Eid ul-Fitr is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by the Muslim community around the world. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims pray, reflect on themselves and abstain from food and drink from dawn to dusk.
Also called “Festival of Sweets” or “Sweet Eid,” the three-day festivities are ushered in with the first sighting of the new crescent moon.
The holiday is all about friends and families coming together to celebrate, saying a special prayer, exchanging gifts and envelopes of money, giving to charity and of course feasting on lots of good food.
Every Muslim culture celebrates Eid ul-Fitr a little differently. In Turkey, for example, the celebration consists of handing out sweets and candied almonds to children. For Moroccans, the holiday offer is not complete without sweet treats such as Fekkas, Kaab el Ghazal and Ghoriba Bahla. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, traditional delicacies such as Ketupat – considered a symbol of blessings and forgiveness – are prepared as part of the festivities.
From decadent drool-worthy desserts to savory curries oozing with flavors, here are some of the best signature Eid ul-Fitr recipes from around the world:
- Kue Lapis: Kue Lapis is a colorful multi-layered pudding made from rice flour, coconut milk, tapioca flour and sugar. The jelly-like snack is believed to have originated in the Dutch East Indies and is a festive staple in Indonesia. It is also quite popular in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore. Whipping up this Instagram-worthy rice pudding is a labor-intensive affair, as it’s made by steaming layer by layer with alternating colors and warm spices.
- Shahi Tukda: Also known as Double ka Meetha or Indian bread pudding, this delicious sweet dish is made with slices of bread, condensed milk, sugar, ghee or clarified butter, saffron and cardamom. It is a popular holiday crime in India and Pakistan. There are several theories about the origin of Shahi Tukda. Some believe that Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, introduced it to Southeast Asia in the 16th century.
- Tusha Shinni: This lightly spiced melt-in-your-mouth dessert is made with flour, sugar, clarified butter, nuts, and aromatic spices like cinnamon and cardamom. It is a beloved holiday dish in Bangladesh, especially in the northeastern region of Sylhet.
- location: Commonly known as Turkish Delight, these jelly cubes are made with cornstarch, sugar, and rose water. Some varieties are also flavored with orange blossom water, pomegranate or lemon. The traditional confection is a must-have during Eid celebrations in Turkey, along with gooey Baklava. The unique treat is thought to have originated 500 years ago during the Ottoman period. Turkish Delight is also known in the neighboring Balkan countries of Bosnia and Romania, where it is known locally as Rahat Lokum.
- Madam: No holiday celebration in the Levant cultures is complete without these delicious butter cookies that are usually filled with dates, walnuts and pistachios. Women in Levant households start preparing the shortbread cookies during the days leading up to Eid when it is served to the guests with tea or coffee.
- tufahije: Made from whole poached apples stuffed with caramelized walnuts and whipped cream, this epicurean is a staple of any Eid spread in Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans. Some consider this dessert to have its origin in Persia. Though it was introduced to the locals in the Balkans by Ottoman invaders during the conquest of the region.
- Pure Khurma: Made with crushed semolina vermicelli, this aromatic pudding is an integral part of Eid spreads in Southeast Asian households. Enriched with rose water, dried fruits and fragrant spices such as saffron and cardamom, this delicious dessert is usually served right after the morning Eid prayer. Sheer Khurma is considered a native of Persia that was introduced to Central and Southeast Asia via the Silk Road.