Malakeh Jazmati, a major draw at the book fair.
Renowned Syrian chef and restaurateur, Malakeh Jazmati, whetted the appetites of a packed audience of culinary enthusiasts, at the ongoing 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF)’s extremely popular Cookery Corner.
The stage was set for the Syrian version of the must-have regional treat for special occasions – the Maqluba. Jazmati, whose life as an asylum seeker, first in Jordan and then in Germany, is closely intertwined with her culinary journey and subsequent fame, explained to her multicultural audience the meaning of the name of the dish.
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“Maqluba in Arabic means upside-down, and the dish derives its name in the way it is served. The vegetables and protein form the bottom layer in the cooking pot and is topped with aromatic rice. Once ready, the pilaf is gently flipped on a large serving dish.”
The vegetables and protein form the bottom layer in the cooking pot and are topped with aromatic rice.
“What emerges is a feast – both for the eyes and the belly. The dish takes a cake-like shape on the serving plate and the icing on this savoury surprise is formed by charred eggplant, cauliflower, carrot and thick slices of potato along with meat that’s nicely browned and has a crispy skin,” the chef added.
The increasing curiosity and eventual hunger pangs of the viewers that kicked in, thanks to the wholesome aromas of Jazmati’s delectable Maqluba that filled the Cookery Corner, were finally satiated when she offered them a taste of her homeland on a plate. Most of them went for seconds.
“I am happy to see so many youngsters in the audience with big smiles on their faces," she said advising young culinary enthusiasts present to close their eyes and think about someone they love whenever they cook to enhance the quality of their dishes.
To catch this spirited Syrian culinary superstar visit the book fair before November 13.
“I love to cook and teach, and being here makes me feel close to home”, the chef added expressing her joy for being able to speak in Arabic to the regional crowd in the audience. Jazmati relocated to Germany in 2015 and has been living and working in Berlin since. She has cooked for movie stars at the Berlinale film festival.
Those who would like to catch this spirited Syrian culinary superstar work her magic in the SIBF 2021 kitchen must visit the book fair before November 13 where she will be bringing an authentic taste of Syria’s rich cuisine and culture with more such lively recipe demonstrations.
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