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Five food bloggers share their favourite Eid recipes

From baklava ice cream sandwiches to syrupy sweet rasmalai, MEE has your Eid treats covered
From classic treats to modern twists on old favourites, these desserts are sure to be crowd-pleasers for any festive occasion (Supplied)

As Eid al-Fitr approaches, we got in touch with five food bloggers to find out what special recipe they will be turning to, to mark the end of Ramadan. It's a time of year when families and friends gather and share meals together, including some traditional treats.

With Eid 2020 looking likely to be spent at home or in smaller gatherings due to social restrictions, Muslims around the world are sure to be feeling the toll. Something that has helped communities and families connect during special occasions and tough times is food. And what better way than to drop off a delicious treat to your friends, family and neighbours, depending on what your local lockdown guidelines are.

Here are five dessert recipes to help celebrate Eid and put smiles on our loved ones' faces.


Kahk Eid cookies by Tasbih (Cleobuttera)

Kahk by Cleobuttera
These soft, buttery cookies will bring the whole family together and can be made with a number of fillings (@cleobuttera/Instagram)

Kahk is a traditional Egyptian cookie enjoyed on Eid. When made properly they have a delicate texture that melts in your mouth. Cookies are a great way to build excitement around Eid - get the whole family involved in making and decorating them.

“No Egyptian feast is complete without Kahk”, says Tasbih, an Egyptian baker and the source of our recipe. “Other than the return of my beloved cup of morning coffee, there’s nothing I associate the arrival of Eid more with than the arrival of these cookies at my house.”

This recipe has a slight modification to the traditional way, making them softer and sweeter. "I’ve always had some reservations about their coarse texture and lack of sweetness in the cookie itself," Tasbih says. "I quickly became so consumed with finding a recipe that measured up to Le Carnaval’s. And with the guidance of a pastry chef friend… I finally did! Yes, it took an entire year, but it was worth it."

Recipe for making Kahk

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Servings: 135 cookies

Preparation and cooking time: 3 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1kg all purpose flour
  • 65g powdered sugar, plus extra for coating
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (optional, but highly recommend)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Kahk Essence (a combination of ground mahlab, cardamom, bay leaves, rose rice, cloves and fennel)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 600g ghee or clarified butter
  • 160g milk

Filling options:

  • Agameya or honey
  • Turkish delight
  • Agwa or date paste
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Toasted pistachios

Method

  1. Begin prepping your fillings by rolling them into macadamia nut-sized balls and refrigerate until ready to use
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F
  3. Mix flour, powdered sugar, sesame seeds, baking powder, instant yeast, salt, kahk essence and vanilla powder until well combined
  4. Add the ghee and whisk on medium-low speed until the dough turns creamy and paste-like
  5. Gradually pour in the milk. Continue mixing until a cohesive dough comes together. Do not over mix
  6. The dough shouldn't crack. If it cracks, knead the dough for a few more seconds
  7. Scoop out tablespoons of dough and place on a baking sheet. You should have approximately 135 scoops
  8. Roll each dough into a ball and add in the filling of your choice 
  9. Roll the filled dough into a smooth ball without any cracks
  10. Press lightly on the dough to decorate with any pattern you desire
  11. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, then cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar

Follow Cleobuttera on Instagram for more Eid inspired recipes: @cleobuttera


Rasmalai by Anisa (Cook with Anisa)

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This creamy and fragrant dessert is a favourite across South Asia and can be made in just a few steps(@anisagrams/Instagram)

Rasmalai is a classic south Asian Eid dessert, drenched in a syrupy sweet and aromatic cream, and garnished with chopped pistachios. The name rasmalai comes from two words in Hindi: ras, meaning "juice", and malai, meaning "cream". 

“I love making rasmalai because it gives me fond memories of my childhood and spending Eid with my whole family at my grandmother’s house,” says Anisa, one of the UK's most popular Muslim food bloggers. “For me, Eid is not complete without this rich, decadent dessert as it dredges up nostalgia of a simpler time.” 

Recipe for making Rasmalai

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Servings: 6 - 8

Preparation and cooking time: 3 hours and 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre milk
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • 1 egg (room temperature, lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped almonds and pistachios 
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon powder 

Method:

  1. Add milk, cream, sugar and cardamom powder to a wide pan
  2. Let it simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn
  3. For the rasmalai dough, place milk powder, baking powder and plain flour in a bowl
  4. Add beaten egg to make the dough - it should be very soft and make 15 balls
  5. Add the dough balls slowly to the milk and simmer for 10 - 12 minutes, turning the rasmalai over in between so they cook evenly
  6. You will notice that the dough balls will expand.
  7. Once they're done put them in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours
  8. Garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds

You can follow Anisa on her Instagram page @anisagrams and her website.


Baklava Ice Cream Sandwich by Layla (Halal Girl About Town)

Baklawa Ice cream sandwich
Baklava ice cream is the decadent Eid treat 2020 needs (Halal Girl About Town)

If you’re looking for a showstopper recipe this Eid - baklava fits the bill. Layla’s take on the Middle Eastern dessert is a deconstructed baklava with syrupy filo pastry sandwiched between a dollop of vanilla ice cream. It’s the ideal dessert to finish off a decadent Eid luncheon. 

“Making baklava isn’t complicated,” says Layla, who started Halal Girl in 2012, “but it is tedious. From the filo sheets being extremely delicate and drying out super quickly, to the numerous pans and utensils being used, it’s certainly not a straightforward dish. But the reward is well worth the work.”

Recipe for making baklava ice cream sandwich

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Servings: Approx. 12 pieces

Preparation and cooking time: 2 hours, 30 minutes + overnight 

Ingredients

  • 350g sugar
  • 180ml water
  • 1tsp of lemon juice
  • 1tbsp of orange blossom or rose water
  • 500g filo pastry, trimmed to 20 sheets
  • 300g ghee or clarified butter
  • 500g mixed nuts, crushed

Method

  1. In a pan over low heat, add sugar, water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Stir every so often until the mixture becomes clear. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the orange blossom/rose water. Transfer into another heatproof vessel and leave to cool to room temperature. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/302°F for fan-assisted. 
  3. Trim your filo pastry to the size of your baking dish and place them between two damp towels to stop them from drying out. 
  4. Brush your pan with clarified butter/ghee and lay down your first sheet of filo. Butter this sheet and place another filo on top. Repeat 5-7 times so that there are 6-8 sheets on the bottom level. 
  5. Spread your crushed nuts generously on top and then place a layer of filo on top of this. 
  6. Repeat the butter-filo-butter steps 3-5 times. 
  7. Spread the crushed nuts again and place a layer of filo on top. 
  8. Repeat the butter-filo-butter steps 3-5 times. 
  9. Spread the remaining nuts and top with pastry. Repeat the butter-filo-butter steps 5-7 times so that there are 6-8 sheets on top but do not brush the final layer with butter.
  10. Press down on the pastry layers to release any air bubbles and cut into diamonds. 
  11. Brush the final layer with the butter and place the tray in the oven
  12. Cook for 1.5-2 hours until the pastry is golden. 
  13. Remove from the oven and immediately pour over the cooled-down sugar syrup that you had made earlier. Try to make sure the syrup reaches every gap between the baklavas. You do not need to use all of the syrup. 
  14. Sprinkle crushed pistachios on top to garnish. 
  15. Leave to rest for 8-12 hours before serving. 
  16. Carefully remove the top pastry layers and place the ice cream, before sandwiching it closed again. Eat immediately!

    Follow Layla on Instagram for more Eid inspired recipes:  @halal_girl 


    Sugar-free jalebis by Shakie Khatun (Skhatun cooks)

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    Jalebis are traditionally made from a sweet batter that's deep fried - our recipe is a little 'healthier' (@skhatun_cooks/Instagram)

    Jalebis are a popular sweet dish in south Asian cultures. They are traditionally made from a sweet batter that is deep fried before being submerged in a sticky, sweet syrup. In this recipe, Shakie offers a "healthier" sugar-free option. 

    “Growing up with diabetes and having three allergic babies has meant having to adapt a lot of recipes,” explains Shakie. “I taught myself how to cook and bake meals that were free from allergens for the children and sugar-free for myself. Dessert is a must in our house so being able to make sugar-free Jalebi has been a massive achievement for me. I’ll definitely be frying up a big batch this Eid!”

    Recipe for making jalebis

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    Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients: 

    • 1 cup plain flour 
    • 3/4 cup water 
    • 1/4 cup plain yoghurt 
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
    • A drop of orange colouring (optional) 

    For the syrup (optional):

    • 1 cup water  
    • 2 cup sugar  
    • 3 cardamom pods 
    • 1/4 lime juice

    Method:

    1. Mix flour, yoghurt, water, baking powder and food colouring in a large bowl and leave to rest for 15 minutes
    2. Make sure the batter has a thick consistency to stop it from splitting when you fry them
    3. Put the batter in a squeezy bottle, similar to a condiment bottle
    4. To fry, ensure the oil is hot enough before lowering the heat and swirling the batter on
    5. Once the shape takes hold you can crank it up to a higher heat and cook until golden in colour
    6. Enjoy your jalebi while it is still warm, or if you want to add sugar, drench it in a syrup
    7. For the syrup simply add the water, sugar, cardamom and lime juice to a pan and leave on low heat until it reaches a thick, gloopy consistency

    Follow Shakie on Instagram for more Eid inspired recipes: @skhatun_cooks


    Chocolate Cardamom Tahini Truffles by Nadia (Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen) 

    truffles
    Truffles are a quick and simple treat and we have a Middle Eastern take for you right here (@nadiashealthykitchen/Instagram)

    Truffles are a quick and simple treat, perfect for handing out to loved ones on Eid. This recipe is a Middle Eastern take on the traditional truffle, which substitutes the ingredients with healthier alternatives. 

    “These chocolate cardamom tahini truffles are my favourite snack to make for Eid” says Nadia, of Nadia's Healthy Kitchen. “They’re so quick and easy to make and they have the most beautiful texture... How do they taste? Chocolate + cardamom + tahini… need I say more! That flavour combination is simply divine!” 

    Recipe for making chocolate cardamom tahini truffles

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    Servings: 18 truffles

    Time and preparation: 1 hour and 15 minutes

    Ingredients:

    • A 400g can of chickpeas 
    • 140g of soft dates - if you're using hard dates, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes to soften then drain and rinse before adding to the blender
    • 100g of oat flour 
    • 3-4 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
    • 4 tbsp tahini
    • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
    • 2 tbsp cacao nibs - optional
    • Pinch of salt
    • Sesame seeds or shredded coconut to coat

    Method:

    1. Add the chickpeas, dates and tahini to your blender and blend until you have a smooth mixture
    2. Add the oat flour, cocoa/cacao, cardamom and a pinch of salt. Continue blending until everything is well distributed
    3. Fold in the cacao nibs (if using any) then start shaping into balls
    4. Coat with the sesame seeds or shredded coconut
    5. Enjoy!

    Follow Nadia on Instagram for more Eid inspired recipes: @nadiashealthykitchen