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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Let's Go to Saudi Arabia!
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    Let's Go to Saudi Arabia!

    Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next Page >>
    Elmotoo
    Fri May 31, 2013 4:13 pm
    Forum Host


    The history of Saudi Arabia, as a state, begins with its foundation in 1932 by Abdul Aziz Al Saud, although the history of what was to become Saudi Arabia goes back to the beginnings of human habitation in Arabia up to 20,000 years ago. The region has twice in world history had a global impact. The first was in the 7th century when it became the cradle of Islam. The second was from the mid-20th century when the discovery of vast oil deposits propelled it into a key economic and geo-political role. At other times, the region existed in relative obscurity and isolation, although from the 7th century the cities of Mecca and Medina had the highest spiritual significance for the Islamic world, Mecca being the destination for the Hajj annual pilgrimage.



    THE FOOD!

    Loyalty to custom and tradition is the virtue of all Middle East cooking, and many of the finest dishes of the Arabs' heritage are centuries old. Some are mentioned in pre-Islamic Arabic literature. Arab poets of the Middle Ages celebrate others—many of them relished today—in detailing the lavish banquets of the caliphs at Baghdad. Both peasant food and court cuisine spread with the marching armies of Islam, presumably adopting a herb or two along the way, and by now paternity claims are hard to prove. A dish one authority claims the Syrians took from Egypt, another is convinced the Greeks took from the Turks. Part of the table of present-day Saudi Arabia comes from this common culinary pool; part developed from the eastern, western, and inland traditions of the Peninsular Arabs themselves.

    Nomads all over the Arab world speak proudly of their ancestors, the dignified old tribes of central Arabia renowned for their strength, courtesy and the selfless hospitality they introduced into a way of life otherwise austere. For centuries they clung to the food of the desert and the oasis: milk and meat, dates and imported rice.
    ..........................................

    A Bedouin always had milk — milk from his camels, drunk fresh, or milk from his goats, made into buttermilk and curds. He always had dates, abundant and easily transported. If he was well-to-do he had rice, some flour, even coffee. And should a visitor of some standing arrive, the Bedouin host was obliged to slaughter a sheep and honor his guest with the classic Arab feast: trays heaped high with rice, succulent mutton, and flat rounds of unleavened bread. Sometimes there would be extra bowls for dates and for butter to dip them in, and little murmurs of satisfaction would greet this added richness. But in general the meal would be taken in silence, a sign of politeness to the host's food.

    ....................

    In the home of a settled town Najdi, the feast would likely be the more luxurious kharuf mahshi: baby lamb stuffed with rice, nuts and raisins, rubbed outside with a paste of onion crushed with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and browned all over in bubbling sawn, clarified cow or goat butter, before roasting. Rice might be the expensive 'ambar variety, prized for the fragrance it exuded when aboil. All around the great center tray would be small plates of tomato, cucumber, cooked pumpkin, apricots and cuts of melon. At the end would come the coffee and the incense.

    Foremost of the obligations of hospitality in Arabia is the preparation and serving of qahwah 'Arabiyah, Arab coffee, unsweetened but flavored with cardamom. Today the process is relegated to the kitchen, but in the old tradition it was man's work and something of a ceremony whether conducted over Bedouin campfire or town hearth. For each occasion a handful of beans was roasted fresh, and the ring of the brass mortar and pestle with which they were pounded to powder was music to the ears of expectant guests. Pots of several sizes stood ready. Into one went the remainder of yesterdays batch, fresh water and, when that reached a boil, the fresh coffee. Lifting the pot from the fire just as it threatened to froth over, the host dropped a few crushed cardamom seeds into the brew to make it digestible, then quickly poured it into a smaller, polished pot where a piece of palm fiber stuffed into the spout served as strainer. The tiny, handleless Arab coffee cup is smaller than the Chinese teacup, and is only partly filled with a few steaming sips. Good manners prevent the guest from taking more than three servings. He signals when finished by shaking the empty cup with rapid little movements of the wrist, and he knows it is time to go when the host passes the mabkhar, or hand censer, trailing the filmy smoke of frankincense or scented wood.

    ..........................................

    The Bedouins have a saying that translates to ... "he makes coffee from morn till night." It is a way of describing a generous man, and no greater praise can be given.

    The date is the Arabs' universal staple. Nutritious and high in caloric value, it was the very means of survival for nomadic tribes when times were lean, and it is still the food with which the Bedouin or townsman is likely to begin and end his day. Dates and coffee are the traditional offering to a caller; dates stuffed with almonds are a popular confection.

    Hunayni, a date concoction prepared especially for wintertime breakfasts, is a classic dish of Najd. Pitted, ground dates are mixed over the fire with great quantities of butter; the mixture is thickened with flour of semolina, seasoned with cardamom, simmered and stirred until nearly stiff. The result is a rich dish sure to suffice until suppertime and prescribed for pale children and pregnant women.

    .................................

    Habb, the Arabs' wheat, grows in the central highlands and the oases areas of Saudi Arabia. Just as the Lebanese and Turks have their burghul, the Saudi Arabs have jarish: wheat kernels, soaked, dried and crushed—much favored in Najd and the al-Hasa oasis of the Eastern Province as a rice substitute. Jarish may-be simply boiled and served with a topping of chopped hot pepper and onion, or it may be browned in butter or oil and then cooked into a sort of pilaf with chunks of meat, chopped onion and tomato for the richly flavored dish called mufallaq.

    The common denominator of the country's bread basket is the flat, round, barely leavened khubz 'Arabi, much the same whether a product of commercial bakers or the domed, charcoal-fired village ovens: hollow, with an inner pocket good for stuffing, and soft and chewy, good for absorbing sauces.

    .......................................

    The Arabian Gulf swarms with food fish. The Gulf yields a skinny but succulent crab, qubqub, small catches of a variety of lobster locally called 'urn ar-rubiyan, "mother of the shrimp," and huge nets full of the fat, pink rubiyan, among the best shrimp in the world.

    Other regional favorites are kubbat maraq: balls of rice spiced with turmeric, pepper, cumin and dried lime are shaped around a center of fried ground meat, onion and parsley and set to simmer in a sauce flavored with tomato; and fi qa'atah: a three-layered dish served as rice on the bottom, meat in the middle and almonds on top.

    Saliq, a simple, bland dish, is the best known of all the rice dishes of Saudi Arabia. It's almost like a hot rice pudding, the rice first half-cooked in meat or chicken broth and then with milk, stirred and simmered for about an hour until soft. It must be flavored with cardamom and absolutely must be scented with a hint of mustaka (gum arabic), the aromatic resin of the mastic tree. Mustaka is more expensive and far more delicate than luban, frankincense, but like it recalls the days of the incense trade. Saliq is most typically served with meat or fowl and the universal Arab salad: parsley, onion, hot green pepper—all finely chopped, lemon juiced and salted.

    ........................


    Our cookbook - NA/ME GOES TO SAUDI ARABIA



    Courtesy of Wikipedia, Saudi Aramco World Magazine, Google & probably more...


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:37 pm, edited 4 times in total
    Elmotoo
    Fri May 31, 2013 4:14 pm
    Forum Host
    TAGS!

    5/31
    icon_biggrin.gif Annacia ~ Al Kabsa - Traditional Saudi Rice (& Chicken) Dish #289878 by Um Safia
    icon_biggrin.gif Cookgirl ~ Cucumber Yoghurt Salad (Labaan Bil Kiyaar) #133169 by lemoncurd

    6/1
    icon_biggrin.gif Mia in Germany ~ Kahwah Saa'dah.........middle Eastern Special Occasion Coffee #197208 by chef FIFI
    icon_biggrin.gif Annacia ~ Arabic Cinnamon Drink (Iner) #108473 by lemoncurd
    Mia in Germany:
    icon_biggrin.gif Arabic Coffee, the Saudi Way #484900 by Annacia (another kick-start!)
    icon_biggrin.gif Saudi Tahini & Tomato Chicken #390844 by UmmBinat
    icon_biggrin.gif Almond Tahini Date Balls #395423 by the80srule
    icon_biggrin.gif Eggplant and Pomegranate Stew (With Beef or Lamb) #360910 by Aisha al Saieed

    6/13
    icon_biggrin.gif Cookgirl - Sweet Honeyed Date Nut Couscous With Tahini Note #428140 by the80srule

    6/16
    icon_biggrin.gif Annacia - Middle Eastern Spiced Orange Salad #500497 by hotdishmama


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:02 pm, edited 5 times in total
    Elmotoo
    Fri May 31, 2013 4:15 pm
    Forum Host
    As a special interest this month in Saudi Arabia

    We will be offering a special participation banner for your About Me page

    All you need to do is make 3 tags in a single post that would comprise a meal. You'll need to tag a salad, a main and a dessert. Choose any 3 Saudi Arabian recipes on this site that you will enjoy making that fit the 3 categories.

    Salad:


    Main:


    Dessert:


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Fri May 31, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Elmotoo
    Fri May 31, 2013 4:18 pm
    Forum Host
    This is your banner:



    Link: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v726/annacia/meal-deal.jpg

    Special Banner Tags!

    Bonnie G #2 #400708
    icon_biggrin.gif for the main - Roasted Chicken Al-Kabsa (Saudi) (Gluten Free) 369174
    icon_biggrin.gif for the side = Saudi Girls Cucumber Yogurt Salad 480898
    icon_biggrin.gif for dessert - Arabic Honey Cake 425108
    icon_biggrin.gif and Saudi Champagne 426490

    Annacia #169430
    icon_biggrin.gif Main: Middle Eastern Chicken Skewers #361583 by Buster's friend
    icon_biggrin.gif Side: Middle Eastern Potato Salad #178969 by SkinnyMinnie
    icon_biggrin.gif Dessert: Arabian Orange Ice #94878 by winkki
    icon_biggrin.gif Middle Eastern Lemonade #16567 by Mirj

    6/21
    Elmootoo
    icon_biggrin.gif salad: Yogurt Salad (Jajeek) #443878 by UmmBinat
    main: Barb’s Lentil Soup #349479 by MyFoodCoach
    icon_biggrin.gif dessert: Rose Water and Cardamom Custard #133385 by lemoncurd

    icon_biggrin.gif salad: Parsley and Sumac Salad #133625 by lemoncurd
    icon_biggrin.gif main: Shakshouka #60286 by Maraklegirl
    icon_biggrin.gif dessert: Basboosa (Sooji Cake-Arabian) #422302 by arabianeyes

    icon_biggrin.gif salad: Middle Eastern Spiced Orange Salad #500497 by hotdishmama
    icon_biggrin.gif main: Garbanzo Beans With Escarole and Fennel #231779 by dicentra
    dessert: Date a Nut Meringue Cookies #199149 by lemoncurd

    Corilayn #260988
    Salad Barb’s Salad
    Main Saudi Arabian Kabsa (One Dish Chicken Dinner)
    Dessert Luqaimaat , Arab Donuts


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Elmotoo
    Fri May 31, 2013 4:21 pm
    Forum Host
    ~just in case space~
    Annacia
    Fri May 31, 2013 7:32 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi and welcome to Arabia icon_biggrin.gif

    I'll start by tagging:

    Al Kabsa - Traditional Saudi Rice (& Chicken) Dish #289878 by um safia
    Cookgirl
    Fri May 31, 2013 8:31 pm
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:14 am
    Forum Host
    Found you wave.gif
    I'll start with Kahwah Saa'dah.........middle Eastern Special Occasion Coffee #197208 by chef FIFI
    Annacia
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:08 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi Mia wave.gif

    Have you gotten to meet up with Loula yet or is she still tied to studying? My goodness but she deserves a break.

    How are you and the family hon?
    Cookgirl
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:13 pm
    Forum Host
    Hiya, Mia!


    wave.gif
    Annacia
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:17 pm
    Forum Host
    I also want to try

    Arabic Cinnamon Drink (Iner) #108473 by lemoncurd
    icon_biggrin.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:27 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi Annacia and Cookgirl wave.gif

    No, I didn't hear from Loula yet. I think I'll send her an email, she just has to come over and enjoy a peaceful cuppa and some nice cake icon_wink.gif
    We're okay so far, thanks. DH is getting better slowly - it cannot be forced, but he definitely is the most compliant and amiable bipolar person in a depressive state that you can imagine!
    How about you? I suppose the snow finally has gone and you're ready for summer to come?
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:40 pm
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    Found you wave.gif
    I'll start with Kahwah Saa'dah.........middle Eastern Special Occasion Coffee #197208 by chef FIFI


    This has been made and hugely enjoyed. Boy did that give me a blast this morning icon_lol.gif

    I've found some other tags:
    Arabic Coffee, the Saudi Way #484900 by Annacia (another kick-start!)
    Saudi Tahini & Tomato Chicken #390844 by UmmBinat
    Almond Tahini Date Balls #395423 by the80srule
    Eggplant and Pomegranate Stew (With Beef or Lamb) #360910 by Aisha al Saieed

    A bit off topic:
    Annacia, I totally forgot to thank you for making my sauerbraten and writing such a great review! Glad you and your DH enjoyed it icon_biggrin.gif
    Annacia
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:50 pm
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    Hi Annacia and Cookgirl wave.gif

    No, I didn't hear from Loula yet. I think I'll send her an email, she just has to come over and enjoy a peaceful cuppa and some nice cake icon_wink.gif
    We're okay so far, thanks. DH is getting better slowly - it cannot be forced, but he definitely is the most compliant and amiable bipolar person in a depressive state that you can imagine!
    How about you? I suppose the snow finally has gone and you're ready for summer to come?


    You might just have to drag her over to that coffee and cake hon. When you see her give her a hug from me please. icon_biggrin.gif

    It's good to hear that your DH is pleasant natured. My DS can depress everyone around him in a down time. I'll bet that you're his shining star in those times. Hold onto the good days sweetie.

    The snow has gone but I was really beginning to wonder, lol. It's wonderful to have sunlight and warmth again. I got a new DSLR camera a few days ago which I know that I'm going to love once I learn how to use it well. icon_lol.gif
    Annacia
    Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:52 pm
    Forum Host
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    Mia in Germany wrote:
    Found you wave.gif
    I'll start with Kahwah Saa'dah.........middle Eastern Special Occasion Coffee #197208 by chef FIFI


    This has been made and hugely enjoyed. Boy did that give me a blast this morning icon_lol.gif

    I've found some other tags:
    Arabic Coffee, the Saudi Way #484900 by Annacia (another kick-start!)
    Saudi Tahini & Tomato Chicken #390844 by UmmBinat
    Almond Tahini Date Balls #395423 by the80srule
    Eggplant and Pomegranate Stew (With Beef or Lamb) #360910 by Aisha al Saieed

    A bit off topic:
    Annacia, I totally forgot to thank you for making my sauerbraten and writing such a great review! Glad you and your DH enjoyed it icon_biggrin.gif


    Thank you for sharing it with me! He really loved it icon_biggrin.gif
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