Middle Eastern Comfort Food (podcast)

Jun 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
Hummus with Pine Nuts and Sumac

Hummus with Pine Nuts and Sumac

The month of Ramadan started this week. Muslims observe this holy month through sunrise to sunset fasting and self reflection. Afterwards, the observant break their month long fast with a celebration called Eid-Al-Fitr.

Two dishes Muslins might indulge at that time are Musakhkhan and Kanefeh. I learned of these foods and the celebration from Sahar Arafat-Ray.

I met Sahar at a party at a mutual friend’s home; everyone at the gathering was a culinary professional or food enthusiast.

Sahar fits comfortably into both groups.

She teaches cooking classes in people’s homes via her business Tart Queen’s Kitchen, as well as at Central Market, where she is a past Cooking School Manager at the Austin store.

During our party conversation, I learned she has Texas and Arab roots, and does a great deal of Middle Eastern cooking.

Of course I  had to get her on the show.

The recipes she shared with me for Mussakhan, which roughly translates to baked chicken on bread, and Knafeh, which is sweet baked shredded phyllo with cheese, are not for those watching their weight. They harbor large quantities of olive oil, butter and sugar–respectively.

But what would you expect? These are foods Muslims generally eat to break a 30 day fast during Ramadan.

You don’t have to fast for 30 days to give these recipes a whirl. They are very easy to make and delicious, too–they’re just not intended to be eaten every day (even though you’ll want to).

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