Eid does not necessarily mean slaving away in the kitchen on Chaand Raat! Plan ahead and save time as well as effort
No matter how ravenous we feel while fasting, a roza is not the equivalent of a hunger strike and it does not merit - on Eid - for us to descend upon food like inmates just out of jail. Why would we put our freshly detoxed digestive systems through the kind of gruesome assault that usually accompanies us on Eid? However, we are inherently hospitable people and we do like to set up an Eid table for our family and friends. Here are some make-ahead recipes that require not much of an effort, yet produce some increasingly appetizing goodies; recipes that certainly do not require the host to sweat out the night before.
I hope these suggestions are enough to break away from our usual chaat, cholay, khajoor combos and introduce a new variety on your trolleys. Wishing you all a very blessed, hearty and delicious Eid!
Fresh Fruit Parfait
I am a rather nutty kind of a person, if you know what I mean. And I love diving into a mixture of sweet, cold, diced and not to mention fresh mangoes (sindhri and chaunsa are the ruling kings), smooth silken yogurt (which you can replace with whipped cream) topped with some absolutely heavenly café’ style granola.
Fresh Fruit (diced & cubed)
Home made granola (recipe below)
Note: Any fruit with the likes of peaches, mangoes and bananas can be used for this recipe. It can be served in small goblets and made ahead of time. You can finish it off by sprinkling the granola just before serving.
Home Made Granola
1 cup oats
¼ cup seeds (I used pumpkin seeds)
¼ cup nuts (I used walnuts)
1 tbsp flax seeds
¼ cup dried coconut
1 tbsp. olive oil
Generous pinch of salt and cinnamon
¼ cup sweetener (I used maple syrup & honey)
Dried fruit (raisin, apricots, figs etc.)
In a large bowl mix together all of the above ingredients except for the dried fruit and spread out the mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 180 C (350 F) for about 30 minutes with a gentle stir half way through the baking time.
Once done, let the mixture cool. It will become crispier when cooling down. Once completely cool mix in your dried fruit and put in an airtight jar. The granola will stay well for about 12-15 days in an airtight jar.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pan
This recipe has to be, by far the easiest cookie recipe. Something that kids would like to make as well, to pitch in their contribution. Since it uses only one pan to cook and mix, it saves on the cleaning time too. I have shared this recipe on my vlogs as well (Vimeo: foodbytes by st) simply because it’s lusciously delicious and does not require extremely fancy ingredients to create the oomph.
85 grams butter (melted)
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
Generous pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup flour
Optional: Nuts, Chocolate chips (I used white chocolate chips for this particular recipe
Note: I used an 8" skillet to bake this in the oven however any pie dish will also suffice. This recipe can easily be scaled up. It can be made in advance and then re-heated for later use. Use whipped cream or ice cream along with this for another stamp of ‘Domestic Queen.’
Put a medium sized saucepan on medium heat and melt the butter and both the sugars. Once melted and thoroughly mixed (3-4 minutes) take off heat and add in the salt and vanilla. Let the pan sit on the counter for about 5-7 minutes and then add the egg and mix quickly with a wooden spoon. Once thoroughly mixed add in your flour and your other optionals.
Spread out the mixture in a well-buttered pie dish (skillet in my case) and bake in a pre-heated oven 180C (350 F) for about 20 minutes.
I personally love beautiful looking platters and even better looking food on top of them. I was once told that it is extremely difficult to find a birthday gift for me. Just in case anyone is wondering, you’ll find the answer here! This particular recipe is a no-brainer and requires everything that you might have in the pantry. I have used some turkey slices, salty smoked salmon, paired with some juicy and absolutely heavenly figs, nutty almonds and slices of herb bread (store bought). The complexity only lies in the display which you can creatively put forward at your own whim and fancy.
Cold cuts (I used turkey and smoked salmon)
Fruit (Fresh and dried, either or)
The platter is your canvas, go ahead, and draw!
Dairy Free Coconut Kheer
Coming to celebrations (and hopefully a happy cheerful Eid for everyone) Eid is predominantly a foodie day - sheer khorma, dahi baray, kulfi, chaat and kheer are some of the common trolley adornments on a regular Eid tray. It’s not so pleasant for people who are lactose intolerant so here I am sharing with you a recipe of an extremely pillowy, luscious dairy free kheer, yes you heard me right, completely dairy free and yet it has all the creamy delight and bite of the regular rice pudding or kheer. Are you smiling or is it just me?
A cup of previously cooked rice is gently cooked again with coconut cream, sugar and spices; the long grains slowly swell up with pride and subtle sweetness of coconut cream; whether eaten warm or cold, once spiced with cinnamon and toasted coconut flakes, this is a crowd puller and pleaser!
(Serves 2-4 Eid Celebrators)
1 cup previously cooked rice (Basmati or Jasmine)
½ cup (120 ml) coconut milk
¼ cup sugar
1 tin (400 ml) coconut cream
2-3 cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Pour the coconut milk in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Once boiled, lower the heat, add the rice, coconut cream and spices and let them simmer. Keep stirring occasionally, ensuring that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. The mixture will start to thicken within 20 minutes. Switch off heat and let cool in the pan.
This kheer can be served warm or cold. It can be made a day in advance and will refrigerate well for 3-4 days.
Parmesan Cheese Puffs
Ingredients (Makes about 20 bite sized puffs)
½ cup water
40 gm. (1 ¾ oz.) butter (cut into cubes)
¼ tsp. salt
A few turns of freshly ground pepper
70 gm. (2 ½ oz.) flour
2 large eggs
90 gm. (3 oz.) Parmesan cheese (grated)
Heat the water, butter and seasoning in a small saucepan until the butter is melted.
Dump in the flour all at once and stir hard until the mixture starts to pull from the sides and forms a soft ball. Remove from heat and let it rest for five minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, stirring quickly. If the flour mixture would be very hot the egg will start to ‘cook’ which you don’t want. The mixture might appear lumpy at first but just keep stirring until it smoothens out.
Add the grated cheese and mix again.
Scrape the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe the dough on a parchment lined baking tray. They should be piped into small mounds and evenly spaced apart since they will rise and expand during baking.
Bake in a pre heated oven 220 C (425 F) for about ten minutes and then lower the temperature to190 C (375 F) and bake for an additional 20 minutes until they are puffy and evenly golden brown
Note: The puffs can be made in advance a day ahead and then the piped mounds can be baked just before serving. Best eaten fresh and warm.
Adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz