Seems like I was in hibernation. Well, it felt like the winter would not end this year. Today was the first day it felt like spring and I think it is here to stay. It feels energizing and refreshing to have sunshine in our days.
Spring brings so much more….a lot more variety in the produce section! It has been wonderful to prepare a colorful meal. Today I had an opportunity to watch a chef make some Moroccan dishes. She made carrot salad with oranges, raisins, parsley seasoned with harissa (an african spicy red pepper paste), lemon juice and olive oil; chicken tagine cooked with preserved lemons and green olives; vegetables and chick peas tagine with some more harissa; and couscous with currants and pine nuts. For dessert oranges mixed with sliced almonds, chopped dates sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It was not only aromatic but also delicious.
The aromas reminded me of Indian spices. The harissa paste is similar to a common red chili paste made with garlic in India. Many of the whole spices used in African cooking are same as Indian cooking (cloves, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, bay leaves). No wonder it was comforting to me.
With the promise of spring-like temperatures all week, I am energized to cook more this week. I can even open the windows while doing my aromatic cooking.