Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I live in an apartment in Cairo, Egypt. A few days ago, I was hearing doves flapping their wings against my window as I woke up early in the morning. Yet I forgot to open up the curtain and check out what was going on. No big deal I though.
Two days ago, upon opening the window we discovered some sort of 'nest', a tiny white egg and a dove sitting next to it. The dove was nesting right on my window sill!
Every day I woke up with the intention of checking up on the dove but every time I forgot to actually do so. Today I finally remembered and managed to take some shots with camera. I can't wait to see when the eggs hatch. I hope they do!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sprouting many types of seeds can be an interesting thing to do and greatly increases their nutritional value. While fava beans (broad beans) are not among the commonly listed seeds for sprouting, yet in Egypt fava beans are the seeds which are commonly sprouted by ordinary Egyptians and used as a popular inexpensive Egyptian dish.
- Soak the dry fava beans in water overnight.
- Rinse and move the fava beans into a colander next morning.
- Add fresh water to the rinsed fava bean sprouts.
- Add two small whole onions.
- Add three cloves of garlic.
- Add half a small spoon cumin.
- Heat the water till it boils.
- Keep boiling untill it is tender.
- Add salt to taste.
- Turn off the gas.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Watermelon is one of our favorite fruits here in Egypt. Getting back home after a hot day in the hot summer of Egypt there is nothing like athe red juicy watermelon pieces to rebalance ones body giving it back what it has lost of water and energy. I tried drinking water after getting back home from such hot days, but it does not return my body to its balance and peace. Only sweet watermelon quenches my thirst and the sugar in it provides me with the energy I need. It is an amazing perfect balance. Yet in Egypt, it is not only the red juicy part of watermelon that we eat, for we also eat the seed kernel after extracting and roasting it.
The process is easy and straightforward. It goes like this: First collect the black watermelon seeds after eating the juicy red parts of the watermelon and instead of throwing them away put them in a colandar to dry out. Then wash them well with tap water and leave them again to dry. After that, put the dried watermelon seeds in a frying pan and turn the heat on. Keep stirring the black seeds in the pan till they are almost completely roasted.
Prepare a cup of water with salt in it. Stirr the salt well in the water. Then when the watermelon seeds are almost complety roasted pour the salted water slowly in the hot pan and keep stirring till the water dries out. At this point, your black tasty watermelon seeds will be ready for you to try out.
When the seeds cool down, pick one and crack it open with your teeth then eat the small kernal inside it. Yummy! That tastes good!
Millions of Egyptians enjoy eating red and juicy watermelon fruits in the hot summer of Egypt, but today not all of them eat the watermelon seed kernals anymore. Yet roasted and salted watermelon seeds remains as one of the traditional Egyptian snacks.
Unlike in other countries, in Egypt we do not have seedless watermelons, so eating roased watermelon seed kernals in summer remains easily within the reach of most Egyptians.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Here in Egypt when we want to refer to something that will never happen we say "fel meshmesh". This Egyptian saying in Arabic means "when the apricot season comes". Meshmesh (مشمش) is the Arabic word for Apricot. The season for apricot in Egypt is so brief that as soon as it starts it comes quickly to an end. The brevity of the apricot season in Egypt is what led to this common Egyptian saying.
Apricot is a common fruit in Egypt. Many people call their cats "meshmesh" specially if their fur color is close to that of apricot. In the English language, orange is a color and is taken from the name of the fruit with the same name. In Egypt, we use the word "meshmeshi" to refer to anything that has a color similar to that of apricots. A testimony to the popularity of apricots as a fruit in Egypt.
Egyptians do not only eat the apricot fruit, but traditionally we also break the seed coat of the apricot and eat the kernel inside. Traditionally, we take the kernel out and grind it till it's powder, or a bit course grained, then add other ingredients to it such as dried coriander and salt. We grind all this together and mix it perhaps after some roasting in a pan with no additives. The resulting mix is called dokka (دقة). It can be eaten with bread at breakfast or dinner.
The apricot kernel can also be eaten without grinding right after breaking the protective seed coat from around it. It would taste a bit bitter yet has a pleasant taste to it at the end. It is also said to have great health benefits and has even been claimed, yet not officially proven, to have cancer preventing or even cancer curing effects.
Apricot kernel can also be roasted in a pan with or without oil and then used instead of almonds either for direct consumption or in preparing foods that otherwise use almonds.