Ditch the pulao and nihari, and spruce up your Eid feast with mince capsicum, steak with Mushroom sauce and some divine creme caramel

Published: August 31, 2017

Eidul Azha is also known as the feast of sacrifice.

Eidul Azha, also known as the feast of sacrifice, is an Islamic festival commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail (AS).

Muslims around the world celebrate Eidul Azha in full fervour as it is considered one of the most important religious events on the Muslim calendar. A cow, sheep or goat is typically slaughtered during the celebrations as a symbol of Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) sacrifice. Just like each year, staggering sums will be spent on sacrificial animals this time around as well.

A memory that stands clear in my head even now is from the Eidul Azha when I was just four-years-old. After the meat was sorted in little packets, my nano (maternal grandmother) took me in the car along with the packets of meat and drove to Saidpur village.

This was the first time I had been there and the huge herds of mammals aroused my curiosity. She stopped her car a little way in and went to open the boot. Not two seconds had passed before our car was surrounded by children shorter than I was, all vying to grab the little meat parcels.

After every packet had been distributed, I asked my nano who the children were and why they were fighting over these parcels. She explained that these were kids whose families could not afford to take part in sacrificial activities themselves and for many of them meat was a rarity in their households. I was deeply touched and from then onwards till today, I always accompany my nano in her meat distribution rounds.

Now, time for the recipes! As always, the Eid fiesta brings with it sublime food flavours. Here are three recipes you can all try out from the comfort of your homes. They don’t require much time or effort.

Let the Eid guests roll in!

First up is the appetiser:

Mince capsicum

This is a favourite in my house with hardly any hard work involved. The best thing about it is that you can go as innovative with it as you want. Here, I mixed the mince with leftover boiled rice but a cheese topping would go well with it too.


Mince – ½ kilogram

Onion – ½ cup (brown)

Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Tomatoes – 2

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Coriander powder – 1½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Coriander leaves – ½ bunch (chopped)

Green chillies – 2 (chopped)

Salt – 1 tsp

Capsicum – 250 grams


1.Heat oil in a pan. Add brown onions with all the seasonings, ¼ cup of water and chopped tomatoes. Fry well.

2.Add mince followed by ½ cup of water. Cover the pan and let it cook till the mince becomes tender.

3.Cut the capsicum from top and scoop all the seeds out. Fill the capsicum with prepared mince, cover it back with capsicum top and cook it in the same pan that was used to prepare the mince.

4.Add ¼ cup of water till the capsicum is soft and tender.

5.Serve garnished with chopped coriander and green chillies.

Steaks with mushroom sauce

Now coming to the main course. Instead of the usual kalejis and shorbas, why not try going for something more retro this time? A change is always nice I believe.


Cube beef steaks – 4

Olive oil

Salt and pepper – To taste

Flour – 1 cup

Italian seasoned breadcrumbs – 1 cup

Paprika – 1 dash

Seasoned garlic salt – 1 tbsp

Parmesan cheese – 1/3 cup (grated)

Fresh mushrooms – 1 package (sliced)

Flour – 2-3 tbsp

Milk – 3 cups (depending on the amount of gravy desired)


For steaks:

1.Mix flour, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and seasonings in a bowl.

2.Dip steaks into a small amount of milk and then dredge them with the flour mixture.

3.Put three to four tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.

4.Cook steaks for five minutes on each side (cooking time depends on thickness of steak).

5.The juices from the steak might soak up the flour so before flipping them, add some more of the flour mixture, patting it down with a spatula.

6.When brown, flip over and continue to cook for another three minutes (cooking time varies according to the meat used).

7.When they are cooked well, remove the steaks and keep them warm.

For sauce:

1.Add a small amount of oil in the same pan and cook the mushrooms.

2.Add ¼ of the water, salt and pepper. Continue cooking.

3.Make sure you get all of the steak scraps left in the pan you are cooking the mushrooms in.

4.When most of the liquid is cooked off, sprinkle remaining flour over mushrooms and cook for one minute.

5.Add milk and cook until it thickens to your liking.

6.Now pour the sauce over the steaks and enjoy it with sides of your choice.

Mini crème caramel

After a hard day of sorting through tubs of meat, a simple dessert is called for. Crème caramel is not only easy to make but the perfect dessert to finish up the day since it’s light on the stomach and suits the sweet cravings perfectly.


For pudding:

Milk – 4 cups

Eggs – 8

Sugar – 6 tbsp

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Yellow colour – Few drops

For base:

Sugar – 6 tbsp


For base:

1.Melt sugar on low heat till it turns light golden, spread it in a mould and allow it to set.

For pudding:

1.Mix the eggs and sugar.

2.Add in milk, vanilla and colour. Beat well.

3.Strain mixture over the set sugar base.

4.Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees over a water bath for approximately 45 minutes.

5.Remove. Cool overnight in the fridge.

6.Unmold and serve.

Eid Mubarak everyone!

All photos: Arhama Siddiqa

Arhama Siddiqa

Arhama Siddiqa

The author is a LUMS and University of Warwick Alumnus and is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). She calls herself a bibliophile,a dreamer and an avid foodie. She also has a food website at www.chakhoous.com . She tweets @arhama_siddiqa (twitter.com/arhama_siddiqa)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ahmar

    Reading this up made me real hungry. That steak looks amazing!Recommend

  • Parvez

    ….and Eid Mubarak to you and those reading this.
    The small gentle story you narrated about distributing meat to the less fortunate along with your nano actually said a lot. As time progresses, values change and today we see more visible displays of righteousness backed by money and little that embodies the true essence of Eid. Over the years many have written excellent pieces on this aspect on this ET site in order to create an awareness and I hope it continues.
    Stuffed capsicums, small steak and caramel pudding….. a line up after my own heart. In the picture of the stuffed capsicum, the stuffing looks like rice and there is no rice in the ingredients ….. well …..I had to say something on the food.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Always learning something new from Arhama’s Food Treasure Chest.
    Now capsicum? That’s a new name for an old well known vegetable.
    At least in ‘yours truly’ limited atrocious pidgin English vocabulary.
    Truthfully, had to google it!! Like eggplant, also known as aubergine!?
    Well in this neck of the woods, they are known as ‘bell peppers’.
    If you add it all up, the total still comes to one delicious vegetable.
    And partnered with beefsteak and cooked the Arhama’s way, now that is
    one surefire way to feel you have died and gone to food heaven…..nirvana.Recommend

  • Amrita Yasin

    This Eid, ditch the Eid and wait for Christmas…..Recommend

  • NKAli

    Hajj Mubarak and Eid Mubarak in advance. Wow! Super! Mmmmm!Recommend

  • Hamsid

    Khair Mabrook !Recommend

  • Hamsid

    thank you =) do try !Recommend

  • Hamsid

    hahaha thank you thank you !
    which ‘neck of the woods’ do you belong to if I may ask?Recommend

  • Hamsid

    hahah No i mentioned I stuffed the ones I made with rice, One can add in any amount of variations with this dishRecommend

  • Hamsid

    and yes I agree , values have changed over time its truly saddening that optics have taken over in contemporary timesRecommend

  • Patwari

    A Happy Bakr Eid to you, sir.
    Arhama has written that you have a choice. From cheese to whatever
    you desire or whatever you have on hand. To use as filling for peppers.
    She had leftover boiled rice. Which she used. [Seems like there are
    garbanzo beans, maybe diced carrots, in there too]Recommend

  • Patwari

    Here is a clue,
    the country has a very famous statue
    ‘…give me your tired your poor your huddled masses.’
    is written at the base of this statue. Part of a poem.
    ‘ Land of the free. Home of the brave.’ is part of the national anthem.Recommend

  • Hamsid
  • Hamsid

    hahaha OhkayyyRecommend

  • Hamsid

    you should explore every part of this land I’d say, its pretty diverse I have heardRecommend

  • Patwari

    True. Have done that, to an extent, as
    they say, an ongoing project.
    On the other hand, have also explored from
    Karachi, Sindh to Kalam, Swat. Including the flag
    ceremony at Wagah to Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir
    Neelam valley and other points due Northwest
    That includes Torkham, Parachinar, Kohat, the Galiyats
    Hunza, Gilgit are like a second home.Recommend

  • Parvez

    How did I miss that ……. must be getting old. I still remember my mother had them stuffed with either mince or a type of spicy scrambled egg called akuri.Recommend

  • Hamsid

    very cool! document them?Recommend

  • Hamsid

    scrambled egg is a great idea! I’ll try that out for sure
    nahh its not you getting old its ET getting old =pRecommend

  • Patwari

    So so. Not in great detail. Could have done better.
    Exploring trips were done over a period of time.
    Last one was to Mohenjo Daro, Hala [with the great bazaar]
    Sehwan Sharif [Lal Shabaz Qalander’s Shrine] just last year.
    The trip was wrapped with a visit to Bhambore, an archaeological
    site and the Makli Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site near
    All these locations are in Sindh.Recommend