Ramadan Eid is the biggest holiday among Muslims and is celebrated for three days.
In this episode, the SFD presents we will write about Eid, and the customs and traditions that are being followed when Eid sofra is being prepared.
Eid is characterized by a varied and rich meals, which are in one hand a reward for all renunciations for the Ramadan fast that took place in the last 29 days.
Although the word sofra in the Turkish language signifies only a table for lunch, this word in Bosnian includes whole concept of serving dishes. Anyhow, the Eid sofra must be special, and its preparation takes a lot of time.
Hosts for a Eid lunch set the most beautiful tablecloths, plates and cutlery they have in their home, in order to show the importance of this holiday even in this way. Lunch is made up of a variety of dishes, and somewhere in the tradition it is written in the sequences of delicious dishes favorite dish of each member of the family have to be present.
Food preparation is long-lasting proces because each dish has a separate preparation and food processing. Bosnian cuisine owes much to the Ottoman past, which can be notified in every dish. Today, the sofa looks roughly like this:
The first on the menu is soup. Usually, it’s a Bey’s soup, an exceptionally delicious creamy chicken soup with vegetables, which is not creamy because of the flour but due to okra. Following the soup, different stews are served, traditionally prepared in clay pots, such as a Bosnian pot – vegetable and meat stew, hadžijski ćevap and sitni ćevap – veal meat with various vegetable combinations, depending on which dish is served.
After that, usually dolmas, cabbage rolls and japrak. Dolma is vegetables filled with a mixture of minced meat and spices, usually a onions and peppers, while for the the cabage rolls (sarma) similar to or the same mixture of minced meat is used wrapped in cabbage. Japrak are vine leaves carefully wrapped around meat. The art of making sarmas and japrak is that they need to do as little as possible – tradition says: to fit as many as possible in one spoon
Somewhere in between klepe can be served. When you want to describe this dish, say that klepe are Bosnian ravioli, which, thanks to the freshness of yogurt and the aroma of garlic, create new criteria when it comes to food. It should be emphasized that “the smaller the better” applies also to klepe.
Throughout the process of serving food, you can always find pie on a table, and of course there are always several types of this glamorous Bosnian-Herzegovinian food.
In the end, of course, comes dessert. Usually, these are very sweet cakes – roses, tufahija, kadif, or various other cakes, but there is only one queen of every Eid – baklava. This dessert is originally Turkish and is made with nuts, pastry and sugar. Authentic Sarajevo baklava is a džandar baklava, perhaps the most demanding dessert to prepare. The pastry is made through a couple of days, until they are dry, in the form of a tube, which is then baked and stuffed with sweet cream and a mixture of nut, almond or hazelnut. Exceptional dessert. However, every house that celebrates Eid will have baklava prepared by following the best recipe the housewife knows.
According to the records of travelers who traveled through our spaces during various periods, the Eids were characterized by zijafets. Zijafets are menus that contain at least 12 jemeks (individual meals) on their list. Fejzi-beg Kulenović in 1899 write that he had attended the ceremonial lunch where 30 jemeks were served.
Zijafet is given a name of the city, where it was created, so there is a city of Mostar’s zijafet, as well as the most famous Sarajevo’s zijafet. For each zijafet it is a very important arrangement and timing of meals. Usually dishes were served in a way that savory goes first, then sweet and savory again, and it was also important that after the warm meals cold one goes and so on. Here it was not about stuffing yourself with food. This way of serving food is predecessor of today’s slow food. The lunch would take a long time, and everyone would enjoy flavors.
Many customs have changed when it comes to preparing food, but the most important custom of Eid is preserved, and it is a holiday that is celebrated with family, friends, neighbors, and it is a holiday when people share joy and love between themselves. It is a holiday of goodwill and the spread of the spirit of benevolence, forgiveness and happiness.