Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sunflower Shopping List


I wanted to relate a bit more about my visit to the wonderful Sunflower International market on Queens Boulevard, and providentially, I learned from Isil about a nifty shopping-list event that perfectly suits the occasion.

Harmonias Midweek Munchies Meme
A Veg*n Meme

What wonderful foods did you bring home from the grocery store?

Midweek Munchies: What The Chocolate Lady is contributing for the week



Tiny light green lentils

Tiny dark grey-green lentils

Large light green lentils

Whole masoor dal (This is the first time I had seen whole masoor dal (red lentils) that I recall. They are usually available as peeled, split orange-pink lentils. They area deep purplish brown on the outside

sumac powder

whole sumac

Persian figs

cucumbers

red-skinned peanuts

Whole Mahlob (also called mahlab—-the kernels from the stones of wild black cherries. Mahlob is used to flavor breads and pastries)

3 kinds of churchkhela--almond, walnut and pistachio. I was familiar with churchkhela, which I used to call nut-candles, from Georgian cuisine. They are a string of nuts dipped in concentrated fruit juice thickened with cornstarch. That sounds very strange, I know, but they are delicious.

I was tempted by some brightly-colored orange and purple raisins--like persimons in port--but didn't get them this time--It was a lot to carry.


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10 Comments:

Anonymous lindy said...

Can you point me to a good malhab recipe? I happen to have some. (which I bought in an ill-fated attempt to make some kirschwasser taste more like maraschino liquor...what was I thinking?- ) They smell lovely and I'd like to use them in something baked.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Will definitely visit Sunflower! I'm intrigued by pomegranate paste... Thanks for sharing your shopping list.

7:34 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Lindy, I was planning to try the Artmenian festive sweet bread in Batmanglij's Silk Road Cooking. This is a yeast bread sort of like a chalah made with milk, eggs, mahlab, and orange zest. I will omit the vanilla called for in the recipe--that can't be right. It only calls for one teaspoon of mahlab,

10:33 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Anna--Hope you find what you were looking for and many other things you hadn't realized you needed.

Lindy--What happened with thew kirsch?

11:31 PM  
Blogger Isil S. said...

Glad you joined and enjoyed it. Warm regards,

7:19 AM  
Blogger Harmonia said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting! Also for joining the weekly MwM. I added you to the blogroll! I just posted a part 2 to mine, actually.

What are the Sumac things you bought? I'm not familiar with them.

Great list! Thanks for explaining a lot of the terms! Very helpful!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous lindy said...

The kirsch story involved the attempt to make Maraschino cherries without acetone, or whatever that is they put in the bottled ones.
Maraschino liquor is made with the inside of the cherry pits, unlike Kirsch. Couldn't get any M. Liquor in all of PA (state stores don't carry it), the Kirsch cherries didn't taste right..so I was experimenting.
In the end my splendiforous daughter and son-in -law bought me some real Lux Maraschino liquor for a gift. Dried cherries, soaked in this stuff- well, they are not at all bad. Not at all.
PS I love sumac on beets.

3:39 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Thanks, Isil

Harmonia, thanks for the challenge. Sumac is a sour red powder made from the dried berries of the sumac plant, or the whole dried berries themselves. They are an ingredient in zaatar.

Lindy, Sounds like a worthwhile experiment.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

I just want to thank you again. I visited Sunflower yesterday and it felt like entering thousand and one nights. Not only did I find pomegranate paste, but also stunning Iranian nougat and wonderful jams and marmalades - the Armenian rose petal marmalade is to die for! Must go back for more. (I was also intrigued by green walnut preserves which I couldn't buy because I couldn't carry more stuff.)

As a bonus, across Queens Blvd on 63rd Rd I found a couple of great of Russian delis. This is not at all my part of town so I was really pleasantly surprised that this mundane strip mall contained such unexpected food paradises...

7:21 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

Anna, I look forward to reading about what you prepare with your goodies.

8:24 PM  

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