Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Nicolai

Damascus Dinner Table

Recommended Posts

- A common question is what is the difference between Lebanese food and Syrian food.

The answer is Lebanese food is more skewed towards vegetables dishes and Syrian Food towards meat (mainly Lamb) dishes.

 

- The second question is what is the difference between Aleppo food and Damascus food.

The short answer is Aleppo food is miles more sophisticated.

 

In this instance, this is a Damascus food type table away from the standard fair you get in restaurants being them Lebanese - Syrian or Levantine.

 

We start with the ubiquitous pickles and olives:

Pickled garlic - cucumbers - green olives - Turnips - green peppers - black olives - cabbage leaves.

 

_MG_3685_zpsmyb9gvdi.jpg

 

 

 

 

- A famous Damascus appetizer is called Harak Esbaoh which means burned fingers. 

Lentils cooked in Tamarind sauce and mixed with Pomegranate seeds - Fried onions and garlic and flat Arabic bread and dressed with EVOO.

It looks a bit messy as someone could not wait and mixed it up before I had the chance to take a pic.

 

_MG_3687_zpsc33kztvc.jpg

 

 

 

 

- Mutabal special edition or whatever you wish to call it.

It is the basic Aubergine dip with Tahineh - garlic - EVOO and dressed with a spicy tomato sauce using Aleppo pepper and fried pine nuts. A variant is to add fried Lamb meat to the mix.

 

_MG_3694_zpsoqtwzviq.jpg

 

 

 

 

- Chicken Liver with Pomegranate Molasses (common dish to the Levant)

 

_MG_3692_zpsdlb7y9yi.jpg

 

 

 

 

- Sharhat Mutafaeyh

Grilled Lamb steak fillet with garlic - lemon juice and tomato + Aleppo pepper paste.

 

_MG_3684_zps6hfj9qna.jpg

 

 

 

 

- Izmirl Kabab which is Lamb mince with Arabic spices mixed with white unsalted cheese....deliciousness.

 

_MG_3700_zpsheqaxjsg.jpg

 

 

 

 

- Grilled Kibbeh balls on a skewer (de-skewered)......just luv it

 

_MG_3699_zpsrbabu6a5.jpg

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Nicolai (log)
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, all the dishes look delicious.  The lamb and cheese dish sounds intriguing.  I will have to search my cookbooks for those dishes.  Thanks for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, thank you. Very interesting. Love the idea of chicken livers and pomegranate molasses.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Nicolai said:

Harak Esbaoh which means burned fingers. 

Lentils cooked in Tamarind sauce and mixed with Pomegranate seeds - Fried onions and garlic and flat Arabic bread and dressed with EVOO.

 

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds like a dish I'd adore . Would you mind sharing a recipe (I saw some online , but I rather have a trustworthy one).

Also, I might note that Lebanon and Syria produces the best pine nuts (and their long shape is very pretty). 

I really wish I could visit Lebanon and Syria one day. Lebanon especially is really beautiful. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, shain said:

Also, I might note that Lebanon and Syria produces the best pine nuts (and their long shape is very pretty). 

 

The hugest pine nuts I have ever seen. Someone is a lucky ducky. :)

 

Very, very interesting and nice looking food! Thanks @Nicolai.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, shain said:

 

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds like a dish I'd adore . Would you mind sharing a recipe (I saw some online , but I rather have a trustworthy one).

Also, I might note that Lebanon and Syria produces the best pine nuts (and their long shape is very pretty). 

I really wish I could visit Lebanon and Syria one day. Lebanon especially is really beautiful. 

Hi there

 

It is a pretty straight forward recipe without the bells and whistles of the Internet.......so you are right with your comment.

It seems that to be a real foodie, one has to over-complicate any simple peasant dish to make it more noble or just to prove that they know something the others do not.

 

Lightly fry the onions and then add the galic (golden color frying, do not carbonize the stuff).

Just cook the lentils with the onions and garlic till semi soft with S&P and then add the Tamarind juice.......to taste and go easy not to overpower the lentils taste.

There lies the rub. Do not use the usual Tamarind paste or juice or powder....etc. Get some real Tamarind and boil gently to extract the liquid (squeeze and sieve for impurities). When you have the Tamarind juice, add to the lentils and simmer until the lentils are fully cooked. (acidic liquid will lengthen the coking time).

You can add some grains of rice to thicken the stuff to be paste like. It should not be runny.

Separately, fry in a little oil some diced Arabic flat bread.

Either do your own pasta and dice up or get any diced up pasta and cook al dente.

Add Pomegranate kernels.

The idea is that the lentils and bread and pasta and Pomegranate kernels should be of similar size........and you are done.

 

Now that I wrote this, I am salivating again ;)

 

Scoop and eat.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2016 at 8:41 PM, Okanagancook said:

Wow, all the dishes look delicious.  The lamb and cheese dish sounds intriguing.  I will have to search my cookbooks for those dishes.  Thanks for sharing.

 

Hey. Glad you like the Lamb and Cheese Koftas.

 

I doubt you will find the recipe online. But let me know if you do out of curiosity and the Internet like to distort stuff.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

 

The hugest pine nuts I have ever seen. Someone is a lucky ducky. :)

 

Very, very interesting and nice looking food! Thanks @Nicolai.

Yes. You are right about the Pine kernels.

 

As you know, all fresh produce direct from the tree or the soil has a unique taste.

 

The way we used to eat he Pine Kernels is to pick up the Pine Cones from the Pine tree and throw them as is in a fire made of the same branches or wood or whatever is around the tree. Then you pick up the cone and while burning your fingers. you shake out the pine kernels and smash the kernel shells with a stone on any rock and eat while warm....the smoke scent is out of this world..........and this will never ever be served at any 100 star restaurant.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nicolai said:

The way we used to eat he Pine Kernels is to pick up the Pine Cones from the Pine tree and throw them as is in a fire made of the same branches or wood or whatever is around the tree. Then you pick up the cone and while burning your fingers. you shake out the pine kernels and smash the kernel shells with a stone on any rock and eat while warm....the smoke scent is out of this world..........and this will never ever be served at any 100 star restaurant.

Lovely description.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×