As I sit engulfed in the aroma of eid-ul-fir/Ramzan delicacies being made by mom (Sheer Khurma, biryani, dal cha, dry fruits mix as a topping, bhaji and chicken fry), I am trying to recollect my best Eid memory so far.
Nothing matches the joy of Ramzan spent with my naana naani (grandparents). I vividly remember early and mid-90s, those Eid days when usually our entire family clan reunites. My grandma has four daughters and one son. We lived in the same town Ongole in the closest vicinity to my naana naani and uncle, aunt ( maama maami). All the other daughters were in different cities. Usually, all the sisters and the only brother meet every Ramzan! I used to go there even before a week, to take part in preparations and have fun. My naani used to have a very old sevayya making machine...it is a machine in which you put in the wheat flour and rotate it. A sieve with very narrow holes is fixed to the bottom of the machine from which sevayya would come out....it has to be operated manually! The sevayya is collected on plates and dried in sun. It is also collected on the backside of bowls, or trays. They would look like very thin noodles. Once dried and scrapped it takes the shape of the container, the sevayya is then preserved in huge steel boxes only to be opened on Eid day!
|Getting Mehndi/Henna on hands a night before Eid is a beautiful ritual|
Even a morsel of sheer khurma is heavenly. The dry fruit toppings ( cashews, dates, raisins, etc) and the grated coconut are mixed together - we call it "chowba" in Andhra. Frankly eating sheer-khurma without this topping is a crime! Ramzan festival date is declared after the moon sighting and hence is celebrated on different days in different parts of the world. In the USA and UAE Eid begins one day before it does in India! Everyone distributes food and gives alms to whoever is in need during the Ramadan month!
|Dum Ke sevayya with "chowba" as topping|
Once the entire family offers Eid ka namaaz and wish Eid Mubarak to each other, they gather and relish generous bowls of sheer khurma! My personal favorite variant is Dum ke sevayya laden with khoa/mawa....I don't know if it's magic in my naanis or mother's hands but my mouth waters seeing that vibrant orangish-brown colored sevayya with the khoa sprinkled all over it. Another version is Mutton Kheema sevayya for non-veg lovers. Once cooked the aroma would reach the end of the street you live in❤️😋😋 Either chicken or mutton biryanis are cooked here in Andhra Pradesh /Telangana along with raaita (curd gravy), baingan ka khatta (a yummy spicy baingan gravy) or dal cha (a dal dish)! The lavish spread of food is sinful and you can't stick to your diet just for that day! You must forget your diet regimes and attack the food! Various versions of foods are cooked in various states of India!
In my childhood as we used to have all the five families (most of the years) united at my grandma's house, it was always noisy, and filled with food, fun, and laughs! After offering namaaz and consuming loads of sheer khurma and spicy kheema sevayya as breakfast...we would wish eid Mubarak by hugging one another. The hug feels warm especially when exchanged with granny and grandpa. Then comes the ritual of "Eidi" a process where you demand gifts or money from elderly members of the family. Some give money easily and some tease you, asking you favours or reprimand you to do chores to earn Eidi. Once one of my uncles made a fun proposal..."whoever gives me 50 rupees, I will give them 100/-...and I will give only 50 Rs/- to those who can't give me 50!" Hearing that all the kids flanked him giving away 50 and snatching 100. After all 100 means a lot in those days...an ice cream, spicy chat and maybe purchasing a fun game! My smartness kicked in and I got a very bright💡 idea💭. In that crowd, he couldn't recognize who was who. I joined the loud boisterous gang demanding money and took only 50/- saying I have no money. I returned in ten min saying I have 50 and gave his 50 to him and took 100/- 😁😁 He couldn't realize it was me who had already taken 50 from him! The noises and banter continued till everyone was satisfied with their rewards and gifts.
I vividly remember all of us squatted on floral coir carpets ( which are famous in India) waiting for the delicious food to be served. Almost every house would have at least one coir carpet - which is convenient if you wanna sit down! The lunch hour started late around 2:30-3 PM and by the time everyone finished eating, it would be evening! Usually, women eat last (a method which I don't like), but that's how it is even till now...My mom says being the owners of the amazing dishes, they enjoy and feel satisfied by serving first!
Anyhow every one relaxed chit-chatting and wished other families who visit or call you over landline ( no mobile phone days) and some of us enjoyed the much-needed siesta ( the afternoon nap). Obviously, after eating so much food you feel lazy and drowsy!! Some of my uncles ended up playing cards, kids ended up playing monopoly or carroms, and women too! As the house lulled by dusk and the day ended we kids would have filled our piggy banks.
We visited many relatives' and friends' homes to wish Eid Mubarak and slept happily with our tummies and hearts full!
|source : here|
PS: Eid delicacies are prepared by Mom who magically conjures food in no time. I am AN Average cook who can only cook so as to live 😉😆
Nowadays Eid is quite a quick-paced celebration and meeting people in real became a rarity. A WhatsApp wish seems enough and socialization got reduced during Covid. After 2 years, only this year on Eid few were meeting and greeting each other with a handshake or a hug!
PPS: Took me more than 15 days to complete this post 😓 ! Hoping to blog more often👀