Eid al-Fitr is the Muslim holiday celebrated after the month of Ramadan. It is a festive occasion typically filled with family, friends, delicious meals, treats, and gifts. However, this Eid was a bit different than the past. With the safety measures in place due to Covid-19, I was unable to travel to Ohio to spend the holiday with my parents and family. My husband and I stayed in our home in the DC suburbs and found new unique ways to celebrate while maintaining social distance.
Eid is not simply about the food, but food is one of the deepest forms of an expression of love in Afghan culture. Walking into an Afghan home, even for a simple visit, the coffee table will be set with snacks and you'll be offered tea so many times that it's best to acquiesce and accept, because eventually a cup will make its way into your hands. These beautiful cultural norms are one I took for granted, but learned over the years are an endearing quality unique within Afghan culture.
As I was unable to host family or friends in my home, and wanted to share a part of my home with my parents in Ohio, I packed a few treats from my pantry that we would have otherwise shared together had Covid not kept us apart. I kept the same items at my home and displayed them on my coffee table for snacking, while the other half were packed away and mailed to Ohio. After receiving their care package, we snacked on the same treats together via FaceTime, a piping hot cup of chai in one hand, and smiles interspersed between bites of roht and nuql.
A snapshot into my care package:
All the salty and sweet snacks from my table grouped together. I wrapped them individually into clear polka dot printed treat bags. The bags were snagged long ago on an after Christmas end of season sale at The Container Store.
I always keep my eyes peeled for small items that may be useful in the future, even if they don't have an immediate use and store them in a box in my storage room. These bags were so beautiful and fit my aesthetic so well I couldn't leave them behind-- especially at the amazing price of 99 cents for a bundle of 20.
As Eid drew closer, I rummaged through my "saved for later use" box and discovered these beauties as the perfect packaging for the occasion. I was so grateful that I indulged in this habit, especially with the restrictive options now during Covid.
A look inside the bags: (scroll to bottom for link of where to purchase contents)
Left to right:
Dried Apricot Rolls
Tandoori cookies or what I call "mini-roat." Roat is a cookie bread made with cardamom and topped with nigella seeds, it's a sweet but not overly sweet bready treat enjoyed with tea either at breakfast, as a snack, or dessert.
Left to right:
Sinjid also known as the Persian Olive, a fruit added to Haft Maywa the traditional Nawroz dish
Jalgozha aka pine nuts-- my father would snack on these endlessly
Pashmak! Otherwise known as Afghan cotton candy, it has a stringy texture similar to cotton candy, and soft in taste, though not as overwhelmingly sugary sweet like traditional American cotton candy. Enclosed are the flavors: original, pistachio, chocolate, and strawberry
Left to right:
Nuqul aka frosted pearl almonds. This traditional sweet snack is found abundantly during Afghan weddings and celebrations
Semian aka dried flavored chickpea snack.
These items are all from Afghan owned businesses.
You can purchase them locally or online at: