3 Recipes—and Extra Tales—from Ripe Figs


Yasmin Khan’s cookbooks are extra than simply cookbooks. Sure, the recipes are distinctive, and the images is gorgeous. However Khan’s expertise as a journalist and human rights advocate provides her a particular lens as a cookbook writer: She makes use of meals to attach her readers to the locations she writes about. Ripe Figs, her newest ebook, is organized into sections like soups, salads, mains, however there are additionally sections for various areas. Every tells private tales of the individuals who reside there. She touches on the intersections of politics, historical past, tradition, and the meals that accompanies each a part of life, be it celebratory or catastrophic. Khan herself places it greatest in her dedication: “It’s a ebook concerning the resilience of the human spirit.”

  1. Her first and second books targeted on Persian and Palestinian meals and tales, respectively, and this, her third, covers the international locations within the Japanese Mediterranean migratory hall: Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. “Migration meals symbolizes greater than uncooked components; it represents connections, household ancestry, a way of security,” says Khan. As folks transfer, recipes evolve based mostly on what’s obtainable, and with creativity and resourcefulness, we keep deeply significant connections to our cultures by meals.

  2. Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus

    Yasmin Khan
    Ripe Figs: Recipes and Stories from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus
    Bookshop, $32


  3. Should you’re new to the flavors of the Japanese Mediterranean, you’ll need to top off on some pantry components to cook dinner up all of the delights on this ebook. Khan suggests a number of necessities to get you began: First, pomegranate molasses—a candy and bitter syrup utilized in dressing, stews, and desserts. Some aromatics, like candy paprika and peppery oregano. Sumac is floor from tart, dried berries and offers the astringency and sharpness of vinegar or citrus juice in powder kind. Pul biber, also referred to as Aleppo pepper, provides a gentle, fruity, nearly candy warmth. “When you’ve got that you would be able to make a lot of the recipes within the cookbook,” says Khan. However she additionally encourages experimentations and riffing. “I consider recipes as blueprints, and good recipes are adaptable.” She shared three recipes to take pleasure in, adapt, and add to your personal meals story.

  • Tomato & Mint Dolma (Yaprak Sarma)

    Tomato & Mint Dolma (Yaprak Sarma)

    “In my a few years of consuming stuffed grape leaves, this Cypriot model made with plum tomatoes and spearmint could also be my favourite. Don’t be postpone by the bodily activity of stuffing and rolling, as these are comparatively simple to make and the method has a meditative high quality too, so I like to recommend making a batch throughout occasions of stress. (I made them repeatedly within the first weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown, however that’s one other story.) I didn’t develop up studying methods to make stuffed grape leaves, so used to search out them a bit intimidating. Fortunately, throughout the course of scripting this ebook, I believe I’ve lastly cracked it. The methods are to not overfill the leaves, to roll them tightly, and to strategy each with utter confidence.

    “I used to be proven methods to make these with yoga trainer Çizge Yalkın and her grandmother Nahide Köșkeroǧ‎lu; we stuffed half the combination into zucchini flowers and, in the event you ever get the chance to make use of some, I extremely advocate it. In any other case, yow will discover brined grape leaves in nearly any Center Japanese or Mediterranean retailer. This recipe makes 30 to 35 dolma relying on the scale of the leaves and I prefer to serve it with thick plain yogurt on the aspect. The dolma hold nicely within the fridge for about three days, in a lined container. I typically heat them up in a saucepan with a drop of water, to take the chilliness off them in the event that they’ve been refrigerated.” —Khan


  • Pomegranate & Sumac Chicken

    Pomegranate & Sumac Chicken

    “That is a straightforward hen sheet pan recipe impressed by a meal I ate at Reem, a restaurant on the Greek island of Lesvos run by Mahmud Talli. Mahmud is a powerhouse of power and, once I met him, he was splitting his time between volunteering at a area people heart and operating this restaurant. A Syrian physician who managed to flee the battle, Mahmud discovered himself trapped on the island after looking for refuge there, and shortly put all his efforts into serving to to supply providers for brand new arrivals to Lesvos. Reem serves conventional Syrian meals to hungry vacationers, volunteers, locals, and refugees alike and this was certainly one of my favourite dishes on the menu, a sticky roasted leg of hen that may be marinated forward of time and simply popped into the oven shortly earlier than consuming. Should you don’t need to use hen thighs, this additionally works with an entire hen, jointed into eight items.” —Khan


  • Spicy Bulgur in Lettuce Cups (Kisir)

    Spicy Bulgur in Lettuce Cups (Kisir)

    “If, like me, you relish meals that you would be able to eat along with your arms, you’ll take nice pleasure in assembling and consuming these salad wraps. Originating from the southeast of  Turkey, the place pomegranate molasses is used so as to add a sweet-and-sour piquancy to meals, this dish could be served from a big salad bowl, or you’ll be able to nestle scoops of it inside lettuce leaves which, for my part, brings a little bit of glamour to the celebration. Historically a scorching pepper paste often known as biber salçası is added to kısır; yow will discover it in Turkish grocery shops or on-line. It isn’t strictly important, although, and you’ll all the time regulate the warmth ranges to your style with chile flakes. Function a part of a mezze unfold or alongside grilled meats or fish.” —Khan


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