The end of Ramadan is always bittersweet for me. I grow accustomed to the rhythm of the Islamic month of fasting – the slowdown in consumption and focus on prayer, empathy for the less fortunate, charity, gratitude, reflection and patience are all reinvigorating for the spirit. It’s a month I’ve participated in since my pre-teens and each year that I can remember, I’ve felt a tinge of disappointment on the final day, which always seems to arrive far quicker than I imagine it should.
This year I was on the verge of tears when the call to Maghrib prayer at sunset signalled the end of another meaningful Ramadan. As we enter Eid el-Fitr, the three-day celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, we’re meant to celebrate with our family and friends the conclusion of this auspicious month and express gratitude to the Almighty for our blessings.
Cultural traditions vary throughout the world but most countries will have special sweets, often prepared only during Eid, to help celebrate the occasion and give it a distinct flavour.
This year, my sister and I are on our own so we thought we’d try to inspire our home with a bit of the fragrance of Eid by baking a couple of traditional Egyptian sweets, using recipes that my mom has followed for decades. Below are some photos of the rich, delicious desserts we baked today, including kahk, a rich cookie filled with a sticky mixture of ground nuts and honey, and ghorayiba, smooth butter cookies topped with almonds or cloves.