Category Archives: side dish

Mango pickle (Amba)

Mango pickles always remind me of Iraq, when I first tasted this condiment  with the famous grilled fish (masgoof) by the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad. Velvety, peppery from the chilis and tangy. The permutation of spices here is infinite. Easy to prepare too (about 15 minutes).  INGREDIENTS:  2 large firm, green mangoes (or more) […]
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Zucchini hummus (M’tabbal koossa)

 I can imagine a Lebanese or Near-Eastern reader raising an eyebrow at the title of this post. In Lebanon, only chickpea-based dips (mixed with tahini) are called hummus. The reason is simple: Hummus means chickpea and the chickpea dip is actually called hummus m’tabbal, meaning seasoned chickpeas. In the US, hummus (tahini-based chickpea dip) has become […]
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Wisteria and carrot salad

One of the highlights of Spring was this giant wisteria fearlessly climbing fences, loaded with its lavender clusters of flowers. That was in Dallas, off the main road. In Lebanon, in the mountains, wisterias explode that time of year as well. I would snap shots of them every year, hoping that somehow the blooming period […]
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Fava beans in the stalks with cilantro sauce (Ful akhdar ‘ateh)

Fava beans, pronounced fool in this part of the world, are a much beloved vegetable. They are made into a delicious salad when still young (and their pods still tiny), using the entire stalk. They are stir-fried in a garlic and herb sauce, smothered in olive oil, then boiled till tender. The stalks turn very […]
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Zucchini and cracked wheat pilaf (Jreesh el-koossa)

Here is a very simple and rustic dish from Syria’s Kurdish community; it is just zucchini and onions, fried a bit in olive oil and cooked with some cracked wheat (jreesh). The cracked wheat can be replaced by any whole-grain in your pantry, with bulgur being the best substitute (pick a coarse bulgur if possible). The […]
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