Tastes

Refuge in Recipes: The Research Journey of Nawal Nasrallah

Refuge in Recipes: The Research Journey of Nawal Nasrallah

It was time for the family to sit down for dinner at Nawal Nasrallah’s home in Bloomington, Indiana. Nasrallah had made her 18-year-old daughter Iba’s favorite dish, Iraqi-style eggplant biryani, in honor of the college acceptance letter Iba had just received. Iba spooned the biryani onto her plate, took a bite and burst into tears. “Where am I going to find food like this at school?” she asked.
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Flavors: Upside-Down in Babylon Pineapple Palace Cake

Flavors: Upside-Down in Babylon Pineapple Palace Cake

Palace cake was made in honor of the gods who were worshipped in the temples of Ur on the banks of the Euphrates. It contained raisins, aniseed, and an unbelievable amount of fat and dates.
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Mango: The Emperor's New Fruit

Mango: The Emperor's New Fruit

We know from their memoirs that, centuries ago Mughal emperors craved mangos, and their patronage of orchards in Goa led to today's global mango agribusiness-but the tastiest mangos of all? Those still come from Goa. say locals, and most would agree.
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Flavors: Pumpkin Coconut Soup (Kaddu Nariyal Shorba)

Flavors: Pumpkin Coconut Soup (Kaddu Nariyal Shorba)

Nothing had prepared me for the damp, cold winters of Cambridge. I wanted to make this soup not just because it was warming and comforting but because I also got a lot of free pumpkins from the market on my first Halloween in England.
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Is the Sky the Limit for The Gambia's Groundnuts?

Is the Sky the Limit for The Gambia's Groundnuts?

From co-op farms and export-driven factories to market stalls run by young entrepreneurs, continental Africa's smallest country is adapting its globally popular crop of groundnuts peanuts to changing climate, changing markets and rising aspirations.
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Flavors: Afghan Breakfast Eggs Tokhme Banjanromi

Flavors: Afghan Breakfast Eggs Tokhme Banjanromi

My mother recalls having this dish for breakfast during family day trips, such as to Mazari-Sharif (in northern Afghanistan) for the Red Tulip Festival (Guli Surkh), during the spring equinox. It would be made in a beautiful copper karayee, a shallow heavy-based pan used in Afghan cooking. The karayee would be placed directly over a portable kerosene burner, where the eggs, vegetables and spices would bubble away. The large karayee is then placed in the middle of the breakfast spread, surrounded by naans and various chais, for everyone to help themselves.
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Flavors: Spinach and Lamb Curry (Sabzi)

Flavors: Spinach and Lamb Curry (Sabzi)

This type of spinach and lamb curry, called sabzi, is traditionally served with rice on Nowruz, the spring new year. 

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Sweet Memories of a Middle Eastern Childhood: A Conversation with Salma Hage

Sweet Memories of a Middle Eastern Childhood: A Conversation with Salma Hage

Acclaimed cookbook author Salma Hage grew up in the mountains of the Kadisha Valley in Northern Lebanon. Like many cooks, she learned her craft at her mother’s knee, as well as those of other female relatives in her household, where she often took on the role of cook for her eleven siblings. Her most recent book, Middle Eastern Sweets, pays homage to the many sweet endings to traditional family meals plus the rich multicultural influences that have defined Lebanon and the region for centuries. 
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Flavors: Chocolate Date Torte

Flavors: Chocolate Date Torte

This see-through date is also known as “the translucent;” in Arabic, noor means light. Not long ago, at a long, lazy lunch, I enjoyed delicious North African—inspired date and prune torte enrobed in smooth chocolate, not unlike this one.
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