Friday, June 27, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My accolade of the coastal Syrian cuisine is coming brazenly to a riotous gastronomical climax. Some of the provincial dishes I have already described and certainly the topic of today have been underrated for generations in
Only the modest, hardworking and nonsensical coastal Tartoussis (and to a lesser extent their bitter neighbors the Lattakians) silently endowed the Syrian cuisine with the bare essentials conceived by their good nature and fertile earth. In a moment of pure ecstasy, a carnivore fisherman and a beautiful vegetarian maiden from the mountains consummated their love and introduced flesh (meat or poultry) to Burghul . While the landlocked Syrians were still trying to come to grip with our earlier invention, the Mjadra, we were making headways in our hedonistic pursuit of the ultimate Syrian dish: Burghul b Hummus with either Lahme (meat) or Farrouj (chicken).
Forget about silverware, china and hors d'oeuvre. Get yourself a Kas'aa (قصعة) and a Khashouka (خاشوقة) (in coastal mountains dialect = Metal bowl and a spoon), and let’s party.
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken, 1 large onion, 1 large cut onion, water to completely cover the chicken, salt, pepper, 1 carrot, 5 to 6 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 2 cups coarse Burghul, 1 cup boiled chickpeas (Hummus) and olive oil
How to Prepare:
-Bring to boil a whole clean chicken, a carrot, the uncut onion, salt and pepper, a few sticks of cinnamon and a little cardamom. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let cook for 90 minutes (or until done). The carrot and onion are thrown away and used only to absorb any undesired taste or smell.
-Remove chicken and drain. Keep the broth on the side.
-Rinse 2 cups of coarse Burghul then place into a strainer.
-In the pot to be used to cook the Burghul, braise the cut onion in 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil until tender. Add the Burghul, mix well, top with 2 ½ cups of the chicken broth, cover and heat over medium for 10 minutes. Add the pre-boiled or separately boiled tender chickpeas (Hummus). Mix again, cover for 5 minutes then remove from heat.
-Present in any type of ware or in the cooking pot and spread the de-boned chicken in pieces and chunks on top. Pour a generous amount of virgin olive oil (4 to 6 tablespoons as per preference) and serve along with raw onions, yogurt, pickles and
-Unbuckle your belt, kick off your shoes, take a nap, wake up, wash your mouth with a cold slice of watermelon then you’re free to be whatever you were before you had Burghul b Hummus. You've just earned your right of passage to being accepted as a real Ibn Balad. Welcome to Tartous!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
So I got myself a net. www.abufares.net is the new domain of my blog. No longer do I have to sneak behind proxies to reply to comments. But more significantly, readers in Syria who wish to honor me by visiting my blog do not need to go out of their way to do so anymore.
Although having my own unique URL is more prestigious I can’t promise any improvement in quality. I will continue to write about Tartous and beautiful women. Every once in a while I will post a recipe that is arguably threatening to national security. I will elaborate in tedious details about the bounties of Syria and praise Arak and our delight of being alive, despite all.
I will fiercely defend my homeland against domestic and foreign foes while insisting that our public toilets stink and are a shame to modern and ancient civilizations. I will lament the fallen trees, the lost traditions and our battered personal liberties. I will continue my private vendetta against social and theological tyranny and hearten the younger generation not to succumb to fear or guilt.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I have read your excellent blog occasionally but never left a comment. My mistake of course. I have to thank you for saving our planet. It sounds like something Lois Lane would tell Superman after he drops her on a roof of a skyscraper.
I'm sure every single Syrian blogger and all readers of Syrian blogs have the same exact words to you:
Thank You Yaman!