Tastes

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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Five Centuries of Jerusalem Soup

Five Centuries of Jerusalem Soup

Nearly 470 years ago, the wife of the Ottoman sultan founded this soup kitchen as an endowed religious charity. Ever since, its cooks have arrived before dawn to begin simmering soup to ladle out later to all who come looking for a warm lunch.
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Spice Migrations: Ginger

Spice Migrations: Ginger

Native to lands across Southeast Asia, ginger has long been used there and across the Middle East and North Africa in savory dishes, while Europeans and Americans have more recently popularized it in sweets. In Detroit, Michigan, chef Warda Bouguettaya does both.
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Spice Migrations: Cumin

Spice Migrations: Cumin

Aromatically sharp, earthy and haylike, cumin is essential in cuisines from Asia to Latin America. It is also one of the world’s oldest spices, one that has served as a remedy, a seasoning and a commodity for nearly 4,000 years.
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Flavors: Rice with Carrots and Raisins (Kabuli Palaw)

Flavors: Rice with Carrots and Raisins (Kabuli Palaw)

In a time before the convenience of julienne slicers and store-bought peeled and slivered nuts, kabuli palaw was time-consuming and elaborate to prepare and was reserved primarily for ceremonial events. These days, although it takes less time to make, it still commands reverence. The delicate blend of spices and a crowning glory of glistening carrots, raisins and nuts give kabuli palaw pride of place among Afghan rice dishes.
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