June 4 Jallab



“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi

I don’t have a problem with the Middle East. I camped in Saudi Arabia for nearly a year and later visited Israel on vacation. The warmest, most lovingly open and kind people I have ever had the opportunity to meet were the people of Israel. The land is breathtakingly beautiful, the weather is hot but the beaches are spectacular and the food! I love Middle Eastern and Mediterranean EVERYTHING: cuisine, music, décor, fashion, people, belly-dancers, just everything. So Omar…. Omar owns Sahara Restaurant in Albuquerque and his family is from Jordan. When I was in Israel, I wasn’t allowed to so much as dip a toe over the border into Jordan but I kayaked on the River Jordan, does that count?

Anyway, I eat at Sahara about once a month. And Omar gives me new drinks to try while I wait for them to cook my food. Today the drink was Jallab. Jallab is date juice, and rosewater served over ice. Traditionally it is made with date juice, grape molasses, rosewater THEN smoked with Arabic incense, served with crushed ice, topped with pine nuts and raisins. Doesn’t that sound divine? It was like 500 degrees today and Jallab hit the spot! I may buy the ingredients at Café Instanbul, a middle eastern grocery here in Albuquerque,  and make the traditional version of this sometime with all of the ingredients and the incense. I have incense from United Arab Emirates…close enough.

Here’s a cute little music video by Thirsty For… on how to make Jallab. Find a Middle Eastern restaurant or grocery nearby and try Jallab for yourself. You’ll love it! Promise.


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