Happy Eid-al-Adha!


When Mrs. MM and I lived in Jakarta, we would notice the proliferation of goats on side streets in the days before Eid-al-Adha or the “Festival of Sacrifice”, one of two major Muslim religious holidays. The goats were sacrificed and shared with family and the poor. Traditionally, I gather, it is a sheep that is slaughtered, then a third of the meat is kept by the family, another third is given to relatives, and the final third is given to the poor. That’s about the extent of my limited knowledge on the matter. At any rate, yesterday morning, a Muslim friend asked what we were up to for dinner and we ended up inviting him and his spouse to our home for dinner.


Knowing this should be sort of a holiday meal, but not really having any tradition of celebrating it, we looked around our larder and pantry and ended up with this meal… To start we had a jazzed up baba ghanoush or eggplant dip freshened up with lemon juice, zest and a touch of tahini or sesame paste.


We toasted up some pita triangles to serve with the appetizers…


…which included some FABULOUS freshly brined green olives. An aunt had just returned from Italy a few days ago, and she sent us a little portion of “freshly picked” (though they were transported frozen) green olives. We put them in a salty brine for a few days and they yielded a WONDERFUL snack or pica-pica. We also had bowls of freshly fried chickpeas that we experimented with last week.


For the main course, I made a tagine of goat meat with lots of spices that we cooked for some 3.5 hours until the meat was soft and the sauce a heady and flavorful gravy. I used this recipe with a few alterations and without the fenugreek (couldn’t find any at local stores we scoured before lunch). We also made the makfoul, or the tomato and onion relish to go with the goat.


From an Ottolenghi cookbook called “Jerusalem” Mrs. MM made this surprisingly SPECTACULAR dish of Basmati rice with saffron, pistachios, cranberries (no barberries in sight so we substituted) and herbs. This was a slam-dunk winner, utterly delicious, fragrant and tasty. We also roasted some baby butternut squashes and plated them together with the goat tagine.


Finally, we offered a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing. We all ate heartily and the goat meat stew and rice were a perfect match. I’ve been on a diet for the past month so this is one of only two times I have had rice during that period, and boy did I eat up! :) For dessert, our guests brought some vanilla ice cream, which we served with the passion fruit coulis I made last week and we laid out large barquillos as well. Overall, a very successful meal that I would definitely make again!

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12 Responses

  1. With a meal like that, who needs to go to a restaurant?

    Spectacular photos they look hyperreal!

  2. I experienced this Muslim holiday when in 1995 my employer (U S Air Force) sent me on temporary duty to Saudi. I was very lucky to be invited by a Saudi family who live in a real palace and they have 6 pinay help, 2 pinoy drivers, and 2 Indian drivers. I remember there were 10 courses but I only ate delicious chicken biryani, the best tasting stuffed grape leaves, the best tasting baklava, dates, pita bread, and fresh salads. I regret, I didn’t try the goat stew.

  3. Nina and Connie, I switched to a Lumix last year. But for these photos, I used Mrs. MM’s small but incredibly sharp Lumix. It seems to magnify the light when photos are taken in dim conditions…

    Thel, you are fortunate to have experienced Saudi Arabia as a woman, they don’t often give visas to foreign women unless on business or other specific purposes. I once spent 3+ weeks in Saudi Arabia consulting and I found it to be one of the most unusual and challenging places to live/work in.

  4. With a stomach that has shrunk with age I miss a meal spread such as this and especially with a household ( mostly kasambahay) that is not as adventurous as my palate. I would end up eating all the leftovers or I’d be wasting precious food.

    But I got an idea. I’ll invite all the cousins over and duplicate your menu one Sunday, and the goat dish could be prepared ahead of time. I think I have fenugreek still waiting to be used.

  5. Did you source the goat meat from S&R? I was there over the weekend and was inspired by your post on caldereta.

  6. I associate long grain rice cooked this way with mutton or goat meat either stewed or grilled but apparently, it can be allied with chicken too. Whatever the case, I’m just grateful the rice is invariably served inverted into a large platter, otherwise, I would be forced to dig for the crunchy tadigh which goes against my mother’s strictest dining table taboos, excavating a dish in search for a favourite morsel.

    Currant is a good substitute for barberries too although it does not beat dried cranberry (craisins) as display of culinary patriotism here in Canada specially this time of the year. Next Monday is our Thanksgiving.

  7. Footloose: Wish I could make a crunchy tadigh (my favorite likewise) the way the Iranians do, but it always brings back memories of yore when as a kid I would look forward to my tutong merienda after school. I would douse the lightly browned crust, (at times almost burnt) with left over boiled barako coffee ( long before drip coffee) and with pinangat na tulingan, I was a happy camper!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Awesome menu as always MM!

    I don’t know if it has been going for quite some time already, but for some reason I can’t find any basmati rice. Any suggestions?

  9. Koko, if I am not mistaken, I bought the Basmati rice at S&L Fine Foods/La Brera delicatessen on Yakal Street. I try to stock up when I find it because it’s always sarce around these parts…

  10. A man can only meet the men and boys of the family who does the inviting but a woman gets to meet everybody whether it’ll be in KSA or Iran.

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