As soon as I got back to NY, I was excited to go through my grandma’s collection of cookbooks! And I was ecstatic to find a bunch of cookbooks on Middle Eastern cooking. I love getting in touch with my Arab heritage! I love it even more when I can do it though the kitchen. Middle eastern food is colorful and exotic yet simple! Not to mention in tastes amazing. As a crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, the Middle East has been a hub of food and recipe exchange. During the Persian Empire the foundation was laid for Middle Eastern food when rice, poultry and fruits were incorporated into their diets. Figs, dates and nuts were brought by Arabian warriors to conquered lands.
The area was also influenced by dumplings (MY FAVORITE!) from Mongol invaders. The Middle East is also known for its use of turmeric, cumin, garlic and other spices from India. The smell of these spices always bring back memories of my childhood in the kitchen with my grandma. Cloves, peppercorns and allspice from the Spice Islands okra were introduced from Africa; and tomatoes from the New World, via the Moors of Spain. Religion has also changed the cuisine as neither Jews nor Muslims eat pork, Lamb the primary meat (YUM). Middle eastern food is also very healthy! which is just a plus hehe.
(Picture of the Middle Eastern Cook Books I found!)
Here are some photos of recipes that I took from the book that I would love love love to try out! (Yes! I took a picture of a picture 0_o)
(Sweet and Sour Soup w/ Apricots and ground meat)
(Fillet Kabab w/ cherry tomatoes, lamb, and onions)