Festive Afghan dishes are among the foods prepared by Muslims worldwide to
celebrate the Eid-al-Adha.

Tomorrow night is the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday
corresponding to the final day of the Mecca pilgrimage. Non-Muslims are
probably more familiar with Eid al-Fitr, which ends the Ramadan fast, but
Eid al-Adha – the Feast of the Sacrifice – is actually the more important
celebration. It’s also known as the Great Feast (Eid al-Kabir).

Over the three-day holiday, Muslims around the world gather with family and
friends, sitting down to tables laden with special-occasion dishes, turning
their thoughts to the pilgrims in Mecca, performing acts of charity and
welcoming visitors.

It’s an important food holiday, but the celebratory menu varies widely,
with dishes particular to each region on the family tables – curries in
Bangladesh, pilafs in Iran, red-stewed lamb in China, whole roast lamb in
Iraq. Since the Muslim calendar is lunar, Muslim holidays don’t fall in the
same season every year, so even in the same place, the menu may change from
year to year.

With the success of its recent elections, Afghanistan is much in the news
lately, so I talked to some Southland Afghans about their Eid al-Adha
culinary traditions.

There may not be many of them in this country, but Afghans are proud of
their cuisine, and surprisingly often they open restaurants. Relatives of
newly elected Afghan President Hamid Karzai run restaurants on the East
Coast. It’s an attractive cuisine, a little like Persian and a little like
Indian, but with a number of pastas and a distinctive taste for seasoning
meat with yogurt..


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