Eat Local

Eid Al-Fitr celebration

At a local sweets shop in Beirut

Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims around the world. After thirty days of fasting, Muslims break their fast and celebrate during three days in familial and friends gathering where kids are pampered with new clothes and gifts, or a certain amount of money the “Eidiyah”, and where food has a special share.

On this occasion, people are encouraged to help the poor through “Zakat al-Fitr” or “Al Futra” which is given prior to the Eid to help the less fortunate celebrate.

Knefeh (Source: Pinterest)

Following the morning Eid prayer in mosques, family members gather for breakfast and greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak” wishing each other a peaceful and prosperous Eid. Knefeh, a traditional dessert made with sweetened melty cheese and covered with sugar syrup Qater, is commonly served on the Eid morning.

Maamoul el Eid by Hanaa’s Cookies (Hanaa Zahreddine)

Traditional Eid food and desserts vary from one country to another and between regions within the same country. Maamoul, mouthwatering cookie filled with a variation of stuffing like pistachios, walnuts and dates, and covered with powdered sugar, and Kaak el Eid are prepared to celebrate Eid in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Palestine. In Yemen people enjoy “Bint al Sahn” a sweet prepared with butter thin layers of dough drizzled with honey and nigella seeds, in Sudan they prepare a traditional Kaak el Eid, while in Somalia a special Eid bread called “Cambaabur” is prepared for breakfast and served with sugar and yogurt.

Yemeni “Bint el Sahn” is savored with a cup of tea (Picture ©

In Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Sheer Khurma which literally translates into “milk with dates” in Persian, is a vermicelli-based pudding prepared especially for Eid al-Fitr and Al-Adha. Its recipe varies depending on the country but it is usually prepared with vermicelli, milk, sugar, dates and sometimes pistachios, almonds, and raisins or dried dates are also added.

“Cambaabur” Somali Eid bread (Picture ©

Other than the delicious desserts prepared during Eid, festive meals are served for either lunch or breakfast. In Lebanon, traditional recipes such as Mouloukhiye, Moughrabiye, Rezz aa Djeij are commonly served. In Morocco, laasida, made from couscous, butter, and honey is usually enjoyed in the Eid morning and Tajine, a slow-cooked stew with meat or chicken, vegetables and dried fruits is served for lunch in Algeria.

Lebanese “Rez aa Djeij” or Chicken with rice




Holiday cookies – Chouf, Lebanon

Kaak el Eid – Chouf, Lebanon

Kaak el Eid or Holiday cookies are traditionally prepared in the Chouf mountains of Lebanon during the Adha holiday. Big quantities of cookies are usually prepared and baked.

Total servings: 5 kilos of Kaak

Preparation time:  1:45 hours

We would like to thank our friend Mrs. Hanaa Hamza for sharing her recipe.


2 kg of semolina

1 kg of flour

6 cups of margarine

6 cups of sugar

2 cups of milk powder

1 tsp of crushed clove

1 tsp of “Mahleb”

1 tsp of cardamom powder

1 tsp of musk

3 tsp of baking powder

Roasted sesame for decoration

You can either sprinkle sesame on the cookies or roll the cookies in sesame 🙂

Preparation steps:

  1. In a big bowl, mix the semolina, flour, sugar, milk, clove, Mahleb, cardamom powder, musk and baking powder
  2. Add the margarine when the mixture is homogenous
  3. Mix well until the dough becomes smooth and elastic then set aside for 1 hour to rest
  4. Heat the oven to 180 degrees
  5. Divide the dough into small pieces, then shape them into elongated forms of approximately 10 cm
  6. Shape the fingers into circles by connecting their ends, and sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds
  7. Arrange the cookies on a baking tray
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 min or until slightly gold