Eid will always remind me of my childhood and growing up in Pakistan. I have a clear sensory memory of awakening to aromas of cloves and cardamom wafting from the kitchen into my bedroom. This is a day that revolves around family togetherness and a celebration of food, after a month of abstinence and contemplation.
Though a global Muslim festival, Eid is celebrated differently in each country, highlighting the fact this is not just a religious day but a time to rejoice our culture and identity. But, the one unifying similarity is that Eid is a celebration of food, authentic flavour and family togetherness.
As a child I would eagerly await Eid, as children we would receive money called ‘Eiddee’ in tiny colourful envelopes from older family and friends and I would always look forward to collecting my ‘kings ransom’ from my father, who would promise me this only if I woke up early, changed into my pretty new clothes and glass bangles!
Food took central stage – from breakfast of seviyan, hot cardamom chai and jalebis (fried sweet sugar syrup doughnuts) and dahi baras (lentil fritters with yoghurt) made by my mother, followed by ‘elvensies’ of sheer khurma (hot sweet vermicelli saffron milk drink) at my Nani’s (maternal grandmother).