Parts Unknown

Parts Unknown

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 🙂

20140106-214349.jpgChicken 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.

20140106-214438.jpgBeef 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.

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