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. Do you like lots of chopped cucumber and tomato, […]
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 […]
Rice is the standard “background” dish in many Middle Eastern menus. It’s often cooked quite plain, as a foil to the intense colors and pungent flavors of fresh vegetables and meat. Or it might appear all dressed up with spices and protein-rich grains, as in majadra, a typical lentil and rice dish. This recipe of […]
There are two good reasons for cooking with turmeric. The first one is that the spice’s attractive yellow color and pungent flavor satisfy the sense of having eaten real food. The second, as folk wisdom has always known, is that it’s good for you. Our previous post on turmeric vs. arthritis offers a wide view […]
Fourteen picturesque Druze communities huddle in the shelter of Israel’s Galilee mountains. Although they flow freely in and out of Israeli society, the Druze stay close to home, marrying only other Druze and adhering to an Islam-based religion that they don’t discuss with outsiders. I have often wanted to know more about the Druze, to […]
Summertime is watermelon time, and time to enjoy the pleasant contrast between the fruit’s hot red color and cool sweetness. Mark Bittman of the New York Times writes a variety of recipes featuring watermelon. In case you need convincing, here are 5 good reasons to eat watermelon this summer. We’ve taken three of Mr. Bittman’s […]
The ruins of a fortified complex at Khirbet Qeiyafa, west of Jerusalem, are the remains of one of King David’s palaces, says Dr. Yossi Garfinkel, archeologist from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Working together with Saar Ganor of Israel’s Antiquities Authority, Garfinkel has worked to uncover the site for the past seven years. According to […]
When I first thought of arsenic in my food, I remembered “Arsenic and Old Lace,” a movie from the 1940s where two old ladies nonchalantly poison their elderly suitors with a little arsenic in their elderflower tea. We’re not keeling over from the levels of arsenic in our food – yet – but the concern […]
Experienced cooks know that vegetables that come into season together often cook up well together. A perfect example for July produce is tomatoes and eggplants. Both have been available throughout the spring and early summer, but it’s right now that you can find the baladi (heirloom) varieties. See our baba ganoush recipe with a baladi […]
Umm…remind me, what’s vegewarian again? It’s enjoying plenty of sustainable, local, and delicious vegetarian foods, with meat dishes only once in a while. As summer climbs towards its peak hot weather, hefty eggplants and tomatoes make a natural partnership in savory dishes like this one. Using the blender, the sauce takes little effort, and […]
Lady’s Fingers – a poetic name for a day-to-day vegetable, also known as okra. Maybe the lovely pale yellow flower sheds a little poetry over the seed pod that grows out of its heart, and which we eat as a vegetable. In the Middle East, we call it bameeyah.
Does a vision of rich, creamy, sweet and cheesy dessert with a crunchy topping totally seduce you? Well, it seduces people with a sweet tooth everywhere in the Levant. In Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, good housewives make knafeh, the most luxurious dairy dessert.
Give a microscopic vegetable the right conditions of sunshine and water, and you can home-farm what some say is the world’s most nutritious food: spirulina.