Tag Archives: cooking

Holiday Recipes from the Middle East: Mhalabia


Happy Holidays from Caravan-Serai Tours and Willamette Intl Travel!

Each holiday season our friends over at Caravan-Serai offer an assortment of our favorite recipes from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus. Be sure to subscribe to our blog for updates!

Today’s recipe is a Syrian pudding recipe from Aleppo. It’s made with milk, rose water, crushed pistachios, some cardamom, corn starch as sugar. If you have traveled to Syria or Jordan you have probably tasted this light and exotic tasting pudding. Treat your family to it this holiday season!

Flickr Creative Commons (c) Andrea Nguyen

Flickr Creative Commons (c) Andrea Nguyen

3 cups milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 tbs rose water

1 cup cold water

2 cardamom pods, crushed

6 tbs corn starch

Crushed pistachios

  • Mix milk and sugar together in a sauce pan, then heat to a boil – stirring frequently.
  • Whisk water and cornstarch together in a bowl until smooth; stir into boiling milk. Cook milk mixture over medium heat until thickened to the consistency of cake batter, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stir cream, rose water, and cardamom into milk mixture.
  • Divide into 6 serving dishes or keep in a bowl, what ever you prefer, and put into the refrigerator to cool – about 2-4 hours
  • Just before serving sprinkle crushed pistachios on top.

Caravan Serai is a Seattle-based company that specializes in small-group escorted tours to destinations in the Middle East and North Africa such as Jordan, Turkey and Morocco. Expert guides escort guests through fun-filled and tasty itineraries, valuing comfort and safety all the while trekking across ancient paths and historical ruins.

Call Willamette Intl Travel to Discuss More Options for Travel in the Middle East!

To read what a Sample 5-Day Tour through Jordan might look like, click here:

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Filed under Caravan Serai, Travel by Taste

Taking a Cooking Class Abroad

There are many reasons people travel—and one of the main draws to any far-flung destination are its unique flavors and recipes. Dishes that can that challenge our senses and introduce us to new tastes. For travelers who are interested in not just seeing a place, but also tasting its culinary creations, Willamette encourages trying a cooking class or going on a gastronomic adventure. Have a chat with us and we can figure out the class or culinary treat that might be right for you during your trip.

photo by Linda Fisher

 Why take a cooking class abroad?

A cooking class introduces travelers to a unique way of travel—through the tastebuds. A culinary environment, whether in a professional Bangkok kitchen or at a summer home in Ephesus, is a great venue to immerse yourself into a culture. Travelers can learn about local ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques in an informal, mellow atmosphere. You have the opportunity to ask questions only a trained local could answer, and participate in not only enjoying but creating authentic and delicious dishes. And you can bring home a souvenir that your friends will be sure to enjoy—a recipe!

photo by Linda Fisher

 Here are some of the experiences we can offer:

 –         Taste the best of dry and floral Argentinian wines in the vineyards of Mendoza

–         Visit the top chocolatiers on the East Side of Manhattan

–         Enjoy the melting pot of Santa Fe cuisine—influenced by Native America, Spanish, Mexican and European traditions

–         Attend a master Greek chef’s class to learn the secrets behind succulent souvlaki, refreshing tzatziki, spit-roasted meats, and fish cooked with cheese

–         Stroll the Jean Talon Market in Montreal, the largest outdoor public farmer’s market in Canada—before taking afternoon tea at the Queen Elizabeth

–         Prepare authentic Jamaican specialties such as jerk, sorrel drink, oxtail soup, saltfish, gingerbeer, and potato pudding—and follow up with a visit to a Rum distillery and a local coffee farm for samples

Email Willamette for more details at info@wittravel.com, or call 503.224.0180 to book your culinary adventure!

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Filed under Features, Travel by Taste