CELEBRITIES AND MUSIC STARS REVEAL THEIR FESTIVAL PLANS AND SPECIAL DISHES
WITH Eid around the corner, Muslims across the UK are gearing up for the festivities that mark the end of the month of fasting. Eastern Eye, along with Asda, caught up with some prominent Muslims across the country to find out what they are planning for this Eid.
Talented singer and songwriter Shide Boss who is known for his hit songs Ni Sohniye and Kangna produced by Dr Zeus is looking forward to loads of eating and family time this Eid.
Talking about his celebrations, he said: “I spend every Eid day with my immediate family, eating, relaxing and having a laugh. I enjoy spending it with my nearest and dearest. In the evening I will more than likely meet up with a few close friends and catch up, I don’t get many days off from doing music so I make the most of it.”
When it comes to food, he said: “Anybody that knows me, knows I love food. My favourite dish has to be keema and for dessert I tend to go for my favourite dessert in the world, Rasmalai.”
However, one thing he will be missing this Eid is the childhood celebrations. “Though I don’t have any specific Eid memory, I miss being young and being given loads of money as Eidi by the elders,” he said. “However, now since I am one of the ‘elders’ I’m the one giving money instead.”
Shai Hussain, popularly known as DJ Shai Guy and Bombay Funkadelic’s resident DJ, feels Eid is one of the most important times of the year for him. He said: “One time of the year that is really important to be home up north for my parents is Eid. So I’ll be in Huddersfield, going to a mosque with my dad where I won’t know any of the locals. Come home, clean the house, then go to other people’s homes for an overdue catch up. Don’t get any fivers anymore but the food’s still great.”
Talking about “fivers”, being a child during Eid has been his fondest memory. “This is going to sound so capitalist and greedy, but I remember being really young, going to an Eid party at a friend’s house and getting given fivers by all the aunties, thinking: ‘My God, I’m rich,’” he said.
But one thing he really is looking forward to his Eid is “Mum’s lamb biryani. No contest. She wins hands down.”
Music artist Junai Kadenm, popularly known as Jay Kadn, said: “Eid this year will be celebrated like it always has been in the Kadn household with my entire family heading for prayers in the morning and then gathering at my grandma’s for a big Eid breakfast consisting of all sorts of Asian dishes. We spend the entire day together as family having a good time in each other’s company. Let’s not even talk about dinner, that’s just absolutely amazing and I would go on and on for ages.”
Going on about food, he is hoping to have his “favourite Eid food halwa Puri and Channa for breakfast and then for dinner it’s all systems go with a massive selection of food from a full Asian curry dish to a full roast. Everyone chips in and does their bit, so there’s always so much to eat.”
Talking about his fondest memory, he said: “The best memory I had was when my entire family travelled up north to celebrate Eid with relatives. We went out for evening dinner at a restaurant in Leeds Road and I got swamped with people coming up to me taking photos. The family were shocked by how people would react when they saw me that was a great memory.”
This year Eid will be a new beginning for Kadn as: “I will be performing at most of the melas across the UK and will be dropping by new single in July also.”
For Zee TV anchor and presenter Natasha Asghar Eid is all about relaxing at home. “Normally I spend Eid at home with my parents,” she said. “That’s either “home” in Wales or “home” in London. My mum’s normally up at the crack of dawn cooking and this is followed by prayers for those who are no longer with us, and a huge feast to mark the end of Ramadan at chez Asghar.”
One thing Asghar looks forward to each year is “without a doubt, it would have to be my mum’s chicken and alo obiryani. No one has been able to match it to date.”
Talking about her favourite Eid memory, she said: “When I was younger I remember keeping all 30 fasts and my dad was so proud of me. He went out and bought me a lot of mehndi cones, a new outfit and bangles. This was followed by a lovely feast at our house with my whole family including my nana, who sadly is no longer with us anymore.”
Former Great British Bake Off contestant and chef Ali Imdad will be probably working this week. Giving an insight into his celebrations, he said: “Eid is an incredibly busy day for Artisan (the place where I’m the head baker) and so I’ll probably be there, making sure all the desserts are baked fresh and are presented to the high standard I expect.”
On a more personal note, he added: “Having said that, I do try and spend some time with family and friends. Mum normally goes all-out during Eid. She makes a feast of Pakistani delights all culminating around a slow-cooked marinated lamb-leg. So, I imagine lunch-time will be spent feasting with the family before the evening is spent preparing desserts at Artisan.”
One thing he loves about Eid at his house is that “we don’t have an ‘Eid dish’, we have ‘Eid dishes!’ A number of dishes that Mum makes specially for Eid, from chicken biryani, made with saffron and cardamom, to chappli kebab, made with diced cherry tomatoes and red onions. I, being the baker, have the dessert duty. Again, I don’t have a single Eid dish, rather I like to create a dessert ta- ble. So bite-size petit fours that people can nibble on after their hefty meal. Macarons, mini eclairs, brownies. Safe, but delicious.”
Recalling his fondest Eid memory, Imdad said: “My fondest Eid memory would probably be when I was around about five or six and my mum made fresh pizza for the first time. It was a revelation of the senses, and I can still remember the taste over 20 years later. We had the neighbors down, even our primary school head teacher. It was a day dedicated to food, and I’m sure it was where my love affair of food began.”
Ruqsana Begum, the English professional kick- boxer and current British female Atomweight Muay Thai boxing champion and captain of the British Muay Thai team, feels: “Eid is now all about the family. As kids, it’s about the new outfits and gifts. But now it is about being together with your loved ones. This year, I look forward to baking a cake with my little nieces and spending time with them. It is one day everyone takes off and is at home. So, it is a great catch-up time.”
When it comes to food, she usually likes some- thing healthy but this is the time that “everyone gets to indulge and eat food that you normally wouldn’t eat. This year I am looking forward to tandoori chicken and pilau. I absolutely love it.”
Pakistani singer Kaz Khan will be working away at events this Eid, but the next day he plans to celebrate with family and friends. “This year has been busy for me and during Eid I will be per- forming, but will make sure I spend some time with my family.”
Being a good cook he will be treating his friends to an Eid feast: “I will be making an Afghani dish called Shanwari. It is made out of lamb and my friends insist that I treat them to that. So along with performing I will be cooking too!”
What he misses the most though would be his parents. “Last year I went to Pakistan after 12 years and spent Eid with my parents. It was the most memorable Eid for me and brought back a lot of fond moments. I wish I could have them over this Eid as well,” he reminisces.