Eating healthy this Eidul Azha with Naheed Ansari


While for some, Eidul Azha is all about the sacrifice, for others, it’s more about the meat. Eidul Azha is a significant and memorable event for Muslims all around the globe. Muslims of the world celebrate this Eid in the month of Zilhajj.

Since this Eid is all about sacrifices – and that too of cattle animals – it is easily understood that the meat quantity will be in extravagance. But, what about keeping up with the quality? How do you keep the wholesome fresh meat hygienic for not only you but for the distribution to others as well?

In conversation with Naheed Ansari, who has a prominent following on the internet – especially on social media – I hoped to get a few tips from her for healthy eating and cooking this Eid.

HTV: What do you think people should do to make their Eid food less oily, but taste just as good?

Naheed Ansari (NA): Use less oil (laughs). It is best to have little consumption of oil if you are avoiding oily food. If it is must, then olive oil is the best option, as it is much healthier than the other oils. It is important to maintain a balance of oil and spices, especially having the right amount of spices so that you get the required taste in food that you like.

Are there any don’ts of cooking cattle animals which you would want to tell our readers?

NA: Yes, don’t cook without cleanliness. It is the foremost important thing because this Eid is all about meat. So keeping it clean should be the main focus. One of the ways is to take some Atay ki Bhoosi (crushed flour) and sprinkle that on the fresh meat. Leave that on for a bit and then wash it. This will help making the rinsing of the meat easier and will take the stench away. If say, the meat is taking a hard time to cook, then take beetle nut (supari) and add to the meat – this will make the process faster for the meat. It is also good to boil the meat beforehand and freeze it; this way you can easily cook it faster later on. When you make yakhni for pulao or anything, to make it less in calories and fat, freeze it, and then drain out the oil that will rise above once frozen.

What tips would you give to people who have health issues regarding consumption of meat?

NA: People get over-excited this Eid and have heavy course meals every day because of the amount of meat, so it is better to eat less and avoid risking your health. It is vital and important to remove the fat from the meat because the fat of the meat can be harmful. Do not sleep after eating, this is a very common mistake that people make. This is just them calling to be fat and having an unhealthy routine. Take half a glass of milk and half a glass of cold water mixed together to help with digestion and if you feel a burning inside.

How can the less-privileged enjoy their Eid?

NA: This Eid I think is for everyone, as the main point is for you to sacrifice and share all around. So it is better to distribute as much as you can. This will also help with your consumption of meat.

Are there any easy hacks for storing meat and excess food?

NA: People can buy separate zip-log bags or any small bag, but make sure they’re clean and make smaller portions for storing away. Boiling the meat after washing it also keeps it safe and helps in cooking faster.

What message would you like to give to our readers this Eid?

NA: I wish everyone the best and a happy Eid. This Eid should mean cleanliness. This means to keep the roads clean, not throwing away any excess bad meat on the roads or in an inappropriate way, and try not to ruin other people’s Eid. Store the meat in a hygienic manner. Eat smaller proportionate meals and just have good and safe feasts.

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