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Dried figs ... a heritage industry and an excellent income source for the people of Homs countryside

Dried figs are a delicious fruit which contain a package of nutrients and offer a variety of health benefits. They have high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and calcium, zinc, minerals, magnesium and manganese potassium.

Dried figs are made from Fig fruits, and the "grandmother" method for making food is still used a lot.  The families that are working in this industry dry the figs, rinse gently and pat with a clean cloth to dry them. Then they place them under the sun to dry and collect them at night. Again, they place them in a pot of boiling water and expose them to sun heat once again until they become dry and weathered.

Oozy with Yogurt Salad

Oozy is a very popular dish in Syria and the Levant area ( Jordan and Palestine). It is usually made in wedding celebrations, gatherings, Ramadan and also Eid. Oozy is basically rice, vegetables, and ground meat wrapped in a pastry sheet. Today we are going to make a chicken version wrapped in puff pastry.

 

We will need:

• 3 cups of basmati rice.

• 3 Tbs of olive oil.

Golden milk (Turmeric latte)

Golden milk or turmeric latte is a warm and comforting drink that is popular in southern Syria and has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to its health benefits.

As the name implies, the key ingredients here are turmeric and milk but the ingredient list does not stop there. Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and ghee are all added to turn this drink into a nutritional powerhouse.

You see, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help in reducing inflammation and pain in joints. Other health benefits that have been attributed to this combination of spices is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties, lowering blood sugar, protecting against cancer and heart disease, improving mood, memory and brain function.

It is definitely a drink worth adding to your list. Golden milk is caffeine free, it is soothing and comforting especially after a long day and the best part is that it tastes heavenly.

Chocodate (chocolate covered dates)

Arabian delights chocodates recipe is the best thing you can do with dates in Syria. It is very common during the holy month of Ramadan

Chocodates are a very delicious treat and snack and this recipe is very easy to prepare and the best part is you can make it as you like so let your imagination go wild. You can decorate it with milk chocolate ribbons may be rolling the dates before freezing them in some coconut flakes, adding orange blossom water to the melted chocolate, adding some ground cardamom if you like..

You can stuff some of dates with only one almond and others with two, this depends on the size of the dates. You can also stuff it with your favorite nut or combination like pistachios.

Muhammra: Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Muhammara or Mhammara is a rich, smokey-sweet and spicy dip, made basically of roasted red bell peppers and walnuts. It originated in Aleppo, Syria so Aleppo pepper is a main ingredient.

Muhammara is made of roasted red bell peppers, you can use canned/jarred roasted bell pepper or frozen. The texture will be a little bit watery than when you use fresh peppers but the taste will still be amazing.

Next comes the walnut for decoration and to make the dip hearty. Then bread crumbs for texture. We also have lemon juice for tartness, cumin for smokiness, paprika for color, cayenne pepper for spiciness, olive oil for richness and pomegranate molasses for sweetness and fresh garlic.

Scoop it up with pita, dig in with tortilla chips or dip your veggies in and enjoy the crunch.

Muhammara goes perfectly with everything. It can be used as a starter if you are hosting, or even for your weeknight dinners. It is a great snack with some veggies.

You can also use it as a spread for sandwiches, a great topping for your grilled meat and even for your pasta.