Recipe: Emirati Date Crêpes | Muhalla

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I've had a lot of breakfast treats over the years, but I've never tasted anything quite like these whole wheat date "crêpes" beloved in the United Arab Emirates. Made with whole wheat flour and a hearty helping of dates, they are a mildly sweet  and wholesome way to start the morning. I call them "crêpes" because of how they look, but, in truth, they're called "Muhalla," and quite different than a French crêpe. For starters, these are leavened with yeast, whose bubbles give the … [Read more...]

Menu: United Arab Emirates

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While I'm not usually much of a breakfast eater, the United Arab Emirates has me reconsidering. And the timing is perfect: I've been craving a good breakfast these last few days. I think it's because preschool started for Ava and we're all getting up earlier. I also started a workout program for the first time since ... well... a while ago. Because of the workout program, I'm looking for early morning fuel, and it has to be nutritious. I found all that and more in this UAE-inspired … [Read more...]

About the food of the United Arab Emirates

A view of Buhairah Corniche from a residential tower in Sharjah, UAE-by Basil D Soufi

I have a buddy, Brad, who traveled to the United Arab Emirates a few years ago. TheFederation is made up of seven states on the Persian Gulf, including Dubai (where he went). Brad told me about the overwhelming heat, the desert, the glittering skyscrapers, but what really stood out were the UAE islands. They actually built islands that look like enormous palm trees. So, if you bought a house on the island, your street might be on the trunk, or one of the leaves. They even built … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Turkmenistan

keith-and-sasha

httpv://youtu.be/24BSRyPF1bY Our week cooking Turkmenistan was all about the bubble... bubbling Watermelon Jam, bubbling Central Asia Tea, and bubbles on the forehead. It was the bubbles on the forehead that really made me smile. In Turkmenistan, tapping your tea bubbles, then tapping your forehead is said to bring good fortune. This little ritual definitely falls in the realm of superstition. I felt a little silly doing it. At first, I couldn't figure out why. The awkwardness wasn't … [Read more...]

Recipe: How to throw a Central Asian Tea Party

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  The best kind of party is a tea party. Even better? A themed tea party. This week we're exploring the Central Asian Tea Party. As I read through many descriptions of teas in Turkmenistan (this week's Global Table) and her neighboring countries, I realized there are just FIVE basic things you need for a Central Asian Tea Party. Anything else is icing on the proverbial cake. 1.  Green or Black Tea.  In Central Asia, people drink two main kinds of tea, green or black. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Watermelon Jam

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Imagine living in a place that has a National Holiday called "Melon Day."  You could be surrounded by more than 400 kinds of melon, including some 50 varieties of watermelon.* The cool, sweet flesh would fill your belly and spirit. Eating it would definitely make you smile. And spreading it on bread? Even better. If any of this appeals to you, you might want to consider moving to Turkmenistan. These lovely people have celebrated Melon Day since 1994, and they don't … [Read more...]

Menu: Turkmenistan

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"Whatever you put in your pot comes to your spoon." Turkmen Proverb We're in the middle of summer. The sidewalk's sizzling, but anyone from Turkmenistan can tell you; that's no reason to turn off the kettle. This week we're celebrating summer in true Turkmen Style. First, with a spirited watermelon jam, inspired by the 200 varieties of melon that grow in Turkmenistan. Second, with a central Asian tea party - a fun way to gather with family and friends. *Both recipes and the meal review … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Turkey

kransekage

httpv://youtu.be/6hIxigHjUIw After my crazy weekend in Portland speaking in front of 3,000 people, I needed some time to unwind. I was like a hot, thirsty wanderer, begging for a glass of water. But in my case, the "water" was my husband and daughter. I wanted to soak in their company, I wanted to be quenched by their spirits. Because, even if every stranger in the world could hug me, there's nothing cozier than the embrace of my husband and little girl. And that's why, when my little … [Read more...]