Monday, June 21, 2010

Meze - Sabiha Hala's Kisir

I am going to have to admit Sabiha hala(Aunt) is one my most favorite people in this world.  She is currently 98 years old and just as entertaining and lively as she was many years ago.  Everyone from little kids to teenagers to even prickly adults enjoys her company and her house is always full to the rim with people visiting.   She used to be one of the finest cooks as well; society ladies' chef's used to ask her for advise on how to cook certain dishes.  She loved to eat and so she loved to cook.  One of my favorite stories growing up was about how she would get up in the middle of the night yearning for a certain desert and she would cook one portion just for herself right then and there.  My grandmother used to say some of my diligence when cooking for myself reminded her of my great aunt, which was high praise indeed.

Everything Sabiha hala made was great but her 'Kisir' (Cracked Wheat Salad) was the best I had ever had.  There are a lot of recipes and different variations for this particular dish but the 'nar eksisi' (pomegranate sauce) which I couldn't live without, a sweet and sour molasses-like liquid is the secret ingredient that makes it fabulous.   You can add more than the recipe to your own taste.  One summer, when I was visiting the States and couldn't find the 'nar eksisi' I substituted lemon and molasses which was an acceptable solution for the time being.  You can find this in Turkish grocery stores online.  I would definitely try to get it since it is a magical addition to any salad.  

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