Eid ul Fitr: Around The World In Festive Food
Image Credit: Ma'amoul is a filled butter cookie made with semolina flour, popular throughout the Arab world, especially in the run-up to Eid


Aseeda (A-seed-a) | Origin: Various regions in the Middle East and North Africa. A traditional dessert, Aseeda is a simple, yet profound pudding made from wheat flour or ground corn, often served with honey or ghee. It's a celebration of simplicity and sweetness, embodying the spirit of communal dining during Eid.


Baklava | Origin: Ottoman Empire, with records dating back to the 15th century. This sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey is a hallmark of Eid celebrations. Baklava is a testament to the refined tastes of Ottoman sultans and remains a beloved treat across the world, symbolising sweetness and richness.


Couscous | Origin: North Africa. While not specific to Eid alone, couscous is a staple at celebratory occasions across North African countries. Made from steamed balls of crushed durum wheat semolina, it's often served with a stew on top. Couscous symbolises blessing and abundance, making it a fitting dish for Eid celebrations.


Doro Wat | Origin: Ethiopia. This spicy chicken stew, often accompanied by boiled eggs, is a centrepiece in Ethiopian cuisine and served during special occasions including Eid. Rich in spices and flavour, Doro Wat is served with injera, a sourdough flatbread, representing the communal and sharing spirit of Eid.


Firni (Fir-nee) | Origin: South Asia. A rice pudding that's similar to kheer, firni is made with ground rice, milk, and sugar, flavoured with cardamom, saffron, and topped with slivered nuts. This dessert, often set in clay pots, symbolises the union of simplicity and festivity, bringing a subtle, comforting end to the Eid feast.


Gulab Jamun | Origin: Indian subcontinent. These deep-fried dough balls, soaked in a sweet syrup flavoured with rose water and cardamom, are a festive staple. Gulab Jamun's rich sweetness and soft texture make it a favourite, embodying the joy and generosity of Eid.


Harees (Ha-rees) | Origin: Middle East. Dating back to the 10th century, this dish of wheat, meat, and butter is cooked over slow heat until creamy. Harees is traditionally served during Ramadan and Eid, symbolising the unity and patience of the community. It's a testament to the culinary heritage that transcends borders, bringing people together in celebration and gratitude.


Jollof Rice | Origin: West Africa. A one-pot rice dish beloved across West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, Senegal, and Ghana. Ingredients vary by country but commonly include rice, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of spices and, sometimes, meat or fish. Jollof Rice during Eid symbolises joy, unity, and the sharing of blessings.


Ketupat (Keh-too-paht) | Origin: Southeast Asia. A rice cake wrapped in a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf pouch, ketupat is synonymous with Eid in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. It represents forgiveness and reconciliation, embodying the essence of Eid ul Fitr. The cooking process, which involves boiling, compresses the rice, resulting in a unique texture and taste.


Lokum (Low-koom) | Also known as Turkish Delight | Origin: Ottoman Empire. A confection made from starch and sugar, often flavoured with rosewater, lemon, or mastic, Lokum is a sweet treat that has been enjoyed since the 15th century. It's often served with coffee or tea, marking moments of leisure and conversation during the festive days of Eid.


Ma'amoul (Maah-mool) | Origin: Levant. Ma'amoul are small shortbread pastries filled with dates, pistachios, or almonds. Often marked with decorative patterns, these pastries symbolise the intricate beauty of Arab hospitality and are a staple during Eid, serving as a sweet reminder of the region’s rich culinary and cultural heritage.


Plov (Pilaf) | Origin: Central Asia. A festive dish made with rice, meat (often lamb), carrots, and onions, seasoned with a mix of spices. Plov is central to celebrations and family gatherings during Eid in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and beyond, embodying the warmth of community and the richness of Central Asian culinary traditions.


Qatayef (Qa-ta-yef) | Origin: Middle East. A sweet dessert consisting of folded pancakes filled with cheese or nuts, then deep-fried or baked. Traditionally consumed during Ramadan and Eid, Qatayef is a symbol of generosity and joy, offering a delightful taste experience with its rich fillings and syrupy sweetness.


Rendang | Origin: Indonesia. A spicy meat dish slow-cooked in coconut milk and a paste of mixed ground spices. It's a celebratory dish, often served during Eid ul Fitr, symbolising the strength and depth of cultural traditions. Rendang is not just food; it's a culinary heritage that speaks to the heart of Minangkabau culture, offering a taste that's as rich in flavours as it is in history.


Sambusa | Origin: Horn of Africa, extending to some Middle Eastern countries. A deep-fried pastry filled with spiced meat, lentils, or vegetables, Sambusa is a popular snack during Eid celebrations. It symbolises the coming together of families and communities, sharing in the joy and blessings of Eid with every bite.

Sheer Khurma (Sheer-khur-ma) | Origin: South Asia. A rich, creamy dessert made with vermicelli, milk, sugar, and dates, often garnished with almonds and pistachios. Sheer Khurma is a celebratory dish that signifies the end of Ramadan. It's a symbol of love and blessing among families and communities, illustrating the sweetness of life and joy.


Tagine (Tah-jeen) | Origin: North Africa. While not exclusive to Eid, the tagine is often served during the holiday to honour guests with its sumptuous flavours. This slow-cooked stew, named after the earthenware pot it's cooked in, can include a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices, showcasing the rich, communal spirit of Eid dining.


Zalabiya (Zah-lah-bee-ya) | Origin: Middle East and North Africa. Also known as Loukoumades in some regions, these are deep-fried dough balls soaked in syrup or honey and sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds. Zalabiya is a sweet reminder of the joy and festivity that Eid brings, inviting people to savour the sweetness of life together.