This Thursday, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan for 2021 is set to end. The next day will dawn upon us what the Muslims observe as the three-day festival of Eid ul-Fitr.
Coronavirus pandemic has changed what we call ‘the normal world’. Impacting the nook and cranny of the globe, this year’s Eid is also set to slightly different than usual. What usually happens on Eid are – just like Christmas – family gatherings, having delicious food and the exchange of gifts among loved ones.
The air, that day, has an aroma of happiness; homes are cleaned and decorated, new clothes are worn, and smiles are spread over and across.
Everywhere, be it in-person or the digital arena, you hear people chant “Eid mubarak” in their respective languages.
The joyous Eid is further aromatized with food. The occasion of Eid ul-Fitr is usually attributed to sweet items but people don’t cut slack on spices either. Since Muslims come out of a 30-day fasting period, their eyes and minds are programmed to seek food throughout the day.
This presents a challenge of what to cook. Kitchens, over and across, are on duty to bring up something that fills the yearning stomach with an automated smile on the face.
Coming up next is the recipe for something different yet delicious. Get on your marks and get-set-go to the kitchen.
For the dough:
2 tsp orange blossom
½ cup caster sugar
500g fine semolina
½ tsp dry yeast powder
2 tsp rosewater
250g softened unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp milk
For the filling
50g softened unsalted butter
100g date paste
1 tbsp rosewater
200g shelled pistachio, finely chopped
1 handful of chopped walnuts
1 tbsp orange blossom water
What’s the way to cook?
Preheat the oven to 250C degrees and refrain from using the fan-forced setting.
Take a small glass cup of yeast mixed with 2 tsp orange blossom and 2 tsp rosewater.
Take a separate bowl, mix 250gm softened butter until it gets creamy. Sprinkle it with 1 tbsp of caster sugar and mix it thoroughly with your hands until the sugar dissolves. Add another teaspoon of sugar and add the fine semolina while continuing to mix it thoroughly with your hands.
Add the dissolved yeast and slowly incorporate 3-4 tbsp of milk in it. When it starts to clump, set the dough aside.
Next, make a filling. Mix 100g of date paste with about 50g of softened butter and stop when they’re incorporated into the core. Add a teaspoon of rosewater and go forth to add a handful of chopped walnuts in it.
To make an alternative filling, mix 250g of roughly chopped pistachios with 1 tsp of orange blossom water and a tsp of rosewater and sugar to taste.
Assemble the biscuits using your hands. Give the dough a roll into small balls and use your thumb to round the hollow out.
The hollow should be filled with dates or pistachio mix.
Using a maamoul mould, place each filled ball into the mould and flatten. Turn the mould upside down and bang them on the edge of the kitchen bench.
Next, gently remove the maamoul from the mould and place it on the baking tray. Go on with the process until all the biscuits are finished.
Bake them in a pre-heated oven for a good 20 minutes.
Go on to dust the top of the pistachio filled maamouls with sifted icing sugar. Once cool, dust them up with extra sifted icing sugar.
Store the biscuits up in an airtight container or wrap them, individually, with greaseproof paper.