7 irresistible recipes for Eid al-Fitr

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7 irresistible recipes for Eid al-Fitr

For photographer Sadiqah Assur-Ismail and her family, the arrival of Eid al-Fitr is as much about celebrating the abundance in their lives as it is about sharing it with others

Craving” comes close, but it doesn’t encapsulate that same unmistakably South African warmth and familiarity. It’s a noun that pertains to both the desire one has for certain foods, while also serving as a collective noun for said foods. And in the context of the holy month of Ramadan, it’s the lussies (pronounced “luh-sees”) that followers of the Islamic faith look forward to eating when it’s time to break the daily fast. And, after a minimum of 29 days of nil per mouth, from sunrise to sunset, it’s also lussies that largely determine what families will be cooking for their Eid al-Fitr celebration.

For freelance photographer Sadiqah Assur-Ismail, on the day of Eid, there were other non-negotiables on the menu. The sausage rolls Ayesha (Sadiqah’s mom) made for Sadiqah’s late father, Yusuf, to eat before he headed to mosque before Eid salah in the morning, and the soutvleis (salted beef) on fresh bread that Sadiqah and her three siblings would practically inhale for breakfast when he returned. There was the pastei – a large rectangular pie filled with beef mince and grated egg – made by a neighbour, grandma Gadija, that was as good first thing in the morning as it was the next day. And there was always an abundance of koesisters, bought in packs of 50 from the local koesister aunty; ready to be soaked in a spiced syrup by Sadiqah’s mom.

The one constant, however, was the composition of the main course: some kind of roast (lamb shoulder with salt-and-pepper gravy potatoes got Sadiqah’s vote), a seafood curry (preferably made with fresh crayfish, if the family’s crayfish guy came through) and a spiced rice dish – either biryani or akni. “My mom always made an extra pot of biryani to take to the Christian neighbours,” says Sadiqah. “Eid is about celebrating with friends and family, but it’s also about giving.”

1. Potato bread

“Serve this with the mussel chowder, or with anything you like!”

Get the recipe for potato bread here.

2. Dhal curry

“This is a comforting winner that bursts with flavour. It can be enjoyed on its own or you can top it up with a protein. It’s best served with rice or roti.”

Get the recipe for dhal curry here.

3. Mussel chowder

“This is an absolutely delicious and easy recipe that leaves your mouth watering for more. Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry and it’s so easy to make.”

Get the recipe for mussel chowder here.

4. Akni with tomato-and-onion salad and dhay

“This really is a one-pot wonder. The ingredients are cooked in one pot so that the rice becomes moist and takes on the flavour of the curry. It’s a popular wedding dish that can feed the masses and is really exceptional when cooked on a fire.”

Get the recipe for akni with tomato-and-onion salad and dhay here.

5. Crayfish curry

“This is one of my favourite curries and the best way to eat crayfish”

Get the recipe for crayfish curry here.

6.  Rainbow mosaic jelly

“This is really fun to make with the kids and a dessert everyone loves.”

Get the recipe for rainbow mosaic jelly here.

7. Baked cheesecake topped with éclairs

“My sister’s éclairs have become one of our family’s favourite desserts over the years.”

Get the recipe for baked cheesecake topped with éclairs here.

Photograph: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly
Recipes: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail
Food assistant: Emma Nkunzana

Find more Ramadan and Eid recipes here.

Sadiqah Assur-Ismail Article by: Sadiqah Assur-Ismail

Sadiqah Assur-Ismail is a freelance photographer who has photographed many TASTE editorial features and digital campaigns. Follow her on Instagram @sadiqah_photography for more food photography.

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