Eid Mubarak! Now I'm not Muslim, I'm barely Christian, but that doesn't mean that I can't mark the passing of Eid with a good meal. I had assumed that, like Christmas, there would be one meal that everybody sits down to with their whole family*. I asked twitter and was told, in no uncertain terms, that my assumption was wrong.
It turns out that Eid al-Adha, the feast of the sacrifice (big Eid) honours the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son for God. God stepped in at the last moment and switched Ishmail for a ram, happy that Abraham was willing to do his bidding**. Because of this, meat is the order of day in Eid meals and everybody has their favourite.
One recuring dish from my twitter research was Chappal Kebabs. A bit of googling later and a starter was born. We wouldn't normally have a starter but as it's a special occasion we thought it would be rude not to. Minced beef, onions, tomato and chillies were all mixed together with numerous spices, formed into patties and fried. I served them with a fresh Pudina Chatni (mint chutney).
Sadly, I live in a house where lamb is off the menu. Z isn't keen on eating baby sheep and having had beef in the chappal kebabs we couldn't have beef for our main course. As this is a celebration meal chicken was also off the menu. Luckily Z is more than happy to eat older sheep and as mutton is nearly always available on Kirkgate Market I started looking for recipes.
I didn't have to look far. When I cooked for Pakistan in the Olympic Food Challenge I ended up using one of Sumayya from Pukka Paki's recipes. I went straight back to her website and found exactly what I was looking for, Tamatar Gosht. Taking Sumayya's advice I made the curry yesterday so that the flavours could develop.
All I had to do today was reheat the curry and temper it. I don't have any onion seeds in the house but with mustard seeds on the list I don't think that we missed out too much. I had planned to make an okra side dish but I'm glad I didn't. My days of wolfing down pate after plate seem to be behind me. Besides, tonight was all about sacrificing meat and what better way to do that than to cook it well.
Eid Mubarak to everybody that is celebrating over the next few days.
*dry turkey anybody?
**I remember this story from Sunday School, it still amazes me how close to each other the religions are.