Eid al-Adha – also known as Eid al Bakr or Eid al-Kabir in Morocco, is a time of celebration and feasting for Muslims worldwide.
It commemorates the story of Ibrahim (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son as a test of faith. But when the time came a ram was ultimately provided as a substitute. The centerpiece of the Eid al-Adha meal is today often lamb or goat, though in Morocco, beef or camel meat may feature.
Eid al Adha and Hajj
Ibrahim (Abraham) played a pivotal role in the construction of the Kaaba, the sacred structure at the center of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. According to Islamic tradition, Ibrahim and his son Ismail were chosen by Allah for this significant task.
The story goes that Ibrahim received a divine command to build a house of worship for Allah. Accompanied by Ismail, he embarked on this divine mission. The chosen location for the construction was a barren valley in the heart of Mecca. Together, Ibrahim and Ismail laid the foundations of the Kaaba, carefully constructing its walls and shaping its unique cubic structure.
The Kaaba was destined to become a central point of pilgrimage, drawing Muslims from all corners of the world to converge upon its sacred precincts during Hajj. The act of building the Kaaba by Ibrahim and Ismail underscores the idea of coming together as a community in the worship of Allah, irrespective of one’s background or status.
What do people eat at Eid al-Adha
Rice is a staple on Eid tables across different countries. Pilao, a rice dish often but not always cooked in meat stock, is popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran.
However, the garnishes used in pilao can vary. Iranian pilao uses barberries and pine nuts, Afghan pilao may include raisins and grated carrot.
Pakistani pilao often incorporates pistachios. Bulgur wheat is favored in Turkey, while couscous is a common addition in Morocco.
Meat is prepared in various ways across the world at Eid al-Adha
Various meat-based dishes are prepared for Eid al-Adha, may of them include rice or a grain.
Biriyani, a layered rice dish with meat and spices, is enjoyed in Pakistan and India.
Haleem, a mixture of ground meat, crushed wheat, and lentils, is a staple in Hyderabad and Iran. Nihari, a slow-cooked lamb dish with bone marrow, is also savored during this time.
Meatballs, like the Nargisi kofta, are popular across the region. They’re especially popular in India and Pakistan where they are served in rich curry gravies.
Any meat prepared at this time must be cooked in accordance with halal principles. It’s, common for the entire animal to be used for consumption.
Organ meats like liver, as well as other parts such as brain, tongue, and tail, may be carefully prepared and enjoyed during this time.
While some regions have a preference for lamb or goat, others, like Pakistan, may serve chicken as a substitute and focus more on giving away lamb or goat acquired for this time of year.
Nose to tail restaurants for Eid al Adha anyone? Not just in Milan then!
Kebabs are a must at Eid al-Adha
Kebabs are a common sight on Eid tables. Turkish cuisine features succulent pit-roasted kebabs cooked over coals using the tandir technique, while kebabs in India and Pakistan are spiced generously and cooked in a tandoor.
Mechoui, a traditional steamed lamb dish from Morocco, holds a special association with Eid al-Adha and has gained popularity worldwide.
Desserts are cold and creamy at this time
Desserts vary across regions. In the Gulf, cool and creamy milky puddings and syrupy pastries with nuts are favored due to the hot weather.
Vermicelli is a versatile ingredient used in various forms, such as Kunafa with cheese and rose water in the UAE and the Levant, or Seviyan with pistachios, cardamom, and raisins in Pakistan.
Turkish-style rice pudding called Firin Sutlac, enriched with egg and baked in clay pots, is a beloved treat during Eid al-Adha.
Whether you choose to enjoy traditional dishes or add your own twist, Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating!
Tips for a healthier Eid al Adha
Of we know it’s healthier to eat your main, meat-heavy meal at lunch or early in the day to allow for proper digestion.
Try making small portions of cold coffee and orange flavored chocolate mousse in little Moroccan tea glasses. Great idea for an healthier Eid al Adha dessert. Easy Recipe for chocolate mousse here.
Or try making our easy fruit crumble with no flour and very little sugar, also in the air fryer. A great cold dessert.
Try air frying your meat ball/koftas this year, much healthier for you as well. More AIR FRYER recipes here.
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We like eating lamb kebabs at Al Beiruti in Dubai. If you’re planning an Eid getaway consider the New Bab Al Shams, now with new summer offers. If you fancy going further a field this Eid, then we recommend Nairobi Kenya for a short break.
Need some inspiration for what to cook this Eid holiday? Try our good recipe page here