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Aliens (film) -- robin, 23:47:31 02/05/16 Fri [1]

Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Paxton. It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien and the second installment in the Alien franchise. The film follows Weaver's character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of space marines.

Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill of Brandywine Productions, who produced the first film and the later sequels, were executive producers of Aliens. They were interested in a follow-up to Alien as soon as its 1979 release, but the new management at 20th Century Fox postponed those plans until 1983. That year Brandywine picked Cameron to write after reading his script for The Terminator; when that film became a hit in 1984, Fox greenlit Aliens with Cameron as director and a budget of approximately $18 million. The script was written with a war film tone influenced by the Vietnam War to contrast the horror motifs of the original Alien. It was filmed in England at Pinewood Studios and at a decommissioned power plant in Acton, London.

Aliens grossed $180 million worldwide. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including a Best Actress nomination for Sigourney Weaver, winning both Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects. It won eight Saturn Awards, including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Weaver and Best Direction and Best Writing for Cameron. Aliens is considered one of the best films in its genre.


Ellen Ripley is rescued after drifting through space in stasis for 57 years. She is debriefed by her employers at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation over the destruction of her ship, the Nostromo; they are skeptical of her claims that an Alien killed the ship's crew and forced her to destroy the ship.

In Zeta Reticuli, the exomoon LV-426, where the USCSS Nostromo encountered the alien eggs, is now home to the terraforming colony Hadley's Hope. When contact is lost with Hadley's Hope, Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke and Colonial Marine Lieutenant Gorman ask Ripley to accompany Burke and a Colonial Marine unit to investigate the disturbance. Traumatized by her encounter with the Alien, Ripley initially refuses, but relents after experiencing recurring nightmares about the creature; she makes Burke promise to destroy, and not capture, the Aliens. Aboard the spaceship USS Sulaco, she is introduced to the Colonial Marines and the android Bishop, toward whom Ripley is initially hostile following her experience with the traitorous android Ash aboard the Nostromo.

A dropship delivers the expedition to the surface of LV-426, where they find the colony deserted. Inside, they find makeshift barricades and signs of a struggle, but no bodies; two live facehuggers in containment tanks in the medical lab; and a survivor, a traumatized young girl nicknamed Newt who used the ventilation system to evade capture or death. The crew uses the colony's computer to locate the colonists grouped beneath the fusion powered atmosphere processing station. They head to the location, descending into corridors covered in Alien secretions.

At the center of the station, the marines find the colonists cocooned, serving as incubators for the Aliens' offspring. When the marines kill a newborn Alien, the Aliens are roused and ambush the marines, killing and capturing several. When the inexperienced Gorman panics, Ripley takes control of their vehicle and rams it through the nest to rescue marines Hicks, Hudson, and Vasquez. Hicks orders the dropship to recover the survivors, but a stowaway Alien kills the pilots, causing it to crash. Ripley, Newt, Burke and the remaining marines barricade themselves inside the colony.

Ripley discovers that Burke deliberately sent the colonists to investigate the derelict spaceship where the Nostromo crew first encountered the Alien eggs, believing he could become wealthy by recovering Alien specimens for use as biological weapons. She threatens to expose him, but Bishop informs the group of a greater danger: the power plant was damaged during the battle, and will soon detonate with the force of a 40-megaton thermonuclear weapon. He volunteers to crawl through several hundred meters of piping conduits to reach the colony's transmitter and remotely pilot the Sulaco's remaining dropship to the surface.

Ripley and Newt fall asleep in the medical laboratory, awakening to find themselves locked in the room with the two facehuggers, which have been released from their tanks. Ripley triggers a fire alarm to alert the marines, who rescue them and kill the creatures. Ripley accuses Burke of releasing the facehuggers so that they would impregnate her and Newt, allowing him to smuggle the Alien embryos past Earth's quarantine, and of planning to kill the rest of the marines in hypersleep during the return trip so that no one could contradict his version of events. Before the marines can kill Burke, the electricity is cut and Aliens assault through the ceiling. Vasquez and Gorman are killed, while Hudson, Burke, and Newt are captured.

Ripley and an injured Hicks reach Bishop in the second dropship, but Ripley refuses to abandon Newt. She hastily assembles a weapon and rescues Newt from the hive in the processing station, where the two encounter the Alien queen in her egg chamber. Ripley destroys the eggs, enraging the queen, who tears free from her ovipositor. Pursued by the queen, Ripley and Newt rendezvous with Bishop and Hicks on the dropship. All four escape moments before the colony is consumed by the nuclear blast.

On the Sulaco, Ripley and Bishop's relief at their escape is interrupted when the Alien queen, stowed away on the dropship's landing gear, tears Bishop in two. The queen advances on Newt, but Ripley clashes with her using an exosuit cargo-loader and expels it through an airlock. Ripley, Newt, Hicks and the badly damaged Bishop enter hypersleep for the return to Earth.

David Giler declared that back in 1979 Brandywine Productions were intent on "immediately making a sequel" to Alien, having the full support of 20th Century Fox president Alan Ladd, Jr.. However, that year Ladd left amidst Fox's transition to new owners Marc Rich and Marvin Davis, and the new studio management had no interest in the sequel.[8] Giler accused new president Norman Levy of being the one that held back the film's production; Levy would later declare that "It was a movie I wanted to make," but he felt another Alien would prove too costly. In the meantime, Giler and partners Walter Hill and Gordon Carroll sued Fox regarding the disbursement of the Alien profits. By the time the lawsuit was settled, in 1983, Fox had new executives that got interested in continuing Alien.[9] Giler pitched the project to one of the executives as a cross between Hill's Southern Comfort and The Magnificent Seven.[8]

While the producers and development executive Larry Wilson sought a writer for Alien II, Wilson came across James Cameron's screenplay for The Terminator, and passed the script to Giler feeling Cameron was apt for the job.[9] Giler then approached Cameron, who was completing pre-production of The Terminator. A fan of the original Alien, Cameron was interested in crafting a sequel and entered a self-imposed seclusion to brainstorm a concept for Alien II.[10] After four days Cameron produced an initial 45-page treatment, although the Fox management put the film on hiatus, as some disliked the pitch and they felt that Alien had not generated enough profit to warrant a sequel.[9][10] A scheduling conflict with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger caused filming of The Terminator to be delayed by nine months (as Schwarzenegger was filming Conan the Destroyer), allowing Cameron additional time to write a script for Aliens. While filming The Terminator, Cameron wrote 90 pages for Aliens, and although the script was not finished, Fox's new president Larry Gordon was impressed and told him that if The Terminator was a success, he would be able to direct Aliens.[8][9] Cameron even declared that he spent production of The Terminator thinking on which elements of that film could "make a good dry run" for the Alien sequel.[11]

Following the success of The Terminator, Cameron and producing partner Gale Anne Hurd were given approval to direct and produce the sequel to Alien, scheduled for a 1986 release. Cameron was enticed by the opportunity to create a new world and opted not to follow the same formula as Alien, but to create a worthy combat sequel focusing "more on terror, less on horror".[12] Sigourney Weaver, who played Ellen Ripley in Alien, had doubts about the project, but after meeting Cameron she expressed interest in revisiting her character. 20th Century Fox, however, refused to sign a contract with Weaver over a payment dispute and asked Cameron to write a story excluding Ellen Ripley.[8] He refused on the grounds that Fox had indicated that Weaver had signed on when he began writing the script. With Cameron's persistence, Fox signed the contract and Weaver obtained a salary of $1 million, a sum 30 times what she was paid for the first film[13] (and equivalent to $2,200,000 in present-day terms). Weaver nicknamed her role in the Alien sequel "Rambolina", referring to John Rambo of the Rambo series, and stated that she approached the role as akin to the titular role in Henry V or women warriors in Chinese classical literature.[13]

Cameron drew inspiration for the Aliens story from the Vietnam War, a situation in which a technologically superior force was mired in a hostile foreign environment: "Their training and technology are inappropriate for the specifics, and that can be seen as analogous to the inability of superior American firepower to conquer the unseen enemy in Vietnam: a lot of firepower and very little wisdom, and it didn't work."[10][14] The attitude of the space marines was influenced by the Vietnam War; they are portrayed as cocky and confident of their inevitable victory, but when they find themselves facing a less technologically advanced but more determined enemy, the outcome is not what they expect.[12] Cameron listed Robert A. Heinlein's novel Starship Troopers as a major influence that led to the incorporation of various themes and phrases, such as the terms "the drop" and "bug hunt", as well as the cargo-loader exoskeleton.

Aliens was filmed over ten months on a budget of $18 million at Pinewood Studios in England.[10] Cameron, bound by a low budget and a deadline, found it difficult to adjust to what Paxton called the "really indentured" working practices of the British crew, such as the tea breaks that brought production to a halt. The crew were admirers of Ridley Scott, and many of them believed Cameron was too young and inexperienced to direct, despite Cameron's attempts to show them his previous film, The Terminator, which had not yet been released in the UK.[21] They mocked producer Gale Anne Hurd, insisting that she was only receiving the producer credit because she was married to Cameron. Cameron clashed with the original director of photography, Dick Bush, when Bush started production saying the schedule couldn't be met, and when he insisted on lighting the Alien nest set brightly; Cameron insisted on a dark, foreboding nest, relying on the lights from the Marines' armor. After Bush was fired, the crew walked out. Hurd managed to coax the team back to work and Adrian Biddle was hired as Bush's replacement.[21]

Some scenes of the Alien nest were shot at the decommissioned Acton Lane Power Station in Acton, London. The crew thought it was a perfect place to film because of its grilled walkways and numerous corridors, but had to spend money to remove asbestos from the station.[22] The Alien nest set was not dismantled after filming, and was reused in 1989 as the Axis Chemicals set for Batman (1989).[23]
Main article: Aliens (soundtrack)

Music composer James Horner felt he was not given enough time to create a musical score. Horner arrived in England and expected the film to be "locked" so he could write the score in six weeks, which he thought was a sufficient amount of time. Horner, however, discovered that filming and editing were still taking place, and he was unable to view the film. He visited the sets and editing rooms for three weeks and found that editor Ray Lovejoy was barely keeping up with the workload for reasons of time restrictions. Horner believed Cameron was preoccupied with sound effects, citing that Cameron spent two days with the sound engineer creating the sounds for the pulse rifles. He also complained that he was given an outdated recording studio; the score was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios, a 30-year-old studio that was barely able to patch in synthesizers or use the electronic equipment that Horner required.[24]

Six weeks from theatrical release, no dubbing had taken place and the score had not been written, as Horner was unable to view the completed film. The final cue for the scene in which Ripley battles the Alien queen was written overnight. Cameron completely reworked the scene, leaving Horner to rewrite the music. As Gale Hurd did not have much music production experience, she and Cameron denied Horner's request to push the film back four weeks so he could finish the score. Horner felt that, given more time, he could get the score to 100% of his satisfaction, rather than the 80% he estimated he had been able to achieve. The score was recorded in roughly four days.[24] Despite his troubles, Horner received an Academy Award nomination (his first) for Best Original Score.

Horner stated that tensions between himself and Cameron were so high during post-production that he assumed they would never work together again. Horner believed that Cameron's film schedules were too short and stressful. The two parted ways until 1997 when Cameron, impressed with Horner's score for Braveheart, asked him to compose the score for Titanic

Brothers Robert and Dennis Skotak were hired to supervise the visual effects, having previously worked with Cameron on several Roger Corman movies. Two stages were used to construct the colony on LV-426, using miniature models that were on average six feet tall and three feet wide.[29] Filming the miniatures was difficult because of the weather; the wind would blow over the props, although it proved helpful to give the effect of weather on the planet. Cameron used these miniatures and several effects to make scenes look larger than they really were, including rear projection, mirrors, beam splitters, camera splits and foreground miniatures. Due to budget limits, Cameron said he had to pay for the robotic arm used to cut into Ripley's shuttle in the opening scene.[29][30] Practical effects supervisor John Richardson declared his biggest challenge was creating the forklift Power Loader exoskeletons, which required only three months of work and had Cameron complaining about visual details during construction. The model could not stand on its own, requiring either wires dangling from the shoulders or a pole through the back attached to a crane. While Sigourney Weaver was inside the power loader model, a stunt man standing behind it would move the arms and legs.[27]

The Alien suits were made more flexible and durable than the ones used in Alien, to expand on the creatures' movements and allow them to crawl and jump. Dancers, gymnasts, and stunt men were hired to portray the Aliens. Various 8 feet (2.4 m) tall mannequins were also created to make Aliens that stood in inhuman poses, and could have their bodies exploded to simulate gunshot wounds. Stan Winston's team created fully articulated Facehuggers that could move their fingers; these were moved by wires hidden on the scenery or the actors' clothing. The one that walked towards Ripley had a mechanism akin to a pull toy, with pulleys that moved the fingers, and its jump combined three models shot separatedly: the walking Facehugger, a stationary model dangling on a table leg, and another model being pulled towards the camera.[28]

Scenes involving the Alien queen were the most difficult to film, according to production staff. A life-sized mock-up was created by Stan Winston's company in the United States to see how it would operate. Once the testing was complete, the crew working on the queen flew to England and began work creating the final version. Standing at 14 feet (4.3 m) tall, it was operated using a mixture of puppeteers, control rods, hydraulics, cables, and a crane above to support it. Two puppeteers were inside the suit operating its arms, and sixteen were required to move it. All sequences involving the full size queen were filmed in-camera with no post-production manipulation.[29] Additionally, a miniature alien queen was used for certain shots.[31]
Box office

Eagerly anticipated by fans following the success of Alien,[32] Aliens was released in North America on July 18, 1986, and August 29 in the United Kingdom. In North America, the film opened in 1,437 theaters with an average opening gross of $6,995 and a weekend gross of $10,052,042. It was number one at the North American box office for four consecutive weeks, grossing $85.1 million. Aliens was the seventh highest-grossing film of 1986 in North America.[33] The film's worldwide total gross has been stated as high as $180 million, making Aliens one of the highest grossing R-rated films at the time.[34]
Critical reception

Test and pre-screenings were unable to take place for Aliens due to the film not being completed until its week of release.[35] Once it was released in cinemas, critical reaction was generally positive to very positive. Critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4 and called it "painfully and unremittingly intense" and a "superb example of filmmaking craft." He also stated "when I walked out of the theater, there were knots in my stomach from the film's roller-coaster ride of violence."[36] Walter Goodman of The New York Times said it was a "flaming, flashing, crashing, crackling blow-'em-up show that keeps you popping from your seat despite your better instincts and the basically conventional scare tactics."[37] Time magazine featured the film on the cover of its July 28, 1986, issue, calling it the "summer's scariest movie". Time reviewer Richard Schickel declared the film "a sequel that exceeds its predecessor in the reach of its appeal while giving Weaver new emotional dimensions to explore."[10] The selection of Aliens for a Time cover was attributed to the successful reception of the film,[38][39] as well as its novel example of a science fiction action heroine.[40] Echoing Time's assessment, Dave Kehr of The Chicago Reader called the film "one sequel that surpasses the original."[41] Gene Siskel gave the film a negative review, describing Aliens as "one extremely violent, protracted attack on the senses" and that "toward the end, the film resorts to placing a young girl in jeopardy in a pathetic attempt to pander to who knows what audience. Some people have praised the technical excellence of Aliens. Well, the Eiffel Tower is technically impressive, but I wouldn't want to watch it fall apart on people for two hours."[42]

Reviews of the film have remained mostly positive over the years. In a 1997 interview, Weaver stated that Aliens "made the first Alien look like a cucumber sandwich."[43] In a 2000 review, film critic James Berardinelli said "When it comes to the logical marriage of action, adventure, and science fiction, few films are as effective or accomplished as Aliens."[44] Austin Chronicle contributor Marjorie Baumgarten labeled the film in 2002 as "a non-stop action fest."[45] Based on 48 reviews, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average critic score of 8.8 out of 10.[46] It also holds a score of 87 out of 100 ("universal acclaim") on the other major review aggregator, Metacritic.[47] Aliens was also featured in Empire Magazine's 500 Greatest films of All Time poll at number 30, and in Empire's recent 301 Greatest Films of All Time poll at number 19.
Interpretation and analysis

Philosopher Stephen Mulhall has remarked that the four Alien films represent an artistic rendering of the difficulties faced by the woman's "voice" to have itself heard in a masculinist society, as Ripley continually encounters males who try to silence her and to force her to submit to their desires. Mulhall sees this depicted in several events in Aliens, particularly the inquest scene in which Ripley's explanation for the deaths and destruction of the Nostromo, as well as her attempts to warn the board members of the Alien danger, are met with officious disdain. However, Mulhall believes that Ripley's relationship with Hicks illustrates that Aliens "is devoted ... to the possibility of modes of masculinity that seek not to stifle but rather to accommodate the female voice, and modes of femininity that can acknowledge and incorporate something more or other of masculinity than our worst nightmares of it."[48]

Several movie academics, including Barbara Creed, have remarked on the color and lighting symbolism in the Alien franchise, which offsets white, strongly lit environments (spaceships, corporate offices) against darker, dirtier, "corrupted" settings (derelict alien ship, abandoned industrial facilities). These black touches contrast or even attempt to take over the purity of the white elements.[49] Others, such as Kile M. Ortigo of Emory University, agree with this interpretation and point to the Sulaco with its "sterilized, white interior" as representing this element in the second film of the franchise.[50]

While some claim that the shape of the Sulaco was based on a submarine,[51] the design has most often been described as a "gun in space" resembling the rifles used in the movie.[52] Author Roz Kaveney called the opening shot of the ship traveling through space "fetishistic" and "shark-like", "an image of brutal strength and ingenious efficiency"—while the militarized interior of the Sulaco (designed by Ron Cobb) is contrasted to the organic interior of the Nostromo in the first movie (also designed by Cobb).[53] David McIntee noted the homage the scene pays to the opening tour through the Nostromo in Alien.[54]

The android character Bishop has been the subject of literary and philosophical analysis as a high-profile fictional android conforming to science fiction author Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics and as a model of a compliant, potentially self-aware machine.[55] His portrayal has been studied by writers for the University of Texas Press for its implications relating to how humans deal with the presence of an "Other",[56] as Ripley treats them with fear and suspicion after the android Ash tried to kill her in the original Alien movie, and a form of "hi-tech racism and android apartheid" is present throughout the series.[57] This is seen as part of a larger trend of technophobia in films prior to the 1990s, with Bishop's role being particularly significant as he proves his worth at the end of the film, thus confounding Ripley's expectations

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Alice in Chains -- robin, 23:43:30 02/05/16 Fri [1]

Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley. The initial lineup was rounded out by drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr, who was replaced in 1993 by Mike Inez.

Although widely associated with grunge music, the band's sound incorporates heavy metal elements. Since its formation, Alice in Chains has released five studio albums, three EPs, two live albums, four compilations, and two DVDs. The band is known for its distinctive vocal style, which often included the harmonized vocals of Staley and Cantrell (And later William DuVall).

Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 20 million albums worldwide,[1] and over 14 million in the US alone.[2] In 1992 the band's second album, Dirt, was released to critical acclaim and was certified quadruple platinum. Their third album, Alice in Chains, was released in 1995 and has been certified double platinum. Both albums achieved No. 1 Billboard 200 releases. The band has had 14 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and nine Grammy Award nominations.

Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity from 1996 onwards due to Staley's substance abuse, which resulted in his death in 2002. The band reunited in 2005 for a live benefit show, performing with a number of guest vocalists. They toured in 2006, with William DuVall taking over as lead vocalist full-time. The new line-up released the band's fourth studio album, Black Gives Way to Blue, in 2009. The album received gold certification by the RIAA. In 2013, the band released The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, its fifth studio album.[3] The band has toured extensively and released several videos in support of these albums. Alice in Chains is currently working on their sixth studio album

Formation and early years (1984–89)

Before the formation of Alice in Chains, then-drummer[5][6] Layne Staley landed his first gig as a vocalist when he auditioned to sing for a local glam metal band known as Sleze after receiving some encouragement from his stepbrother Ken Elmer.[5][6] Other members of this group at that time were guitarists Johnny Bacolas and Zoli Semanate, drummer James Bergstrom, and bassist Byron Hansen.[5] This band went through several lineup changes culminating with Nick Pollock as their sole guitarist and Bacolas switching to bass before discussions arose about changing their name to Alice in Chains.[7] This was prompted by a conversation that Bacolas had with a singer from another band about backstage passes.[7] Due to concerns over the reference to female bondage, the group ultimately chose to spell it differently as Alice N' Chains to allay any parental concerns, though Staley's mother Nancy McCallum has said she was still not happy with this name at first

Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell while working with Alice N' Chains at Music Bank rehearsal studios. The two struggling musicians became roommates, living in a rehearsal space they shared. Alice N' Chains soon disbanded, and Staley joined a funk band that also required a guitarist at the time. Staley asked Cantrell to join as a sideman. Cantrell agreed on condition that Staley join Cantrell's band, which at the time included drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr. Eventually the funk project broke up, and in 1987 Staley joined Cantrell's band on a full-time basis, playing in clubs around the Pacific Northwest, often stretching 15 minutes of material into a 45-minute set. The band played a couple of gigs, calling themselves different monikers, including Diamond Lie, the name of Cantrell's previous band,[8] before eventually adopting the name that Staley's previous band had initially flirted with, Alice in Chains.[9][10]

Local promoter Randy Hauser became aware of the band at a concert and offered to pay for demo recordings. However, one day before the band was due to record at the Music Bank studio in Washington, police shut down the studio during the biggest cannabis raid in the history of the state.[9] The final demo, completed in 1988, was named The Treehouse Tapes and found its way to the music managers Kelly Curtis and Susan Silver, who also managed the Seattle-based band Soundgarden. Curtis and Silver passed the demo on to Columbia Records' A&R representative Nick Terzo, who set up an appointment with label president Don Ienner. Based on The Treehouse Tapes, Ienner signed Alice in Chains to Columbia in 1989.[9] The band also recorded another untitled demo over a three-month period in 1989. This recording can be found on the bootleg release Sweet Alice

Alice in Chains soon became a top priority of the label, which released the band's first official recording in July 1990, a promotional EP called We Die Young. The EP's lead single, "We Die Young", became a hit on metal radio. After its success, the label rushed Alice in Chains' debut album into production with producer Dave Jerden.[12] Cantrell stated the album was intended to have a "moody aura" that was a "direct result of the brooding atmosphere and feel of Seattle".[13]

The resulting album, Facelift, was released on August 21, 1990, peaking at number 42 in the summer of 1991 on the Billboard 200 chart.[14] Facelift was not an instant success, selling under 40,000 copies in the first six months of release, until MTV added "Man in the Box" to regular daytime rotation.[15] The single hit number 18 on the Mainstream rock charts, with the album's follow up single, "Sea of Sorrow", reaching number 27,[16] and in six weeks Facelift sold 400,000 copies in the US.[15] The album was a critical success, with Steve Huey of AllMusic citing Facelift as "one of the most important records in establishing an audience for grunge and alternative rock among hard rock and heavy metal listeners."

Facelift was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) by the end of 1990, while the band continued to hone its audience, opening for such artists as Iggy Pop,[18] Van Halen, Poison,[13] and Extreme.[15] In early 1991, Alice in Chains landed the opening slot for the Clash of the Titans tour with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer, exposing the band to a wide metal audience but receiving mainly poor reception.[19] Alice in Chains was nominated for a Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy Award in 1992 for "Man in the Box" but lost to Van Halen for their 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.[20]

Following the tour, Alice in Chains entered the studio to record demos for its next album, but ended up recording five acoustic songs instead.[15] While in the studio, drummer Sean Kinney had a dream about "making an EP called Sap".[18] The band decided "not to mess with fate", and on March 21, 1992, Alice in Chains released their second EP, Sap. The EP was released while Nirvana's Nevermind was at the top of the Billboard 200 charts, resulting in a rising popularity of Seattle-based bands, and of the term "grunge music".[15] Sap was certified gold within two weeks. The EP features guest vocals by Ann Wilson from the band Heart, who joined Staley and Cantrell for the choruses of "Brother", "Am I Inside", and "Love Song". The EP also features Mark Arm of Mudhoney and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, who appeared together on the song "Right Turn", credited to "Alice Mudgarden" in the liner notes.[21] In 1992, Alice in Chains appeared in the Cameron Crowe film Singles, performing as a "bar band".[22] The band also contributed the song "Would?" to the film's soundtrack, whose video received an award for Best Video from a Film at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards

Alice in Chains (1995–96)

While Alice in Chains was inactive during 1995, Staley joined the "grunge supergroup" Mad Season, which also featured Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, bassist John Baker Saunders from The Walkabouts, and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin. Mad Season released one album, Above, for which Staley provided lead vocals and the album artwork. The album spawned a number-two single, "River of Deceit", as well as a home video release of Live at the Moore.[26] In April 1995, Alice in Chains entered Bad Animals Studio in Seattle with producer Toby Wright, who had previously worked with Corrosion of Conformity and Slayer.[36] While in the studio, an inferior version of the song "Grind" was leaked to radio, and received major airplay.[37] On October 6, 1995, the band released the studio version of the song to radio via satellite uplink. On November 7, 1995, Columbia Records released the eponymous album, Alice in Chains,[36] which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200[14] and has since been certified double platinum. Of the album's four singles, "Grind", "Again", "Over Now", and "Heaven Beside You", three feature Cantrell on lead vocals. Jon Wiederhorn of Rolling Stone called the album "liberating and enlightening, the songs achieve a startling, staggering and palpable impact."[38] The song "Got Me Wrong" unexpectedly charted three years after its release on the Sap EP. The song was re-released as a single on the soundtrack for the independent film Clerks in 1995, reaching number seven on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[39] The band opted not to tour in support of Alice in Chains, adding to the rumors of drug abuse.[35][40]

Alice in Chains resurfaced on April 10, 1996, to perform their first concert in three years for MTV Unplugged, a program featuring all-acoustic set lists.[41][42] The performance featured some of the band's highest charting singles, including "Down in a Hole", "Heaven Beside You", and "Would?", and introduced a new song, "Killer Is Me". The show marked Alice in Chains' only appearance as a five-piece band, adding second guitarist Scott Olson.[41] A live album of the performance was released in July 1996, debuting at number three on the Billboard 200,[14] and was accompanied by a home video release, both of which received platinum certification by the RIAA. Alice in Chains performed four shows supporting the reunited original Kiss lineup, including the final live appearance of Layne Staley on July 3, 1996, in Kansas City, Missouri. Shortly after the show, Staley was found unresponsive after he overdosed on heroin and was taken to the hospital. Although he recovered, the band was forced to go on hiatus.[43]
Hiatus and the death of Layne Staley (1996–2002)

Although Alice in Chains never officially disbanded, Staley became a recluse, rarely leaving his Seattle condominium following the death of his ex-fiancée Demri Parrott due to infective endocarditis.[26] "Drugs worked for me for years", Staley told Rolling Stone in 1996, "and now they're turning against me... now I'm walking through hell".[40] Unable to continue with new Alice in Chains material, Cantrell released his first solo album, Boggy Depot, in 1998, also featuring Sean Kinney and Mike Inez.[44] In 1998, Staley reunited with Alice in Chains to record two new songs, "Get Born Again" and "Died". Originally intended for Cantrell's second solo album, the songs were reworked by Alice in Chains and were released in the fall of 1999 on the box set, Music Bank. The set contains 48 songs, including rarities, demos, and previously released album tracks and singles.[9] The band also released a 15-track compilation titled Nothing Safe: Best of the Box, serving as a sampler for Music Bank, as well as the band's first compilation album; a live album, simply titled Live, released on December 5, 2000; and a second compilation, titled Greatest Hits in 2001.[45]

By 2002, Cantrell had finished work on his second solo album, Degradation Trip. Written in 1998, the album's lyrical content focused heavily on what Cantrell regarded as the demise of Alice in Chains, which still remained evident as the album approached its June 2002 release. However, in March that year, Cantrell commented, "We're all still around, so it's possible [Alice in Chains] could all do something someday, and I fully hope someday we will."[46]

After a decade of battling drug addiction, Layne Staley was found dead in his condominium on April 19, 2002, two weeks after his actual death.[47] His mother and stepfather became alarmed when accountants noticed that money was no longer being withdrawn from his accounts. With assistance from the police, they broke into his condo and made the discovery. An autopsy revealed Staley had died from a mixture of heroin and cocaine. His friends speculate that in addition to drugs, he may have contracted an illness that his body could not fight off, due to a compromised immune system. In his last interview, given months before his death, Staley admitted, "I know I'm near death, I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way."[48] Cantrell dedicated his 2002 solo album, released two months after Staley's death, to his memory

Black Gives Way to Blue (2008–10)

Blabbermouth.net reported in September 2008 that Alice in Chains would enter the studio that October to begin recording a new album for a summer 2009 release.[54] In October 2008, Alice in Chains began recording its fourth studio album at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in Los Angeles with producer Nick Raskulinecz.[55] At the Revolver Golden God Awards, Jerry Cantrell said that the group had finished recording in March 2009 and were mixing the album for a September release.[56] In April 2009, it was reported that the new Alice in Chains album would be released by Virgin/EMI,[57] making it the band's first label change in its 20-plus year career. On June 11, 2009, Blabbermouth.net reported that the new album would be titled Black Gives Way to Blue and was officially set to be released on September 29, 2009.[1] On June 30, 2009, the song "A Looking in View" was released as the first single from the album. It was made available for a limited time as a free download through the official Alice in Chains website in early July. The music video for the song debuted via the official website on July 7, 2009.[58] The second single, "Check My Brain", was released to radio stations on August 14, 2009 and was made available for purchase on August 17, 2009.[59] In addition, it was announced that Elton John appears on the album's title track.[60]

In September 2008, it was announced that Alice in Chains would headline Australia's Soundwave Festival in 2009, alongside Nine Inch Nails and Lamb of God.[61] In February 2009, it was also announced that Alice in Chains would play at the third annual Rock on the Range festival.[62] On August 1, 2009, Alice in Chains performed, along with Mastodon, Avenged Sevenfold, and Glyder, at Marlay Park, Dublin as direct support to Metallica. The band made an appearance on Later Live ... With Jools Holland on November 10, 2009, performing "Lesson Learned", "Black Gives Way To Blue", and "Check My Brain" as the final performance of the episode.

To coincide with the band's European tour, Alice in Chains released its next single, "Your Decision", on November 16 in the UK and on December 1 in the US.[63][64] The fourth single from the album was "Lesson Learned" and was released to rock radio in mid-June.[65] On May 18, 2010, Black Gives Way to Blue was certified gold by the RIAA for shipments of over 500,000 copies.

Along with Mastodon and Deftones, Alice in Chains toured the United States and Canada in late 2010 on the Blackdiamondskye tour, an amalgam of the three bands' latest album titles (Black Gives Way to Blue, Diamond Eyes, and Crack the Skye).
Future plans and the death of Mike Starr (2010–2011)

In April 2010, Cantrell revealed to MTV News that Alice in Chains was contemplating making a fifth studio album in the foreseeable future. He explained, "There are thoughts. We'll see how far we get. Staying in the moment is a good way to live and we certainly hope that it happens. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't [happen]."[66] DuVall also commented on the next album and Alice in Chains' future, "we've got a lot of water to sail before we do that. There's a lot of shows. But yeah, generally speaking, yeah, we're excited about the future. I don't anticipate some long layoff."[67]

DuVall revealed in September 2010 that Alice in Chains had not begun writing their next album yet, but "there's plenty of riffs flying around." He added, "That was the case when we first started back up. We would just stockpile these fragments, and then some time later we would sift through the mountain of stuff, and that's what became Black Gives Way to Blue. The same thing has been happening since we've been touring Black Gives Way to Blue, so it would be only natural to at some point say, 'Hey, we've got a lot of stuff. Let's sift through and see what we've got this time.'" DuVall also mentioned that it was possible that the new album would feature songs that were written for Black Gives Way to Blue.[68]

On March 8, 2011, former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr was found dead at his home in Salt Lake City. Police told Reuters they were called to Starr's home at 1:42 pm and found his body; Starr was 44. Reports later surfaced that Starr's roommate had seen him mixing methadone and anxiety medication hours before he was found dead. Later reports indicated Starr's death may have been linked to two different types of antidepressants prescribed to him by his doctor.[69][70][71] A public memorial was held for Starr at the Seattle Center's International Fountain on March 20, 2011.[72] A private memorial was also held, which Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney attended according to Mike Inez.[73]
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here and next album (2011–present)

On March 21, 2011, Alice in Chains announced that they were working on a fifth studio album,[74][75] and both Cantrell and Inez later made statements that they had begun the recording process. The album was expected to be finished by summer of 2012 and released by the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013. While Alice in Chains were writing for the album in 2011, Cantrell required surgery, which delayed recording the new material. In an interview published in May 2012, Cantrell explained, "The thing that set me back is I had some bone spurs [and] cartilage issues in my shoulders. I had the same issue in the other shoulder about six years ago so I've had them both done now. It's a repetitive motion injury from playing.

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The Story of Star Wars -- robin, 23:37:53 02/05/16 Fri [1]

The Story Of Star Wars is a 1977 record album presenting an abridged version of the events depicted in the film Star Wars, using dialogue and sound effects from the original film. The recording was produced by George Lucas and Alan Livingston, and was narrated by Roscoe Lee Browne. The script was adapted by E. Jack Kaplan and Cheryl Gard.

The original film became a hit in the days before home video, so for many fans at the time, this album was the closest to owning a copy of the film they could revisit whenever they wanted. The album was also released on compact cassette, 8-track tape, and 4-track reel-to-reel audio tape. It was a commercial success and achieved Gold Record status. The sequel films, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, saw a similar record release.
VideoNow and DVD

In 2004, the title was used again for a three disc set produced and released for the VideoNow Color personal video player. The first two discs are an overview of the first five Star Wars films released: The Story of Luke Skywalker (Episodes IV, V & VI) and The Story of Anakin Skywalker (Episodes I & II). These two features are hosted by the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO utilizing pre-existing footage and new voiceover work. They contain no footage from Revenge of the Sith, nor do they have the changes contained in the 2004 DVD releases. The third disc is titled Behind the Scenes and features the following:

Episode I - Fights, a featurette on Lightsaber Duels in The Phantom Menace
Episode II - Action, a featurette on action sequences in Attack of the Clones
Episode III - General Grievous, a featurette on the creation of the Droid General in Revenge of the Sith
Making the Game, a featurette on the creation of the Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith video game
Revenge of the Sith, featurette on the nature of the Sith
An Original Trilogy DVD commercial
An Episode I DVD commercial
An Episode II DVD commercial
A Yoda Electronic Lightsaber commercial

In 2005, Lucasfilm repackaged the content from the first two VideoNow discs for a bonus DVD that was included in a special 2-pack with the Revenge of the Sith DVD at Wal-Mart stores. The DVD is presented in full screen with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound and runs 1 hour in total. The sticker on the cover describes it as "R2-D2 and C-3PO's Chronicles of Luke and Anakin Skywalker".

That same year, the VideoNow release was reissued with new packaging and disc artwork, proclaiming "With Updated Episode III Footage". Other changes include the numbering of the discs themselves, which the first release lack. In addition to these cosmetic changes, the third disc was reworked. The Fights, Action and Revenge of the Sith featurettes were retained, as was the Episode I DVD commercial. In the place of the other material is the following:

Revenge of the Sith "Saga" trailer
Revenge of the Sith "Dark Side" trailer
A different Episode II DVD commercial
PVD game playable on the VideoNow XP.

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Bangladeshi cuisine -- robin, 05:01:26 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Bangladeshi cuisine (Bengali: বাংলাদেশের রান্না) is the national cuisine of Bangladesh. It is dominated by Bengali cuisine and has been shaped by the diverse history and riverine geography of Bangladesh. The country has a tropical monsoon climate.

Rice is the main staple of Bangladesh and is served with a wide range of curries. Sublime Bangladeshi dishes exhibit strong aromatic flavors; and often include eggs, potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines. A variety of spices and herbs, along with mustard oil and ghee, is used in Bangladeshi cooking. The main breads are naan, paratha, roti, bakarkhani and luchi. Dal is the second most important staple after rice. Fish is a staple in Bangladeshi cuisine, especially freshwater fish, which is a distinctive feature of the country's gastronomy. Major fish dishes include ilish (hilsa), pabda (butterfish), rui (rohu), pangash (pangas catfish), chitol (clown knifefish), magur (walking catfish), bhetki (barramundi) and tilapia. Meat consumption includes beef, lamb, venison, chicken, duck, squab and koel. Vegetable dishes, either mashed (bhurta), boiled (sabji), or leaf-based (saag), are widely served. Lobsters and shrimps are also often prevalent.

Gourmet pulao is served during feasts and festivals. Different types of Bengali biryani and pulao include Kachi (mutton), Tehari (beef), Ilish (hilsa) and Murg (chicken). Different types of kebabs include sheekh, reshmi, shashlik, tikka and shami. The country is home to a huge spread of Bengali desserts and confectioneries, ranging from pan-fried or steamed rice cakes (pitha) to halwa and sweets made from fruits and sweetened cheese. Black tea is widely consumed as the national beverage and offered to guests as a gesture of welcome. Popular snacks include samosas, pakoras and rolls. The phuchka is a major street food. The Chittagong Hill Tracts in southeastern Bangladesh features bamboo shoot cuisine. Bangladesh is also the world's fifth-largest producer of tropical fruits.


Islamic dietary laws are prevalent across Bangladesh. Halal foods are food items that Muslims are allowed to eat and drink under Islamic dietary guidelines. The criteria specifies both what foods are allowed, and how the food must be prepared. The foods addressed are mostly types of meat allowed in Islam.
Bengali Keta

Bangladeshi people follow certain rules and regulations while eating. It includes hospitality and way of serving as well. This is known as Bengali Keta. The culture also defines the way to invite people in weddings and for the dinner as well. The gifts are given on different occasions. The Bengali Keta includes the way of serving the utensils in a proper manner.[1]
Regional cuisines

In Bangladeshi cuisine, some foods are popular across the entire region, while others are specific to a particular area.

Western Region: The western areas mainly include the Khulna and Jessore areas; and very close to the West Bengal of India (the second highest region of Bengalis in the world). The cuisine of these areas are known as authentic Bengali recipes. Mug dal with hilsha fish head, dalna, chachari, luchi-payesh, hilsha with mustard, etc. are very popular in both the east and west parts of Bengal.

Northern Region: The Northern part of Bangladesh has strong influences from Eastern Indian states, such as Assam and Manipur. The main characteristic of this food is that it is mainly sweet and has a lot of uses of banana throats, raw papaya fruit, raw mango, urad lentils & grilled or smoked vegetables.

Central Region: The Capital Dhaka & its territory region make up the central region, where fresh water fishes are much more popular & due to different ruling periods, the cuisine of this region is versatile. The Old Dhaka area is famous for the Nawab Awadhi cuisine. In Old Dhaka, different types of kebabs, nans, bakharkhani, kachchi & pakki biriyani, haleem, mutton bhuni kichuri, and specialty mutton tehari are examples of dishes that became popular in other parts of the country.

Eastern Region: The staples of Sylheti people are mainly rice and fish, and their choice and method of cooking is distinctly different to non-Sylheti’s. Traditional dishes will include sour dishes, such as tengha (or tok) cooked with vegetables, including Amra, Defal, Olives (Belfoi), Dewwaa, Amshi, Mango Choti (Aam Choti), Kul (Boroi), Hatkhora (or Shatkora), Ada Zamir (Ada Lembu), and any other sour lemon-like tasty vegetable. Additionally, it is worth noting that the 360 disciples mentioned earlier, not only brought with them their distinct cultures, but also brought distinct cooking styles of their own. These included many types of meat dishes, including chicken.

Southern Region: The Southern region of Bangladesh also includes the tribal areas who have their different style of cooking methods & ideas. Other than that, the most southern part of this region is mainly influenced by the Arakan cuisine of Burma. Dried fish (shutki), bamboo shoots, sea fish, and many more are the specialties of this region. They also use lots of spicy flavors & coconuts in their food preparations.

Main ingredients

Riverine Areas: Bengal's main staple food of sweet water fish comes from this riverine region. Every river in Bangladesh is fulfilled with thousands of types of fish. Hilsa, Ilish, Rui, Katol, Koi, Papda, Boal, Citol, Magur, Sing, Mola, Dhlea, etc. are favorites to all. Bangladesh's "Padma's Hilsa" is famous all over the world.[citation needed]
The staples of Bangladeshi cuisine include rice, which is a common component of most everyday meals[2] and, to a lesser extent, "ruti" (an unleavened whole wheat bread).
"Atta" (a unique type of whole ground wheat flour) is used for making Luchi, Porota, Pitha, etc.
Lentils/Pulses (legumes) includes at least five dozen varieties; the most important of which are Bengal gram (chhola), pigeon peas, red gram, black gram (biuli), and green gram (mung bean). Pulses are used almost exclusively in the form of 'dal', except 'chhola', which is often cooked whole for breakfast and is processed into flour (beshon).
As a tropical country, a wide variety of green vegetables and fruits are available in Bangladesh. A host of gourds, roots and tubers, leafy greens, succulent stalks, citrons and limes, green and purple eggplants, red onions, plantains, broad beans, okra, banana tree stems and flowers, lotus roots, green jackfruit, red pumpkins, and mushrooms are to be found in the vegetable markets or kacha/sabji bazaar.
Local and hybrid[clarification needed] chicken, beef and mutton dishes are favorites across Bangladesh, as well as bird dishes, such as group duck[clarification needed] and pigeons.

Rajshahi & Northern Regions: Rajshahi mangoes are considered to be the best in the country. Sweet dishes are also popular. The Northern parts of the country is also renowned for growing pineapple, guava, watermelon, white or sweet melon, green bell apple, wood apple (kotbel), tropic grape, jujube (kul/boroi), pear, litchi, carambola (kamranga), etc.

Sylhet: A citrus fruit called shatkora is sometimes used in meat dishes. Freshwater fishes are more readily available than saltwater ones.

Chittagong and Southern Regions: Ziafat or Mezban feasts are popular throughout the area, where characteristic "heavy" dishes—dishes rich in animal fat and dairy—are featured. Saltwater fish and seafood are quite prevalent in these areas. Shutki (dried fish) is more available in this region than in other parts of the country. Bangladesh's Southern region is also popular worldwide for its fisheries industries with over 100 types of fishes exported every day from this region.

Barisal and Khulna: Piper chaba is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae. It is called "Chui Jhal" in Bangladesh. Chui Jhal is originally the twig of a Piper chaba. It is a very expensive spice in Bangladesh, has great medicinal value, and tastes somewhat like horseradish. People in Khulna, Bagerhat, and Shatkhira cut down the stem, roots, peel the skin and cut it into small pieces and cook them with meat and fishes, especially with mutton. They love the spicy pungent flavor of spice all year round. A wide range of sweet water fishes are available in this region, which are highly famous all over the country.

Cooking medium and spices
Mustard oil and vegetable oil are the primary cooking mediums in Bangladeshi cuisine, although sunflower oil and peanut oil are also used. However, depending on the type of food, clarified butter (ghee) is often used for its aromatic flavors.

Bangladeshi food varies between very sweet and mild to extremely spicy. It resembles food found in other parts of Asia. There are also slight similarities with South East Asian and North East Indian food customs. The most common condiments, herbs and spices in Bangladeshi cuisine are garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, ghee, coriander, cumin, dry bay leaves, chili pepper, and chili powder.

The pãch poron is a general purpose spice mixture composed of fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, and black mustard seeds. This mixture is more convenient for vegetarian dishes and fish preparations.

The use of spices for both meat and vegetable dishes is quite extensive and includes many combinations. The combination of whole spices, fried and added at the start or finish of cooking as a flavoring is special to each dish. Whole black mustard seeds and freshly ground mustard paste are also a typical combination. A pungent mustard sauce called kashundi is sauce for snacks or sometimes makes a base ingredient for fish dishes and vegetable dishes popular in Bangladesh.

Common Bangladeshi recipe styles
The following is a list of characteristic Bangladeshi recipe styles. You can note the influence in the food here. Each entry here is actually a class of recipes, producing different dishes depending on the choice of ingredients. There are different tastes to which the Bangladeshi palate cater to. These include:

Achar: Assortment of pickled fruit, vegetables or spices. Generally flavored with mustard oil, mustard seeds, aniseeds, caraway seeds, and asafoetida or hing.[1]
Bawra: Anything that has been mashed and then formed into a rough roundish shape and fried, generally in mustard oil. Generally served with rice as a starter, or served with puffed rice crisps as a snack. The baora actually has quite a few different kinds. When potatoes are fried in a light chickpea flour batter, they are called Fuluri (giving rise to the Trinidadian pholourie).
Bhaja: Anything fried, either just after it has been salted or dipped in any kind of water-based batter. Does not include croquettes, or crumb coated items.
Bhapa: Fish or vegetables steamed with spices.
Bhate: A vegetable, that has been put inside the pot in which rice is cooking, and it has been cooked along with the rice. Generally, the vegetable can include potatoes, butternut squash, raw papayas, bitter gourd, snake gourd and okra, which is cooked with the rice. It is often eaten with a tinge of mustard oil and salt. For this, generally "atap chawl" rice, which is a short-grained, glutinous rice that cooks quickly, is used and preferred to the long grained rice, because of its creamy quality, and ability to become ever so sticky. That aids the dish when it comes to mashing. At serving, some fresh ghee or butter, and salt to taste, is mixed and mashed by hand into the right consistency, and then eaten. A raw green chili, and a boiled and shelled egg, sometimes accompany this dish.
Bhorta: Any vegetable, such as potatoes, beans, sour mangoes, papaya, pumpkins or even dal, first boiled whole and then mashed and seasoned with red shallot, fresh chili, mustard oil/ghee and spices.
Chap: Bengali-style croquettes, usually coated with crushed biscuits or breadcrumbs.
Chutney: Generally, the Bengal region is one of the pioneers for this particular dish, making it with everything, including preserved mango sheets, called amshotto.
Dom: Vegetables, especially potatoes, or meat, cooked over a covered pot containing water, slowly over low heat, slightly steaming. The word is derived from the Dum technique popular in Mughlai cuisine.
Ghonto: Different complementary vegetables (e.g. cabbage, green peas, potatoes, banana blossom, coconut, chickpeas, etc.) are chopped or finely grated and cooked with both a pouron and ground spices. Dried pellets of dal are often added to the ghonto. Ghee is commonly added at the end. Non-vegetarian ghontos are also made, with fish or fish heads added to the vegetables. The famous muri ghonto is made with fish heads cooked in a fine variety of rice. Some ghontos are very dry while others are thick and juicy.
Kalia: A very rich preparation of meat using a lot of oil or ghee with a spicy sauce usually based on ground ginger and fresh shallots pasted or fried along with a tempering of gorom moshla.
Kofta: Ground meat croquettes bound together by spices or eggs, served alone or in savory gravy.
Korma: It involves meat cooked in a mild yogurt-based sauce with ghee instead of oil, and often poppy seed paste is added to it. People of Southern Bangladesh are known to add coconut milk to many of their dishes and Korma is no exception.
Paturi: Generally, oily fish is sliced evenly, and then wrapped in a banana leaf, after the fish has been basted with freshly pasted mustard with a hint of mustard oil, chili, turmeric and salt.
Posto: Anything cooked with poppy seed paste as the main flavoring agent. Often poppy seed paste with some mustard oil is eaten mixed with rice all by itself as a mild beginner in a meal.
Shak: Any kind of green leafy vegetable, like spinach and mustard greens, often cooked until just wilted in a touch of oil and tempering of nigella seeds.
Torkari: A general term often used in Bengali, the same way 'curry' is used in English. The word first meant uncooked garden vegetables. From this, it was a natural extension to mean cooked vegetables or even fish and vegetables cooked together.

Bangladeshi meals

Each dish is to be eaten separately with a small amount of rice or ruti, so that individual flavors can be enjoyed. The typical Bangladeshi fare includes certain sequences of food. Two sequences are commonly followed, one for ceremonial dinners, such as a wedding, and the other for day-to-day sequence. Both sequences have regional variations, and sometimes there are significant differences in a particular course in Bangladesh.

Ceremonial occasions, such as weddings, use to have elaborate serving rituals, but professional catering and buffet-style dining can be seen now. The traditions have not disappeared; large family occasions and the more lavish ceremonial feasts will still have the same traditional rituals.

Bangladeshi foods contain staples, such as rice and flat breads. Different traditional flat breads include Luchi, Porota, Bakhorkhani, Nan, Ruti, Rice Flour Flatbread, Chitai Pitha, and many more. Dishes made from chicken, beef, fish or mutton, as well as dal (a spicy lentil soup) and vegetables commonly accompany rice and flat breads. Traditional dishes can be 'dry', such as gosht bhuna (chicken/beef/mutton). Items with jhol (sauce) are often curried. Bangladeshi cuisine frequently uses fresh vegetables, which generally vary with season. Vegetables are also used for light curries.

On special occasions, such as weddings or other similar ceremonies, Bangladeshi people serve guests with Biryani, which is very popular in the cities and urban areas, and Borhani, which is a spicy drink that is known to aid digestion.

In Bengali cuisine, [Chutney] is mainly served at the end of a meal. It is a sweet & sour thickened curry usually made with local seasonal fruits, such as raw mango, , Bengal quince, etc. with pãch poron (five mix spices) and sugar.

Bengalis take pride on their desserts. Bengalis are the pioneers of making and inventing a variety of sweets in the Indian Subcontinent (pre-partition period). Most of these sweets have been created by a Ghosh (a dessert maker or dairy product seller cast).

The last item before the sweets is Doi (baked yogurt).[3] It is generally of two varieties, either natural flavour and taste or Mishti Doi (sweet yogurt), typically sweetened with charred sugar. This brings about a brown colour and a distinct flavour. Bangladeshi cuisine has a rich tradition of sweets. The most common sweets and desserts include:

Rasgulla - Rasgulla, locally pronounced "Roshogolla" or "Rashgolla", is a sweet made with channa (posset/curdled milk) and sugar syrup. It is one of the most widely consumed sweets. The basic version has many regional variations.
Channer Shondesh is a dessert created with milk and sugar.
Chhanar Mishti - A sweet made from chickpea flour with sugar/jaggery/molasses. Nowadays, there are various types of Chhanar Mishthi available all across Bangladesh.
Mishti Doi - Sweetened homemade creamy yogurt; prepared by boiling milk until it is slightly thickened, sweetening it with sugar, either guda/gura (brown sugar) or khajuri guda/gura (date molasses), and allowing the milk to ferment overnight.
Naru - It is usually home-made and used as offerings in Hindu rituals of praying to their Gods.
Rosh-malai - Small rashgollas in a sweetened milk base; Comilla is famous for its Rosh-malai.
Khaja - Deep fried sweets made from wheat flour and ghee, with sugar and sesame seeds as the coating.
Mua - Cooked with rice flakes and jaggery.
Hawai'i Mishti - Made with sugar and given various forms.
Chhana is fresh, unripened curd cheese made from water buffalo milk.
Chhaner jilapi - Made in a manner very similar to regular jalebi except they are made with chhana.
Khir is a common Bangladeshi sweet dish. Phirni, together with Zarda, is also typical during Shab-e-Barat and Eid. It is cooked with dense milk, sugar/jaggery, and scented rice (kalijira rice). Although it takes a lot of time to cook, it is one of the main features of Bangladeshi desserts. A thicker version of khir is used as filling for pitha.

Goja - A light sweet snack made from flour and sugar, and often served as street food, which is consumed both as dessert and starter.
Chômchôm (চমচম) (originally from Porabari, Tangail District in Bangladesh) – This sweet goes back centuries. The modern version of this oval-shaped sweet is reddish brown in colour and has a denser texture than the rôshogolla. It can also be preserved longer. Granules of maoa or dried milk can also be sprinkled over chômchôm.
Shemai - It is made with vermicelli prepared with ghee or vegetable oil.
Balushahi is made from a stiff dough made with all purpose flour, ghee and a pinch of baking soda. One-inch-diameter (25 mm), 1⁄2-inch-thick (13 mm) discs are shaped with hands, fried in ghee or oil and dunked in thick sugar syrup so that there is a sugar coating. They are very sweet, but tasty with a slightly flaky texture.
Piţha - In Bangladesh, the tradition of making different kinds of pan-fried, steamed or boiled sweets, lovingly known as "piţhe" or "pitha",[4] still flourishes. These little balls of heaven symbolises the coming of winter, and the arrival of a season where rich food can be included. The richness lies in the creamy silkiness of the milk, which is often mixed with molasses or jaggery made from either date palm or sugarcane, and sometimes sugar. They are mostly divided into different categories based on the way they are created. The most common forms of these cakes include bhapa piţha (steamed), pakan piţha (fried) and puli piţha (dumplings), among others. The other common pithas are chondropuli, gokul, pati shapta, chitai piţha, aski pitha, muger puli and dudh puli. Generally, rice flour goes into making the pitha.

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Egyptian cuisine -- robin, 04:57:07 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of legumes, vegetables and fruits since Egypt's rich Nile valley and delta produce large quantities of these crops in high quality.


Bread made from a simple recipe forms the backbone of Egyptian cuisine. It is consumed at almost all Egyptian meals; a working-class or rural Egyptian meal might consist of little more than bread and beans.

The local bread is a form of hearty, thick, glutenous pita bread called Eish Masri or Eish Baladi or Baladee (Egyptian Arabic: عيش [ʕeːʃ]; Modern Standard Arabic: ʿayš) rather than the Arabic خبز ḫubz. The word "[ʕeːʃ]" comes from the Semitic root ع-ي-ش ʕ-Ī-Š with the meaning "to live, be alive."[1] The word ʿayš itself has the meaning of "life, way of living...; livelihood, subsistence" in Modern Standard and Classical Arabic; folklore holds that this synonymity indicates the centrality of bread to Egyptian life.[1] In modern Egypt, the government subsidizes bread, dating back to a Nasser-era policy. In 2008, a major food crisis caused ever-longer bread lines at government-subsidized bakeries where there would normally be none; occasional fights broke out over bread, leading to fear of rioting.[2] Egyptian dissidents and outside observers of the former National Democratic Party regime frequently criticized the bread subsidy as an attempt to buy off the Egyptian urban working classes in order to encourage acceptance of the authoritarian system; nevertheless, the subsidy continued after the 2011 revolution.

On a culinary level, bread is commonly used as gamosa, a utensil, at the same time providing carbohydrates and protein to the Egyptian diet. Egyptians use bread to scoop up food, sauces, and dips and to wrap kebabs, falafel, and the like in the manner of sandwiches. Most pita breads are baked at high temperatures (450 °F or 232 °C), causing the flattened rounds of dough to puff up dramatically. When removed from the oven, the layers of baked dough remain separated inside the deflated pita, which allows the bread to be opened into pockets, creating a space for use in various dishes.

Aish Merahrah [ʕeːʃ meˈɾɑħrɑħ] is an Egyptian flat bread made with 5-10% ground fenugreek seeds added to maize flour. It is part of the traditional diet of the Egyptian countryside, prepared locally in village homes. The loaves are flat and wide, and usually about 50 cm in diameter. The maize flour is made into a soft dough that is fermented overnight with the help of a sourdough starter, then shaped into round loaves and allowed to rise or "proof" for 30 minutes before being flattened into round disks, which are then baked. This bread can be kept for days in an airtight container. The addition of fenugreek seeds increases the protein content, storage length and digestibility of the bread; on the other hand, it causes the eater to exude a distinctive odor in his or her sweat, which is occasionally mocked by more urban Egyptians.
Main courses

Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes such as Ful Medames, mashed fava beans; Koshari, a mixture of lentils, rice, pasta, and other ingredients; 'Molokheyya, chopped and cooked bush okra with garlic and coriander sauce; and Fetir Meshaltet. Egyptian cuisine shares similarities with food of the Eastern Mediterranean region, such as rice-stuffed vegetables, grape leaves, Shawarma, Kebab, Falafel, Baba Ghannoug, and baklava.

Some consider Koshari - a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni - to be the national dish. Ful Medames is also one of the most popular dishes. Fava bean is also used in making falafel (also known as ta`meyya), which originated in Egypt and spread around to other parts of the Middle East.

Cow brain and liver is eaten in Egypt.Egyptians also eat sheep brains.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have used a lot of garlic and onions in their everyday dishes. Fresh garlic mashed with other herbs is used in spicy tomato salad and also stuffed in boiled or baked aubergines (eggplant). Garlic fried with coriander is added to Molokheyya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves, sometimes with chicken or rabbit. Fried onions can be also added to Koshari.

Egyptian desserts resemble other Eastern Mediterranean desserts. Basbousa (IPA: [bæsˈbuːsæ]), sometimes called Harissa (in Morocco and Alexandria), is a spicy dish made from semolina and soaked in a sugar syrup. It is usually topped with almonds and traditionally cut vertically into pieces so that each piece has a diamond shape. Baklava (Egyptian Arabic: [bæʔˈlæːwæ]) is a sweet dish made from many layers of phyllo pastry, an assortment of nuts, and soaked in a sweet syrup. Eish el-Saraya[16] Fatayer are pancakes (filo dough) stuffed with everything from eggs to apricots or fruit of choice. Polvorón (Egyptian Arabic: غوريبة, IPA: [ɣoɾɑjˈjedbæ] Ghūrībah) is a common dish in all of North Africa. It is a sweet dish similar to kahk (كحك, [kæħk]) but much thinner. It is like shortbread and usually topped with roasted almonds.
Kahk is a traditional sweet dish served most commonly during Eid ul-Fitr (عيد الفطر, [ʕiːd el ˈfetˤɾ]) in Egypt. It is a shortbread biscuit covered with icing sugar, which may be stuffed with dates, walnuts, or agameya (عجمية, [ʕæɡæˈmejjæ]) (like Turkish-delight) or just served plain. Kunāfah (IPA: [koˈnæːfæ]) is a dish of batter "fingers" fried on a hot grill and stuffed with nuts (usually pistachios), meats, heavy whipped cream or sweets. Luqmat al-Qadi (IPA: [ˈloʔmet el ˈʔɑːdi]) literally translates to "The Judge's Bite". They are small, round donuts which are crunchy on the outside and soft and syrupy on the inside. They may be served with dusted cinnamon and powdered sugar. Qatayef (IPA: [ʔɑˈtˤɑːjef]) is a dessert reserved for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, a sort of sweet crêpe filled with cheese or nuts. Roz be laban (IPA: [ˈɾozz‿eb ˈlæbæn], “rice pudding”) is made with short grain white rice, full-cream milk, sugar, and vanilla. It may be served dusted with cinnamon. Umm Ali (ام على, [omme ˈʕæli]), a national dish of Egypt, is a raisin cake soaked in milk and served hot.


Traditional apple cakes are seasoned with various spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon to provide additional flavour. Crushed nuts can also be added to the batter, the most popular being walnuts and almonds. Sponge cake is a cake based on flour (usually wheat flour), sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder, that derives its structure from an egg foam into which the other ingredients are folded Vanilla slice (ميل فى, [mel feːj, mil-, -foːj] or [mil fœj], from French: Mille-feuille) is a pastry made of several layers of puff pastry alternating with a sweet filling, typically pastry cream, but sometimes whipped cream, or jam. It is usually glazed with icing or fondant in alternating white and brown (chocolate) strips, and combed.
Cuisine and religious practice

Although Ramadan is a month of fasting for Muslims in Egypt, it is usually a time when Egyptians pay a lot of attention to food variety and richness, since breaking the fast is a family affair, often with entire extended families meeting at the table just after sunset. There are several special desserts served almost exclusive during Ramadan, such as Kunāfah and Qatayef (كنافة و قطايف, [koˈnæːfæ w(e).ʔɑˈtˤɑːjef]). In this month, many Egyptians prepare a special table for the poor or passers-by, usually in a tent in the street, called Ma'edet Rahman (Arabic: مائدة رحمن‎, Egyptian Arabic: [mæˈʔedet ɾɑˈħmɑːn]), which translates literally as Table of (God) the Gracious (Merciful). These may be fairly simple or quite lavish, depending on the wealth and ostentation of the provider. (The Ma'edah of the dancer and actress Fifi Abdou is famous for its unusual richness to the point where jokes about it are common).

Observant Copts (Egypt's Oriental Orthodox Christian population) adhere to fasting periods according to the Coptic calendar; these may practically extend to more than two-thirds of the year for the most extreme and observant. The more secular Coptic population mainly fasts only for Easter and Christmas. The Coptic diet for fasting is essentially vegan. During this fasting, Copts usually eat vegetables and legumes fried in oil and avoid meat, chicken, and dairy products, including butter and cream.

Tea (شاى, [ʃæːj]), Tea is the national drink in Egypt, followed only distantly by Egyptian or Turkish coffee. Egyptian tea is uniformly black and sour and is generally served in a glass, sometimes with milk. Tea packed and sold in Egypt is almost exclusively imported from Kenya and Sri Lanka. The Egyptian government considers tea a strategic crop[citation needed] and runs large tea plantations in Kenya. Egyptian tea comes in two varieties, Koshary and Saiidi.

Koshary tea (شاى كشرى, [ʃæːj ˈkoʃæɾi]), popular in Lower (Northern) Egypt, is prepared using the traditional method of steeping black tea in boiled water and letting it sit for a few minutes. It is almost always sweetened with cane sugar and often flavored with fresh mint leaves. Adding milk is also common. Koshary tea is usually light in color and flavor, with less than a half teaspoonful of tea per cup considered to be near the high end.

Saiidi tea (شاى صعيدى, [ʃæːj seˈʕiːdi]) is common in Upper (Southern) Egypt. It is prepared by boiling black tea with water for as long as five minutes over a strong flame. Saiidi tea is extremely strong and dark ("heavy" in Egyptian parlance), with two teaspoonfuls of tea per cup being the norm. It is sweetened with copious amounts of cane sugar (a necessity since the formula and method yield a very bitter tea). Saiidi tea is often black even in liquid form.

Tea is a vital part of daily life and folk etiquette in Egypt. It typically accompanies breakfast in most households, and drinking tea after lunch is a common practice. Visiting another person's household, regardless of socioeconomic level or the purpose of the visit, entails a compulsory cup of tea; similar hospitality might be required for a business visit to the private office of someone wealthy enough to maintain one, depending on the nature of the business. A common nickname for tea in Egypt is "duty" (pronounced in Arabic as "wa-jeb" or "wa-geb"), as serving tea to a visitor is considered a duty, while anything beyond is a nicety.

Green tea is a recent arrival to Egypt (only in the late 1990s did green tea become affordable) and is not particularly popular. This contrasts with certain parts of the Maghreb and Sahara, where gunpowder tea has traditionally been used to make Touareg tea and the tea for the Moroccan tea ceremony.

Besides true tea, herbal teas are also often served at Egyptian teahouses. Karkadeh (/ˈkɑːrkədeɪ/; Egyptian Arabic: [kæɾkæˈdeː], كركديه), a tea of dried hibiscus sepals, is particularly popular, as it is in other parts of North Africa. It is generally served extremely sweet and cold but may also be served hot. This drink is said to have been a preferred drink of the pharaohs. In Egypt and Sudan, wedding celebrations are traditionally toasted with a glass of hibiscus tea. On a typical street in downtown Cairo, one can find many vendors and open-air cafés selling the drink. In Egypt, karkadeh is used as a means to lower blood pressure when consumed in high amounts. Infusions of mint, cinnamon, dried ginger, and anise are also common, as is sahlab. Most of these herbal teas are considered to have medicinal properties as well; particularly common is an infusion of hot lemonade in which mint leaves have been steeped and sweetened with honey and used to combat mild sore throat.

Coffee (قهوة, Egyptian Arabic: [ˈʔæhwæ], Saidi Arabic: gahwah) is considered a part of the traditional welcome in Egypt. It is usually prepared in a small coffee pot, which is called dalla (دلة) or kanakah [ˈkænækæ] (كنكه) in Egypt. It is served in a small cup made for coffee called (فنجان, Egyptian Arabic: [fenˈɡæːn]; Sa'idi: fenjān).

In Egypt, sugar cane juice is called aseer asab and is an incredibly popular drink served by almost all fruit juice vendors, who can be found abundantly in most cities.

Licorice teas and carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan, as is qamar ad-din, a thick drink made by reconstituting sheets of dried apricot with water. The sheets themselves are often consumed as candy.

A sour, chilled drink made from tamarind is popular during the summer called Tamr Hindi. It literally means "Indian Dates", which is a local term for tamarind

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Lebanese cuisine -- robin, 04:53:35 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Lebanese cuisine (Arabic: المطبخ اللبناني‎, "Lebanese kitchen") includes an abundance of starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat. When red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast, and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice.;[1] olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavors found in the Lebanese diet.

Most often foods are grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil; butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw, pickled or cooked. Herbs and spices are used and the freshness of ingredients is important. Like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons. Lebanese recipes are a rich mixture of a variety of ingredients that come from all the Lebanese regions, and each Lebanese area has its special dishes that reflects the culture of the area.

In Lebanon, very rarely are drinks served without being accompanied by food. Similar to the tapas of Spain, mezeluri of Romania and aperitivo of Italy, mezze is an array of small dishes placed before the guests creating an array of colors, flavors, textures and aromas. This style of serving food is less a part of family life than it is of entertaining and cafés. Mezze may be as simple as raw or pickled vegetables, hummus, baba ghanouj and bread, or it may become an entire meal consisting of grilled marinated seafood, skewered meats, a variety of cooked and raw salads and an arrangement of desserts.

Although simple fresh fruits are often served towards the end of a Lebanese meal, there is also dessert, such as baklava and coffee. Although baklava is the most internationally known dessert, there is a great variety of Lebanese desserts.

A typical mezze will consist of an elaborate variety of thirty hot and cold dishes and may include:

Salads such as tabbouleh and fattoush, together with dip such as hummus, baba ghanoush or moutabal, and kebbeh.
Some patties such as the Sambusac.
Stuffed grape leaves

Family cuisine offers also a range of dishes, such as stews or yakhnehs, which can be cooked in many forms depending on the ingredients used and are usually served with meat and rice vermicelli.

Lebanese flat bread is a staple to every Lebanese meal and can be used in place of a fork.

Arak, an anise-flavored liqueur, is the Lebanese national alcoholic drink and is usually served with a traditional convivial Lebanese meal. Another drink is Lebanese wine.

Lebanese sweets include:

Pastries such as baklava, Kaak, Sfouf and Maamoul.
Lebanese ice cream with its oriental flavors (Amar el Din made from dried apricot; fresh fruits; pistachio).
Lebanese roasted nuts with variety and mixes.

Some dishes are also specifically prepared on special occasions: the meghli dessert, for instance is served to celebrate a newborn baby in the family.


The Lebanese cuisine is an ancient one and part of the Levantine cuisine, which include the Egyptian cuisine, Palestinian cuisine, Syrian cuisine etc.
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Many dishes in the Lebanese cuisine can be traced back to thousands of years to Roman, and even Phoenician times. For most of its recent past, Lebanon has been ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food the Lebanese ate. From 1516 to 1918, the Ottoman Turks controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, such as cooking with lamb.

After the Ottomans were defeated in World War I (1914–1918), France took control of Lebanon until 1943, when the country achieved its independence. This time, the French introduced foods such as flan, a caramel custard dessert dating back to the 16th century AD, and buttery croissants.

Dishes and ingredients

Ackawi – white cheese salty or not depending on choice. Usually used in Manaeesh (Lebanese-style pies)
Baba ghanouj – char-grilled aubergine (eggplant), tahina, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic puree—served as a dip.
Baklava – a dessert of layered filo pastry filled with nuts and steeped in Attar syrup (orange or rose water and sugar) or honey, usually cut in a triangular or diamond shape that originates in Lebanon.
Roasted nuts – a mix of more than 20 kinds and flavors of kernels, mostly dry roasted.
Balila – known as cumin chickpeas.
Barout del batata – spicy lamb served with potatoes
Batata harra – literally "spicy potatoes".
Burghul Banadoura – bulgur and tomato
Daoud Bacha – meatballs with tomato sauce
Djaj Mechwi – grilled chicken with peas
Fattoush – 'peasant' salad of toasted pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickweed, and mint.
Falafel – small deep-fried patties made of highly spiced ground chickpeas.
Fried cauliflower
Fried eggplant
Fatayer – a turnover pastry, often made with sbanegh (spinach)
Fuul (vicia faba) slow cooked mash of brown beans and red lentils dressed with lemon, olive oil and cumin.
Halva – sesame paste sweet, usually made in a slab and studded with fruit and nuts.
Hummus – dip or spread made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, and typically eaten with pita bread.
Kunafi – either shoelace pastry dessert stuffed with sweet white cheese, nuts and syrup, or more commonly the version with semolina pastry served on a sesame seed bun with sweet sugar syrup (very popular for breakfast) made with " angel hair" butter and pistachios or nuts. Generally these can be found in sweet shops, as well as bigger bakeries.
Kibbeh – mainly stuffed, can be made in different forms including fried, uncooked, and cooked with yogurt.
Kibbeh nayyeh – raw kibbeh eaten like steak tartar.
Kafta – fingers, stars or a flat cake of minced meat and spices that can be baked or charcoal-grilled on skewers.
Kousa Mahshi – stuffed zucchini, many varieties are used.
Kubideh – served with pivaz (a mix of minced parsley, onions, ground cumin and sumac).
Labneh – strained yogurt, spreadable and garnished with good olive oil and sea salt.
Znood Es-sett – filo pastry cigars with various fillings.
Lahm bil ajĩn – a pastry covered with minced meat, onions, and nuts.
Ma'amoul – cake made from semolina with date, pistachio or walnut filled cookies shaped in a wooden mould called a tabi made specially for Christian (traditionally Easter) and Muslim holidays (such as Ramadan).
Mfaraket Koussa – spicy zucchini
Makdous – stuffed eggplant in olive oil.
Manaeesh – Mini pizzas (usually folded) that are made in any number of local bakeries or Furns, traditionally garnished with cheese, Za'atar, spicy diced tomatoes, kashk in its Lebanese version, or minced meat and onions. Some bakeries allow you to bring your own toppings and build your own or buy the ones they sell there. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Lebanese style pies)
Mujaddara (imjaddarra) – cooked lentils together with wheat or rice, garnished with onions that have been sauteed in vegetable oil.
Mulukhiyah – A stew with mallow leaves, chicken, beef, and in the Lebanese fashion, topped with raw chopped onions, and vinegar over rice. It sometimes has toasted pita chips under the rice.
Mutabbel – a mix of slow cooked eggplant and tahini.
Pastirma – Tender cooked meat, usually served with vegetables.
Qatayef – a sort of sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts.
Qawarma – chopped lamb, salted and kept in the grease of the animal
Samkeh Harra – grilled fish that has been marinated with chili, citrus, and cilantro
Shanklish – aged cheese balls
Shawarma – marinated meat (either chicken or lamb) that is skewered on big rods and cooked slowly, then shaved and placed in a 10 inch pita roll with pickles, tomatoes, and other tangy condiments.
Shish taouk – grilled chicken skewers that utilize only white meat, marinated in olive oil, lemon, parsley, and sumac.
Siyyadiyeh – delicately spiced fish served on a bed of rice. Fish cooked in saffron and served on rice with onions, sumac, and a tahini sauce (the most important part of the dish) originated in the southern areas of Lebanon.
Tabbouleh – diced parsley salad with burghul, tomato and mint.
Tahini – sesame paste
Toum – garlic sauce
Wara' Enab – stuffed grape leaves
Za'atar – dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac that can differ from region to region and from family to family. Most are made in house, but can be bought at Lebanese larders.
Lebanese Spice Blend – a mixture of equal parts of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, nutmeg and ginger. It is commonly used to flavor many Lebanese dishes.

Regional cuisine

These recipes are attributed to these regions in Lebanon, although you find them now as main dishes at most Lebanese homes across the country with local variations.

Douma: Laban Immo (cooked yoghurt and lamb with rice)
Hammana: Fasoulya Hammanieh (kidney bean stew)
Beit Shabab: Riz bi-Djaj (chicken with rice)
Kfar meshki: Kebbe bil-Kishk (meat mixed with wheat and yoghurt)
Baskinta: Makhlouta (meat, rice, and nuts)
Tripoli, Lebanon: Mjadrah and Fattoush (crushed lentils and salad)
Broummana: Deleh Mehshi (stuffed rib cage of lamb)
Baino: Kebbe and Lahme bil-khal (meat mixed with crushed wheat and meat soaked in vinegar)
Dhour Choueir: Shish Barak (dough balls stuffed with ground beef and cooked in yoghurt)
Ferzol: Freikeh (cooked wheat with meat)
Ehden: Kebbe Zghartweih (oven-cooked meat and crushed wheat blend)
Beit Mery: Kebbe Lakteen (pumpkin-flavoured meat)
Beirut: Samkeh Harra and Akhtabout (spicy fish and octopus), Roasted Nuts
Zahlé: Kebbe Zahleweieh (meat and crushed wheat blend)
Rashaya Al-Wadi: Kebbe Heeleh (meatballs)
Ras al-Metn: Fatet (yoghurt, fried bread and nuts)
Ain-Zibdeh: Hareeseh (wheat and chicken)
Rashana: Mjadrat Fasoulya (lentils and kidney beans)
Beiteddine: Kafta Bithine (spiced meat with sesame concentrate)
Ihmej: Ghameh (stuffed cow intestines)
Sidon: Riz bil-Foul (Rice and fava beans)
Bsharri: Koussa bil-Laban (meat and rice-stuffed zucchini cooked in yoghurt)
Deir al-Kamar: Fatet Batinjan (yoghurt, fried bread and aubergine)
Saghbeen: Zinkoul bil-Laban (meat filled pastry and yoghurt)
Tyre: Saiyadit al-Samak (rice and fish)
Marjeyoun, South Lebanon: Vine leaves with squash and grilled chicken
El-Koura: Abu Shoushe (topinambur and lentils stew)
Baalbek: Safiha Baalbakieh (meat-stuffed puff pastry)
Jbeil: Koussa and Wark Inab bil-Kastaletah (stuffed zucchini, grape vines and steak)
Kalamoun, Lebanon: Fresh Carrot juice with ice cream inside


The coffee served in Lebanon is sometimes a variation of Turkish coffee, but a dark type of coffee is the main type served.

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Levantine cuisine -- robin, 04:50:33 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Levantine cuisine is the traditional cuisine of the Levant, known in Arabic as the Bilad ash-Sham. This region shared many culinary traditions before and during the Turkish-Ottoman Empire which continue to carry an influentially mainstream character in a majority of the dishes today. It is found in the modern states of Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Syria, and parts of southern Turkey near Adana, Gaziantep, and Antakya (the former Vilayet of Aleppo) and northern Iraq; Cypriot cuisine also has strong Levantine influences.

Aleppo was a major cultural and commercial centre in this region.

Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of this cuisine are meze including tabbouleh, hummus and baba ghanoush.

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Jordanian cuisine -- robin, 04:47:38 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Jordanian cuisine is a traditional style of food preparation originating from, or commonly used in Jordan that has developed from centuries of social and political change.

There is wide variety of techniques used in Jordanian cuisine ranging from baking, sautéeing and grilling to stuffing of vegetables (carrots, leaves, eggplants, etc.), meat, and poultry. Also common in Jordanian cuisine is roasting or preparing foods with special sauces.

As one of the largest producers of olives in the world,[1] olive oil is the main cooking oil in Jordan. Herbs, garlic, onion, tomato sauce and lemon are typical flavours found in Jordan. The herbs Za'atar[2] and Sumac[3] grow wild in Jordan and are closely identified with Jordanian cuisine. Yogurt is commonly served alongside food and is a common ingredient itself, in particular, Jameed, a form of dried yogurt is unique to Jordanian cuisine and a main ingredient in Mansaf[4][5] the national dish of Jordan,[6][7] and a symbol in Jordanian culture for generosity.

Internationally known foods which are common and popular everyday snacks in Jordan include hummus, which is a puree of chick peas blended with tahini, lemon, and garlic and Falafel a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas. A typical mezze includes foods such as koubba maqliya, labaneh, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, olives and pickles. Bread, Rice, Freekeh, Bulgur (bulghur) all have a role in Jordanian cuisine.

Popular desserts include as baklava, knafeh, halva and qatayef a dish made specially for Ramadan, in addition to seasonal fruits such as watermelons, figs and cactus pear which are served in summer.[8]

Turkish coffee and tea flavored with mint or sage are almost ubiquitous in Jordan. Arabic coffee is also usually served on more formal occasions.[9] Arak, an aniseed flavoured spirit is also drunk with food.

Food culture and traditions

Jordanian cuisine is part of Levantine cuisine and shares many traits and similarities with the cuisine of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, often with some local variations. More generally Jordanian cuisine is influenced by historical connections to the cuisine of Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire. Jordanian cuisine is also influenced by the cuisines of groups who have made a home for themselves in modern Jordan including, Circassians, Armenians, Palestinians, Syrians and Iraqis.[12][13]

Food is a very important aspect of Jordanian culture. In villages, meals are a community event with immediate and extended family present. In addition, food is commonly used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity. Jordanians serve family, friends, and guests with great pride in their homes; no matter how modest their means. A 'Jordanian invitation' means that you are expected to bring nothing and eat everything.

Most of the celebrations in Jordan are exceptionally diverse in nature and quite festiv at the same time. Each celebration is marked with dishes from Jordanian cuisine spread out and served to the guests. There are many traditional small gatherings in Jordan too; even in those gatherings a lot of meals are served. Customs such as weddings, birth of a child, funerals, birthdays and specific religious and national ceremonies such as Ramadan and Jordan's independence day all call for splendid food to be served to guests. To celebrate the birth of a child, Karawiya, a caraway flavoured pudding is commonly served to guests.

Jordanian food
Main dishes

Athan Al-Shayeb: Meaning 'the ears of the old gray-haired man'. Is a pasta or jiaozi dish that has been described as a kind of local variation on ravioli. After being stuffed with ground beef and spices, thin wheat dough parcels are cooked in Jameed and served hot in this sauce. Another name for this dish is Shishbarak.
Bamya: Okra cooked with tomato sauce and onions, served with rice and lamb.
Burghul Ahmar: Bulgur cooked in tomato sauce and served with poultry.
Burghul Bzeit: Bulgur cooked in olive oil and served with poultry.
Fasoulya Beyda: White beans cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice.
Fasoulya Khadra: Green beans cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice.
Fatteh: Stack of khubz bread, topped by strained yogurt, steamed chickpeas and olive oil that are crushed and mixed together.
Freekeh: Served with poultry or meat. Meat is fried in oil and braised with water, salt, and cinnamon bark. Then dried coriander is stirred in with freekeh and is cooked.
Galayet Bandora: Tomatoes sauteed and stewed with garlic, olive oil, salt, and topped with pine nuts, it can be served with rice but is more commonly eaten with bread in Jordan.
Kebab roasted or grilled: Also known as Mashawi. A mixed grill of barbecued meats such as Kebab and Shish taouk.
Kofta b'bandoora: Spiced, ground meat baked in tomato sauce and served with rice.
Kofta b'tahini: Spiced, ground meat baked in a sea of tahini, topped with thinly sliced potatoes and pine nuts and served with rice.
Kousa Mahshi: Rice and minced meat stuffed in zucchinis. Usually served with chicken and Wara' Aynab (also called Dawali).
Kousa Makhshi: Minced meat stuffed in zucchinis cooked in Jameed.
Kabsa: made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually long-grain, mostly basmati), meat and vegetables.
Maftul: Large couscous like balls, garbanzo beans and chicken pieces cooked in chicken broth.
Malfuf: Rice and minced meat rolled in cabbage leaves.
Mansaf: The national dish of Jordan and the most distinctive Jordanian dish. Mansaf is a traditional dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt called Jameed and served with rice or bulgur.
Maqluba: A casserole made of layers of rice, vegetables and meat. After cooking, the pot is flipped upside-down onto the plate when served, hence the name maqluba which translates literally as "upside-down".
Mnazale: Fried eggplant, meat, and sliced tomatoes cooked in the oven.
Mujaddara: Lentil and rice casserole, garnished with roasted onions.
Musaqa'h (مسقعة): Various Levantine variations of the Mediterranean dish are cooked in Jordan.
Mulukhiyah: The leaves of Corchorus species used as a vegetable
Musakhan: Dish composed of roasted chicken baked with onions, sumac, allspice, saffron, and fried pine nuts served over taboon bread. It is also known as Muhammar (Arabic: محمر).
Al-rashoof الرشوف : A winter meal consisting of coarse wheat flour, Yogurt and Lentils, popular in Northern Jordan.
Saniyat Dajaj: Chicken baked with potatoes, tomatoes, and onions with an aromatic blend of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, allspice and cardamom.
Stuffed Baby Lamb: A popular dish in Jordan, which people enjoy as a big and heavy meal. It consists of roasted lamb, stuffed with rice, chopped onions, nuts and raisins.
Wara' Aynab/Dawali (Dolma): Grape leaves filled with herbed, minced vegetables, meat and rice, cooked with olive oil. Sometimes called Dawali.
Zarb: Bedouin barbecue. Meat and vegetables cooked in a large underground pit.

By far the most dominant style of eating in Jordan, mezze is the small plate, salad, appetizer, community style eating, aided by dipping, dunking and otherwise scooping with bread. Mezze plates are typically rolled out before larger main dishes.[14]

In a typical Jordanian mezze, you might find any combination of the following dishes:

Bagdonsyyeh: Parsley blended with tahini and lemon juice, usually served with sea food.
Arab salad: Combines many different vegetables and spices.
Falafel: Balls of fried chickpea flour and Middle Eastern spice. Dipped in every mezze specially the hummus. The Jordanian falafel balls tend to come in smaller sizes.
Ful medames: Crushed fava beans served with a variety of toppings such as olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, chili pepper, sumac and more.
Fattoush: A salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables, such as lettuce, radish and tomato.
Tabbouleh: Vegetarian dish traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur.
Hummus: Chick peas boiled and blended to perfect smoothness with tahini paste, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and perhaps topped with a little parsley.
J’ibna bedhah Halloumi: Semi-soft white cheese. Not quite as salty, crumbly and dry as feta cheese, but similar.
Khobbeizeh: Little mallow cooked with olive oil.
Kibbeh blabaniyyeh: A minced meat and bulgur mixture similar to ordinary kubbeh, but boiled in Jordanian Jameed.
Kibbeh Nayyeh: A minced meat and bulgur mixture similar to ordinary kubbeh, but the meat is served raw.
Kibbeh: Herbed, minced meat covered in a crust of bulgur (crushed wheat), then fried. Shaped like an American football.
Labaneh Jarashyyeh: Literally 'labaneh from Jerash. Creamy yogurt, so thick it can be spread on flat bread to make a sandwich.
Makdous: Stuffed pickled eggplant, said to increase appetite.
Manakish: Flatbread dough usually topped with olive oil and za’atar blend. Other varieties may include cheese or ground meat and in this case it's called Sfiha.
Moutabal: Roasted, pureed potato or eggplant with garlic.
Olive oil: One of the cornerstones of Jordanian food. For breakfast, Jordanians dip flatbread into the olive oil, then into the za'atar.
Pickled vegetables: Jordanians enjoy pickled anything – carrots, radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower, and whatever other pickle-worthy vegetables might be around. Just about every mezze features a plate of these to add some tang and tart to the meal.
Samosa: Fried dough balls stuffed with meat, pine nuts and onions.
Wara' Aynab (Dolma): Vine leaves filled with herbed, minced vegetables, meat and rice.
Za'atar: a mixture of thyme and sesame seeds. Oregano, sage, or sumac can also be mixed in.
Zaitun: Literally olive.
Baba ghanoush: eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and various seasonings.
Yalanji: Plate composed of vine leaves stuffed with rice, principally.
Tursu or (Mokhalal): A certain group of alkhdharat soak in water and salt in a pot and drawn from the air for the week such as: cucumber and cabbage, eggplant flower, carrot, radish, onion, lemon, olives, chili and beans.


Arabic salad: Salad made of tomato, cucumber, onion, mint, olive oils and lemon juices.
Babba ghanoush: Roasted eggplant, cut into pieces and tossed with tomatoes and onions.
Fattoush: Chopped vegetable salad (e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, etc.) tossed with pieces of dry or fried flatbread and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and sumac.
Olive salad: cut with carrots, green pepper, chili, and olive oil.
Rocket salad: Rucola (arugula, rocket) leaves in Jordan are pretty large, tossed with olive oil and lemon.
Tabbouleh: A salad of finely chopped parsley and mint turned with bulgur, tomatoes, onion and seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice.


In Jordan, meals are usually started with soups. Jordanian soups are usually named after their main ingredient such as:

Adas soup (Surabat al-adas "Lentil Soup"): Served hot. Smashed brown, red or green lentils with chicken or meat broth and several varieties of spices. Other ingredients may include vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley, and onion.
Freekeh soup (Shurabat al-farik): Served hot. Is a soup with Freekeh (green wheat), chicken or meat broth and several varieties of spices.

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Ara'yes: A word literally meaning bride, ara’yes are spice mincemeat-filled oven-baked flatbread sandwiches.
Falafel: Fresh bread filled or wrapped with falafel, hummus, tomato and pickles.
Managish: Taboon bread topped with za'atar and olive oil.
Mo'ajanat: Pies filled with cheese, spinach, za'atar or beef.
Sambusak: Fried dough balls stuffed with cheese or meat with pine nuts and onions
Shawarma: Herbed and spiced chicken or meat on a spindle chopped into small pieces and wrapped in flat bread and served with vegetables, tahini and hot sauce.
Sfiha: Flat bread topped with ground beef and red peppers.


Abud: A dense, unleavened traditional Jordanian Bedouin bread baked directly in a wood fire by burying in ash and covering with hot embers.
Ka'ak: Is a traditional Jordanian bread made mostly in a large leaf or ring-shape and is covered with sesame seeds.
Karadeesh: Is a traditional Jordanian bread made from corn.
Khubz (Pita): Literally, “generic” bread. Bread with pockets.
Taboon bread: a flatbread wrap used in many cuisines. It is traditionally baked in a Tabun oven and eaten with different fillings. Taboon bread, also known as laffa bread, is sold as street food, stuffed with hummus, falafel or shaved meat
Shrak: Is a traditional Bedouin bread that is popular in Jordan and the region as a whole. The bread is thrown to great thinness before being tossed onto a hot iron griddle called Saj that’s shaped like an inverted wok. Also known as markook.[15]

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Arabic coffee (Gahwa Sada): is typically the domain of the Bedouins and consists of ground fire-roasted beans and cardamom drawn thin and served in espresso-sized servings.
Ereq Soos: Known as Sus.
Lime-mint juice: Consists of Lemon and mint.
Qamar Eddine: Apricot juice. Usually served in Ramadan.
Sahlab: boiled milk with starch, covered with smashed coconut and cinnamon.
Shaneeneh: Is a special refreshing Jordanian beverage, consists of salty-sour aged goat milk yogurt. Served cold.
Tamar Hindi: Tamarind juice.
Tea: Flavored with na'na or meramiyyeh.
Turkish-style coffee: It is significantly stronger than its Arabic brother. Water is heated in a long-handled metal cup and the grounds (and any sugar) are mixed in as the combination is brewed over a gas flame to bubbling.

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Sudanese cuisine -- robin, 04:44:28 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Sudanese cuisine is varied by region, and greatly affected by the cross-cultural influences in Sudan throughout history. In addition to the influences of the indigenous African peoples, the cuisine was influenced by Arab traders and settlers during the Ottoman Empire, who introduced numerous spices, such as red pepper and garlic, as well as Levantine dishes. Egyptian, Yemeni, Indian, and Ethiopian influences are prevalent in the eastern part of the country.

A wide variety of stews exist in Sudan, often paired with a staple bread or porridge. Further south, fish dishes are popular.

Sudanese food in the north is simpler, whereas foods further south reflect the influence of surrounding areas, such as the Yemeni influenced mokhbaza (banana paste) of Eastern Sudan.

Ful medames is the national dish of Sudan. A popular variation of this dish is Shahan ful, which is more popular in neighboring countries of the Horn of Africa.


As for beverages, the Sudanese have several distinct beverages that are made from some fruits that are grown in Sudan, such as Tabaldi, Aradaib, Karkadai (hibiscus tea, served hot or cold), and Guddaim.

Coffee is a popular drink consumed in Sudan. The strong Sudanese coffee is served from a special tin 'jug' with a long spout, known as a jebena. The coffee is sweetened and often spiced with ginger or cinnamon, which is drunk from tiny cups or glasses. Tea, including different fruit teas and herbal teas, such as kakaday (hibiscus tea), is also popular.

In Ramadan (the Islamic fasting month), one of the signature drinks is Hilumur, which is made from corn flour and spices. Other beverages consumed during Ramadan include Aabrai Abiyad and Nashaa, which are also made from corn flour.

Sudan is governed under sharia, which bans the purveying, consumption, and purchasing of alcohol. Being lashed 40 times is the penalty for breaking the prohibition on alcohol. Former Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry enacted sharia in September 1983, marking the occasion by dumping alcohol into the Nile river.[1] Araqi is an alcoholic gin made from dates, which is illegally brewed in defiance of sharia. Sudan's date-gin brewers thrive despite sharia.

Salaat Jazar (carrot salad) is a popular salad in the Sudanese cuisine. Another popular salad is Salaat Zabidi (yogurt salad), made from various vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes, lettuce or spinach, and cucumbers, which are then cut in dice-sized pieces and poured in yogurt. Salaat Aldokwa is also popular, which is quite similar to the yogurt salad, but the only difference is that aldokwa is poured instead of yogurt.

Sudanese cheeses

Gibna Bayda (white cheese)[2]

Sudanese desserts

There is a type of cake called bisbosa, which is quite similar to standard cake, but it is a little different. It is made from semolina soaked in syrup. There are numerous types of sweets called pasta, which are rolled in a certain way and dipped in a honey mixture. These dishes are both influenced by the Turkish cuisine. Madada is a very popular dessert, which is part of the Sudanese cuisine. This dessert is made using helba (fenugreek paste) and milk sweetened with sugar. Kabaz is a type of cookie that is dipped in sugar. Ajawa is another type of cookie, which is also dipped in sugar, but it is stuffed with dates. Peanuts can be prepared into delicious macaroons, known as Ful Sudani. In the east, the most popular dessert dish is Moukhbaza, which is made from banana paste. This dish is greatly influenced by the Ethiopian and Yemeni cuisines. In the west, each tribal group has adopted different forms of foods that are basically very simple to produce. Examples include milk and dairy products, which are a fundamental component to the majority of the Sudanese people, since most of them are cattle breeders.
Soups and stews

Several stews, including Mullah, Waika, Bussaara, and Sabaroag use Ni'aimiya (Sudanese spice mix) and dried okra. Miris is a stew made from sheep's fat, onions, and dried okra. Sharmout Abiyad is made from dried meat, while Kajaik is made from dried fish.[3] Stews are regularly eaten with a sorghum porridge called Asseeda or Asseeda Dukun. In Equatoria, Mouloukhiya (a local green vegetable) is added to the Asseeda.[3]

Sudanese soups include Kawari, made from cattle or sheep hooves with vegetables, and Elmussalammiya, made from liver, flour, dates, and spices.[3] A distinct ingredient that is not well-known in the west is Dukhun. It is used in preparing stews and a thick porridge called Aseeda Dukhun. A stew called Sharmout Abiyad, which is cooked with dried meat, is often served with the Aseeda. Another form of stew often added is Kawal, which is made from a mixture of some plants' roots that are left to leaven and dried afterwards.

Appetizers include Elmaraara and Umfitit, which are made from sheep's offal (including the lungs, liver, and stomach), onions, peanut butter, and salt. They are eaten raw.

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Somali cuisine -- robin, 04:42:15 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Somali cuisine varies from region to region and is a fusion of different Somali culinary traditions, with some East African, Arab, Ethiopian, Yemeni, Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Italian influences. It is the product of Somalia's tradition of trade and commerce. Some notable Somali delicacies include sabayad, lahoh/injera, halva, sambuusa, basbousa, and ful medames.

Breakfast (quraac) is an important meal for Somalis, who often start the day with some style of tea (shahie) or coffee (buna). The tea is often in the form of haleeb shai (Yemeni milk tea) in the north. The main dish is typically a pancake-like bread (canjeero or canjeelo) similar to Ethiopian injera, but smaller and thinner. It might also be eaten with a stew (maraqe) or soup.[1]

Canjeero is eaten in different ways. It may be broken into small pieces with ghee (subag) and sugar. For children, it is mixed with tea and sesame oil (macsaaro) until mushy. There may be a side dish of liver (usually beef), goat meat (hilib ari), diced beef cooked in a bed of soup (suqaar), or jerky (oodkac or muqmad), which consists of small dried pieces of beef, goat or camel meat, boiled in ghee.
Lahoh is a pancake-like bread originating in Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen.[2][3] It is often eaten along with honey and ghee, and washed down with a cup of tea. During lunch, lahoh is sometimes consumed with curry, soup, or stew.
Sabayad or Kimis is another type of flatbread similar to injera/lahoh, as well as the Indian paratha.
Polenta (mishaari) or porridge (boorash) with butter and sugar is eaten in the Mogadishu area. Elsewhere in the south, such as in the Merca region, special bread known as rooti abuukey with tea is preferred. This is also known as muufo, and is cooked in a special clay oven by sticking the mixture to the walls and waiting for it to fall off when done.[4]

Flatbread referred to as rooti is consumed in the north. Nationally, a sweeter and greasy version of canjeero known as malawax (or malawah) is a staple of most home-cooked meals.

Lunch (qado) is often an elaborated main dish of pasta (baasto) or rice (bariis) spiced with cumin (kamuun), cardamom (heyl), cloves (qaranfuul), and sage (Salvia somalensis). The diffused use of pasta (baasto), such as spaghetti,[5] comes from the Italians. It is frequently presented with a heavier stew than the Italian pasta sauce. As with the rice, it is often served with a banana.

Spaghetti can also be served with rice, forming a novelty dish referred to as "Federation". The dish is usually served with equal (whole) portions of rice and spaghetti, split on either side of a large oval plate. It is then layered with assorted stewed meats and vegetables, served with salad and an optional banana. It has been suggested that the name of the dish is derived from the union of two dishes in Somalia and also from the size and quantity of the food. You will not find this dish served in the average Somali household, since it is uncommon to cook both rice and pasta in one meal. It is instead more common to order the dish from traditional Somali restaurants, where both rice and spaghetti are always readily available. Hence, its novelty status.

In the south, Iskudhexkaris, a hot pot of rice, vegetables and meat, is a regional staple. Beyond the many styles of stew (maraq), rice is usually served with meat and/or a banana on the side. In Mogadishu, steak (busteeki) and fish (kalluun/mallaay) are widely eaten.

Somalis commonly consume a soft cornmeal referred to as soor. It is mashed with fresh milk, butter and sugar, or presented with a hole in the middle filled with maraq.

A variation of the Indian chapati is the sabaayad/kamis. Like the rice, it is served with maraq and meat on the side. The sabaayad of Somalia is often somewhat sweet, and is cooked in a little oil.

Italian Polenta, called Sor in Somalia, is used in the Benadir area, mainly around Merca and Jowhar.

Popular drinks at lunch are balbeelmo (grapefruit), raqey (tamarind) and isbarmuunto (Lemonade). In Mogadishu, cambe (mango), zaytuun (guava) and laas (Lassi) are also common. In Hargeisa in the northwest, the preferred drinks are fiimto (Vimto) and tufaax (apple).

Dinner (casho) in Somalia is served as late as 9 pm. During Ramadan, supper-time often follows Tarawih prayers, sometimes as late as 11 pm. Cambuulo, a common dinner dish, is made from well-cooked azuki beans mixed with butter and sugar. The beans, which on their own are referred to as digir, can take up to five hours to finish cooking when left on the stove at a low temperature. In 1988, the Somali newspaper Xiddigta Oktoober conducted a survey in which it found that 83% of Mogadishu's residents preferred cambuulo as their main dinnertime meal. It was a startling discovery since the dish is considered to be somewhat "low class" due to its flatulence-inducing after-effects caused by the natural sugars (known as oligosaccharides) in its beans. Qamadi (wheat) is also used; cracked or uncracked, it is cooked and served just like the azuki beans.

Rooti iyo xalwo, slices of bread served with a gelatinous confection, is another dinner dish. Muufo, a variation of cornbread, is a dish made of maize and is baked in a foorno (clay oven). It is eaten by cutting it into small pieces, topped with sesame oil (macsaro) and sugar, then mashed together with black tea.

Before sleeping, a glass of milk spiced with cardamom is often consumed.

Sambuusa, the Somali variation of the Indian samosa, is a triangular snack that is commonly eaten throughout Somalia during the afur (iftar). The Somali version is spiced with hot chili pepper, and the main ingredient is often ground meat or fish. Bajiye, the Somali variation of the Indian pakora, is a snack eaten in southern Somalia. The Somali version is a mixture of maize, vegetables, meat and spices, which is then deep fried. It is eaten by dipping it in bisbaas (hot sauce). Kabaab is a snack eaten by southern Somalis. The Somali version is a mixture of ground meat, potatoes, onions and vegetables, which is then coated with flour and deep fried. Fruits such as mango (cambo), guava (Seytuun), banana (moos) and grapefruit (liinbanbeelmo) are eaten throughout the day as snacks.


Xalwo (halwo) or halva is a popular confection served during special occasions,[6] such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. Xalwadii waad qarsatey! ("You hid your xalwo!") is the phrase that follows a person who has eloped or has a small, private wedding. Xalwo is made from sugar, cornstarch, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, and ghee. Peanuts are also sometimes added to enhance texture and flavor.[7]
Gashaato, Kashaato or Qumbe, made from coconut, sugar and oil, which is spiced with cardamom, is a much-loved sweet. The sugar is brought to a boil with a bit of water, then the cardamom is added, followed by shredded coconut.
Lows iyo sisin is a favorite sweet in the south. It consists of a mixture of peanuts (lows) and sesame seeds (sisin) in a bed of caramel. The confection sticks together to form a delicious bar.
Jalaato, similar to the American popsicle, is made by freezing naturally sweet fruits with a stick in the middle. More recently in Mogadishu (Xamar), it has grown to include caano jalaato, which is made with milk and requires sugaring up. The word jalaato comes from gelato, which is Italian for "frozen".
Buskut or Buskud comprises many different types of cookies, including very soft ones called daardaar (literally "touch-touch" due to its smooth, delicate texture).
Doolshe encompasses many delectable styles of cakes.
Icun is a sweet mostly eaten by southern Somalis. It is made from sugar and flour mixed with oil. People prefer to say Icun I calaangi caloosha I gee (Eat me, chew me, then take me to your stomach) when they see it. It is mainly eaten during weddings and Eid times, but southern Somalis always make it at home and eat it as part of a dessert.
Basbousa is a traditional Somali sweet cake.[8] It is made from cooked semolina or farina soaked in simple syrup.

There are many sweets eaten during festive occasions, such as weddings, parties or Eid. Among these are baalbaaloow, shuushuumoow, bur hindi, bur tuug, and qumbe (coconut), the latter of which is made from coconuts mixed with sugar to form a bar.

Somalis traditionally perfume their homes after meals. Frankincense (luubaan) or a prepared incense (uunsi), known as bukhoor in the Arabian Peninsula, is placed on top of hot charcoal inside an incense burner or censer (a dabqaad).[9] It then burns for about ten minutes. This keeps the house fragrant for hours. The burner is made from soapstone found in specific areas of Somalia.

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Egyptian cuisine -- robin, 04:37:51 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Egyptian cuisine is a very rich cuisine that has many unique customs. These customs may also vary within Egypt itself, for example, in the coastal areas, like the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and Canal, the diet of the people relies heavily on fish. In the more agricultural areas, the reliance on farm products is much heavier. Duck, geese, chicken, and river fish are the main animal protein sources. Unlike the surrounding Arab cuisines, which place heavy emphasis on meat, Egyptian cuisine is rich in vegetarian dishes; three national dishes of Egypt; ful medames, ta'amia (also known in other countries as falafel), and kushari, are generally vegetarian. Fruits are also greatly appreciated in Egypt: mangoes, grapes, bananas, apples, sycamore, guavas, and peaches are very popular, especially because they are all domestically produced and are available in relatively low prices. Another famous dessert from Egypt is called Om or Um Ali, which is similar to a bread and butter pudding made traditionally with puff pastry, milk, and nuts. It is served all across the Middle East and is also made on special occasions such as Eid.[9] Egyptian breads include Aish baladi (عيش البلدي)

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Iraqi cuisine -- robin, 04:35:54 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Levantine cuisine is the traditional cuisine of the Levant, Mashriq, or Greater Syria area. Although now divided into Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Palestine, the region has historically been more united, and shares most of the same culinary traditions. Although almost identical, there is some regional variation within the Levantine area.

In general, Levantine foods have much in common with other eastern Mediterranean cuisines, such as Greek and Turkish cuisine, as well as Armenian cuisine.

Some of the basic similarities are the extensive use of olive oil, za'atar, and garlic, and common dishes include a wide array of mezze or bread dips, stuffings, and side dishes such as hummus, falafel, ful, tabouleh, labaneh, and baba ghanoush.

It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned with lemon juice—almost no meal goes by without including these ingredients. Most often foods are either grilled, baked, fried, or sautéed in olive oil; butter and cream are rarely used, other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled, as well as cooked. While the cuisine does not boast a multitude of sauces, it focuses on herbs, spices, and the freshness of ingredients.

Iraqi cuisine utilizes more spices than most Arab cuisines. Iraq's main food crops include wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, and dates. Vegetables include eggplant, okra, potatoes, and tomatoes. Pulses such as chickpeas and lentils are also quite common. Common meats in Iraqi cooking are lamb and beef; fish and poultry are also used.

Soups and stews are often prepared and served with rice and vegetables. Biryani, although influenced by Indian cuisine, is milder with a different mixture of spices, and a wider variety of vegetables, including potatoes, peas, carrots, and onions. Dolma is also one of the most popular dishes.

The Iraqi cuisine is famous for its extremely tender kebab, as well as its tikka. A wide variety of spices, pickles, and amba are also extensively used.

In the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jordan, the population has a cooking style of their own, involved in roasting various meats, baking flat breads, and cooking thick yogurt-like pastes from goat's milk.

Musakhan is a common main dish, famous in northern Jordan, the city of Jerusalem, and northern West Bank. The main component is taboon bread, which is topped with pieces of cooked sweet onions, sumac, saffron, and allspice. For large dinners, it can be topped by one or two roasted chickens on a single large taboon bread.

The primary cheese of the Palestinian mezze is Ackawi cheese, which is a semi-hard cheese with a mild, salty taste and sparsely filled with roasted sesame seeds.

Maqluba is another popular meal in Jordan and central Palestine. Mujaddara, another food of the West Bank, as well as in the Levant in general, consists of cooked green lentils, with bulghur sauteed in olive oil. Mansaf is a traditional meal, and the national dish of Jordan, having roots in the Bedouin population of the country. It is mostly cooked on special occasions such as Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr, a birth, or a large dinner gathering. Mansaf is a leg of lamb or large pieces of mutton, on top of a markook bread that has been topped with yellow rice. A type of thick dried yogurt made from goat's milk, called jameed, is poured on top of the lamb and rice to give it its distinct flavor and taste. The dish is garnished with cooked pine nuts and almonds.

Levantine cuisine is also famous for its wide range of cheeses like Shanklish, Halloum, and Arisheh. Kishk is also a famous Syrian soup, alongside many soups made of lentils. Lebanese food also has a wide range of dips like Hummous, Baba Ghannouj, and Labneh, and also caters many raw meat dishes. Syrian food could be either extremely vegetarian or a meat lover's paradise. Lemon, oregano, za'atar, paprika, and various other Mediterranean spices and herbs are used in Syrian cuisine.

To top it off, Levantine cuisine also incorporates wines made in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine and the Levantine equivalent of the Greek Ouzo, known as Arak.

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Arabian cuisine -- robin, 04:33:55 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Arab cuisine (Arabic: مطبخ عربي‎) 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.

Diet and foods

Originally, the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula relied heavily on a diet of dates, wheat, barley, rice, and meat, with little variety and heavy emphasis on yogurt products, such as labneh (لبنة) (yogurt without butterfat).

There is a strong emphasis on the following items in Arab cuisine:

Meat: lamb and chicken are the most used, with beef, goat, and camel used to a lesser extent. Other poultry is used in some regions, and fish is used in coastal areas. Pork is completely prohibited for Muslim Arabs, being both a cultural and religious taboo (Haram) and prohibited under Islamic law, whereas many Christian Arabs do eat and enjoy pork products, especially in Lebanon, where cold cuts of ham are frequently consumed in Christian neighbourhoods.[1]
Dairy products: dairy products are widely used, especially yogurt and white cheese. Butter and cream are also used extensively.
Herbs and spices: mint and thyme (often in a mix called za'atar) are widely and almost universally used; spices are used much less than in Indian cuisine, but the amount and types generally varies from region to region. Some of the included herbs and spices are sesame, saffron, turmeric, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and sumac. Spice mixtures include baharat.
Beverages: hot beverages are served more than cold, coffee being on the top of the list, mostly in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. However, tea is also served in many Arab countries. In Egypt and Jordan, for instance, tea is a more important hot beverage than coffee.
Grains: rice is the staple and is used for most dishes; wheat is the main source for bread. Bulgur and semolina are also used extensively.
Legumes: lentils are widely used, as well as fava beans and chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Fruits and vegetables: Arab cuisine also favors vegetables such as cucumbers, eggplant (aubergine), zucchini (courgette), okra, onions, and fruits (primarily citrus), which are often used as seasonings for entrees. Olives, as well as dates, figs, and pomegranates are also widely used. Dates are a particularly important staple in the Arab diet, often eaten with coffee.
Nuts: almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts are often included.
Greens: parsley and mint are popular as seasonings in many dishes, while spinach and mulukhiyah (leaves from the plant of the Corchorus genus) are used in cooked dishes.
Dressings and sauces: the most popular dressings include various combinations of olive oil, lemon juice, parsley or garlic, as well as tahini (sesame paste). Labaneh (thinned yogurt) is often seasoned with mint, onion, or garlic, and served as a sauce with various dishes.

It should be noted that many of the same spices used in Arab cuisine, particularly in the cuisine of the Arab States of the Persian Gulf are also those emphasized in Indian cuisine, albeit used more subtly than would normally be the case in Indian cuisine. This is a result of heavy trading and historical ties between the two regions, and also because many South Asian expats live in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf. Whereas Levantine cuisine tends to share many similarities with Turkish cuisine due to geographical proximity and the historical unity of the two areas during the Ottoman Empire and with the cuisine of the eastern Mediterranean region more generally.

Essential to any cooking in the Arabian Peninsula is the concept of hospitality and generosity. Meals are generally large family affairs, with much sharing and a great deal of warmth over the dinner table. Formal dinners and celebrations generally involve large quantities of lamb, and every occasion entails large quantities of Arabic coffee. In an average Arab state household, a visitor might expect a dinner consisting of a very large platter, shared commonly, with a vast amount of rice, incorporating lamb or chicken, or both, as separate dishes, with various stewed vegetables, heavily spiced, sometimes with a tomato-based sauce. Most likely there would be several other less hearty items on the side. Tea would certainly accompany the meal, as it is almost constantly consumed. Coffee would be included in the same manner.

There are many regional differences in Arab cuisine. For instance, mujadara in Syria and Lebanon is different from mujadara in Jordan and Palestine. Some dishes, such as mansaf (the national dish of Jordan), are native to certain countries and rarely, if ever, make an appearance in other countries. Unlike in most Western cuisines, cinnamon is used in meat dishes, as well as in sweets such as baklava. Other desserts include variations of rice pudding and fried dough. Groundnuts are a common filling for such treats. Saffron is used in everything, including sweets, rice, and beverages. Fruit juice is quite popular due to the climate. The rice dish known as pilaf is very popular in Arab countries and among Arab communities around the world.

Arab Cuisine has been greatly influenced by the use of Indian spices and ingredients such as rice. Ancient trade between India and Medieval Arabia has enrichened the cuisines of both cultures.
Structure of meals

There are two basic structures for meals in the Arab World, one regular and one specific for the month of Ramadan.

Cafés often serve croissants for breakfast. Breakfast is often a quick meal, consisting of bread and dairy products, with tea and sometimes jam. The most used is labneh and cream (kishta, made of cow's milk; or qaimar, made of domestic buffalo milk). Labneh is served with olives, dried mint, and drizzled with olive oil. Pastries such as manaqeesh, sfiha, fatayer, and kahi are sometimes eaten for breakfast. Flat bread with olive oil and za'atar is also popular. Most Arab families also consume hummus and falafel with pita bread.

Traditionally, breakfast used to be a much heavier meal, especially for the working class, and included dishes such as lentil soup (shorbat 'adas), or heavy sweets such as knafa. Ful, which is fava beans cooked with chickpeas (garbanzo beans), garlic, lemon, and olive oil, is a popular working class breakfast in the Levant and Egypt. Lablabi is another heavy garbanzo-based stew popular for breakfast in Tunisia.

Lunch is considered the main meal of the day, and is traditionally eaten between 1:30pm and 2:30pm. It is the meal for which the family comes together, and when entertaining, it is the meal of choice to invite guests to. Rarely do meals have different courses; however, salads and mezze (an appetizer) are served as side dishes to the main meal. The platter usually consists of a portion of meat, poultry or fish, a portion of rice, lentils, bread or bagel, and a portion of cooked vegetables, in addition to the fresh ones with the mezze and salad. The vegetables and meat are usually cooked together in a sauce (often tomato, although others are also popular) to make maraq, which is served on rice. Most households add bread, whether other grains were available or not. Drinks are not necessarily served with the food; however, there is a very wide variety of drinks such as shineena (or laban), karakaden, Naqe'e Al Zabib, irq soos, tamr Hindi, and fruit juice, as well as other traditional Arab drinks. During the 20th century, carbonated soda and fruit-based drinks, sold by supermarkets, have also become very popular.

Dinner is traditionally the lightest meal, although in modern times, and due to changing lifestyles, dinner has become more important.
Desserts and Ramadan meals

In addition to the two meals mentioned hereafter, sweets are consumed much more than usual during the month of Ramadan; sweets and fresh fruits are served between these two meals. Although most sweets are made all year round such as knafeh, baklava, and basbousa, some are made especially for Ramadan, such as qatayef.

Iftar (also called Futuur, or Afur in the Somali language), or fast-breaking, is the meal taken at dusk when the fast is over. The meal consists of three courses: first, they shall eat a date based on Islamic tradition. This is followed by a soup or anything they would like, the most popular being lentil soup, but a wide variety of soups such as chicken, oats, freeka (a soup made from whole wheat and chicken broth), potato, maash, and others are also offered. The third course is the main dish, usually eaten after an interval, when Maghreb prayer is conducted. The main dish is mostly similar to lunch, except that cold drinks are also served.

Sahur is the meal eaten just before dawn, when fasting must begin. It is eaten to help the person make it through the day with enough energy until Maghreb time.
Regional Arab cuisines
Eastern Arabia
Main article: Arab cuisine of the Persian Gulf

The cuisine of Eastern Arabia today is the result of a combination of richly diverse cuisines, incorporating Persian, Levantine, Yemeni, and Indian cuisine, as well as many items not indigenous to the Persian Gulf region, which were imported in dhows and caravans.[2] Do not forget that harees, fattah, and many other dishes are originally from the Persian Gulf.[citation needed]
Main article: Yemeni cuisine

The cuisine of Yemen is rather distinct from other Arab cuisines. Like most other Arab cuisines, chicken, goat, and lamb are eaten more often than beef. Fish is eaten mostly in coastal areas. However, unlike most Arab countries, cheese, butter, and other dairy products are less common, especially in the cities and other urban areas. As with other Arab cuisines, the most widespread beverages are tea and coffee; tea is usually flavored with cardamom, clove, or mint, and coffee with cardamom. Karakaden, Naqe'e Al Zabib, and diba’a are the most widespread cold beverages.

Although each region has their own variation, Saltah (سلتة) is considered the national dish of Yemen. The base is a brown meat stew believed to be of Turkish origin called maraq (مرق), a dollop of fenugreek froth, and sahawiq (سحاوق) or sahowqa (a mixture of chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs ground into a salsa). Rice, potatoes, scrambled eggs, and vegetables are common additions to saltah. It is eaten with flat bread, which serves as a utensil to scoop up the food. Other dishes widely known in Yemen include: Aseedah, aseed, fahsa, thareed, Samak Mofa, mandi, fattah, shakshouka, shafut, Bint Al-Sahn, kabsa, and jachnun. Nasi kebuli Harees Hyderabadi haleem. Hadhrami restaurants can be found in Malaysia

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Saudi Arabian cuisine -- robin, 04:31:11 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Saudi Arabian cuisine encompasses the cuisines and foods of Saudi Arabia.

Traditional cuisine
Foods and dishes
The Arabian people have consumed the same type of food for thousands of years.[1] Some of the common food items in Saudi Arabian cuisine include wheat, rice, lamb, chicken, yogurt, potatoes and dates. Shawarma and Falafel are two common dishes which are originally Levantine and Egyptian dishes respectively. These two dishes are examples about the influence of foreign residents in Saudi's food. Yogurt is normally made into a drink called Laban.

Additional foods and dishes include:

jareesh جريش
Haneeth حنيث
Hininy حنيني
Mande'e مندي
qursan قرصان
Kabsa كبسه
Markook مرقوق
Asidaa عصيده

See also: Arabic coffee

Traditional coffeehouses used to be ubiquitous, but are now being displaced by food-hall style cafes. According to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, "serving coffee (gahwa) in Saudi Arabia is a sign of hospitality and generosity". Traditionally, the coffee beans were roasted, cooled and ground in front of the guests using a mortar and pestle. The host would then add cardamom pods to the coffee beans during the grinding process. Once the coffee is brewed, it is poured for guests. Today, gahwa is not prepared in front of the guests; instead it is elegantly served in a dallah and poured into small cups called finjan.[1]

Drinking tea is also a popular custom in Saudi Arabia. It is used in both casual and formal meetings. The tea can be drunk black (without milk) and various herbal flavourings may be added.

Sheep, goat and camel's milk are also used by the Bedouin.
Islamic dietary laws

Islamic dietary laws forbid the eating of pork and the drinking of alcoholic beverages. This law is enforced throughout Saudi Arabia. According to Islamic law, animals must be butchered in a halal way and blessed before they can be eaten. In 2008, Saudi Arabia was the world's fifth largest importer of both lamb and mutton.

According to the Saudi Arabian cultural mission, "guests are served hot coffee and dates as a symbol of generosity and hospitality. The same practice is carried out in the month of Ramadan. Muslims in Saudi Arabia break their fast with dates, water and Arabian coffee. The caffeine in the coffee and the protein and iron in dates nourishes the fasting person with a lot of energy. This helps them perform the Tarawih held in the evenings during Ramadan."[1]
Food shopping and markets

Both western-style grocery stores and typical Arabian marketplaces are plentiful in Saudi Arabia. For those that prefer wide aisles, stainless steel carts and a single location for shopping, the Kingdom aptly caters with popular chain stores like Tamimi, Panda, Othaim, Carrefour, Danube, LuLu, and Halwani. The expat population in Saudi Arabia may feel at ease in the company of so many English labels, but often many of the goods are imported and are proportionately expensive. As an alternative, Saudi Arabian vegetable markets source some of the freshest produce at negotiable prices. Each of the big city neighborhoods tend to have their own markets. Frequenting particular stalls and developing relationships with vendors can often help to reduce prices or inspire "specials".
International cuisine

Saudi Arabia is a major investment to world-renowned food chains which established several branches all over the kingdom. This includes Lenôtre, L'Entrecôte, Jollibee, The Melting Pot, The Noodle House, Ladurée, and many more. Due to the large numbers of immigrants, foreign workers and people visiting the country to perform Hajj, the Saudi cuisine was influenced by a variety of cuisines from different parts of the Muslim world. This introduced the country to food such as Mutabbaq, Manto and Ful.

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Iranian cuisine -- robin, 04:28:06 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Iranian cuisine or Persian cuisine (Persian: آشپزی ایرانی Ashpazi-ye Irani‎‎) is the traditional and modern style of cooking in Iran (formerly known as Persia).

Situated in West Asia (also known as the Middle East) with a diverse population, the Iranian culinary style is unique to Iran, though has historically both influenced and has been influenced by Iran's neighboring and conquered regions at various stages throughout its history. Specifically, these have been mutual culinary influences to and from Turkish cuisine, Azerbaijani cuisine, Kurdish cuisine, Caucasian cuisine, Mesopotamian cuisine, Levantine cuisine, Greek cuisine, Central Asian cuisine, and minor aspects from Russian cuisine.[1][2][3][4]

Turkish cuisine, Azerbaijani cuisine and Iranian cuisine on the other hand have heavy mutual influence on each other, due to geographical proximity, ethnic relations (f.e Azerbaijanis, a Turkic people,[5][6][7] are the second largest ethnicity in Iran) many common cultural aspects, shared empires, and conquerings by such as the Achaemenids, Sassanians, Seljuks, Safavids, Afsharids, Ottomans and Qajars.

Fresh green herbs are frequently used along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. Typical Persian main dishes are combinations of rice with meat, such as lamb, chicken, or fish, and vegetables such as onions, various herbs, and nuts. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic Persian flavorings such as saffron, dried lime, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.

National cuisine

Iranian cuisine includes a wide variety of foods ranging from Chelow kabab (rice served with roasted meat: barg, koobideh, joojeh, shishleek, soltani, chenjeh), khoresh (stew that is served with white Iranian rice: ghormeh sabzi, gheimeh, fesenjān, and others), āsh (a thick soup: for example āsh-e anār), kuku (vegetable soufflé), polo (white rice served alone or with the addition of meat, vegetables and herbs, including loobia polo, albaloo polo, sabzi polo, zereshk polo, baghali polo, and others), and a diverse variety of salads, such as Shirazi salad, pastries, and drinks specific to different parts of Iran. The list of Persian recipes, appetizers and desserts is extensive. A famous Iranian dish with sheep brain and hooves is called Kaleh Pacheh

The usage of rice, at first a specialty of Safavid court cuisine, evolved by the end of the 16th century CE into a major branch of Iranian cookery.[20] Varieties of rice in Iran include champa, rasmi, anbarbu, mowlai, sadri, khanjari, shekari, doodi, and others. Traditionally, rice was most prevalent as a major staple item in the rice growing region of northern Iran, and the homes of the wealthy, while in the rest of the country bread was the dominant staple. The varieties of rice most valued in Persian cuisine are prized for their aroma, and grow in the north of Iran.

Fruits and vegetables
Iran's agriculture produces many fruits and vegetables. A bowl of fresh fruit is common on most Persian tables and dishes of vegetables and herbs are standard sides to most meals.

The climate of the Middle East is conducive to the growing of fruits. These are not only enjoyed fresh and ripe as desserts but are also combined with meats and form unusual accompaniments to main dishes. When fresh fruits are not available, a large variety of dried fruits such as dates, figs, apricots and peaches are used instead. The list of fresh fruits includes dates and figs, many citrus fruits, apricots, peaches, sweet and sour cherries, apples, plums, pears, pomegranates and many varieties of grapes and melons. A small sweet variety of cucumber is popularly served as a fruit. Iran is one of the top date producers in the world; some special date cultivars, such as Rotab, are grown in Iran.

While the eggplant (aubergine) is "the potato of Iran", Iranians are fond of fresh green salads dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a little garlic. Vegetables such as pumpkins, spinach, green beans, broad beans, courgettes, varieties of squashes, onions, garlic and carrots are commonly used in rice and meat dishes. Tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions often accompany a meal.

The term dolma describes any vegetable or fruit stuffed with rice or a rice-and-meat mixture: grape vine leaves, cabbage leaves, spinach, eggplant, sweet peppers, tomatoes, apples and quince. The most popular dolmas in Iran today are stuffed grape leaves, which are prepared by lightly parboiling the fresh leaves in salted water, then stuffing them with a mixture of ground meat, rice, chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, split peas, and seasoning. The dolmas are then simmered in a sweet-and-sour mixture of vinegar or lemon juice, sugar, and water. Fillings vary, however, from region to region and even from family to family. Stuffed cabbage and grape leaves are the only dolmas that can be served hot or cold. When intended to be served cold they generally do not contain meat, however. Fruit dolmas are probably a specialty of Persian cuisine. The fruit is first cooked, then stuffed with meat, seasonings, and sometimes tomato sauce; the dolmas are then simmered in meat broth or a sweet-and-sour sauce. In recent decades new variations have been introduced, largely under Western influence: Potatoes, artichokes, green peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables are also stuffed.[21]

A few examples of the main ingredients in Iranian specialties would include duck, pomegranates and walnuts; lamb, prunes and cinnamon; spinach, orange and garlic. Khoresht Beh (quince stew) is an example of using fruits in Iranian cooking: chunks of lamb are stewed with slices or cubes of tart quince and yellow split peas; this dish is always served with rice.[22]

The above are only a few examples of the combination of meats and vegetables, or meats and fruits plus seasonings that may go into chelo khoresh, a favorite Iranian dish that is served at least once daily.[citation needed] This is a dish of crusty baked rice topped by one of the stews listed, or any one of dozens more, limited only by price and availability of ingredients.

Ab ghoreh, the juice of Ghoreh (unripe grapes) or Verjuice, is used in various Iranian dishes. For example, it is an ingredient in Ash e sagh, a soup prepared with spinach, leeks, yellow split peas, and seasonings. Ab ghoreh is also used to simmer dolma-ye Kadu, which is stuffed summer squash. Ab ghoreh flavors several types of Khoresh like Khoresht-e Alu Esfenaj (stewed lamb with spinach and prunes), Khoresht-e Havij (stewed lamb with carrots), and Khoresht-e Chaghaleh badam (stewed lamb with fresh, unripe almonds). Unripe grapes are used whole in some dishes, such as Khoresht-e ghoreh (lamb stew with sour grapes). Ab ghoreh was frequently used until not too long ago also as a souring agent for a number of pickles, dried pickles, and spices. As a spice, Ghoreh powder (gard-e Ghoreh) was sometimes reinforced by Ab ghoreh and then dried.

Drinks and desserts
The traditional drink accompanying Iranian dishes is doogh, a combination of yogurt, carbonated or plain water, salt, and dried mint. Other drinks include sherbets known as Sharbat and "Khak shir". One favorite is Aab-e Havij, alternately called havij bastani, carrot juice made into an ice cream float and garnished with cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices. There are also drinks that are not served with meals. These include Sheer Moz (banana milk shake), Aab Talebi (cantaloupe juice), and Aab Hendevaneh (watermelon juice). These are commonly made in stands or kiosks in street corners on summer days and on hiking trails. Aab Anaar (pomegranate juice) is also popular and has recently (2007) become popular in North America. Sekanjebin is a thick syrup made from vinegar, mint and sugar, served mixed with carbonated or plain water. It can be drunk mixed with a little rose water or used as a dip for Romaine lettuce.

Dessert dishes range from Bastani-e Za'farāni (Persian ice cream, also called Bastani-e Akbar-Mashti or Gol-o Bolbol) to faludeh (a frozen sorbet made with thin starch noodles and rose water). Persian ice cream is flavored with saffron, rose water, and includes chunks of heavy cream. There are also many types of sweets, divided into two categories: Shirini Tar (lit. moist pastry) and Shirini Khoshk (lit. dry pastry). The first category consists of French-inspired pastries with heavy whole milk whipped cream, glazed fruit toppings, tarts, custard-filled éclairs, and a variety of cakes. Some have an Iranian twist, such as the addition of saffron, pistachios, and walnuts. The second category consists of more traditional Iranian sweets: Shirini-e Berenji (a type of rice cookie), Shirini-e Nokhodchi (clover-shaped chickpea flour cookies), Kolouche (a large cookie usually with a walnut or fig filling), Shirini-e Keshmeshi (raisin and saffron cookies), Shirini-e Yazdi (small cakes originating from the city of Yazd), Nan-e kulukhi (a kind of large thick cookie without any filling), and others.

Other popular sweets include Zulbia, Bamieh and Gush-e Fil. Bamieh is an oval-shaped piece of sweet dough, deep-fried, and then covered with a syrup traditionally made from honey. Bamieh is similar to tulumba, but much smaller, 2 or 3 centimeters wide at most. Zulubia is made of the same sort of batter, also deep-fried, but poured into the oil in swirls, then covered with the same syrup (or with honey).[24] Goosh-e Fil (lit. elephant's ear) is also made of deep-fried dough, in the shape of a flat elephant's ear, and then covered with powdered sugar and topped with pistachios. One of the classics, Halvardeh (Tehrani for halvā-arde, from halvā, an Arabic loan word meaning 'sweet', plus arde, the Persian word for tāhini), comes in various qualities and varieties, from mainly sugar to sesame seed paste (the aforementioned Persian arde) and pistachios.

Noghl, sugar-coated almonds, are often served at Iranian weddings.
Essential accompaniments

There are certain accompaniments (mokhallafât) that are essential to every Iranian lunch (nâhâr) and dinner (shâm), regardless of the region. These include a plate of fresh herbs, called sabzi khordan: basil, cilantro, coriander, fenugreek, green onion, mint, radish (black, red, white), savory (marzeh, origany or sweet fennel), tarragon, and Persian watercress (shâhi); or a variety of flat breads, called nân or noon (sangak, lavâsh, barbari), fresh white cheese (panir, somewhat similar to feta), walnuts, sliced and peeled cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and onions, yogurt, and lemon juice. Persian gherkins (khiyarshur) and mixed pickles (Torshi) are also considered essential in most regions.

Tea (chai) is served at breakfast. It may be served at other times, based on the region, usually many times throughout the day. For example, in the province of Khorasan, it is served immediately before and after lunch and dinner. The traditional methods of tea preparation and drinking differ between regions and peoples.

Fish is considered the first source of animal protein along the southern and northern coasts of the country, but it is not much eaten in the rest of Iran (mainly in smoked form)(Mahi-Dodi). Fish is traditionally served with rice and fresh herbs (Sabzi polow) on the first day of the new year (Norooz) at the end of the zodiacal month of Pisces.[25]

Along the Caspian Sea coasts in Northern Iran, a popular dish is Shoor-mahi (salty fish), heavily salted fish steamed on a bed of smothered rice (kateh). Although the residents of these areas eat all kinds of fish, the most popular are species of sturgeon (Ozun bouroon), trout (Qezel ala), Caspian Kutum (mahi-e safid), salmon (mahi-e Azad), shad (kapoor). All parts of the fish, from the roe and intestines to the head, are used in cooking. Particularly popular in Māzandarān is a large, stuffed whitefish, similar to striped bass, baked and served with herbed rice; the stuffing usually consists of garlic, parsley, tarragon, scallions, coriander, mint, ground walnuts, barberries, raisins, lime juice, and salt and pepper, all sautéed in butter or oil.[25]

In southern Iran along the Persian Gulf, the saltwater species are used : grouper (Hamoor), croaker (mahi-e Shoorideh), sole (mahi-e Halwa), Red snapper (mahi-e Sorkhoo), Grunt (mahi-e Sangsar), Flounder (kaf-e dast mahi), and mackerel (Shir mahi). Influences from far afield using tamarind and curry powder, combined with local ingredients including fresh herbs, fenugreek, and garlic, lend a distinctive character to these southern fish dishes

Northern Iran
Kateh is the traditional dish of Northern Iran (provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan) and is simply Persian rice cooked in water, butter and salt until the water is fully absorbed. This method results in rice that is clumped together and is the predominant style of cooking rice in the Caspian region. In Gilan, Golestan and Mazandaran, kateh is also eaten as a breakfast meal, either heated with milk and jam, or cold with Persian cheese (panir) and garlic. Kateh is commonly eaten in other parts of Iran because of its short cooking time and easy preparation, and is prescribed widely as a natural remedy for those who are sick with the common cold or flu, and also for those suffering from stomach pains and ulcers. Some of the foods like Chegdermeh are only used in the Turkmen region of Golestan Province, but many other dishes are used in all parts of Iran.

Iranian caviar and Caspian fish roes hails from that region, and is served with eggs, in frittatas (Kuku sabzi) or omelettes. The cuisine of this region has the most affinity with other cuisines of the wider Caucasus region. (see Caucasian cuisine)

Northern Iran is home to the most numerous list of recipes compared to other regions. The most favorite dishes of this region are:

Akbar Jujeh (Joojeh Talayi - chicken with pomegranate sauce)
Qezel Ala ba berenj
Alu Mosema
Morghe alu pahlu
Anar Bij
Kak (kind of bread)
Jaghur Baghur
Ash-e Fatima Zahra
Ash-e Shalqam
Ash-e Shir
Ash-e Torsh
Ash-e Shole Qalamkar
Badenjan Torshi (pickled eggplants)
Baqala bij
Baqala Qatoq
Dalar (a Meze)
Felfel Torshi (pickled piments)
Halvaye Raqayeb
Kabab torsh
Khali Ash
Shekam Por Mazandaran
Mashli Ash
Sham Goosht
Bademjan Khorosh

Khalou Abeh
Kolucheh Fuman
Kolucheh Lahijan
Kuku Eshpel (Kuku made of Roe)
Kuku gerdu (walnut kuku)
Kuku bademjan
Qatnarme/Qatname (kind of bread)
Pambli Chorag (kind of bread)
Mahi Dudi
Mahi Fibij
Mast o Khiar (a Meze)
Mirza Ghassemi
Morabaye Badrang
Morabaye Bahar Narenj (Orange blossom jam)
Morabaye Gol Mohammadi
Morabaye Kadu
Morabaye Shaqayeq
Morabaye Velesh
Morabaye Zoqal Akhteh
Morq-e Torsh
Naz Khatun
Shekam Por
Suluf Khorosh
Keshmesh Polow

Piyaz Torshi (pickled onions)
Reshteh Khoshkar
Robb e Narenj
Robb e Anar (Pomegranate molasses)
Robb e Sir Torsh
Shah Kuku
Shami-e Rashti (Rashti Shami Kebab)
Shirin Tareh
Shur Mahi
Sir Anar
Sir Qaliyeh
Sir Torshi (pickled garlic)
Spinach thick soup (Ash-e Esfenadj)
Torsh Shami (Sour Shami Kebab)
Torsh Tareh
Turshu Chorag (kind of bread)
Shirini Panjare'i
Katte Kababi
Qatma Qarma
Yaralmasi Torshi
Zeytun Parvardeh (a Meze, with Persian Olives, Pomegranates and Walnuts)
Mahi Koko
Shami (Amol)

The Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan provinces variety of rice is considered one of the best in Iran, where it has been in use since the fourth century BCE.

Eating fresh raw broad beans is common in Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan provinces, either alone or with cooled Kateh and salted fish eggs (Ashpel); but selling and enjoying (especially by people of the lower classes) of hot cooked broad beans (bāqelā-garmak) sprinkled with salt and powdered Persian marjoram (golpar) are not an uncommon street scene in cold weather almost everywhere in Iran. The Gilani dish Baqali Qatoq is cooked with dill, garlic, and turmeric, into which eggs are emptied at the end.[26]

Seafood is the most important part of Khuzestani cuisine, but many other dishes are also featured. The most popular Khuzestani dish is Ghalieh Mahi, a popular fish dish that is prepared with heavy spices, onions and cilantro. One of the fish used for grilled fish is locally known as mahi soboor (shad fish), a species of fish found in the Arvand river (Arvand rood). Other provincial specialties include Ghalieh Meygu ("shrimp stew"), ashe-mohshala (a Khorramshahri breakfast stew), sær shir (a Dezfuli breakfast of heavy cream), hælim (a Shushtari breakfast of wheatmeal with shredded lamb), and kohbbeh (a deep-fried rice cake with ground beef filling and other spices of Arabic origin, a variant on Levantine kibbeh)

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Italian cuisine -- robin, 04:22:58 02/04/16 Thu [1]

Italian cuisine (Italian: cucina italiana [kuˈtʃiːna itaˈljaːna]) has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots stretching to antiquity.

Significant changes occurred with the discovery of the New World and the introduction of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and maize, now central to the cuisine but not introduced in quantity until the 18th century.[1][2] Italian cuisine is noted for its regional diversity,[3][4][5] abundance of difference in taste, and it is probably the most popular in the world,[6][7] with influences abroad.[8]

Italian cuisine is characterized by its simplicity, with many dishes having only four to eight ingredients.[9] Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.[10] Ingredients and dishes vary by region. Many dishes that were once regional, however, have proliferated with variations throughout the country.

Cheese and wine are a major part of the cuisine, with many variations and Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) (regulated appellation) laws. Coffee, specifically espresso, has become important in Italian cuisine.

Italian cuisine has developed over the centuries. Although the country known as Italy did not unite until the 19th century, the cuisine can claim traceable roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Through the centuries, neighbouring regions, conquerors, high-profile chefs, political upheaval and the discovery of the New World have influenced its development.

The first known Italian food writer was a Greek Sicilian named Archestratus from Syracuse in the 4th century BCE. He wrote a poem that spoke of using "top quality and seasonal" ingredients. He said that flavors should not be masked by spices, herbs or other seasonings. He placed importance on simple preparation of fish.[11]

Simplicity was abandoned and replaced by a culture of gastronomy as the Roman Empire developed. By the time De re coquinaria was published in the 1st century CE, it contained 470 recipes calling for heavy use of spices and herbs. The Romans employed Greek bakers to produce breads and imported cheeses from Sicily as the Sicilians had a reputation as the best cheesemakers. The Romans reared goats for butchering, and grew artichokes and leeks.[11]
Middle Ages
See also: Medieval cuisine

With culinary traditions from Rome and Athens, a cuisine developed in Sicily that some consider the first real Italian cuisine.[citation needed] Arabs invaded Sicily in the 9th century, introducing spinach, almonds, and rice.[citation needed] During the 12th century, a Norman king surveyed Sicily and saw people making long strings made from flour and water called atriya, which eventually became trii, a term still used for spaghetti in southern Italy[citation needed]. Normans also introduced casseroles, salt cod (baccalà) and stockfish, which remain popular.[12]

Food preservation was either chemical or physical, as refrigeration did not exist. Meats and fish would be smoked, dried or kept on ice. Brine and salt were used to pickle items such as herring, and to cure pork. Root vegetables were preserved in brine after they had been parboiled. Other means of preservation included oil, vinegar or immersing meat in congealed, rendered fat. For preserving fruits, liquor, honey and sugar were used.[13]

The northern Italian regions show a mix of Germanic[citation needed] and Roman culture while the south reflects Arab[citation needed] influence, as much Mediterranean cuisine was spread by Arab trade.[14] The oldest Italian book on cuisine is the 13th century Liber de coquina written in Naples. Dishes include "Roman-style" cabbage (ad usum romanorum), ad usum campanie which were "small leaves" prepared in the "Campanian manner", a bean dish from the Marca di Trevisio, a torta, compositum londardicum which are similar to dishes prepared today. Two other books from the 14th century include recipes for Roman pastello, Lasagna pie, and call for the use of salt from Sardinia or Chioggia.

In the 15th century, Maestro Martino was chef to the Patriarch of Aquileia at the Vatican. His Libro de arte coquinaria describes a more refined and elegant cuisine. His book contains a recipe for Maccaroni Siciliani, made by wrapping dough around a thin iron rod to dry in the sun. The macaroni was cooked in capon stock flavored with saffron, displaying Persian influences. Of particular note is Martino's avoidance of excessive spices in favor of fresh herbs.[12] The Roman recipes include coppiette (air-dried salami) and cabbage dishes. His Florentine dishes include eggs with Bolognese torta, Sienese torta and Genoese recipes such as piperata (sweets), macaroni, squash, mushrooms, and spinach pie with onions.[16]

Martino's text was included in a 1475 book by Bartolomeo Platina printed in Venice entitled De honesta voluptate et valetudine ("On Honest Pleasure and Good Health"). Platina puts Martino's "Libro" in regional context, writing about perch from Lake Maggiore, sardines from Lake Garda, grayling from Adda, hens from Padua, olives from Bologna and Piceno, turbot from Ravenna, rudd from Lake Trasimeno, carrots from Viterbo, bass from the Tiber, roviglioni and shad from Lake Albano, snails from Rieti, figs from Tuscolo, grapes from Narni, oil from Cassino, oranges from Naples and eels from Campania. Grains from Lombardy and Campania are mentioned as is honey from Sicily and Taranto. Wine from the Ligurian coast, Greco from Tuscany and San Severino and Trebbiano from Tuscany and Piceno are also in the book

Early modern era
The courts of Florence, Rome, Venice and Ferrara were central to the cuisine. Cristoforo di Messisbugo, steward to Ippolito d'Este, published Banchetti Composizioni di Vivande in 1549. Messisbugo gives recipes for pies and tarts (containing 124 recipes with various fillings). The work emphasizes the use of Eastern spices and sugar.[18]

In 1570, Bartolomeo Scappi, personal chef to Pope Pius V, wrote his Opera in five volumes, giving a comprehensive view of Italian cooking of that period. It contains over 1,000 recipes, with information on banquets including displays and menus as well as illustrations of kitchen and table utensils. This book differs from most books written for the royal courts in its preference for domestic animals and courtyard birds rather than game.

Recipes include lesser cuts of meats such as tongue, head and shoulder. The third volume has recipes for fish in Lent. These fish recipes are simple, including poaching, broiling, grilling and frying after marination.

Particular attention is given to seasons and places where fish should be caught. The final volume includes pies, tarts, fritters and a recipe for a sweet Neapolitan pizza (not the current savory version, as tomatoes had not been introduced to Italy). However, such items from the New World as corn (maize) and turkey are included.

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