International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Eid al-Fitr: Recipes and Traditions

Eid al-Fitr Family Meal

Image Creative Commons by Phalinn Ooi

Muslims around the world celebrate the end of the fasting period of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr (عيد الفطر; prounounced "eed al FIT-ur"), the Festival of Breaking the Fast. Eid al-Fitr is one of two main festivals in Islam; the other is Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of the Sacrifice.

Another name for Eid al-Fitr is Sweet Eid, and the festival is indeed associated with candies and confections. Typically lasting two or three days, celebrations center around family, forgiveness and giving thanks to God, along with merriment, good food and rejoicing all around.

Eid celebrations vary from region to region. In the runup to the festival, it is common to do a thorough cleaning of the home in preparation for visits from guests and relatives. In the Muslim nations of Southeast Asia, a yearly mass migration occurs when people return to their ancestral villages and cities to join with family for Eid celebrations.

On the morning of the Eid, observers typically brush their teeth, bathe and dress in new clothes purchased for the occasion. They then eat a small, sweet breakfast to symbolize breaking the Ramadan fast, after which they complete their morning prayers.

In the days following, children can look forward to receiving small toys and sweets as gifts. Women in many countries paint their hands and feet fancifully with henna. Donations to charity and gifts to the poor are encouraged. Families sometimes make visits to the graves of love ones lost. Greetings of "Eid Mubarak!" (Blessed Eid) or "Eid Sa'id" (Happy Eid) are exchanged with friends and strangers alike.

Eid al-Fitr is the one day in the Islamic calender when Muslims are forbidden from fasting. Families and friends gather to sit down and enjoy a sumptuous spread of the finest in regional dishes and desserts. Afterwards, evenings often end with a beautiful display of fireworks.

Recipes

Eid al-Fitr Recipes

Try these recipes for your Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Saag

Indian vendor with a large bundle of fresh saag greens

(Indian spiced spinach)

Kefta

Kefta meatballs with yogurt sauce

(Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

Samosas

Samosas (Indian, Pakistani deep-fried potato pastries)

(Indian, Pakistani, African deep-fried potato pastries)

Naan

Naan (Indian, Pakistani tandoor-baked bread)

(Indian, Pakistani tandoor-baked bread)

Shahi Korma

Shahi Korma (Indian lamb in a creamy nut curry sauce)

(Indian lamb in a creamy nut curry sauce)

Tabouli

Tabouli (Middle Eastern bulgur and parsley salad)

(Middle Eastern bulgur and parsley salad)

Halva

Plate of Persian halva

(Persian rose-scented sweet)

Baklava

Baklava (Greek, Turkish nut and phyllo sweet pastry)

(Greek, Turkish nut and phyllo sweet pastry)

Couscous

Couscous with kebabs

(North African steamed pasta grains)

Pulao

Vegetable rice pulao

(Indian aromatic rice pilaf)

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi (Indian potato and cauliflower curry)

(Indian potato and cauliflower curry)

Djej Emshmel

Djej emshmel Morocca chicken tagine with olives and lemons

(Moroccan chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons)

Méchoui

Mechoui slow-roasted lamb on a spit

(North African spit-roasted lamb)