Writer: Joshoshi Jaminee & Dewan Momo
Photo: Sohel Rana Ripon
Eid ul-Fitr – the celebration of completing a the month of fasting-Ramadan, which brings joy and happiness among Muslims all over the world with a beautiful crescent moon in the evening to let people know that it’s time for celebration, Bangladesh is not an exception. This celebration is mainly to share happiness with people putting on new clothes, shiny shoes and more importantly mouth-watering foods. As families and friends come together to enjoy the occassion in each other’s company, food is a staple of the Eid celebration. On Eid day, many new and old traditional delicacy bring variation in breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, which are different and special in its own features.
The Awaited Morning Feast
Eid morning is a very special morning as it is the day when people get to enjoy breakfast after a long month of fasting. Depending on the locality, the types and forms of cuisines vary but are mostly tend to be on the sweeter side with aromatic sweet dishes.
On Eid day, the morning brings a very special sense of freshness and fulfillment. It’s not like the other days. Before going to Eid special Prayer, it is customery for all the men and boys to have something sweet to eat. This is why sweet dishes are so special on this day.
Different kind of sweet dishes, mostly made of vermicelli, locally called “Shemai” creating varieties such as “Dudh shemai” (prepared with milk and vermicelli) , “Laccha Shemai” (special kind of vermicelli soaked in milk and served with nuts and dried fruits), handmade Shemai which is a special kind of Pitha made with molasses, milk and rice flour. To accompany these various kinds of sweet dish, Paratha/Luchi (flat bread fried in oil) is served. Doi Badha, a special dish prepared soaking the fried doughs of lentils in sour cream occupies most of the homes of old Dhaka.
After the eid prayer, children and youngsters gather around the adults to take “Salami” and enjoy the main course of breakfast. In some cases, the breakfast menu also includes Khichuri, beef, chicken or mutton curry, Rezala, pickles, salads and so on. These are not only consumed in houses but also presented to relatives and friends while visiting them on Eid-ul-Fitr.
Eid’s Noon & Night : The Ultimate Delight
Eid-ul-Fitr is also cherished for the large banquet of food that is normally prepared for this occasion for lunch & dinner. The main items usually include Polau, Biriyani, Tehari and similar rich rice based dishes. To compliment these main dishes, chicken or egg korma ( curry cooked with less spice and coconut milk is added) roasted chicken, Rezala, different kinds of Kebabs, prawn Malai curry (cooked with coconut milk) and chili chicken- reflecting the cultural aspects of the Iranian, Turkish and Mughal cuisines.
As many family members who live far away from their family comes after a long time, they are welcomed with various kind of delicious and mouthwatering sweet dishes like- Rasmalai, Rasgulla, Sandesh, Firni, custard, mishti doi, and Faluda as special dessert items, giving a perfect completion to the feast.
Special Beverages and Side Dishes on this Special Occasion
After having rich food, beverage refreshes our body and mind as well. Basically Borhani, Lacchi, Mango juice, Lemon-mint cooler, Watermelon lemonade are prepared. Some refreshing side dishes like Raita, salad neutralizes the richness of the heavily rich food in this occasion.
One of the most renowned tradition in any occasion in Bangladesh is making various kind of Pitha as a part of celebration, especially in the village areas. Eid-ul-Fitr is also included in that occasion list. These Pitha items vary from place to place, for example in the pastoral areas Bhapa, Chhit Pitha, Puli, Patishapta, Jamai-bhog etc are very popular. These Pitha items are shared among the neighborhood to celebrate the unity of Muslims on Eid-Ul-Fitr.
Eid al-Fitr is indeed a celebration- a celebration that revolves heavily around food, feasting upon various kind of delicious foods is a part of it, but overeating might cause stomach problems, so it is preferred to eat adequately.