Feasting after the month of fasting

RAMADAN THE ninth month of the Islamic calendar is considered holy, since during this month the holy Koran was revealed. During Ramadan, Muslims fast during day and eat only at night. They spend the day reading the Koran and lead a pious life.

A month long fast which is coming to an end is celebrated as Id- ul- Fitr or Cheriyaperunal, as called in Malayalam, on the day following the appearance of the new moon at the end of Ramadan.

Community prayer, generally held in an open space is the most important part in Ramadan Id celebrations. Every Muslim is commanded by Koran to offer Id prayer with his brethren in full faith. As the congregation becomes too unwieldy to be accommodated in a mosque, spacious grounds are selected for community prayers. Usually these prayers are arranged at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and Marine drive in Kochi. It is required that every Muslim gives alms to the poor and dress in clean clothes before attending the public prayer. People spend the rest of the day in feasting, visiting friends and relatives. Ramadan Id is an occasion for a general expression of goodwill and friendship. They greet each other saying "Id Mubarak".

Muslim cuisine is famous for special Mopplah flavours, which are influenced by various foreign influences. The Arab influence is evident in some of the dishes like Alisa, a wholesome wheat and meat porridge. Certain variety of dishes like pathiri, chicken curry, unnakayi, adakupattiri, jeerakanji, meen pattiri, arikkadukka, aripathiri, mutta mala made of the yolk of eggs prepared with out a trace of oil are a speciality of the Moppalahs. Most popular dish for Id in Kerala is Biriyani.

Mutton Biriyani

Making time: 2 hours

Makes: 4-5 serving


Mutton-1kg Basmati rice-1kg Onions-500 gm Garlic-50 gm Ginger-50 gm Green chillie-100 gm Coriander powder-3 tsp Turmeric powder- 1 tsp Red chilli powder-� tsp Tomato-300 gm Poppy seeds-2 tsp Fresh coconut-� cup Coriander leaves-1small bunch Mint leaves-1 small bunch Curd-1 cup Limejuice-4 tbsp Ghee-5tbsp Oil - as required Cashew nuts- 50 gms Raisins -50 gm Garam masala powder -2 tsp Salt to taste


Cut and clean the mutton in big pieces. Slice the onions; grind green chillies, ginger and garlic. Grind poppy seeds and fresh coconut and keep aside. Chop coriander leaves and mint leaves. Heat a pressure cooker and add oil and � of sliced onions and fry till transparent. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry for 2- 3 minutes. Add coriander, chili, turmeric powder, garam masala, and saut� for some time. Then add chopped tomatoes and fry for some time. Add the mutton pieces and fry for a few minutes. Add curd and salt. Cover and cook on slow fire for 15 - 20 minutes. When mutton is cooked add the ground poppy seeds and coconut. Heat for a few minutes and keep aside.

Wash and drain the water from the rice. Heat ghee. Add rice and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add salt and add double quantity of water. Cook till the rice is done. Remove from fire.

Heat a heavy-bottomed vessel. Fry onions, cashew nuts, and raisins and keep aside.

Take a vessel and pour some rice. Spread little coriander, mint leaves, limejuice and fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins on it. Put one layer of mutton over that and repeat the process till all rice and mutton are over. Preferably do three layers. Cover with a heavy lid and put the dish in oven or place some coals on top of the dish for 10 minutes.

Serve with curd Kachumber and papad.

Mutta mala and kinnathappam

(Egg snow with yellow garlands)

Making time: 1 hour

Makes: 4-5 serving

Ingredients for mutta mala

Eggs -15 Sugar-500gms Water-3cups Ingredients for kinnathappam Eggs -15 Cardamom powder from six pods Left over syrup from mutta mala

Method for mutta mala

Separate the yolks and whites of the egg. Keep the whites for kinnathappam. Strain the egg yolk through a muslin cloth into a clean dry bowl. Clean a coconut shell and make a very small hole at the centre. Put sugar and two cups of water in a wide heavy vessel. Add a little egg white, rubbing it well. Place it on the fire. When it boils remove all the scum, which forms on the top. Remove it from the fire and strain through a muslin cloth. Heat it again and make syrup of one string consistency.

Take the coconut shell and fill it with egg yolk, blocking the hole with the finger.

Remove your finger and pour the yolk in the boiling syrup in a circular motion to form chain like strings.

Pour it continuously until the egg yolk in the shell has all been used up. By this time the yolk will be cooked.

Reduce the heat and sprinkle a little cold water. Remove the egg strings from the syrup with out breaking them.

Spread in a thali and keep slightly raised to remove the excess syrup. Use up all the eggs yolks this way. When the syrup becomes thick add a little water to bring it back to one string consistency.

Arrange the mutta mala or the garlands in a large plate and put kinnathappam in the middle.

Note: The left over syrup can be used for kinnathappam.

Method for kinnathappam

Beat the egg whites well.

Cool the mutta mala syrup and add it to the egg white. Beat till frothy. Add cardamom powder. Heat water in a pressure cooker. Grease a wide vessel and pour in the beaten egg white. Steam it in the pressure cooker till firm. Remove and cool. Cut into diamond shaped pieces and serves with the muttamala.

Note: Duck eggs are better because the yolk will be red.

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