|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 93, Tuesday, November 24, 2009|
Eid in late November provides the opportunity for us to be outdoors and take advantage of the pleasant winter evenings. On hot days, after spending most of the time visiting relatives and overseeing the meat preparations, people usually want to spend the rest of the day indoors.
This Eid presents an ideal opportunity to take part in a barbecue under the clear, darkening sky with its limitless field of stars. The food is there, the weather is perfect; what more do we need?
“We have made a tradition of having a barbecue in the evening on Eid,” said Murshed, who usually spends his Eids along with his extended family in their ancestral home. “It is a fantastic time to relax after the rigours of the day, and the weather, especially this time of year, will make for a lovely evening.”
Barbecues are especially refreshing because it involves the whole gathering of guests and hosts. We often think of cooking as someone else's work, usually the mother or the cook. Barbecues, on the other hand tend to involve everyone, as the tandoori chicken and sheeks being barbecued are in plain view instead of in a kitchen in the corner of the house.
Guests can often be seen taking turns tending to the grill while others hand out the freshly grilled items to the rest. It makes for a more communal experience, thereby adding to the enjoyment of the occasion.
Of course, the preparations before setting the food on the grill cannot involve everyone. Abul hosts barbecues for his friends on the roof of his apartment building every winter. “I usually shop for the ingredients the day before, and let the meat marinade overnight. On the day of the barbecue, my friends come over and we gather around the grill and enjoy the wintry evenings and the warmth from the grill,” he said. “Some of my friends bring guitars and play music, and we all sing songs. All this adds to the festive atmosphere of the night.”
Rooftop barbecues have indeed caught on in Dhaka over the last few years. The presence of expansive roofs in every apartment building has helped, reminding residents that they do not need a garden or a lawn to enjoy an evening out with their dear ones.
Before embarking on a barbecue, it is useful to know a few things that will make the process smoother.
All the ingredients should be fresh and the meat should be refrigerated for a sufficient duration. If you want that smoky taste, it is best to use charcoal rather than gas. It is also important to see that the heat radiating from the charcoal is uniformly distributed over the grill. This will enable you to cook more items at a go, which is very important when hosting a large party.
Winter is a special time for us, and it is an added blessing that we will be celebrating Eid during the season. To get the maximum enjoyment out of the holiday, treat your family to a barbecue in the evening, and encourage everyone to take part in the process.
Other than the delicious food and pleasant weather, it provides a chance to bond with our loved ones, which is what the holidays are all about.
To make the special day a bit more special, Lifestyle has a few recipes for the very purpose, kindly provided by Khazana's Pundit Anand Mohan, who has been a chef for thirty years and has also served seven years under the tutelage of Sanjiv Kumar, the famous celebrity cook. Let these items lend a delectable twist to your Eid.
Chicken seesh kebab
Dampen your hands, take a little chicken mixture and spread it around a tandoor sheekh. Press firmly and place the seesh kebabs in the tandoor.
Cook, turning from time to time so that they get cooked evenly all around. Baste with butter or oil at regular intervals. Serve hot.
Remove the thick yogurt into another bowl. Add the remaining Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt, ginger paste, garlic paste, remaining lemon juice, garam masala powder and mustard oil.
Rub this mixture over the chicken and marinade for three to four hours in a refrigerator. Skew the chicken onto a skewer and cook in a moderately hot tandoor (clay oven) for ten to twelve minutes, or until almost done.
Baste chicken with a little butter and cook for another four minutes. Remove and set aside. Sprinkle chaat masala powder and serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.
On The Cover
Eid less than week away, the shopping spree of a different kind is on. As our spirit find new life through the religious rite, delicious savouries find a way into our stomach.
On the auspicious day of Eid, there are a few precautions and arrangements we should take to make the day a more hygienic one for ourselves as well as our neighbours. Buying the animal and distributing its meat among the less fortunate are the explicit duties of Eid, but equally important is keeping our environment clean and hygienic.
When slaughtering the chosen animal, adequate preparations should be taken regarding the disposal of the blood, shed in the act of slaughtering the animal. The thumb rule is to dig a hole in the ground and to slaughter the animal beside it so that the blood drips into the hole.
If you are sacrificing the animal in your garage, instead of washing the blood with water just after the slaughtering, wait for it to settle for a few minutes. After the blood clots, it will be easier to scrape it off and dispose of it in the garbage. Washing the blood away might contribute to the smell lingering longer.
Another practice that spoils the morning atmosphere is that of slaughtering, and even gutting the animals on the streets. Apart from obvious hygienic concerns, this also creates an unsavoury sight for neighbours. Our qurbani is supposed to be sacred, and making a gruesome spectacle of it is not in the spirit of the occasion.
The hide of the animal should either be sold to the man who will inevitably come to your door on Eid day, or you might choose it to give it to a Madrassa. If for some reasons you need to keep the skin overnight, remember to sprinkle some salt on it, lest it starts to rot.
A person should be appointed to see to the cleaning of the area where the sacrifice took place, after the meat is taken away to the kitchen. He or she should use bleach to clean and sterilize the area.
Let us celebrate Eid like responsible citizens. We are accountable for the atmosphere we create. Lets make the feeling of Eid fun-filled, hygienic and stench-free!
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