”Sewaiyan”, an essential delicacy on Eid, is in short supply in Lucknow due to the lockdown.
While the thick variety of vermicelli is available, the finer varieties that are used in preparing ”sewaiyan” are not easily available. Rizwan Khan, a wholesaler in Yahiyaganj area, said, “We start making the different varieties of sewaiyan almost a month before Ramzan begins. Different varieties are used for different kinds of dishes. This year, the lockdown began even before we could start production and now there is no time left because making the vermicelli strands is a time-consuming craft.”
Incidentally, the packed vermicelli brands that are sold in the markets throughout the year, have already flown off the shelves.
“When we ran out of Maggi stocks, people started buying vermicelli packets and used them as noodles,” said Harish Seth, a grocery shop owner in Mahanagar area.
Muslim families are looking at other options to sewaiyan.
“I will make a very small quantity of sewaiyan with the stock that I have and also make kheer,” said Aisha, a student who lives with her grandparents.
With the ban on the sale of meat, Muslim families are also looking for an alternative to ”biryani” and jackfruit seems a perfect one.
“Kathal (jackfruit) biryani is actually no biryani – at best, it can be a pulao but then we have to find alternatives because the situation is not normal. Eid, too, will be different this year but we will try to make it feel good,” said Shaheen Ahmad, a homemaker.
Some families are holding ”trial runs” of variations of vegetable biryani and these range from ”paneer” biryani, soya biryani and a mixed vegetable biryani.
“I am trying out the variations every day and will settle for the one that tastes best for Eid,” said Asma, another homemaker.
Despite the ban on the sale of meat, some online grocery portals have started the sale of frozen meat and chicken and also frozen non-vegetarian dishes.
However, Muslim families are not too keen on buying delicacies online.
“If meat is not available in the corona crisis, we should all learn to make some sacrifices and opt for a vegetarian fare. Heavens will not fall if we do not have non-vegetarian delicacies on Eid,” said Asma.
The majority of the Muslim families have not made new clothes for themselves and are using the money to help the poor in celebrating the festival.