Turkmen Savory Meat and Onion Pie

We had something really wonderful for dinner last night that I had to share with you: a Turkmen Savory Meat and Onion Pie. It is a dish of Tartar origin that is now eaten in different variations across Central Asia and into Southern Russia. Although Turkic in origin, it clearly has influences from mother Persia, because it can best be described as a biryani enclosed … Read more

Afghan Cardamom Cookies

Today I’m cooking for a holiday get together with friends we’re having this evening, but wanted to share a delicious recipe with you that is just perfect for this time of year. These Afghan cardamom cookies are spicy and savory, and deliver a blast of cardamom flavor as they melt in your mouth. They are also really simple to make, and take no more than … Read more

Afghanistan Akbar!

From the time of the Persian emperor, Darius the Great in 500 BCE, the Afghan people have, at least from time to time, been engaged in resistance against foreign powers bent on conquering them. Even when outsider tyrants succeeded in bringing down one or more of the most powerful tribes, revolution percolated in the mountains and countryside and fed rebellion against the foreign invaders. An … Read more

Celebrating Central Asia

In addition to my day job, my duties as a wife and mother and holiday preparations, I’ve been busy writing the text for the second volume of Silk Road Gourmet. The volume covers what I call the “fusion” cuisines of Central Asia, the Himalayas and the Indo-Pacific. These are the countries that combine distinctly western Asian and Eastern Asian elements in unique ways to form … Read more

Ramadan Kareem

The time of Ramadan is almost upon us once again. Since so many of the land and maritime routes of the Silk Road ran through predominantly Muslim countries, and since Muslim traders played such an important role in moving the goods and ideas around that led to a globalization of the ancient world, I wanted to take a moment to explain the holiday to non-Muslims … Read more

Lamb Kebabs with Star Anise and Mint

I’ve had a major change of scenery lately that involves getting up at five and out to a job that I love but that is far from home. No more getting paid to write big thoughts at the kitchen table and subsequently less time for the blog as well. To celebrate the change, I’m calling all readers to contribute posts to the blog – travel … Read more