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Eid-ul-Azha means plenty of fresh qurbani meat. However, if you don’t want to overload your freezer and have had enough of the greasy kormas and kababs (which inevitably take their toll on the digestive system), there is no better time to experiment with healthier recipes.

This year, try using the fresh meat to prepare uncooked red meat dishes at home. They are nutritious (the nutrients are not denatured by the heat), flavourful and relatively easy to make. They are very popular in Mediterranean countries and the Middle East.

If you decide to experiment with your qurbani meat this year, remember to follow the recipes carefully and always use the correct cut of meat.

Here are some popular ‘uncooked’ meat dishes enjoyed around the world:

  • Carpaccio (Italian). Thin cuts of beef served with olive oil, vinaigrette and parmesan cheese.
  • Chee Kofta (Turkish). Minced lamb and beef mixed with bulgur wheat, herbs and spices; served as an appetiser along with salad, crackers or bread.
  • Kibbeh Nayyeh (Lebanese). Lamb mince kneaded with bulgur wheat and spices; served with olive oil, mint leaves and bread.
  • Kitfo (Ethiopian). Marinated mutton served with a traditional spicy herb butter, greens, cheese and bread.
  • Steak Tartare (French). Marinated beef served chilled with onions, lemon, herbs and sometimes a raw egg yolk.

Meats can also be air dried or smoked; this method locks in all the goodness of the raw meat, but tastes like cooked meat. Bresaola, an Italian cured beef, is a must try, while Beef Jerky is very popular the world over.

So this Eid, experiment with fresh meat. Google recipes and ‘cook up’ some new dishes!

Eid Mubarak!

– Dr Nezihe Hussain
The writer is a surgeon by profession and foodie by passion.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on November 6, 2011.