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Emirati Eid’s Fawwala feast: An occasion for food, family, friends, and happy conversations

Emirati Eid’s Fawwala feast: An occasion for food, family, friends, and happy conversations
9 Apr 2024 09:22


Of the many Emirati traditions that come to mind during Eid Al Fitr, Fawwala stands out for its hospitality and culinary delights, serving as an occasion for families and friends to come together over a feast that’s beyond compare.

Emiratis look forward to the feast, where they renew family ties as they sit across the table relishing a variety of food, while cherishing memories and looking ahead with hope for the future.

Families gather at the table to enjoy a delicious spread of traditional dishes, sweets, seasonal fruits, dates, nuts, and aromatic Arabic coffee. This long-standing ritual has been passed down through generations. It has its origins in Emirati hospitality and generosity that is extended to guests and visitors during Eid. Food is plentiful, and the spread encompasses everything from Harees, to Luqaimat and Omani Halwa.

Mona Al Naqbi, an Emirati, believes traditional Arabic sweets are the essence of Fawwala. “We prepare some of the most delicious sweets. However, we still prefer traditional Arabic flavours with cardamom, saffron, and rose water,” she said.

Authentic Emirati sweets like Rangeena, made with toasted flour, butter, dates, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, and pistachios, is a favourite during Fawwala, she added.

However, with the passage of time, Western delicacies are also making it to Emirati homes during festive occasions like Eid, adding to the variety of the spread on offer to family members, friends, and guests.

After the Eid prayers, the arrangement of the Fawwala spread commences with attention to detail on the choice of dishes, their flavours, the choice of cutlery, and table settings.

Traditional delicacies remain the favourites, with dishes like Harees, a wholesome meal of wheat, beef or chicken, and ghee kicking off cheerful conversations.

“One of the most important customs and traditions in our house is cooking Harees in a special oven. The Eid feast comprises various types of sweets to welcome and greet guests from family, relatives, neighbours, and friends,” said Maryam Al Dhanhani.

Then there’s the lip-smacking Khabees, made with toasted flour, honey, sugar, and infused with a variety spices. Assid, an Emirati dish made with wheat flour, water, and sugar or dates, and often flavoured with cardamom or saffron, is a treat; Balaleet, a traditional Emirati breakfast dish made from vermicelli noodles cooked with eggs, sugar, and spices, often served with a sprinkling of cardamom, also finds its way to Fawwala tables.

Luqaimat is an all-time favourite Emirati dessert, and Gulf specials like the Omani Halwa, while Ma’amoul is popular in various countries across the region, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Al Bthith is a traditional Emirati dessert made from dates, flour, ghee, and cardamom. Al Khnafroosh and Chebab bread, versatile dishes served with cheese, honey, cream, chocolate, bananas, nuts, or various fillings, resembling pancakes, and Al Mahala, round off the Eid Fawwala experience.

Worood Al Hammadi, who has a sweet tooth for the occasion, said: “One of the essentials in our Eid feasts includes Ma’amoul, various types of Arabic biscuits, Eid cake, and fruits.”

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