By: Dylan Rodgers
Eid Mubarak! Today is a day of celebration- August 30 is the first day of Eid ul-Fitr, or "Eid" for short. It's time to quit fasting and stuff yourself to the breaking point in the heat of midday. Now that you have regained focus and even built a stronger relationship with the divine by fasting, don't be afraid to let yourself go for this three day celebration of the beginning of Shawwal, the month after Ramadan.
The Eid is not only the end to the month of fasting, it is a huge "Thank You!" to Allah for the help, focus, and strength bestowed during the last month. Eid focuses the joyful prayers of nearly 2 billion people worldwide in a powerful display of gratitude towards God.
During Ramadan, observers often break their fasts, or have iftar, once the sun sets with dates plus one or two of a thousand other dishes including meat kebabs and Harira, the Moroccan national Ramadan dish of thick soup with chick peas, lentils, meat, tomatoes, and more. The one consistent item is the date.
Edible Manhattan magazine featured a story about Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr in their August issue detailing the history of Muslims in NYC, the month of fasting, at the importance of the date. "Eating dates at dusk is as old as Ramadan itself: Mohammed is said to have ended his own fast with the fruit, which is among the sweetest on Earth," (Kearney, J. 2011, July/August. Fast All Day, Feast All Night. edible Manhattan, 18, 47-51.). This sugary morsel gives any fasting observer a quick boost of energy. Every movement and thought uses glucose, so a few dates at the end of a long day of fasting quickly helps revitalize mind and body.
It is no wonder that after a month of intense focus and fasting, much of the celebration food of Eid is in the form of dessert. Traditionally Muslims eat delectable, sugary foods like Seviyan, milky or dry, Halwa Poori, and Fruit Chaat. And in celebration of Eid ul-Fitr here is a recipe for the milky version of Seviyan. Seviyan is a warm, creamy soup with vermicelli. Serve it in bowls to family and guests during your Eid ul-Fitr celebrations. I hope you'll enjoy it as you bring in the beginning of Shawwal.
Milky Seviyan Recipe
Servers 4, Adapted from NPR's article Eid ul-Fitr: Ramadan's Sweet Ending
Ingredients: 1/2 gallon whole milk 3/4 cup pitted dried dates 3 tbsp sliced almonds, preferably toasted 3 tbsp sliced pistachios 4 tbsp dried, shredden, unsweetened coconut 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup roasted vermicelli, broken in tiny pieces 5 crushed cardamom pods
- In a large pot, bring the milk to a rolling boil. Add the dates and reduce the heat to medium.
- After approximately 20 minutes, or until the milk is the consistency of half and half, add the coconut, the sugar, the almonds, and the pistachios.
- Cook the mixture for about ten minutes until the milk thickens more.
- Add the vermicelli and stir constantly.
- The milk will thicken more. This is where you add the cardamom.