THE SCENTS AND FLAVORS OF CERTAIN FOODS CAN TAKE YOU BACK TO A TIME… YOUR CHILDHOOD, YOUR ADOLESCENCE… FAMILY HOLIDAYS.
When I was in college, I always had a list of dishes I wanted to eat as soon as I got home. I missed home, and I missed the foods that reminded me of home.
So when I saw the UN World Food Programme’s Voucher Chef initiative, it struck a chord. The initiative allows people in refugee camps to exchange vouchers for ingredients to cook their traditional home dishes. The website shares recipes from some of these individuals. It calls them “Voucher Chefs”.
This week I decided to make a Voucher Chef recipe from a lady called Rawa, a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Turkey. Here’s her recipe for Shorba Roz, a comforting Middle Eastern soup which reminds her of home and her family.
HERE’S MY TAKE:
- 3 tbsps of butter
- 300g ground beef
- 4 cups of water or any type of stock (plus more water to keep the mixture moist)
- 2 cups rice (basmati or similar)
- 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt (plus more if needed)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
*Don’t forget to scroll down for your Savory Sounds cooking soundtrack.
- Brown the beef in the butter.
- Add the rice.
- Add the water or stock. Add the cinnamon, salt and pepper.
- Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes or until the rice absorbs the liquid. Keep adding water so the mixture doesn’t dry up. This is supposed to be a soup, so make sure you have plenty of water.
This dish is comfort food. It’s easy on the tummy. It’s meant to be a soup, but you can also serve it as a rice and meat dish. If you want a closer look at the Voucher Chef initiative, click here. You can donate, if you wish.
SINCE MANY OF THE VOUCHER CHEFS ARE SYRIAN, IT FELT APPROPRIATE TO CHOOSE MUSIC FROM THE LEVANT REGION AND THE ARAB WORLD.
The first track is from Lebanese legend Fayrouz. It’s a remix of her song Al Bint El Chalabiya.
Here’s an instrumental from Lebanon’s oud maestro Marcel Khalife.
And finally a remix of an Amr Diab classic: