Meaty Eid

Beef up your precautions for a hale and hearty Eidul Azha


As Eidul Azha approaches, people gear up to spend hours at the bakra mandi to find the fittest and most reasonably priced sacrificial animal and families get ready to cook and manage the meat for distribution. Rising prices, health hazards and the sweltering heat, however, can make the ritual sacrifice  quite taxing. We provide you with a few basic guidelines to make this Eid safe, special and easier for everyone.



Have a Hygienic Eid!

• Ensure that the meat is not contaminated by fluid during the qurbani process.

• Disinfect and sanitise the corner of the house in which the animal was slaughtered.

• All inedible internal organs should be disposed off properly into dumpsters dedicated for this purpose.

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Slice, store and savour later

• Meat should be sliced, washed, completely drained and sealed in a plastic film (to prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria) before being frozen.

• It should be stored on a tray to prevent it from dripping blood on to other food items.

• To thaw meat, shift it to the fridge the night before you plan to cook it.

• Use the meat within one or two days while it is still cherry red in colour or brownish-red. If it turns brown, the meat is old.

• The texture of the meat should be firm and it should look moist instead of wet and sticky.

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Take caution against the Congo virus

Healthcare providers across the country advice people to take precautionary measures against the Congo virus after it recently claimed the lives of two people in Karachi. “Pakistan has been seeing cases of the Congo virus in sheep and cows over the last year or so,” says Dr Faisal Mahmood, assistant professor at The Aga Khan University, Karachi, and an infectious disease specialist. The virus is primarily transmitted to people from ticks on infected animals and if they are exposed directly to the blood of an infected animal, but there is no harm if one consumes the cooked meat of an infected animal, explains Dr Mahmood. “There is no way to detect if an animal is sick, as it will look healthy despite being infected.”

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Prevention

• Cover your skin as much as possible — wear full-sleeved clothes, socks and closed shoes when you go to the mandi.

• Use an insect repellant.

• Shower immediately and change your clothes when you return.

• Butchers should cover their mouth while slaughtering the animal and take great care not to rub their eyes or scratch their face at any point during the process. They should wash their hands as much possible with running water and soap and use a hand sanitiser afterwards.

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Check before you buy

• Check the animal for pale or dull eyes.

• Watch out for an animal that appears to be lazy, especially if it does not move for a long period of time.

• Make sure that the animal’s skin is smooth and free from blisters behind the ears.

• Ensure that the mouth, teeth and hooves have no abnormalities and that the animal does not give off a strong odour.

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Guilt free eating

This Eid, chef Shai recommends the Tabla biryani recipe that is low on cholesterol and high on flavour.

Ingredients

Basmati rice 1 cup

Lamb ½ kg (boneless lean meat)

Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp

Onions 2 (chopped)

Yogurt ½ cup

Tomatoes 4 (puréed)

Biryani masala mix ½ packet (any good brand)

Salt to taste

Oil ½ cup

Saffron milk ¼ cup (½ tsp saffron mixed with milk)

Yogurt mixed with 1 tsp garam masala ½ cup

Sliced almond ½ cup (toasted)

Fresh coriander ¼ cup chopped

Mint 2 tbsp (chopped)

Green chilies 2 tbsp (chopped)

Ginger 2 tbsp (julienned)

Fried onions ½ cup

Melted margarine ¼ cup

A handful of chapatti dough

Method

1. Boil the rice and set aside.



2. Heat oil, add the chopped onion and cook until golden. Add meat, ginger and garlic paste, biryani masala and yogurt and cook for a few minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and some water, cover and let it cook until the meat is tender or until all the water has dried and the masala starts to release oil from the sides of the pan.

4. Pre heat the oven at 200°C. Take a large clay handi or any other non-stick pan and make two layers of all the contents in the pan, including the rice, except the fried onions and toasted almond as they will be used later to garnish.

5. Make sure to seal the lid of pan with the chapatti dough. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for half an hour. Remove the lid, add fresh coriander and mix the biryani before dishing it out.

6. Garnish and serve with fresh salad and cucumber raita. Enjoy!

Simoneel Chawla is a subeditor for The Express Tribune Magazine. She tweets @simoneelc

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, October 5th, 2014.

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COMMENTS (1)

abdul basit | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend

And most important of all share it with the poor because it wont be a qurbani if it ends up in the tummies of your family

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