KARACHI: Meat sizzling on the barbecue and the smell of traditional curries wafting through the air is synonymous with Eid Al-Adha festivities in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city where home chefs said they had restocked spice jars and dug out old recipes for family feasts on the religious holiday.
Eid Al-Adha was observed on Wednesday in the South Asian nation. It is observed by Muslims to commemorate their belief that prophet Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, before God replaced his son with a ram to be sacrificed instead.
Muslims traditionally mark the occasion by sacrificing a lamb — or goat, cow or camel, depending on the region — at home and dividing it into thirds among the needy, friends and family.
Cooking meat dishes is a major part of the festivities around the Islamic world, including in Pakistani cities like Karachi, where a majority of residents interviewed said that they would be feasting on Sindhi, Afghani, Peshawari and Indian classics this year, as well as traditional pulao and biryani rice dishes.
Almost 1.6 million cattle, including cows, goats, camel and sheep, are bought in Karachi over Eid every year, with families partaking in the sacrificial rituals after tending to the animals for weeks.
Muhammad Hayyan, whose family migrated from India’s capital, New Delhi, after the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, said that he was looking forward to a “loaded meat menu” of Afghani boti, Bihari and seekh kebabs, Peshawari karahi and Delhi’s mutton dalcha, a spicy meat and chickpea curry from Hyderabad, or kunna, which is meat cooked in a clay pot below ground level.