In Search of the Perfect Curry: Chef Rick Stein

Whenever I hear the word ‘curry’, I’m filled with a longing for spicy hot food with the fragrance of cumin, cloves and cinnamon. I see deep-red colors from lots of Kashmiri chillies tinged with a suggestion of yellow from turmeric. I think of the tandoor oven, and slightly scorched naan shining with ghee and garlic;…

Olea Europaea : The European Olive

One of the oldest trees to be cultivated; at least 6000 years ago, the olive is a fruit that is popular worldwide and is also revered in most Mediterranean cultures.  By 3,000 BC, it was being grown in Crete and spread to Southern Europe and Africa through the Phoenicians; spread along the fertile crescent which includes some…

Foods of India – Kutchi Memon Cuisine

Introduction While the fare on Cutchi (Kutchi) Memon tables is legendary, it is a little known fact that these recipes are considered sacred and guarded zealously by the owners of the keys to paradise. Those who do not qualify by bloodline have often received the recipe for sheekh kabab without the ingredient that encourages the…

Lebanese street corner bakeries

The manóushé is the quintessential Lebanese breakfast. Named for the Arabic word na’sh which refers to the way the fingertips of the baker “engrave” the dough, the manóushé is indeed engraved upon our collective memories as Lebanese. The smell of manóushé bi-zatar in the morning catapults a Lebanese person back in time to a lively…

Journey to the heart of Turkish Cuisine

People are always eating and drinking around the clock in Istanbul: grabbing chewy sesame-crusted simit (bagels) on every street corner, sipping refreshing freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice, small glasses of sweetened tea or thick mastic-flavored Turkish coffee on their way to work, stopping at hole-in-the-wall döner and köfte joints for a quick snack or slurping bowls of chickpea and…

Bread and Salt

Bread, called nan in Persian, is the staple food of Iran in all regions except around the Caspian, where rice supplants it. Nan is a Persian word first used in Achaemenid Iran (550-330 BCE), from which all other languages borrowed it. In Iran, bread and salt are treated with great respect. The main Persian breads are flat breads but…

Armenian Sweet Bread (Nan-e gisu)

Makes 3 loaves Preparation time: 20 minutes plus rising time overnight Cooking time: 35-40 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 package or 1 tablespoon dry yeast 1/4th cup warm water 3 eggs 1.5 cups sugar 1 tablespoon honey 2 tsp ground mahlab 1 cup whole milk 1 cup melted, unsalted butter or Oil 4.5-5.5 cups cake flour, sifted with…

Let Them Eat Salmon…

In Old Mortality, Sir Walter Scott’s 1816 novel set at the time of the Covenanter Rising of 1679, the author describes how salmon was not always regarded as a luxury: A large boiled salmon would now-a-days have indicated a more liberal housekeeping; but at that period, salmon was caught in such plenty in the considerable rivers of…

Sketching and cooking with Julia Child

Mastering the Art of French Cooking – Volume One Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck -Chapter Five- FISH  Poisson The French are magnificent with fish. Not only is fresh fish abundant all the year round, but the art of its cooking and saucing is accomplished with great taste and skill. This chapter includes two fine…