June 19, 2024

Middle Eastern Treats During the Holidays

We’ve heard a lot about Christmas in America, but what about festivities celebrated in the Middle East? As we approach the holidays, indulge in popular sweet and savory treats eaten during the holy month of Eid-al-Fitr! Many dishes are eaten during this Islamic holiday but could be added to any celebration as they reflect bright colors and flavors.

Sheer Khurma is a vermicelli pudding and a favorite to many. This sweet dish has dates, nuts, raisins, and vermicelli noodles.

Seekh Kebab is made with spiced minced lamb, beef, or chicken. The meat is grilled on skewers. It is usually served along with a side of green chutney, completing this savory meal.

Baklava, a Turkish layered pastry made of filo dough, is filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. If you’re not feeling sweet, you can make a savory version with some type of meat filling instead!

Rice pilaf is a classic rice dish packed with spices and flavors! Pilaf is actually cooking method where the rice is cooked first in some aromatics (like garlic and onion), then finished cooking in a liquid, like water or stock. This is how you get fluffy rice that doesn’t stick to itself.

Stuffed dates are a common gift given to family members and hosts. These can range from having nuts, chocolate, and cheese. And yes, all these options are delicious.

Lamb or chicken Biryani is made with multiple layers of par cooked rice, fresh herbs, caramelized onion, saffron-infused milk, and braised meat. Served with fluffy naan, this is commonly the main savory dish during dinner.

Beef Rendang is available everywhere at all times, but when it’s accompanied with lemang (usually cooked during festival) – glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt – wrapped with banana leaf and cooked in a bamboo stick over charcoal fire – it’s lips-smacking savory!

Although the name suggests origins in Turkey, Turkish delights are said to have originated from Iran. These fragrant jelly treats are subtly sweet and fragrant with a soft, squishy texture. You can find these delights covered in coconut flakes, nuts, and so much more!

Depending on the region, hundreds of dishes are eaten to celebrate Eid. From Malaysia to America, this Muslim holiday is widely celebrated by people all over the world. If you want to try something new for the holidays, try Eid-al-Fitr’s many delectables!