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World Cuisine

  • Harissa the Great!

    Harissa is a potent chili paste that is widely used in most North African cuisine, specifically Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. This fiery blend of dried chilies and spices is an excellent accompaniment to tagines, couscous, rice dishes and also pairs well with all meats and fish. Continue reading

  • Three Warm Salads from Morocco

    This week's recipes, all warm salads with fresh vegetables, are easy-to-prepare side dishes in the Moroccan tradition of Ronit's family.

    "Growing up, our dinner or lunch would start with warm salads of all kinds: spiced carrots, roasted chili pepper with lemon and garlic, flatbread with zahtar, zaalouk with roasted eggplants," Ronit recalls.

    "We never had any frozen food or snacks; everything my mother made was fresh," she adds.

    "I was always impressed by her natural confidence in the kitchen. She never used any written recipes." Continue reading

  • Making Doughnuts: A Tradition in Many Lands

    Here we call them doughnuts, or donuts for short. But there are as many words for deep-fried dough treats as there are lands where they are enjoyed.

    Italian doughnuts are called zeppole, or bombolini for the filled variety. Spain brought its churros to Mexico. A similar pastry, known in Turkish as tulumba, can be found around the Middle East. Dutch oliebollen and Greek loukoumades are more like fritters.

    Street vendors in the Middle East and South Asia sell jalebi; Indian gulab jamun are made with dairy solids instead of grain flour. Farther north in Pakistan and Nepal, you will find balushahi cooked in clarified butter. The Chinese also deep-fry doughs: One breakfast treat, called youtiao, resembles a cruller and is used for dunking. Continue reading

  • Thai Curries

    Judging by the number of amazing dishes out there in the world, I would guess that Thai food has to be right up there as one of the most popular global cuisines. It is believed that the Thais secret in creating delicious food is simply in the balance of combining the four fundamental flavors: sourness, sweetness, saltiness and spiciness with heat sitting at the top of the four flavors. Continue reading

  • The Many Sides To Korean Food

    When it comes to snazzy food, Korean cuisineis right at the top of my list. For a traditional home-cooked meal, which is referred to as "Hanjoungshik the Koreans will prepare various side-dishes like broiled or grilled fish or beef, a cup of bean paste soup, some steamed vegetables, and their awesome kimchi (pronounced kim-chee).

    What I like most about Korean food is the creative way they balance their spices. They incorporate sweet & salty, sour and spicy flavors using basic seasonings of chilies, soy-sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame, mustard, sugar, vinegar & sometimes wine. Continue reading

  • Falafel: Baked or Fried

    Falafel! Its easy to say, easy to eat and surprisingly easy to prepare at home. These savory, cumin-scented chickpea fritters, packed with protein and fiber, are a common street food across the Middle East and Mediterranean, and can now be found in most American cities as well.

    Falafel sandwiches typically are wrapped in pita or another flatbread, but the fritters can also be served on a plate, as an appetizer or main course with hummus and vegetables. Continue reading

  • Mexican Mole Sauce in 15 Minutes

    One of Mexico's first and greatest gifts to international cuisine is mole, a family of complex, chili-based simmering sauces that can be red, green, brown or nearly black in color.

    Often said to have been invented by poor nuns at a colonial convent in Puebla where the celebrated Cinco de Mayo victory was to take place in 1862 mole takes its name from the indigenous Nahuatl word for mix or sauce. Continue reading

  • A Taste of Druze Cuisine

    The hospitality and cuisine of the Druze community have been known for more than a thousand years in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. The modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan have the largest Druze populations today, but you can also find Druze people in many other countries.

    In New York City, Israeli Druze chef Gazala Halabi owns two acclaimed Druze restaurants, one in Hell's Kitchen and a second on the Upper West Side. That's it, though: If you want authentic Druze cuisine outside Manhattan, you're on your own.

    Ronit has a special nostalgia for Druze cookery. While growing up in Israel, she loved to stop by Druze villages for a favorite treat: crepe-thin Druze pitas, made of dough thats stretched and spun before being tossed onto a convex outdoor griddle where it bubbles as it bakes. Continue reading

  • What A Dal!

    The amazing world of Indian cuisine can be summed up to tantalizing aromas, colorful flavors and exotic textures that work in harmony to create signature dishes like curries, tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala.

    One of our favorite Indian dishes is dal (daal or dahl) which is actually a split version of a number of pulses such as lentils, peas, mung beans, chickpeas and more. When they are split into half, it is considered to be dal; an example would be mung beans split in half is mung dal.
    Continue reading

  • All About the Sauce: Charmoula Pt 2

    As a lover of all things related to food I am always eager to explore new and exciting ways to spice up my gastronomical world. However, if I go back to my Moroccan roots, I dont have to look any further than my own kitchen pantry.

    For me, there is no other diverse culture, like the Moroccan culture, which (for centuries) has presented such rich flavors, aromas, and textures in their culinary skills. The colorful presentation and perfect selection of spices and fresh ingredients are what make Moroccan food among one of the most pleasingly balanced of all cuisines.

    Recently, Ive written about charmoula (or chermoula) seasoning, which contributes to some of the most unique sauces and marinades that make Moroccan food stand out so proudly.Charmoula has been the basis for so many tagine-style dishes, and as previously mentioned, it can be used as a dry rub or a marinade. Continue reading

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