Tangy Arugala Salad with Sumac (Salatat Jarjeer)

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Rocket lettuce is the star of this Tangy Arugala Salad with Sumac (Salatet Jarjeer) that I learned how to make in Kuwait!

Tangy Arugala Salad with Sumac (Salatat Jarjeer) 1

I’m not a long-time fan of peppery “rocket” lettuce. In fact, it’s only within the past couple years that I started to enjoy arugala.

In Kuwait arugala is widespread, which isn’t surprising because arugala thrives in sandy soil. When Mike and I lived there, he had a habit of ordering from his favorite Persian restaurant (which was literally a two-minute walk from where we lived) about once a week. They always included a few bags full of arugula with our kebabs, and since arguala isn’t a favorite of either of ours, Mike and I always struggled using it up.

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Ras el Hanout {Moroccan Spice Mix}

Ras el Hanout

What I love most about my Middle Eastern kitchen here in Kuwait is how it smells. Yes, it’s clean, so there’s the background smell of cleaner (which I actually love), lol. But it’s the other smells that captivate me… The heady aroma of spices mingling with the soft scent of sweet fresh fruit and the bright smell of freshly ground Turkish coffee. Every time I pass the shelf where I keep my canister of Turkish coffee I can’t help but stop for a moment and inhale deeply....

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Molokhia Waraq

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If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you know I try to be as transparent with my readers as possible, so I’m going to give it to you straight on this: I can’t even begin to tell you how disgusted I was when I first tried Molokhia in the Middle East. The flavor wasn’t bad – it’s earthy, sort-of like spinach, flavor-wise. But texturally, it’s something else altogether. Meaning, it’s slimy as heck....

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Moroccan-Spiced Carrot-Date Salad

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After snow flurries last week, spring has finally sprung here! What better way to enjoy it than with a beautiful, refreshing salad? This carrot salad is a bit of a surprise and nothing like the average picnic-staple carrot salad you might be more familiar with. It boasts a citrusy Moroccan-spiced dressing, onion for a savory pungency, and sweet Medjool dates and navel oranges to add sweet balance. Head over to my post on Honest Cooking for the full recipe!...

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An Old Palestinian Potato Home Remedy for Tummy Troubles

An Old Palestinian Potato Home Remedy for Tummy Troubles

The last time Mike and I were in the Middle East I came down with stomach bugs three different times in 40 days. That’s more times than I’ve been sick with tummy troubles during the rest of my adult life combined (other than that trip, I only remember having stomach flus twice since being a kid!). Lucky for me, my mother-in-law is well-versed not only in cooking, but also in home remedies, many of which very effectively use food as medicine. As Hippocrates said, Let thy food by thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food....

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Maftoul (Palestinian Couscous)

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The ingredient pictured in my last post is Palestinian couscous, called maftoul. It’s hearty and comforting, making it perfect cold-weather food. I learned how to make it from my Syrian mother-in-law, and she learned how to make it from her Palestinian mother-in-law. Head over to my post on Honest Cooking for the full recipe!...

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Meat Shawarma Recipe + An Announcement

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I know I’ve gone on and on (and on) about shawarma. (And yes, each “on” links to a different post with shawarma.) I’ll stop now. After seeing the overwhelming positive response to the chicken shawarma recipe in my cookbook, I know my work is done. Sort-of. That’s chicken shawarma, but what if you prefer meat? You know I couldn’t leave you hanging. ...

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Middle Eastern Spice Blends (Baharat)

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Left to Right, Top to Bottom:  Bay Leaves, Whole Black Peppercorns, Ground Red Pepper (Cayenne), Dried Ginger, Dried Ground Coriander, Whole Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Dried Limes, Saffron, Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Dried Ground Cumin, and Whole Nutmeg. Photo (taken by yours truly) of Kebseh Spice Mix from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. When you think of the Middle East, exotic flavors and spices are probably high on the list of images that are conjured up. The intoxicating spicy smell of walking through an old market, sampling both sweet treats (like ma’amoul) and savory dishes (like shawarma) that are characterized by […]...

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