Wish I Could Cook Syrian Food!

Published January 4, 2018

I often hear “I wish I could cook Syrian Food.” It’s always told to me with a hint of nostalgia for the foods made by a family member and wistfully remembered. I often reply with a question, “why not try making it yourself?” The reaction is often one of surprise that it would even be considered!

Through the years, I met young Arabs who never learned to cook these dishes with parents and grandparents. They felt that they couldn’t recapture those delicious foods they loved. There were also those who married Syrians and wished they could make the recipes their mates had longed for and talked about over the years. All of these encounters prodded me to preserve these recipes for my own family and for those who will follow. My answer to all is that you can be assured that these cookbooks were written with the novice in mind. The recipes are clear and concise, but always with a nod to those long-ago methods used by our ancestors. Knowing that today’s would-be cooks have less time but more automation, newer methods are always described alongside the traditional.

You’ll find recipes that are simple, those that take some preparation and some that may be a challenge. But honestly, with the help of a family member, even these can be tackled. Young cooks often ask which recipes would be easiest to make. The only way to answer that would be to look through Sitto’s Kitchen cookbooks and decide, since each of us has a different level of expertise in the kitchen. That’s one reason I have a Basics chapter in the beginning of both books. The idea is to provide recipes for ingredients that are most used in this cuisine and are basic to a Syrian cook’s menus.

So, please, dive in, “the water’s fine!” And I’m here to answer any questions along the way!

The photo included is one of the easiest and traditional dishes in our #Aleppo cuisine. It’s called Tamarind Meatballs, Kabab Tamar Hindi in #Arabic.