[dropcap]A[/dropcap]rab cuisine is defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab world, from Mesopotamia to North-Africa. Arab cuisine often incorporates the Greek, Levantine and Egyptian culinary traditions.
Chef Nidhi Behl, a graduate from Boston University, whose forte is Arab inspired and Mediterranean cooking, believes in cooking with the freshest local produce you can find.
“Use a lot of summer fruits in your food. Arabic food uses a lot of fruit in their savoury dishes. Skip the dessert and fill up on some fruit. The finest restaurants sometimes serve simply seasonal produce/fruit to end a meal,” she says. She reveals some more secrets to cooking Arabic food.
– If a recipe calls for Aleppo peppers, use bird’s eye chilli instead of simply buying the exported stuff. Your body will thank you for it.
– Go easy on the meat in the daytime; the Lebanese eat mainly mezze in the day when the temperatures are high that aids in cooling the body off.
– Skip the carbs; pita is reserved strictly for the night.
– Cool off with some doogh; similar to our Indian chaas; it’s thicker and fills you up. Use it as snack replacer and watch your skin glow!
– Add nuts and seeds to your food. It aids in digestion making your body alkaline in the heat.
– Use dates as a sugar replacer. The Lebanese have a lot of desserts that skip the sugar all together
– “Replace artificially flavoured rose syrup by making a quick syrup with dates and add some rose water to make jallab an Arabic sharbat,” says Nidhi. Add some pine nuts and its heath in a glass.
– Buy some pomegranate molasses to flavour your meat. Not only does it make it easier on your digestion but tastes pretty darn yummy.