“Aleppo, Syria can boast one of many richest, most various cuisines on the earth. Syrian delicacies primarily makes use of eggplant, zucchini, garlic, meat (largely from lamb and sheep), sesame seeds, rice, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, vine leaves, pickled turnips, cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, pistachios, honey and fruits. Regardless of its broad acclaim, solely a handful of Aleppo dishes are ever served at Center Japanese eating places as we speak, together with in Los Angeles,” says retired engineer and writer, Alec Ekmekji. “It stays a delicacies of many nice dwelling cooks and cooks.”
A couple of years in the past, Aleppo natives Seta Ekmekji (Alec’s mom), and her sister-in-law, Rhoda Margossian, compiled some household recipes to depart to their youngsters, a challenge that developed into a lifetime of its personal, and changed into a formidable ethnic cookbook. Seta and Rhoda labored collectively to doc every recipe, and their cookbook, Recollections of Aleppo, was printed in 2016. Recollections of Aleppo is a treasured assortment of the household’s favourite Aleppo recipes that may be loved for a lot of generations.
“These recipes signify the cooking model and delicacies of the Armenians who lived in Aleppo for hundreds of years,” provides Rhoda. “Many recipes are vegetarian and vegan, together with this Muhammara. Aleppo pepper is a vital ingredient in Center Japanese delicacies. It’s a Syrian number of scorching pepper, characterised by its fruity, cumin-like taste with reasonable warmth that builds over time. It’s used as a spice in quite a few dishes in an effort to present them with some warmth.” Every of the recipes was superbly photographed by their son/nephew, Raffi Alexander at Spiderbox Images, in La Canada, California.
“We have been schoolmates within the American Excessive Faculty for Ladies in Aleppo,” says Seta. “Afterward, one in every of us married the opposite’s brother and we grew to become family members in addition to very shut buddies, and we’re nonetheless shut, and proceed to speak with one another on the phone day by day.”
“This recipe,” provides Rhoda, “is a delicacy of contrasting flavors: olive oil, crimson pepper, pomegranate molasses, and walnuts. Its magical qualities lie in the truth that once you eat it, you style the entire fantastic flavors concurrently. Though Muhammara is normally eaten as a dip, it goes nicely with turkey, particularly left-over turkey. Muhammara and turkey between two slices of toasted bread makes the right sandwich.”