No matter how much you force yourself to focus more on the spiritual aspect of Ramzan and less on the iftar menu, it still ends up being a gastronomical retreat. All those weeks of drowning in oil-laden pakoras and tongue-tickling chaats call for a warm, sweet ending on EidulFitr – a day full of love, harmony and festivity. And what better way could there be to celebrate Eid than trying out some fresh and unconventional dessert recipes that are likely to spruce up your dinner table. Instep recommends you ditch the staple sheer khurma this Eid for these delectable delights from across the world to give your three-course feast a welcome twist.
Hailing from the serene deserts of Egypt, Umm Ali may not seem like an appropriate dessert for a festival given its dark and murderous history (legend reveals that the dessert was made by a woman of the same name to celebrate the murder of her husband’s second wife), but it is bound to enchant your guests with its creamy richness. A cross between bread pudding and baklava, Umm Ali can be made both with puff pastry and even a handful of croissants for an easy fix. These cooked pieces of carbs are then covered with hot, sweetened milk and crunchy nuts and can be served warm, fresh off the oven, as well as cold. It’s definitely worth a try for its milky goodness and the spicy hint of cinnamon and cardamom. Irresistable!
Mango Ras Malai
It’s summer time and the season of the king of all fruits – mangoes – so why not make it a highlight on Eid too in a recipe other than just a milkshake or a fruit bowl? We recommend mango ras malai; a traditional dessert with a twist. Mix those sumptuous dumplings of malai with mango pulp to give it that fruity taste and add mango puree to the ‘ras’ (cooked milk) for uniformity. Make sure you don’t overdo it for you don’t want to die of diabetes or be fussing over those unwanted pimples.
Just as tiny as its name, Narus, also called Notun Gur, are little balls of joy from Bengal that can beat regular mithai any day. Made from gur or jaggery, Narus can be quite sticky but sinfully sweet. A combination of grated coconut and jaggery cooked on high flame until thick enough to be made into mini spheres and then rolled in coconut and garnished with nuts, Narus are like truffles that you wouldn’t mind indulging in sans any chocolate. The dessert can alternatively be made with date syrup if gur is not your cup of tea. It’s indeed a delicacy that will make you the ultimate food connoisseur as its aroma tantalizes your guests.
Tufahija is a traditional Bosnian dessert made from apples and served on festive occasions, particularly Eid-ul Fitr. The name might sound intricate, but this is one recipe that is surprisingly easy to make and is sure to impress your guests with its exotic origins and delectable taste. What’s more, it’s less fattening than most desserts because it is fruit-based and you can control the amount of sugar that goes into it. Tufahija is made by poaching whole apples in water spiced with cinnamon, with sugar added to it. The softened apples are then filled with a mixture of crushed nuts such as almonds and walnuts whipped into cream (or yoghurt for those looking for a healthier option). Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top and voila! Your dessert is ready.
Nothing says Ramzan better than dates and you don’t have to stop munching on this healthy snack once iftar-time comes to an end. If you have any leftover dates lying around in your fridge, you can use them to make yummy date cookies for Eid. There are numerous Arabic recipes for this traditional Middle Eastern delicacy but who wants to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen rolling out dough and making a filling, especially in this weather. There’s a simpler way of making this dessert that calls for combining oats, flours, walnuts and dates and incorporating that into a mixture of egg, butter and honey. Place heaped spoonfuls on a baking tray and bake till golden brown. This easy snack will make a great addition to your Eid trolley.