Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz
I've already posted a review, and now I have for you a guest post and giveaway.
by Revital Shiri-Horowitz
Recently it was my father’s 80th Birthday. My dad was born in Iraq on the “Shavuot” Holiday. This is what my grandmother used to say, since it was never documented. So they always celebrated my dad’s birthday with traditional dairy Iraqi special dishes.
“Shavuot” is a holiday of the harvest. In Judaism it is a holiday that celebrates the day that the Bible was given to Moses. “Shavuot” is also considered the holiday of visiting. In Arabic “Id al Ziarah.” People would travel from all over to the holy city of Jerusalem, and bring with them “Bikurim,” the very new harvest to the Cohanim, who served at the Holy Temple.
I love celebrating this holiday in Israel, where the kids come to schools wearing white, holding baskets of the very new fruits, summer fruits. Synagogues are open all night for “Tikun,” which has to do with renewal, forgiveness, and learning together. It is indeed a special day that I love so much.
But this day, my father's birthday, is a sad day for me, you see. I lost my dad to lung cancer three years ago, and since my dad was our family’s chef, he would cook all these yummy foods for us. My mom and sister paid my dad a visit in the cemetery today, and my mom even brought him some fresh flowers for his birthday, to put on his grave.
Until the end of July 2011 , I lived in the US for many years, and cooked for “Shavuot.” I'd invite some friends to try those interesting foods. My dad’s picture has been standing on the kitchen counter for the last three years, and today I gave him a big kiss and told him how much I loved him. He is very much alive in my mind, every single day. As I call my mom, and I call her every day, (she lives in Israel), I can still hear his voice telling me that my mom cannot wait to talk to me, and he is passing the phone to her.
Happy Birthday Dad, I love and miss you so much!
Here is my dad's and mom's special recipe for “Kitchri,” a traditional “Shavuot” dish:
1. Two cups of long rice
2. One cup of red lentils
3. 2 spoons of tomato paste
4. 2 spoons of vegetable oil
5. 3 spoons of butter
6. 2-3 spoons of ground Cumin
7. 4-5 chopped garlic cloves.
1. Wash the rice a few times, and put in a pot. Add a little salt and the oil. Add water up to a little less than an inch, and mix in the tomato paste.
2. Stir a little and boil. When it's boiling add the lentils, let the water soak, and reduce the heat to low.
3. Let it cook for about 20 minutes.
4. In a pan put the butter and the garlic and fry for 2 minutes, and then add the cumin and salt, and let it fry for 2-3 minutes. (The smell is so great…)
5. After the rice is done, add the fried cumin to the rice, blend it in and let it cook on very low for a few minutes.
You can add yogurt when all is done. It is delicious.
Thanks for that very touching post. And that recipe looks yummy. I'm going to have to try it.
Now for information about the giveaway!
Please comment below about what you like about your favorite holiday meals and enter to win a copy of Daughters of Iraq. In one week, Revital will pick a winner of this ebook next week! Available in any ebook format, in paper copy. Also, available in English or in Hebrew. We will ship you a copy anywhere in the world. And for the Giveaway Grand Prize: Everyone who comments is eligible to win a lovely Mama Nazima's Jewish Iraqi Cuisine . Revital will pick a lucky winner at the end of November 2011 and can ship anywhere in the world. Good luck!
Award-winning author, Revital Shiri-Horowitz wrote Daughters of Iraq to honor her family's story that had never been told before.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Daughters of Iraq is the story of emigration from Iraq to Israel as experienced by two sisters: Violet, whom we learn about through a diary she kept after being diagnosed with a critical illness, and Farida, whose personality unfolds through her relationship with her new surroundings and with herself. And a third character: Noa, Violet’s daughter and a student in her twenties, searching for meaning. Noa embarks on a spiritual quest to the past, so that she can learn how to build her life in the present and the future. While each of the three women is struggling with her own issues, they are all looking for the same thing: happiness. They have a strong sense of family, of their deep roots. They are all inextricably linked to each other. By the book’s end, the author has painted a powerful and moving canvas of the whole family.