All posts filed under: Oman

Monday Meal Review: Oman

Curls of frankincense billow towards me. I breathe in slowly through my nose. The house submits to the sweet, deep darkness and I feel the urge to sleep. My body is ready to sink down anywhere – the couch, the bed, the kitchen floor – but, as Robert Frost would say “I have miles to go before I sleep.” I drag the tip of my spoon along the soft white scoop and put the cold ice cream to my lips. I slip into a dream lit by exotic pine, orange, sandlewood and cream. There’s ginger in there, too. This is Frankincense Ice Cream. I look around the empty kitchen. I feel the empty house. There is silence. I shut my eyes and I am in Oman, sitting under a tree feeling nothing but absolutely… pure. When I open my eyes, the house is still empty. “It doesn’t taste like it’s going to kill me,” I whisper to a photo of Ava on the wall. Her 11-day old head is cradled in two hands: mine and Keith’s. My fingers …

Read More

Rose Water Lemonade

For some, the season of flip flops is over, now replaced by the steady clickety-clack of school shoes on polished linoleum. For others, school is nothing more than a faint memory, farther yet than the setting sun’s shimmering rays upon which our dreams cling. Either way, Rosewater Lemonade will put a smile where you need it most. For the back-to-schoolers, this drink represents everything easy-breezy; a way to go global, even in the midst of lost backpacks, homework, and forgotten lunches. Each sip will take you to the middle east and Oman, where Rosewater Lemonade is a cherished treat. For those who cling to the distant memory of schoolyard days, this is your ticket to the lost joys of youth. Each sip tastes like a thousand roses bathing in fresh squeezed sunlight. Literally. Now, here’s the deal. This time of year I have too many paper cuts to squeeze my own lemonade. If you find yourself in the same position, I have a sneaky trick for you. Add several slices of fresh lemon to each cup of store-bought lemonade …

Read More

Grilled Kofta with Zucchini Sauce

This week we dove into a summery garden spread from Oman. Kofta are grilled hand-formed sausages enjoyed in Oman and neighboring countries. In fact, versions of kofta are enjoyed as far east as India (although these are typically served in meatball form). These Omani kofta sizzle with earthy cumin, warm flutterings of cinnamon, and are rounded out by coriander seed, fresh parsley and cilantro. The sauce – entirely vegan, by the way – is loaded up with fresh zucchini, garlic, parlsey and such a little sprinkle of mint, noone will know what your secret ingredient is. You can make it as spicy as you’d like with red pepper flakes (or go wild with cayenne, if you must). P.S. This sauce would be great for a variation on our vegetarian Shakshouka that we made back with Israel. Shakshouka is also enjoyed in Oman. Recipe adapted from Laura Kelley at Silk Road Gourmet, where she journies through the cuisines, histories and cultures of the more than thirty countries that traded goods along that great lifeline of the ancient world. Ingredients: For …

Read More

Frankincense Ice Cream

I like a little mystery in the midst of routine. A drizzle of scented massage oil makes the evening fly by. A simple puff of incense fills every crevice of my home with glorious serenity. And of all possible aromas, Frankincense reigns supreme. Ever since I was a little girl, poised with wonder under the glittering Christmas tree, Frankincense has captivated me. My little brain could never quite grasp what on earth Frankincense was or why it was so special, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming of the magical era when a gift of Frankincense was as beloved as gold. In fact, the mystery only made it seem more special. Then, thundering in from the far reaches of Oman comes Frankincense Ice Cream. Each nibble is creamy and sweet – Frankincense has an alluring bite of pine, sweet ginger, something like orange zest, and foggy twilight smiles. In my research I  learned that Frankincense is resin (a.k.a. dried sap)  from the Boswellia tree. The highest quality flows creamy white and is called luban, meaning …

Read More

Menu: Oman (& Giveaway)

I love a good surprise. Today our Omani menu is full of hidden, sneaky treats. The ice cream? Laced with frankincense oil. The lemonade? As good as a garden of roses bathed in summer love. And the kofta are juicy and fragrant, hiding cinnamon and cumin, lounging on a bed of zucchini tomato sauce with a slightly cooling, sneaky handful of mint. And then there’s this kind of surprise: This represents a portion of packages that came in the mail from my mom yesterday. They are binders. These binders contain every post I’ve ever written on the blog. Every. Single. Post. Every recipe. Every photo. Almost every comment. Ever since the first week, she’s been printing out my posts. Dutifully and unbeknownst to me. If that ain’t a mother’s love, I don’t know what is. I’m completely floored. Grilled Kofta with Zucchini Sauce [Recipe] Hand rolled beef seasoned with earthy cinnamon, wild cumin, and coriander seed. Served with a quick tomato and zucchini sauce laced with parsley and a smattering of mint, the perfect way to …

Read More
Jabreen castle wall. Photo by Tristan.

About the food of Oman

Pull up a chair, grab a steaming cup of Kahwa and a few dates. We’re going to Oman, a boomerang shaped country on the edge of the Arabian pennisula. Kahwa is omani coffee, made with enough sugar for the biggest smile in your heart, a dusting of dreamy cardamom and brittle, sunset-colored strands of saffron. Sip by sip, let the heat soak into your pores as you dream your day away. If coffee isn’t your preference, perhaps a cold glass of rosewater lemonade [Recipe], or a salty buttermilk drink called laban, or even a creamy yogurt sipper will help you while away the time among the desert dunes. Whatever you choose, just be sure to heed the traffic signs. When it comes time to dine, Oman has an astonishing array of rice dishes (anything from steamed rice to pilafs or even mekboos, a.k.a. machboos). We cooked machboos [recipe] last fall and it was so good it actually inspired me to boil my Thanksgiving turkey. While the house smelled like a far away spice shop mixed with down home …

Read More