Eid delights

TOMORROW we celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. This year there will be no congregational Eid prayers at mosques around the country, but the tradition of sharing delicious food on this day will still be observed. Although it will be different, let us all be grateful for the opportunity to share what we prepare with friends and family. 

Lamb is my favourite meat. I always go for New Zealand lamb. It’s easy to prepare, it’s versatile and it really does carry flavour superbly. Sawine is a tradition and a favourite of many, the key is to parch your vermicelli noodles to a caramel golden colour which will prevent your sawine from becoming mushy. 

This weekend why not try to prepare authentic Indian food in your kitchen, it may seem daunting, and yes it does take a bit longer, but once all your ingredients are assembled and time is on your side, you will be astonished at the delicious outcome! 

Happy Cooking and Eid Mubarak! 


2 tbs unsalted butter 

4 ozs vermicelli sawine 

2 cups water 

1 cinnamon stick 

1½ cups evaporated milk 

½ cup condensed milk 

1 cup regular milk 

½ cup sugar 

1 tsp cinnamon 

½ tsp crushed cardamom pods 

raisins and toasted almonds to garnish 

Melt butter in a large frying pan, break the vermicelli and add to pan, turn frequently until the vermicelli is quite brown, remove. 

Bring water to a boil add sugar and cinnamon stick, add vermicelli and cook until tender about 5 to 7 minutes. 

Meanwhile in a heavy saucepan place all the milk, add the spices and bring to a boil. 

Combine sawine with milk and serve garnished with almonds and raisins. 

Serves 6 to 8 

Vegetable biryani 

Vegetable biryani

2 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 20 minutes, drained 

1 tsp saffron threads, toasted and steeped in one cup warm water 

3 onions, peeled 

4 cloves garlic 

1-inch piece ginger, chopped 

2 tbs blanched and slivered almonds 

3 tbs water 

2 tbs cashew nuts 

3 tbs raisins 

4 to 6 tbs vegetable oil 

1½ lbs mixed veg, carrots, cauliflower, potato etc 

1 cup yoghurt 

6 cloves 

½ tsp black peppercorns 

1 tsp cardamom seeds 

1 tsp cumin seeds 

1 tsp coriander seeds 

2-inch cinnamon stick 

⅙ nutmeg 

Pinch cayenne 

Thinly slice 2 onions, set aside. 

Place one onion into a food pro or blender; add garlic, ginger and 2 tbs almonds. 

And water, process to a paste. 

Meanwhile heat some oil in a frying pan, fry cashews until golden, remove then fry raisins until they begin to pop, remove for garnish. 

Now add some more oil and fry onion slices until dark brown and crisp, this will take a while. 

Now, heat 2 tbs oil in a large sauté pan, or shallow pan, add garlic and ginger paste, stir and fry until medium brown in colour. 

Add vegetables to pan and stir and combine, add yoghurt and some salt stir and fry. 

Place cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne into a spice mill, process to a fine powder. 

Now add all this to the vegetables, add the rice and stir to coat well with spices. 

Add 1 cup water with saffron threads and 1¼ cup additional water. 

Simmer for 15 minutes. 

Check and fluff, stir in onions, and decorate with raisins and cashews. 

Serves 8 

Rogan josh 

2-inch piece of ginger 

8 cl garlic 

½ cup water 

10 tbs veg oil 

2 lbs boneless lamb (shoulder ) in 1-inch cubes 

10 cardamom pods 

6 cloves 

10 peppercorns 

1-inch stick cinnamon 

2 medium onions, chopped 

1 tsp ground coriander 

2 tsp ground cumin 

4 tsp paprika 

1 tsp cayenne pepper 

11/4 tsp salt 

6 tbs yoghurt, plain 

½ tsp garam masala 

Puree ginger and garlic with 2 tbs water to a smooth paste. 

Heat ½ the oil in a large heavy pot on medium heat and brown meat cubes, remove, add a little more oil and add cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon, when brown and fragrant add onions, cook until onions turn brown about 5 minutes. 

Add the ginger garlic paste, cook for 30 seconds. 

Add coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt. Stir well for about 30 secs, then add the meat cubes with the juices. 

Add 1 tbs yoghurt stir and fry until yoghurt is well blended, add the rest of the yoghurt this way. Cook for another 4 mins. 

Add about ½ cup water, stir, cover and simmer for one hour adding more water if necessary. When tender, remove lid and cook until a thick gravy is formed. 

Spoon off fat if there is any, add garam masala and serve. 

Serves 6



"Eid delights"

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