Shaista Fatima/New Delhi
Shab-e-Barat is the night of the 15th day of Shaban (also called Mid-Shaban) in the Islamic lunar (Hijri) calendar.
Shab-e-Barat is referred to by various names all throughout the world like Shab-e- Qadr, Laylat al-Qadr, Barat Night, Cheragh e Barat, Berat Kandili, or Nisfu Syaaban. It is the day when Muslims all over the world seek forgiveness and prepare for the year ahead. This night is also called the 'The Night of Fortune and Forgiveness’.
This year, Shab-e-Barat falls on the 7th of March, while delicacies like zarda, chane ki dal ka halwa, and suji ka halwa are prepped during the day, the following night is observed to pray till dawn, eat sehri and then fast the next day. Many say this day also serves as the alarm for the upcoming month of Ramzan.
Muslims believe that on Shab-e-Barat, Allah grants people’s wishes, and fortunes and also decides if they will be able to go for Hajj. People, on this day, pray to Allah for their sins and ask for forgiveness.
People also visit mosques and pray on behalf of their loved ones by going to their graves. The night of Barat is one of the five holy nights in Islam.
Here listed are a few traditional recipes for Shab-e-Barat
Suji Ka Katli Halwa
On normal days this halva is served in bowls but for Shab-e-Barat this Halwa is spread on a big pan and then dried meticulously in order to be cut into diamond-shaped pieces. The semolina is dry-roasted and then slowly cooked again with the sugar syrup. The trick lies in roasting it till it is soft enough to be spread on a big flat pan and left to dry in the open air.
Chane Ki Dal ka Halwa
Prepared by sauteing the soaked and then grounded Chane Ki Dal (Bengal Gram). This delicacy is quintessential to every Muslim household that too on the day of Shab-e-Barat.
It is flavoured with cardamom and saffron. Although chana dal halwa requires a bit of prior soaking and takes a bit of time to cook, it is a worthwhile effort, which is sure to be enjoyed by one and all.
The easiest and most sought-after recipe for Shab-e-Barat is Zarda, prepped with par-boiled rice grain (sela chawal) and sugar syrup. Garnished with some dried nuts this recipe is a delicacy for young and adults alike.