Halawet El-Jibn | A Delectable Arabic Dessert

The New Year has to start with some sweets for round-the-year sweet experiences. Halawet el-jibn is made from rolls of soft, sweet semolina and cheese dough that gets stuffed with clotted cream and crowned with pistachios. A drizzle of syrup puts the final seal of perfection. The origin of halawat el-jibn dish is not clear. Some recipes for this dessert give credit to Homs in Syria as its birthplace. Continue reading Halawet El-Jibn | A Delectable Arabic Dessert

Dal Pitha | Steamed Rice Dumplings with Savoury Filling

Cooking a traditional recipe always warms me up. Food always succeeds in spreading happiness. I was treated with steamed dumplings shaped like Gujiyas after I shifted to Ranchi. Was it a momo? Was it a Gujia? No, it’s a Dal Pitha. It is a popular traditional rice flour dumpling in Jharkhandi and Bihari cuisine. Dal pithas are stuffed with spicy masala lentil filling. Pithas are … Continue reading Dal Pitha | Steamed Rice Dumplings with Savoury Filling

Lobongo Lotika | Traditional Bengali Dessert

Lobongo Lotika (Bengali: লবঙ্গ লতিকা) a.k.a. Lavang Latika or Laung Lata is a traditional recipe of Bengal prepared especially on festivals. This tantalizing dish coated with sugar syrup, crusty from outside made using all-purpose flour, and stuffed with mawa and dry fruits and with a clove on top is loved by all. It exemplifies the opulent side of the Indian cuisine. It’s also pretty famous … Continue reading Lobongo Lotika | Traditional Bengali Dessert

Rugda | An Exotic Delicacy of Jharkhand

Jharkhand is the land of forests and forest tribes, so it’s no surprise the state’s cuisine is strongly influenced by the local ingredients of its forests — edible green leaves or saag, flowers, fruit, tubers, mushrooms, and truffles. Rugda is a truffle indigenous to Jharkhand. The rare truffle grows by itself only in the dense Sal (Shorea robusta) forests in Jharkhand. Rich in nutritional value, Rugda has much higher protein content than mushroom and has no carbohydrates. Continue reading Rugda | An Exotic Delicacy of Jharkhand

Oldest Cookbook from Ancient Mesopotamia

The earliest cookbooks found around the world give people today a fascinating look at not only what the people of the time ate but also their lifestyles, mainly of those from the upper class. The oldest known documented recipes in the world come from the ancient city of Babylon. The Mesopotamian recipe book is the oldest and the first documented cuisine in the world, of which only three Babylonian cuneiform tablets are extant today and is a set of cracked tablets engraved by an early civilization’s version of a master chef going back to 1700 BCE. The recipes are elaborate and often call for rare ingredients. The dishes were slow-cooked in a covered pot to make the food extra tasty. Ancient foodies seem to have preferred fowl and mutton. Continue reading Oldest Cookbook from Ancient Mesopotamia

Traboulsiye | A Lebanese Fish Dish

Yesterday was Friday, a weekend holiday in the middle east. I thought of having my dinner at a restaurant. I went to the Mansour Mall in Baghdad, Iraq in the evening thinking of what to have in the dinner. Undecided, I walked into a Lebanese restaurant, named Ahwak — an Arabic word, which means I love you. It’s a nice restaurant. While going through the … Continue reading Traboulsiye | A Lebanese Fish Dish

Ajam Emba | Great Taste & Healthy Food

Slow food is the food that is produced or prepared in accordance with local culinary traditions, typically using high-quality locally sourced ingredients. Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve sustainable foods, traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. … Continue reading Ajam Emba | Great Taste & Healthy Food

Om Ali — bread pudding of Arab world

Umm Ali | Dessert Born in Blood

Recently, I attended an Iftar party at a luxury hotel in Baghdad. After I finished the food, I found a nice, sweet dessert there, called Om Ali — a simple concoction: bread and pastry are combined with raisins, pistachios, coconut and almonds, then drenched in sweetened milk. It’s not the story of a royal chef preparing an innovative dish at the behest of a discerning king, but of a murder and a rather cruel one!  Continue reading Umm Ali | Dessert Born in Blood