Sep 21, 2012


By Muqadus Tabraze

Q. Describe a food and the memories associated with it.

I recall my first taste of Kasba. The exotic Arabic flavours matched their surroundings: the meat seared as if it was prepared under the vicious sun. The plentiful rice was cooked to a mouth-watering brown, mixed with the stock of tender lamb. The crunchy assortment of vegetables left you desirous: crispy onions, slimy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, chopped carrots and zesty garlic. Yet, the true glory of the Kasba lay elsewhere. In its spices. These blazing spices transform Kasba from a mere rice dish, into a heavenly, diverse mixture.

It was the State of Dubai. Being a first visit, we soaked in as much Arab culture as humanly possible. After a hectic day of roaming gigantic malls, our bellies protested. We rushed to the first restaurant in sight. The cosy place was covered completely with intricate carpets and countless tables, laden with eager customers fluidly conversing. Upon the Kasba’s arrival, we were shocked at the towering stack of rice one dish held, artistically topped with a leg. Glossy sauces and salads assisted our gobbling. We relished the smoky taste of the charred, chewy meat and soft rice, their juices flowing down our throats. After eating to our heart’s content, we left, merrily carrying abundant leftovers.

However, it requires experience to create this chow. My mother testified to this some months back, when she attempted to make it. Armed with instructions off the internet and fresh groceries, we frantically worked over a simmering pot. We worked into the dusk until our concoction was “prepared”. Though it was savagely devoured within minutes, there was one problem: we had no idea what it was. It was anything but Kasba. Thus, we realized expertise was the key to perfection.

Kasba’s magnificence lies in its variation. Indeed, an entire tree of dishes unfolds: featuring different meats, and utilising multiple techniques of cooking, and all for the better. You know what they say: variety is the spice of life. 


Aimah said...

I think the first paragraph is really well-written. The description is excellent. You made me salivate. However I feel that you immediately jumped from the description to the memory in the second paragraph without creating a link. Perhaps it would have been better if you would have started from the second paragraph and then proceeded towards the description.
Nevertheless, you did an excellent job.

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