The holy month of Ramadan has (sadly) come to an end and Eid ul-Fitr is here. This Eid is celebrated for 3 days; Muslims all over the world prepare wonderful feasts for family and friends, adults give Eidiya to children (which is mostly money that's gifted to the kids) and everyone wears new clothes that they've bought especially for Eid. It's a joyous 3 days where everyone sends each other messages, makes phone calls and pays visits to congratulate one another on a wonderful month of fasting.
|Just wanted to note that the crochet table cloth was made by my super talented grandmother!|
I personally wish I had relatives that lived in the same country as me so that I could visit them one by one and be able to celebrate with them. I would love to bake treats with my grandmother and distribute them to family and friends with my grandfather. Unfortunately, sometimes as an expat you don't get that kind of luxury. I'm thankful that I have my parents and brother to spend it with otherwise it wouldn't be Eid at all. Oh and let's not forget a wonderful network of friends!
Needless to say, Eid ul-Fitr is my favorite Eid. And on this Eid, every year, we make a special treat called Ma'amoul. We use my grandma's recipe which she's perfected over the years (Oh God, please make me a super baker like her one day!)
Ma'amoul is a shortbread cookie filled with either dates, pistachios or walnuts. They are known not to be overly sweet, so you can pop a whole lot of 'em at once! Some people decorate them by hand while others use special wooden molds to create wonderful designs on the cookie. Ma'amoul is very popular in Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. You'll usually find it in abundance during any religious festivals (such as during Easter celebrated by Arab Christians).
|Mom preparing the dough|
|Filling the pastry with walnuts and sugar|
What I love about making Ma'amoul is that it brings people together; you rarely find one person in the household making it all by themselves. Well, at least that's like blasphemy in my house! This year, my parents and I made a huge batch together to give out to friends.
|Once the pastry is filled, you roll it up into a ball and push it into the wooden mold|
|To get the pastry out of the mold, the most effective way is to flip it over and THWACK it on any solid platform|
|Date filling with an unintentional heart-looking design, anyone?|
Date filling is by far my favorite. I can eat 10 of these in one go. I did not just say that out loud.
|Freshly baked and ready to roll around in some powdered sugar|
I hope that whomever celebrated Eid ul-Fitr had a wonderful one filled with family, friends, and lots of delicious treats!
Ma'amoul - معمول
my grandmother's recipe
What you'll need:
4 cups semolina
2 cups flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup cooking/vegetable oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence
Water at room temperature, enough to add till the dough is formed.
- Mix the dry ingredients until well incorporated
- Add butter and oil and work in with your hands
- While kneading the dough, add water at intervals until the dough forms. Once you're able to handle the dough and form a flat pancake-like shape, it's ready. (Refer to first series photo to know what I mean about this)