This month, muslims all over the world will be observing Mawled al-Nabi, or the “Birth of the Prophet.” Here in Egypt, we celebrate with parades, tents, sweets, and other acrobatic shows. But it’s also a beautiful time to remember that Muslims everywhere around the world are celebrating the birth of the Prophet in their own unique culture.
Elsewhere, Mawled al-Nabi festivities are just as jubilant and colourful, even if a little different. While some celebrate with small gatherings at home, other places are lit with masjid lights and buzzing with festive gatherings. When it comes to culinary delights, the types of food prepared vary from region to region. One recurring theme though, is that in most places, Mawled al-Nabi is a sweet-toothed feast, filled with a potpourri of sweets, candies, desserts, and cakes. If you’re looking to bring a little diversity to your dining table this holiday season, try your hand at some of these recipes!
Algerian Tamina (Algeria)
Tamina is a classic Algerian sweet that is made to celebrate the birth of a baby, and also for the birth of the Prophet! Try your hand at this simple yet delicious recipe, made from sugared almonds, cinnamon, semolina, butter, and honey.
Mutton Pilau (Kenya)
Elsewhere in the world, Muslims in Kenya celebrate Mawled al-Nabi with a delicious rice dish – pilau. Pilau simmers the rice with a variety of spices such as ginger, coriander, tumeric, curry, cinnamon, and cardamom. Serve with your choice of meat (in this case – lamb,) and a simple salad of chopped tomatoes, onions, and parsley!
Baklava (Turkey, Greece, and Lebanon)
I won’t enter the debate of where baklava originates from, and which country makes the best baklava. But it’s rich, flakey layers of filo pastry and nut filling is a classic dessert few people can say no to.
Zarda (India, Pakistan, and Iraq)
Zarda is a popular dish in multiple asian countries, and is often served on happy occasions – including Eid and MAwled al-Nabi. If you want to give your dishes some sweetness, grab some raisins, nuts, sugar, and yellow food colouring and give this rice dish a go!