Monday, January 03, 2011

First Meal of 2011

We headed out to Kandahar on the crisp chilly morning of new year's day. Here, Kandahar is a neighborhood at the edge of Khartoum, not the war torn hotspot in Afghanistan. It is famous for it's grilled kharouf (lamb) eateries serving up amazing kharouf meals.

We were there to kick off the new year with a feast of pan grilled kharouf, barbecued ribs and local kharouf stew. The meat was cooked over charcoal fired stove. Once done, the food was wonderfully spread on a huge pan and served with greens, salad, bread, dipping sauces and other delicious trimmings. There was no cutlery. We sat around the pan and ate with our hands.

The meat and ribs was grilled to perfection. The chunks of meat jolting taste buds to life with it's tenderness, succulence, earthy sweetness and smokey-ness, without a hint of the gamy smell that normally associated with lamb. They have a magical way of farming their kharouf here, the meat is just soft and without the overpowering smell. The stew was just as good, rich, sweet and spicy, kind of a distant cousin of curry, with the meat soft and falling out from the bones, assimilated into the thick gravy. It was just as natural as a reflex to soak up the tasty juiciness of the stew with a piece of bread. Oh heavenly scrumptousness. Everything of the meal was just superb, even the strange raw onion salad, simply dressed with fresh lime, was sweet and refreshing.

My first meal of 2011 was indeed a feast to remember, and hopefully to repeat regularly.

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