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Eid Mubarak everyone!

pistachio kaak - a traditional Eid treat

Today marks the first day of Eid-Al-Adha, which roughly translates from Arabic as “feast of the sacrifice” in reference to the sacrificial lamb Muslims are required to donate as alms to the poor on this occasion. Among the most important and significant celebrations on the Muslim calendar, Eid-Al-Adha follows the completion of the annual Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) and is a time for prayers, charity, gratitude and togetherness.

Eid meals differ from country to country, and even from household to household, but Eid lunch for my family traditionally consists of slow oven-roasted leg of lamb with accompanying roasted veggies. However, one of my absolute favorite parts about Eid is a particular kind of celebratory dessert common across the whole Arab world and known as Kaak wa Maamoul. The closest comparison I can think of for these tasty delights is shortbread cookies. However, these are made out of semolina and filled with nuts or dates; Kaak is filled with either pistachios and rose water (my favorite- pictured above) or walnuts, and Maamoul is traditionally filled with crushed ajwa dates. My grandma is the absolute authority on making these divine little bites, and I truly look forward to them all year round in the same way that many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving turkey.

I’ll be sure to post a recipe sometime very soon, but for now I’m off to celebrate with my family, who are all visiting me in Dubai!

In good health,




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November 2011
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