Jun
20
    
Posted (Lori) in News

FROM AMERICAN MUSEUM ON NATURAL HISTORY “Global Kitchen”:

Today, Muslims mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr. In many homes, a fabulous feast is prepared, celebrating the end of Ramadan’s dawn-to-sunset fasting.
For the previous month, Muslims have abstained from food during the day in order to reflect on self-restraint and generosity, to be mindful of those less fortunate who may not always have food on the table, and to purify their bodies and minds.
The Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr is signaled by the first sighting of the new moon. During the day, families will celebrate with a special meal—the first they’ve had during daylight hours in a month.
Traditional foods made for Eid vary from country to country: Egyptians may enjoy a holiday treat of kahk—cookies filled with honey and nuts and covered in powdered sugar; Pakistanis shop for vermicelli to make a sweet pudding called seviyan; and Indonesian kitchens are cooking up ketupat—rice dumplings wrapped in palm leaves.
This Saturday, Muslims mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr. In many homes, a fabulous feast is prepared, celebrating the end of Ramadan’s dawn-to-sunset fasting.
For the previous month, Muslims have abstained from food during the day in order to reflect on self-restraint and generosity, to be mindful of those less fortunate who may not always have food on the table, and to purify their bodies and minds.
The Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr is signaled by the first sighting of the new moon. During the day, families will celebrate with a special meal—the first they’ve had during daylight hours in a month.
Traditional foods made for Eid vary from country to country: Egyptians may enjoy a holiday treat of kahk—cookies filled with honey and nuts and covered in powdered sugar; Pakistanis shop for vermicelli to make a sweet pudding called seviyan; and Indonesian kitchens are cooking up ketupat—rice dumplings wrapped in palm leaves.
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES COLLECTION OF EID-AL-FITR recipes
Moroccan Chickpeas With Chard
INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 Spanish onions, chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 fennel bulb, diced (save fronds for garnish)
1 very large bunch chard, stems sliced 1/2-inch thick, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water to cover or quick-soaked (see note)
? cup diced dried apricots
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon, more to taste
½ cup chopped cilantro, more for garnish
PREPARATION
Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add onion and jalapeño and sauté until limp, 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne and sauté until they release their fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and sauté for another minute, until darkened but not burned. (If tomato paste looks too dark too quickly, lower heat.)
Add fennel, chard stems, carrot and turnip and continue to sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and water to barely cover.
Return heat to high if you lowered it and bring to a simmer. Partly cover pot, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until chickpeas are softened. Add more water if needed (this should be like a stew).
Add chard leaves, apricots and preserved lemon to pot and continue simmering until chard is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Season with more salt if desired, and serve garnished with cilantro and reserved fennel fronds.


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