Recently, my husband and I have been on a Middle Eastern food kick. I have always loved Persian food, but have recently discovered Afghan and Pakistani food and noticed many subtle resemblances. I realized that there was much more I wanted to, and really, felt obligated to learn about the culture, history of this region to really understand and appreciate this glorious feast.
I know a lot about Asian foods — the nuances of Southeast Asian cuisine, influences by East Asian foods and how they are related. But I have so much more to learn about the Middle Eastern culture, traditions and food. I’m really excited about this journey, which I know will be a lengthy process, but i’m also excited about the hands-on “research” I’ll be doing. This is what I really was interested in doing when I started this blog — to encourage myself to stay curious (and yes, stay hungry) and to explore these parts that are unknown to me.
So, rather than a traditional restaurant review, I leave you with some of the dishes that piqued my curiosity from a little gem we discovered in the South Bay of Northern California
Chicken Biryana. Fluffy, flavorful basmatic rice topped with well-seasoned chicken breast pieces. The ultimate test of a chicken dish is how well you can season and bring flavor to white meat, and this dish wins it.
Beef Kebab Fatoush Salad. One of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes is a Persian grilled meat, koobideh, which is very similar to this. It’s a ground, well-seasoned meat that’s skewered and served atop rice or salad.
Eat: Gulzaar Halaal, 1880 W. San Carlos St. in San Jose
Tips: They’re closed Sundays. Also, if you’re going for dinner, best to call first and make sure they’re still open as they close once they run out of food.