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Celebrating ‘Id ul Fitr, belatedly

This is very late recap of my Eid ul Fitr (almost 10 days late), perhaps appropriately so, since I really think I celebrated Eid a few days after the actual day (which in T&T and Guyana was on Wednesday 1st October 2008). But there are some photos, and some food and some family, so why not report, belatedly?

Hijabs on Eid ul FitrSo, last week Wednesday was the first time I’ve gone to an ‘Id Salaah (prayer) on my own. Even in Edinburgh, I had company, from a Palestinian friend who lived in the building, to walk over to the masjid together. But I made it to the Eid salaah (prayer) on my own right on time for 6:30 a.m. at the outdoor venue. Holding an Eid Ga like this is a recommended practice, but I haven’t been to many as we usually go to our village mosque in Trinidad. I have been to this one in Guyana before, but with sister-the-elder and family. Going alone was…different. But, alhamdulillah, I felt good having made the effort to ensure I got there on time and even saw some people I actually knew! (Yes, I know I have technically been working here for over 3 years, but sometimes I don’t think I spend enough time here to call it living in Guyana).

I just wish I’d remembered that although the salaah was starting at 6.30, and I got dressed when it was barely light, that…the sun RISES. Imagine that. So by 7:00 a.m. I realised why half the sisters seemed to have popped open umbrellas the minute the salaah was over and the khutbah (sermon) began. There was even someone designated to stand over the khatib with an umbrella! It wasn’t too bad though as there was occasionally some passing cloud cover. And since it was a working day in Guyana, things didn’t last too long and I left before the sun got higher and hotter.

And then went to work. All dressed up, and with my little bits of gold jewelry. Because it was Eid. I usually take the day off, but since my sister and family aren’t here, I was planning to go home to Trinidad for the weekend, so I saved my day. I even went early, in the vain hope that I could therefore leave early. Riiiight. All in all, it wasn’t too horrible – I carried the cheese rolls and mango-pineapple cobbler bits to share with colleagues, and having fancy clothes helped to constantly keep me in a celebratory mood. In the evening, I even managed to visit friends and partake in their end-of-day Eid 😀

The visit home, however, felt a lot more like the real thing. Actual family for starters. And even extra family in the form of a favourite cousin bringing her new husband to see Trinidad and her relatives. Our cooking, although much scaled down, focused on both what we wanted to do for a belated (i.e. when Chennette comes home) Eid, as well as a treat-the-cousin plan. The couple days at home relaxing and then cooking, and of course spending time with family and (some) relatives on the Sunday after Eid was really really good.

Lamb, Couscous and Bread
For a main meal, we tried a Moroccan-inspired lamb dish, with a couscous salad on the side, and flatbread made from the Peter Reinhart pizza dough Lilandra has stockpiled in the freezer.

I was responsible for the lamb, and I leafed through a really good North African cookbook (that perhaps I bought for Mom?). There were several lamb dishes that were similar in preparation (cook lamb for long in liquid with lots of herbs and fruit/sweet touches). I followed a recipe that called for lamb and prunes, but I used sun dried tomatoes instead. Essentially, I seasoned up lamb with lots of garlic and ginger, pressured it till tender with water and the liquid from soaking the sun dried tomatoes. Towards the end of cooking, I added the sundried tomatoes, some honey and cinnamon. And it was really good. Thick, delicious and perfectly melded flavours. Next time, I’d add some peppers (hot and sweet) and maybe a tad more ginger. Maybe even dates…or the prunes…

CousCous Salad - AssemblyLilandra had been planning for a couscous salad with roasted peppers. We had never roasted peppers before, and I don’t know why not (but more on that later). Whole grain couscous, added to craisins, roasted peppers, dates, bandhania, capers and garlic. Served hot or cold, this was great with the lamb and flatbread. The Bread was relatively easy since we had dough already – stretch out little balls, sprinkle with seeds of choice. Bake till done!

Walnut Pecan BaklavaAnd we made baklava. More traditional layers, with walnuts, pecans, cinnamon and sugar. Rolls of walnuts and pecans (forgot the sugar, but they were dipped in syrup). Layers of almonds, nutmeg and cream cheese. And rolls with almonds. Oh. So good. There is absolutely nothing better than freshly made baklava. And since we greeted the cousin and her husband with baklava straight from the oven when they came in from the airport, I think we made an excellent first impression 😀 The arrival after midnight and the serving right away is why we don’t have more photos of this.

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5 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. Does this mean you did it so I don’t have to?
    And I have roasted peppers before.
    Made awesome pizza with it!

    1. Lilandra on October 18th, 2008 at 1:28 am
  2. I’m glad you made it home for some of the celebrations… it all sounds quite yummy.


    2. ewe_are_here on October 18th, 2008 at 6:49 pm
  3. Mashaallaah, that’s good to know yuh had a pleasant eid with the family. Aye yesterday for the first time ah had some Pakistani sweet called ‘Rasmalai’ and yuh cross meh mind. Well once ah taste it ah end up buying out all they had fuh d day! Have you ever that? And do they make that back home?

    3. umar on October 22nd, 2008 at 4:38 pm
  4. Ewe – It was indeed!

    Umar – it’s always good alhamdulillah to spend time home in T&T. I’ve had Ras malai in indian restaurants etc – it’s a it dairy-heavy (like so many sweets) for my to have a lot of, but I like the pistachios and flavourings! I don’t think it’s traditionally made in Trinidad – ras gullah, the fried milk balls in sugar syrup is the closest thing.

    4. Chennette on October 22nd, 2008 at 9:31 pm
  5. Ras malai has been around some time now but not as popular as ras gullah, as not many will venture to make it.

    5. trinimom on October 24th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

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  1. […] we did all the things we planned. Well mostly. I got to make my roasted red pepper couscous salad. You can read all about it at Chennette’s blog. She took most of the […]

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