[chicken] El Rgaga (الرقاقه أو المكامير)
El Rgaga (aka Al Makameer) is a traditional dish from the countryside around Daraa, a city in the southwest of Syria near the border with Jordan. When there is a big occasion with many guests, groups of neighbourhood women get together and make a big batch. Many layers of thinly rolled dough are layered with onions caramelized in olive oil and chicken that has been poached in a spiced broth, and then baked until golden and crispy on top. (The name translates as “the chip”, probably referring to the crunchy top layer that absorbs the flavours of the dish). This dish was originally suggested by Majda, so we reached out to Maryam and her daughter-in-law, who are also from Daraa and experts in making it.
[vegetarian] Harraq Esbaoo حراق اصبعو
A very old and well-known dish in Syria, the name translates “burning his finger”. The notion is that the dish is so delicious, that diners can’t resist going for it before it cools, so they burn their fingers. Lentils and fresh, hand-cut pasta are cooked together with spices then mixed with onions, coriander, and a tamarind & pomegranate molasses dressing, then garnished with crispy fried pita croutons, caramelized onions, fresh coriander and fresh pomegranate seeds.
Ok, here’s my stab at Syrian humour:
How did the Syrian hipster burn his fingers?
He ate his Harraq Esbaoo before it was cool.
Salateh Malfouf سلطة ملفوف
A cool, refreshing salad made of chopped cabbage, diced tomatoes and pomegranate seeds, dressed with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, sumac, and fresh mint.
A crisp, buttery cookie studded with pistachio pieces and covered in sesame seeds, barazek are one of the most famous sweets of Damascus, and a popular gift often brought by people visiting from Syria.
Meals are available for pickup from The Depanneur, 1033 College Street (between Dufferin & Dovercourt) from 6–7pm on Thursday, Oct. 13
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Meals go on sale on Tuesday at 7am.
Please indicate “PICKUP” or “DELIVERY” in the Order Notes at the Checkout.
Newcomer Kitchen is a new project that invites groups of Syrian refugee women to use our kitchen to cook traditional Syrian dishes in a fun, social setting. Meals are prepared and packaged, and then sold online for pickup or delivery to pay for all the ingredients and provide an honorarium for the cooks.
We also offer 1 spot to help/hang out in the kitchen, learn the recipes and join the ladies for family meal on Thursday afternoon. We are asking for a $50 donation for this, which will go to topping up the $ we have to share with the cooks. This is available for purchase online, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Proceeds from the sale of meals goes directly to the newcomer cooks. However this does not cover the costs of the enormous amount of behind-the-scenes coordination required to keep this project going. You can support the Newcomer Kitchen project directly and our vision of expanding this model to support more women in more neighbourhoods!
Help us take this idea into any restaurant kitchen, in any city in the world!