Archive | Food Recipes

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Hiwa’s Do-It-Yourself Dolma Recipe

On the road, a home-cooked meal is an absolute luxury: a respite from the impersonal hotels and convivial but antiseptic restaurants that greet us at the end of each day. In Northern Iraq, we were invited (hooray!) to Hiwa’s house for his casual take on a traditional Middle Eastern dish, dolma.  Now, I knew dolma only as stuffed grape leaves. […]

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Outside Beirut, Home-Cooked Hospitality

It doesn’t take long to escape the traffic- and dust-clogged streets of Beirut. Just an hour spent bouncing around in the car will get you high into the hills, overlooking the corniche and the coastline, above the congestion and pollution. There you’ll find cedar trees (immortalized on the Lebanese flag), deep valleys and beautiful stone […]

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Quick Snack: A Russian Samovar at the Ukrainian Frontlines

The front lines of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine are bleak, particularly in February. The areas around Debaltsevo, hotly contested between Ukrainian troops and separatists/Russian forces, are rolling hills of frosty farmland, now sallow and muddy. The Ukrainians are hunkered down in [redacted], taking shelter where they can and using makeshift stoves, the local coal […]

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Quick Snack: Coffee and Dates in Saudi Arabia

The hospitality in Saudi Arabia is legendary; good thing, too, as the cultural conservatism that abounds makes it difficult for a girl like me to enjoy other food- and drink-based activities. Obviously, there are no bars (there aren’t even movie theaters!), so that’s out. Going to a restaurant is an isolating experience: the main dining […]

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(photo by Omar Omar)

Food on the Frontline: Syria and Iraq

Syrian food is fantastic, and as diverse as its neighbors in the Middle East: creamy hummus, fried kibbeh balls stuffed with spiced meat, rice dishes baked in phyllo dough, meatballs glazed in cherry sauce, flatbreads, baklavas, honeyed sweets, tea.  Sadly, none of that was available on the frontline, where the Syrian Kurds faced off with ISIS. […]

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Feasting in Iraqi Kurdistan

Being invited into someone’s home when you’re on the road is always the most memorable meal of the trip. In Iraqi Kurdistan, on the road from Erbil to Kirkuk, a local leader had us over for lunch – a multi-course feast prepared by his wife and daughters, and laid out on the floormat by his […]

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Mukhtar’s Afghan Eggs

My friend Mukhtar whipped up this quick and delicious dish in Afghanistan, but it’s so simple it can be made anywhere around the world. Bonus: serve it in the skillet you cook it in and you’ll save time on clean-up! Spicy and light, this is perfect for lunch or a very quick dinner – serve […]

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