Two days before Eid, and I am staring at the menu my mom made; wondering, hoping, praying that the moon doesn’t show it’s face yet. And then the lady in the television smiles sinisterly, declaring how Saudi Arabia announced it’s Eid tomorrow and my mom’s face is tainted with the raw determination I am so familiar of and I know, deep in my heart, that my muscles are doomed.
Hundred guests. Seven dishes. One overly enthusiastic woman. One tired daughter. A grand table
I don’t think I have chopped this many vegetables in my entire cooking lifetime. And I am not exaggerating. Though, what personally sated the vain chef in me was the range of exotic vegetables I got to cook with.
Peppers, olives, mushroom, babycorn- all of it. I personally love; absoloutely adore working with rich exotic vegetables. They have their own special taste; the spicyness of red peppers and the creaminess of the mushrooms.
For starters, we had tandoori chicken spring roll that I wrapped. Sat on the floor with so much sleep in my eyes, folded the first five all wrong until I got pro at it. The funny thing is, people think it was so much work but it was really not.
My mom also makes these killer tandoori chicken with the red onion salad that I don’t even eat, just ask her to make. Because, it’s Chandler to my Monica.
There were a lot of dishes we had never made. Or in my case, even tasted. Just dreamt about. Like the chicken lasagne for instance. Now, my father very expertly explained to the guests how it was made, But I was there when the lasagne sheets stuck to each other.
Essentially lasagna is an authentic Italian dish that is all about it’s layers. It has layers of thin soft silky pasta sheets, saucy and spicy tomato chicken sauce and creamy dense béchamel cheese sauce. Honestly, the myth of it being difficult is as useless as the G in lasagna. I remember when I took my first bite of it, tired and exhausted; on the verge of yelling at the next guest who smiled at me, when the sauces hit my mouth. I am at lack of words. It was so rich and tasteful, I honestly felt my respect for the Italians reach new levels. I could see where joey got it.
Three Eids ago, I remember having a baked noodle dish and then, my mom never made it again. I used to always pester her about it.”Mumma, remember the chicken noodle dish you once made?”-“Yeah.Suggest something else.”
Ofcourse, I could make it but I wanted my mom to make it. I felt she was getting too Indian in her cuisine. But this year, the dish came back and damn it, did I feel nice about pestering mom.
P.S: Nagging helps.
I used red cabbage and pineapple for me coleslaw this year and believe me, I saw hardcore non vegetarians hogging it
I invited few of my friends- vegetarian friends- so ofcourse, I just couldn’t serve them Mccain. And it was a Tuesday, so few of my friends were having their it’s a Tuesday vegetarianism so we had two dishes made for them.
One was the stuffed pizza pockets made out of fresh pita bread.
Another was a light salad but not exactly salad paneer and corn mix. I love corn and these were tossed in hot butter and fresh herbs.
What Eid dawaat is complete without biryani ?
What was really strange was how we cooked food worth for hundred guests. Just the two of us. Mom got these two log cakes because we had planned so many dishes in the savoury section itself, we had no strength left for the desserts. I decided to turn the normal log cakes into Twix and Oreo cakes because firstly, they are so in trend right now and secondly, I had to help in all the dishes so I had no time to make something that I only touched. Something when I serve people, I can say, I made it. Yes. I made it.
The only thing I like about making deserts is that if they are pretty, people will fall in love without even tasting it.
And damn, were the cakes a beauty.
A day before party, when everything was prepped, my mom called me with tired eyes and in the most saddest tone she said, “We still have to make mousse.” Even though I am not much of a sweet tooth, I acknowledge the utmost importance of ending a heavy and grand meal with an equally adept dessert. Trust me, you could serve them a seven course meal and if you end it with lousy dessert, people won’t even remember you. Still, by this time,my bones were aching and I had to wake up super early the next day for other preparations- we still had the house to clean- and it took all of my inner strength to suggest, shall we skip the mousse?
My mom strangely agreed. Afterall making it in hundred little glasses was no small thing. What’s strange is the next day, after all the work was over and my dad was just about to leave to get some rasmaliah for dessert, we decided to whip the bad boy up.
Many people ate only that.
I will post the step by step recipes of all these dishes soon. Since everything was so hectic and the preps were all going on simultaneously, I didn’t get a chance to really take pictures but the food tasted so damn amazing, I won’t deprive you of the chance to eat it.
Like if you felt hungry seeing this and comment your own eid experiences and the post eid hangover that followed!