Many were surprised when Eid in Dubai was announced to start on August 30, 2011, but even amidst the surprise and unexpectedness, my brain had started whirring: what am I going to wear, and what will I get to eat?
Every Eid, I’ve a standing invitation to squat at my friend Farah’s house. I take this invite very seriously indeed. So this year, as in the years before, I dressed up (as an aside, this time I was truly blinged up. All the grandparents I encountered loved me and my outfit) and headed over to her place.
The first thing that stared at me from her table were these jalebis. I attacked a few and moved on. There is much more to be had! Rule #1: never stuff yourself on one item of food. You will regret it later. Essentially, jalebis can be described as sugar syrup-drowned Indian pretzels. Seriously.
Punjabi samosas! I always find with these kind that biting off the corners are the most fun. These are bigger than the normal, small samosas you find at most places, have potatoes, spices and peas stuffed into them, and are just so…good! I had one of these with the imli chutney, and then…
…heaped this ragda (best way to describe this is a kind of pea-based curry paste thing?) over it along with the chutney to have a ragda samosa kind of thing.
Then some chicken sandwiches…
How can I forget the sheer kurma? A staple at Eid, I love this dish (it’s a vermicelli-based pudding with sweetened milk).
I was stuffed at this point. However, I had to move on…
This year, there was an open invite for the UAE food bloggers to head over to Arva’s (Mistress of I Live in a Frying Pan) and hog some more. So after sating myself at Farah’s, I waddled off (well I drove, but it felt like I was waddling) to jump into the frying pan.
<not without a detour: word of warning to any unsuspecting people wanting to get a simple portrait shot taken of themselves…never ask this intrepid photographer called Shruti for just ONE picture…she will make you stand under a tree, point alien-looking lights at you, causing loads of men to stop, stare and even whistle, while you desperately try to hold on to your fluttering, shiny, BLING dupatta in temperatures hitting 41°C and look cool. But I do have some cool shots of me in the blingy outfit now, so that’s a good thing, innit?>
So … in the frying pan! I was lucky enough to be the only guest when I arrived which meant I could stuff my mouth without having too many eyes judging my every chomp.
More samosas! Though not the Punjabi kind, these are smaller which amazingly meant I could have more than a few quite comfortably. Whoopee.
The mamool (a Lebanese pastry), which when I picked up, Arva said: “It’s not home-made!” I look confused…can I still eat it though? Assured that I can indeed eat it, I tucked into that too. It’s not extremely sweet, so if people want to calm down with their sugar intake on this day, this one worked.
A peach yoghurt tart, which I was told was taken right off from fellow food blogger, Anja. Here’s a link to her blog with a recipe if you want to make it. “It’s healthy,” I was warned (clearly an indication of what people think I stuff my face with). But you know what? It doesn’t taste healthy…and that is its secret weapon.
Raspberry mascarpone brownies. Yes, such things do exist:
Mithai … woot.
Corn cups, which Arva describes on her page as: “little buns with the center scooped out, filled with creamed spiced corn and a teeny dollop of tomato ketchup on the top…baked in an oven till the bun edges are warm and crispy.”
Cookie custard shot glasses!
Some hot sheer kurma (Told ya this was a staple):
A chocolate arrangement I was scared to touch – it looked so pretty!
Spicy kababs! Veg ones too … but still awesome.
Choco-date crunch – these were absolutely wonderful.
Arva’s friend, Radhika, brought in some éclairs, which I woefully could not eat as by this point, my stomach was too far gone to allow anything into it. But they looked stupendous!
Stuffed. Again. Mission accomplished.
Just like with iftars (catch up on my epic iftar experiences in Ramadan 2011), I love celebrating important times at home. It’s just so much better than anything else out there.
And again, I thank those who opened their homes to me and my camera, putting up (read: tolerating) with my constant clicking before eating!