Ghanian Okro Soup: A soup where the earth meets the sea

When I think of Arabic cuisine (and by Arabic cuisine I mean food that stems from North Africa, the Levant, and the Arab Gulf) I think of a kitchen that is wide and varied and full of culinary delights. The Arabic kitchen is, for me, like walking into a neatly filed archiving room where meat…

West African dishes and the art of eating closely

One of the most important ingredients prior to cooking any great feast for me is peace of mind. Clean spaces. Good light. There is a sense of promise and intention that permeates this space and generates my creativity. At the start of the day my mind slowly starts to assemble flavor combinations, delegating each task…

Muwlid and Muslim Nativity Scenes…

Muwlid is an arabic word that means “Birth” and tends to allude to the birth of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon Him) and is a celebration of Prophet Muhammed’s birthday. It falls on the first day of the Islamic month of Rabii’ (which in Arabic means the month of Spring) and is the third…

Molokheya and the early days of November

I have noticed that during Autumn season I have obsessively written about leaves, fall, and the colors of fall…and just for a couple of blog entries more- the talk of leaves will go on. This time however, it is not the kind of leaves that grow on trees. Molokheya, Mallow, or Jute Leaves as they…

Adopted vs. Inherent Traditions and of course…pie!

I have barely recovered from a cold as I am briskly walking with a slight wheeze in my chest and my nose still clogged. Nonetheless, I feel alive and vibrant as I make it from the subway station down the road that leads to the home of my good friends. My duffle bag is filled…

Lamb shoulder in Okra Stew and the SPA of secrets.

In Swedish we say, “Ett kärt barn har många namn” translated it means “A beloved child has many names”. This is the case for one of my favorite vegetables to cook with, Okra. Okra, Okro, Bhindi, Lady Fingers, and finally in Arabic Bamya. It has as many names as it does recipes! Italians fry it…

Terrines, Cheese platters, and dad’s wooden trays

Lunch at the Elmahi household was the hour where each member of the family regrouped to touch base. My father loved this hour because he loved us. He prepared his staple dishes with great attention and care. Up until my early 20s if I missed lunch and came home late, my father would get up…

Arabic Coffee, Egyptian Scones, and Swedish Fika

According to The Telegraph,  Sweden is among the top ten of coffee consumers in the world. It is true, this black gold is second to water over here. I remember growing up and even now, after having traveled anywhere- coming home to me was/is landing in Arlanda and being greeted by the smell of wood…

Apples, Plums, and the Iraqi Date Harvest

In front of my building there is a small square and that small square seems to fit the entire world in it. To the left of the square we have a group of Azerbaijani brothers that have opened a little oriental market. To the right of the square there is an Afghani family that has…