27 Apr Feasts To Mark End Of Ramadan
Muslims who have been practising Ramadan over the last few weeks will be looking forward to celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month. If you are joining friends and family for the occasion, here is our pick of the best dishes to order.
Is it even a Lebanese feast without a huge choice of meze to whet your appetite? There are countless delicious nibbles to choose from, but at an Eid party, expect to see as many as you can imagine – falafel, hummus, mutabal, fattoush, batata harra (spicy potatoes), lahm bi ajeen (meat pies), ful medames (fava bean stew), balela (bean salad), labneh (strained yoghurt), and tabbouleh (parsley salad) to name a few.
The best food to tuck into after 30 days of fasting has to be the most traditional, with people looking forward to eating family-favourites, particularly those dishes that come out year after year after Ramadan. One of these is mouloukhiye, a meal that is enjoyed in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.
This is a sauce made from chicken cooked with the leaves of the Corchorus olitorius, or Jew’s Mallow. It makes a thick green broth and is served with white rice and plenty of lemon juice squeezed on top.
Another favourite is the traditional Lebanese stew, moughrabiye, made from semolina dough pearls, onions, chickpeas and chicken. Served as a broth, the stew is enhanced by its mix of spices, including cinnamon, 7 spices, caraway, and cumin.
For those who prefer red meat, make sure you have kibbeh on the table. These are made out of minced beef or lamb mixed with bulgur wheat and rolled into balls or cut into diamond slices. The pine nuts in the middle of the patties give them a crunchy texture that makes them ever so moreish.
- Rezz aa Djeij
Another chicken dish, rezz aa djeij is shared at most family gatherings and special occasions. Sometimes the ground beef and rice with ground cinnamon and 7 spices mix are stuffed into the chicken, but the end result is just as delicious when it is not.
The topping is essential to get right, with fried cashews or pine nuts sprinkled on top for a tasty crunch.
The feast doesn’t stop at mains and desserts deserve just as much attention after a month without daytime eating. One of the most popular treats has to be maamoul, which are Arabic cookies made with semolina, ghee, flour and dates or nuts.
These buttery biscuits are often given to friends and family at Eid to celebrate the end of Ramadan, so make sure you buy enough to save some for yourself!
- Ka’ak el Eid
Another popular biscuit is ka’ak el eid, which are ring-shaped cookies with a distinct flavour, thanks to the spice mahlab.
Their light texture makes it hard to stop at one, so just make sure you leave room for all the other puddings on the table!
One of the most popular Middle Eastern desserts, of course, has to be baklava, sticky, nutty pastry oozing with syrup.
There are lots of types of baklava, but they all tend to be made from filo pastry and pistachios and walnuts, spiced with cardamon, and smothered in a sweet syrup of sugar, orange blossom water and lemon juice.
Treat yourself to a feast at Libano restaurant in London and celebrate the special occasion with friends and family.