Eid-ul-Fitr is also known as the festival of breaking the month-long fast at the end of Ramadan. So it is obvious that the prime focus on this day is on food. While ‘sevaiyan’ (vermicelli) has become synonymous to the festival, which is also the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, the Eid snack platter varies in different regions.
A. Sarwar Borah, a media professional and gastronome who hails from Assam and is now living in Delhi, points out: “I have closely observed the food habits of both the places. Eid-ul-Fitr is widely associated with sevaiyan (vermicelli) and the varieties of exotic dessert that are made from it such as ‘sheer khurma’, among others. If you move a little to the East or the different corners of India then you will find that sevaiyan is a part of the celebrations, but not the mainstay of the snacks that are had during the Eid festivities.”
“Not many would know that places like Jama Masjid and Jamia Nagar in Delhi has a culture of eating Dahi Bada and Khasta Kachori on Eid mornings. Apart from sevaiyan, Dahi Bada is widely served as a snack on Eid mornings before a heavy meal,” adds Borah.
In the north eastern state of Assam which consists of Brahmaputra and Barak Valley, it’s a different affair altogether.
In upper side of Brahmaputra Valley, apart from sevaiyan, cake, nankhatai (better known as nankhata in Assam), dumplings stuffed with grated sweetened coconut (popularly known as pop), muscati halwa (a variant of Karachi halwa), namkeen (popularly known as nimkin) dominates the Eid snack platter, he says.
“Among dessert caramel custard (popularly called as boil pudding), a British influence with their time in the oil fields and tea gardens of Upper Assam, is also widely seen during Eid festivities,” Borah says.
When it comes to the Barak Valley region consisting of places like Silchar and Karimganj, some of the Eid snacks prevalent are jal sandesh/moshla furi, fob and narikel ladoo, Nasima Chaudhary, who hails from the region, tells IANSlife.
The ‘moshla furi’ is spicy dumpling made with ginger, garlic, onion and chilli paste, which is boiled in water. Add rice flour/atta/semolina in the hot spicy liquid mix and make a dough. Give them different shapes and fry them. The fob and narikel ladoo are coconut desserts.
While down South, ‘gulab jamun’, ‘shahi tukda’, ‘aandhiyan ki mithai’ and ‘muthanjan’ are must have items as people break their fast on the ‘chaand raat’, tells Tajalli Kareem, real estate professional from Bangalore.