Spices Part.1

black seeds / Saudi Coffee / Turmeric

 

Growing up in the South I was never introduced to Spices we just do not do a lot of innovative things to our food. It’s the same thing fried with salt and pepper. I have told you all before here how I never knew how to cook until I got married. It’s funny to think that the first thing a simple Southern girl started out in the kitchen was making Saudi food. I was a new bride and wanted my impress my husband with his favorite dishes. Back then you could not find any Saudi recipes online and I had no idea where or how to start. That is how Ya Salam Cooking started it was own personal folder or my recipes and tips plus I figured there had to be
more girls out there like me.

When I embarked on this journey to learn how to cook it was also when I was introduced to the world of spices. I had no idea there was so many so many spices and all of the various things that you could use them for. I immediately became a hoarder of spices having to have at least one of everything. I started buying all kinds of books about spices so that I could learn everything humanly impossible about them, I was obsessed. Now six years later I love knowing what spices are in something simply by smelling it and what spices go well together and in what dish. But today I want to talk about using spices in a different way and that
is its medical way. For decades people all over the world have been using spices for medical purposes. I am going to have a small series in alphabetical order of what certain spices are used for here in the Kingdom. Many of these are still used today and were part of early Bedouins medical practices.I have put the Arabic name next to it as well.
Antibiotic
Myrrh (murr)
Loss of Appetite
Coffee (qahwa)
Dates (tamr)
Asthma
Black Seed (habba souda)
Honey (asal)
Bleeding
Alum (shabba)
Blood Cleanser
Arugula (jarjeer)
Cress (al hara, rashad)
Boils and Abscesses
Cress (al hara, rashad)
Mangrove (qurm, shura)
Bones
Black Seed (habba souda)
Cress (al hara, rashad)
Fenugreek (hulba)
Frankincense (luban)
Breast Abscesses and Mastitis
Fenugreek (hulba)
Breastfeeding
Caraway (karawiya)
Fenugreek (hulba)
Nakhwa (nakhwa)
Bruises
Dates (tamr)
Turmeric (kurkum)

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Date Selections

This evening we had finger foods for iftar and I also placed a plate of various dates on the table, about 4 of each. It’s nice trying the flavors of different dates. It’s funny to think that the main part of my life I had never even heard of dates little on tried them. There were so many things that I had never saw or tried coming from a small town the stores just carry what they people buy which means not a lot of change. As soon as I took my first bite of a date I desired more and now it has become one of my favorite fruits to have plain or mixed into other recipes.

Here is a list of the date’s pictures above.
1. SukaryAhmar
2. Nabtat Ali
3. Sheeshi
4. Wannana
They are all wonderful in their own right but the wannana is one of the best dates you will ever try. It’s black, soft as butter and so light and sweet. Sheeshi is the dates ate by diabetics and people that cannot have nor want a lot of sugar. You all know I love all the sukary dates and the nabtat ali are sweet and harder they remind me a lot of ajwa dates yet nowhere near as sweet.
What dates have you tried and which ones are your favorites?
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Ramadan Decorations

 

 

Every year I vow to take pictures of all the Ramadan decorations all over Riyadh to share with you all but for some reason or another I never seem to get any images. A week or so ago I snapped a few while we were out but I never shared them since it was a few messily images in hopes to get more. But guess what I still do not have anymore and I doubt I will so I thought I would go ahead and share the few I do have. The streets of Riyadh are lit up with decorations and every single shop window is decorated and wishing everything Ramadan Kareem. Ramadan is nice in Saudi (like Christmas in the West) and I wish I could show you all how nice for those of you who live outside of a Muslim country.

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