry fruits, nuts and seeds before serving.
Traditionally a North African dish, Aseeda is also prepared by Muslims in India to celebrate occasions like Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi. Aseeda is a simple porridge made of sorghum flour, which is cooked with mild spices until it thickens and forms a consistency similar to that of a thick khichdi. This simple side is then served with a variety of flavourful stews made of lamb or mutton.
Slow-cooked over hours, Nalli Nihari is a rich, hearty and delicious mutton stew popular across North India and places like Hyderabad. The mutton or lamb leg pieces, which are packed with delicious marrow, are slow cooked in a blend of spices, onions, ginger, garlic and often a bit of yoghurt. In places like Delhi, Nalli Nihari cooking starts a day before Eid E Milad-Un-Nabi so that the dish is ready just in time for the festive feast.
Another royal and fabulous dish made to be enjoyed by large gatherings, Tandoori Raan is a dish made of the entire leg of lamb or goat. The sinews are removed from the leg, then a marinate of yoghurt, spices and salt is added. Usually cooked over an open fire or large tandoor, Tandoori Raan can also be prepared in a large oven in a modern Indian kitchen. Served with plenty of sides and flatbreads, this one is a festive centrepiece that shouldn’t be missed.