Whether you’re Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, agnostic or atheist, a vegan diet is an infallible way to get healthy, reduce your carbon footprint and demonstrate compassion for animals. As Anila Muhammad, who is a practicing Muslim and a vegan, explained in a Huffington Post article, “For me a plant-based diet was one way I could bridge the spiritual mandate to protect animals and the environment”.
So, to mark the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, in which food traditionally plays a major role, we thought we’d share a few ideas for festive meat-free recipes:
Georgian Tomatoes Stuffed With Walnuts and Pomegranates
6 large, firm tomatoes, stemmed
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1–1/2 cups walnuts, finely ground
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp chilli paste or cayenne
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground marigold (the type with edible flowers)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup pomegranate paste
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
- Cut the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Scoop out some of the pulp from the tomatoes and reserve for later use.
- In a wok or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the coriander and cumin seeds and cook for 10 seconds. Add the onion and stir-fry for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute longer. Reduce the heat to low.
- Add the reserved tomato pulp, walnuts, salt, pepper, chilli paste, cinnamon, marigold, parsley, pomegranate paste and sugar and cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Stuff the tomatoes with the filling and replace their tops. Place side by side in an ovenproof, oiled dish. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle a little coarse salt over each tomato. Place the dish under the broiler until the tomatoes are tender and their tops are slightly burnt yet still hold their shape, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold with bread, soya yogurt, rice, pasta or couscous.
Makes 6 servings
Fried Bean Croquettes
8 oz (225 g) dried chickpeas
8 oz (225 g) fresh or dried broad beans
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 onions, finely chopped
4 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (coriander)
1–2 tsp ground cilantro (coriander)
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
2–3 Tbsp flour or 1/2 tsp baking powder (if required)
Oil, for deep-frying
- Soak the dried chickpeas and broad beans overnight, then drain and wash.
- Grind the chickpeas and beans into a paste and add all the remaining ingredients except the flour and oil. Mix thoroughly and let stand for 30 minutes. If the paste does not hold together, add the flour or baking powder.
- Form into small flat balls and deep-fry until brown and the crust is crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.
Makes 6 servings
1/2 tsp saffron threads
3 cardamom pods, cracked
2 Tbsp rose water
3 cups water
2 cups long-grain rice, washed
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup date or ordinary syrup
2 Tbsp oil
- Soak the saffron and cracked cardamom pods in the rose water for at least 10 minutes.
- Bring the water to a boil and add the rice and salt. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes. Drain well and remove from the pot.
- Carefully stir the syrup into the drained rice. Swirl the oil around the bottom and sides of the rice pot and add the rice. Sprinkle with the rose water mixture. Place a clean tea towel between the pot and the lid, then steam the rice on very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.
Makes 6 servings
If you’re celebrating a meat-free Eid and have a recipe to share, please let us know in the comments!
Visit IslamicConcern.com for more information about the connection between Islamic religious practices and animal rights issues.