I don’t travel abroad very often, (especially if it involves a plane,) since my beloved country has wonderful beaches, beautiful mountains, breathtaking islands all within a 4 hour driving range. That is why now that we (Greece) have put ourselves in a bad position, the “developed” northern part of Europe is moving in for the kill…. Noone, no matter how wealthy, wants to spend all their lives in a dull, cloudy environment, and so our nice beaches & failing economy make for the ideal target. OMG, I am becoming like my granfather, rambling off-topic, talking politics in a food blog… let’s get back to cooking & its relevance to me recent travels. Every time I do end up venturing outside of Greece, I am reminded that the true value of the experience is meeting new people, experiencing different ways of life, & seeing diverse cultures. Food is always a big part of any culture, & my recent trip to the Middle east was filled with new flavors & experiences. I loved the spicy teas they treated us to everywhere we went, and the amazing dates that were abundantly present. I had cheese & chocolate made from camel milk and the best lamb I have ever tasted, always accompanied by a fragrant rice side-dish every time I ordered it. One of the dishes that impressed me the most, was this fragrant starter that seemed so representative of the local ingredients and cooking style. This dish however stuck with me and I share with you my attempt to recreate it. Enjoy.