x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Seasonal specialities: chefs from the Middle East offer their Eid insights

What do other Middle Eastern countries eat over Eid? We ask the regional cooking experts.

Ariana Bundy has her own memories of the tastes of Eid. Courtesy Taste of Dubai
Ariana Bundy has her own memories of the tastes of Eid. Courtesy Taste of Dubai


Ariana Bundy, TV chef and cookbook author, www.facebook.com/ArianaBundy

Eid dishes in Iran are always designed for sharing; halim, a creamy lamb or turkey porridge infused with butter and cinnamon and sprinkled with sugar; shir berenj, a rich rice pudding topped with grape molasses that tastes like caramel; sholeh zard, another rice pudding with saffron and pistachios.


Dima Sharif, cookery and baking instructor, www.dimasharif.com

Mansaf, which is goat or lamb stewed in fermented milk, and freekeh, a smoked green wheatgrain served with chicken, are the two main dishes. Trays of maamoul - Eid cookies stuffed with dates, pistachios or walnuts - are always on hand for visitors.


Assia Othman, food stylist, www.assiakitchen.com

Baking is at the heart of every Moroccan household over Eid, with sweet delights like baareer pancakes, sfenj doughnuts and briouates louz, sweet almond sambosa pastries.


Suzanne Husseini, chef and cookbook author, facebook.com/suzannehusseini

"Eid is not Eid until the scent of maamoul fills the house," says Husseini of the semolina-based buttery cookies stuffed with ground dates. But not before kharouf mahshi, a whole roasted lamb with fragrant spice and herb infused rice dish, is served.


Dalia Dogmoch Soubra, cookbook author, www.daliaskitchen.com

Many variations of kibbeh stuffed with minced meat and coated in bulghur wheat; from the raw kibbeh naye to kibbeh bil laban in a yogurt or tart cherry sauce. For sweet, murakad, a custard with a pinch of rice and plenty of sugar, stirred for hours until thick and sticky.


Chef Silvena Rowe, www.purplecitrussweetperfume.com

In Turkey, Eid is referred to as Sheker Bayrami with the emphasis on sweets; traditional sutlijas, a fragrant rose-scented rice pudding; lokma, deep-fried butter balls in syrup; and lokum, Turkish delight. A signature savoury dish is perdeli pilaf, a soft, mellow rice steamed with succulent meats in a veil of crispy filo pastry and oven-baked. Rowe favours a modern version with duck confit.


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