“This year, the Eid celebrations will be minimal — we are sticking to only a few dishes. That said, it is a must to make traditional dishes on Eid. Usually, for breakfast, we prepare only vegetarian dishes. But for Eid, we will be making poori with mutton brain and liver fry. For lunch, the spread will be mostly traditional Malabar dishes like Malabar chicken biryani and other dishes made with fish, mutton, prawns, etc. Most of the Malabar households make various kinds of pathiris like stuffed pathiri, erachi pathiri, chatti pathiri, etc on Eid,” says Gazeenasulu.
Aleesa is another specialty that’s made in many Muslim households. It is usually prepared for special occasions and festivals. The dish is made with peeled wheat, chicken, whole spices, etc. “Aleesa is very similar to haleem. Both are slow-cooked; but the main difference is that aleesa is served with ghee, fried onion and sugar. Another popular traditional sweet is muttamala (egg garland). It is made with egg yolk, sugar and water. It is similar to the Portuguese egg threads. These days, only a few households make all the traditional dishes for Eid,” she adds.
Home chef Safra Kader has her roots in Keelakarai in the Ramanathapuram district. Sri Lanka is only 20 minutes away by boat from this coastal town. Centuries ago, her forefathers used to travel to Sri Lanka for work and because of this, Safra’s family’s cuisine has a lot of Sri Lankan influence. “We prepare many Sri Lankan dishes for our festivals. Most of the recipes are many years old and it has been passed down from one generation to another. Kadal paasi also called China grass pudding is a Sri Lankan traditional dish that we make during Eid. It can be made in many ways — I make it with coconut milk, saffron, etc. Kadal paasi is a natural body coolant. Another traditional dish that we prepare is watalapam that is made with coconut milk, eggs and jaggery,” says Safra, who runs Whisk The Cake Kitchen.
The entrepreneur shares that preparing dishes during Eid is a family affair. “We divide the work in the kitchen and it is a jolly time during the festival,” she adds.