The Jewish holiday of Purim 2018 begins this coming Wednesday night, the 28th of February, and continues through Thursday the 29th. In Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities, the holiday is called Shushan Purim and occurs on Thursday night, the 1st of March, through Friday.
Nomads of the Caucasus Mountains attribute their long, vigorous lives to a natural diet, plenty of outdoor exercise – and kefir. Kefir is fermented milk, something like yogurt. Its taste ranges from mildly sour to cheeselike, depending on how long the milk ferments. It has lots of probiotics and proven anti-bacterial power.
There are usually no great surprises at the major wine festivals, which are held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. You tend to bump into the same winemakers over and over again. Some stands represent not wineries, but fruit-based liqueurs, or beer. At the Wine Jerusalem festival held last week, I was surprised to find a new twist […]
It’s still chilly in the Middle East – still the season for comfort food. Try driving the cold away with msemmen, a flexible, square-shaped skillet cake (the best of Middle East and North African pancakes!), easily pulled apart into layers so you can stuff it. Msemmen is similar to the Emirati Khameer bread (recipe here), […]
There’s a huge new movement in Israel. Not politics. Food. Specifically, veganism. Of a country totalling eight million people, an estimated 200,000 are now declared vegans (see Karin’s post about the growing movement here). That’s roughly 2.5 percent of the population.
Why would anyone want to eat plants that sting? And raw nettles do sting. But nettles are a tasty, nutrient-dense food. People have been eating them since antiquity, and probably since pre-history. Their easily-metabolized iron content is so high that nettles tea is a natural remedy for anemia.
I’ve been cooking nonstop out of Nawal Nasrallah’s majestic cookbook, Delights From The Garden of Eden. And my family loves it, because every recipe yields a delicious dish. Like this one.
When I think of a meal based on a light protein – something quick to make and yet satisfying – I think of fish. Have you ever considered fish luxuriously drizzled with tahini?
See the images: These very rare textiles were found in the Wadi Murabba’at caves south of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Why is this ancient find so exciting for the Jews?
For more than 3000 years, Jews dreamed of recovering a lost blue dye called techelet. Using clues laid down over 100 years ago by one rabbi in Poland, and another in Israel, Ptil Techelet, the Association for the Promotion and Distribution of Tekhelet, has succeeded in tracking down the dye’s source and reviving it.
Frankly, we’re hoping that the above image of holiday shoppers makes you a tad uncomfortable. To enjoy holidays as greenly as possible, buy or make meaningful gifts that add to joy, not more trash to landfills. Here are 10 ways you can reduce the inevitable waste that accumulates after the last gifts are unwrapped.
One advantage of eating vegan is that you probably have all ingredients for home-cooked meals in your pantry, all the time. Another advantage, especially in freezing winter times like now, is how filling and warming vegan foods are, based as they are on grains, like lupini beans, which deserve to be better known, and lots […]
Want to get close to Iraqi food traditions and culture? This cook book is for you. Lyrical memoirs of Nawal Nasrallah’s childhood in Iraq, and the place that food had in that culture, drift through the pages, pausing for sidebars that offer tidbits like four paragraphs on ancient wives in ancient kitchens. Or samples from a […]
It’s that frying time of the year again. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights which lasts for eight days. The holiday commemorates the victory of the Jewish people against Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 165 B.C, and the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which had been ransacked and desecrated. The light in the Temple, […]
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Gaza has set up a project addressing Gaza’s food insecurity, reports The Star. Where a buffer zone now stands on former agricultural land, farming has disappeared.
With the Middle Eastern olive season in full swing, it’s natural to think of cooking with those fleshy, savory olive morsels. If you’ve been lucky enough to get olives pickled on the farm, as I did at the Olive Branch Festival in Israel, most of your work has been done for you.
Artisinal olive oil. It has an attractive ring, but think what “artisinal” means. You associate it with ancient traditions that living people continue to maintain – with the material products of those traditions.
“Middle Eastern food” is a catch-phrase that embraces the cuisines of so many countries, and ethnic streams inside those countries, that a list of 60 essential ingredients can’t cover everything. But if you love the flavors of the Middle East…
Truffles -the delicious tubers- have been a topic in food literature throughout the ages, from neo-Sumerian inscriptions in the 20th century BCE, to the writings of 19th-century chef Brilliant Savarin, to the joyful greediness of contemporary author Peter Mayle. But if you think that good truffles come exclusively from Italy and France…
There’s nothing like homemade falafel when you’re in the mood for those savory, crunchy chickpea balls packed into a fluffy pita. We teach you how to make whole-wheat pita here. Making your own falafel, you decide exactly which fixings go into your package of chickpea goodness.
Khameer, a round flatbread of humble Beduin origins, once fell out of favor with the upscale eaters of the United Arab Emirates. But the tender round bread with its golden top is enjoying a comeback. We show you how to make it. Gently slit open, the puffy top separates from the flexible bottom layer to make […]
If someone offered you camel bourguignon or a camel-burger on a gold-leaf bun, would you think they were kidding? We offered you an affordable recipe for camel burgers in this post. Now The Daily Star reports that in the Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Hotel, the humble camel has been elevated into the new ulra-gourmet meat.
Gnocchi or kofteh? I’d always thought of kofteh as meatballs of one kind or another. But in this recipe, I discovered that a dumpling may go by that name too. And how delicious the dumplings – gnocchi – or kofteh are.
In the Middle East, date palms are a natural element of the landscape. The towering trees adorn streets and march down road medians. They sprout out of private gardens and public parks. Come late summer, their gracefully swaying green heads send forth sturdy branches laden with heavy fruit clusters.
The Jewish New Year 5774 starts at sundown tonight, Wednesday September 4th, and ends on the night of Thursday the 5th. On the first night, families sit together and enjoy a meal rich in delicious symbolism, as we explained in this post. Carrots are a more interesting vegetable than one would suspect. They’re also one […]