Middle Eastern Spices

Qabili Palau, the national dish of Afghanistan

There were times when guests were coming and going at such a pace it was hard to remember names and faces. During one of these times, one young woman stood out. Zarmina was from Afghanistan and was brought to the United States for surgeries to correct a rare condition in her left hand called gigantism. The concern was that Zarmina...

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Seeing Tomatoes

As kids in a home full of internationals, magical experiences were common. Every day was like a carnival and routine was hard to come by. I relished the excitement of new faces, new foods, new smells and new stories. Let me tell you the story of Mahmoud, a blind Iranian man who lived with us for a while. He had...

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Za'atar with Sumac... A Soothing Middle Eastern Combination

Like the waves of Summer, reaching and receding, touching your feet and inviting you to wade in, the sultry and slightly acidic combination of za'atar with sumac is one of my favorite seasonings. I will incorporate it into hummus, smear it on chicken, sprinkle it on salads and cooked veggies. And yeah, it's easy and worthwhile to make.  Sumac is...

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