The Beef Conundrum
Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra
Photo: Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
For most Muslim nations, celebrating Eid is a big deal. As it takes place only twice a year, it allows people to have a respite, away from the hectic schedule that our capitalist world offers us. Despite the fact that Eid-ul-Adha makes the whole country look like a crime scene, it can be more fun and festive because of the food. Most young people spend the first day of Eid helping out with errands at home, sorting out the newly chopped up beef, while on the following day, it's all about hanging out with friends and cooking up a storm in the kitchen with all the left over cooked meat, from the previous night's feast!
Some of the easiest and most delicious recipes that can be concocted by young creative cooks include popular choices like salad, sandwiches, soups and noodles. Salads and sandwiches are often very close to each other when it comes to combining vegetables with beef. Straining the curry from the cooked beef, then shredding it and adding spices like pepper and soya-sauce often enhances the flavour of the beef. In addition to that, if someone adds yogurt, lemon juice, cubed cucumber and bell pepper, then season it with salt, it turns into a tasty and fresh green salad! As they say, the more the merrier, so if carrots, peas or other vegetable items are added, then it tastes even better.
In a very similar way, sandwiches can also be made as well and is often considered as a favourite finger food amongst young people. Catching up with old friends and munching on food items as such, are two things that go hand in hand. Syeda Nusrat, a Business student of American International University of Bangladesh says, “I barely get any time to catch up with my school friends. Eid-ul-Adha is the only time of the year, when I can relax with my old friends. My mom cooks for them but we are such carnivorous eaters, that lunch is never enough, so I always make my special sandwich with a filling which contains slices of cooked beef, marinated with salt, pepper and vinegar. To that I add dices of tomatoes, onions, cucumber and mix it with mayonnaise. Then I place a slice of cheese and lettuce with the mixture in bread. And voila! There it is-- my very own sandwich.”
However, for food enthusiasts, Eid-ul-Adha is the prime opportunity to stock up on some beef for later use. Considering, most young people devour meat for the longest time during this Eid, it can become quite tiring. Some also form the tendency to become allergic to it. So, with this stored up, refrigerated, uncooked meat, one can invent delicious soup and noodles recipes. For this any standard Maggie or Fuji noodles can be used. It can be boiled in hot water, until it is soft and then vinegar or soya-sauce can be added to the soupy noodles. To this, one just needs to add the Maggie instant spice, cooked minced beef in the shape of tiny meatballs, and some scrambled egg with finely chopped chillies. Kashfia Arif Ahmed, a student of North South University states, “I like my noodles hot and spicy. So to such a combination, I often add naga pepper pickle and chilli sauce which is sold at local markets. I usually have this when friends come over to my place for a group study. I serve it to them hot, with just a squeeze of lemon on top for the tang!"
To put it in a nutshell, Eid-ul-Adha, despite its nature, is about rekindling new bonds with old friends. And Leftover beef neatly mixed with piping hot food and a group of friends are quite a combo for such an occasion!