Specific ethnic and national cuisines and other special types of cooking like vegetarian, etc.

Memories of Moroccan Sellou

I finally got around to searching for the recipe to this amazing almond and honey energy paste that they eat for breakfast during Ramadan in Morocco. It started niggling at me a few months ago, but the truth was I couldn’t even remember the name of it. I soon found results coming up that were pointing to a treat called Sellou. Soon I was on youtube watching this video by cookingwithalia.com:

Many years ago I lived with a Moroccan family in Rabat. The family had a son and daughter who were around my age. The daughter was wiry, smart and a black belt in taekwondo. The son was refusing to follow the Ramadan fast as he was as skinny as a rake and in the middle of intense exams at his school which are highly competitive. The mother was possessive and passionate, an amazing cook, the father was rarely seen but seemed a very quiet mild-mannered fellow.

Sellou is eaten before the sun rises during Ramadan and is power-packed with energy to get you through a long day of fasting. Each family has their own recipe and whenever I asked for it they would always wave me off, saying that it was so easy just almonds, roasted flour, sesame and honey so I never bothered to write it down. Perhaps this was just their way of keeping their household sellou recipe their own special secret.

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Burmese Cuisine

An Introduction to Myanmar Cuisine by Ma Thanegi

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I had a great opportunity to meet Ma Thanegi, the amazing lady who authored this book, while in Myanmar (Burma). She is full of the spirit of adventure and has had some amazing experiences in her travels that she shares with vibrant energy. She has also written other books and articles that are also definitely worth reading.

This cookbook is the best I have come across so far about Burmese food. It focuses mainly on the food of the Bama people and not the other ethnic groups around the country. It lists the main ingredients used in Burmese food and describes how to use them, and it teaches you clearly how to make a wide variety of Burmese dishes. Absolutely fantastic book and worth every penny. I highly recommend it.

The following is from her introduction, which she has given me permission to post, and really shows the spirit of Burmese hospitality:

In Myanmar, to be Ei Wuk Kyay which means to be hospitable, is the criterion of perfect social behavior. Our food culture is based on sharing: with monks to whom many of the Buddhist Myanmar offer food on a daily basis and on special occasions called Soon Kyway and sharing lunchboxes among school friends or colleagues at work. Food and drink are offered free on special religious days in a ritual known as du Di Thar. Travelers stopping by a village would be welcomed to share a meal at the monastery if not at someone’s house. It gives not only joy but great merit to feed others with a generous heart, and this Buddhist concept rules the social life of the people.

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Semolina Pudding

This recipe was found in an old out of print community recipe collection. Very delicious and creamy, it is a variation on creme brulee and was served at the Hotel St. Regis in New York by Chef Paul Moreau. Serves 4-6 4 c milk 1 t vanilla extract ½ c semolina 3 egg yolks ½ c sugar ¼ c raisins…

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Fruit Soup

3 c dried prunes 1 c pearl barley 1 c raisins 2 sticks cinnamon brown sugar cornstarch or arrowroot 1 t cut lemon peel 1 ½ T lemon juice Method: Cover prunes with cold water and let stand overnight. Wash pearl barley, cover with cold water and stand overnight. Add raisins to prunes and add more cold water if necessary.…

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Sorrel Soup

Green Shchi a summer soup in Russia, packed full of vitamins and nutrients. 1 pound sorrel 1 ½ T butter 1 pound spinach 6 c stock 1 T flour ½ c sour cream salt and pepper Method: Pick over and wash sorrel, shake off water; chop fine. Saute in ½ T butter. Mash through colander. Wash spinach thoroughly. Cook in…

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Walnut Sauce

½ c shelled walnuts 1 clove garlic ½ c vinegar ½ c chopped green onions 2 T chopped parsley pinch cayenne salt Method: Crush walnuts and garlic together. Add salt, pepper and onions. Mix with vinegar and parsley. Serve with fish, poultry or vegetables.

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