Palestinian street food, and some at Ayat in Brooklyn

In October, a new restaurant appeared on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, announcing its arrival on the sidewalk. There, the concrete is engraved with a mesh pattern of Arabic letters and a peace sign, which means “end the occupation.” On the walls of the street — a grid of windows that slide open on sunny days — the restaurant’s mission is written in red, green, and black spray-painted swoosh. Falafel. Palestinian street food. “

Ayat is not the only one. Orders for stays or transfers are made at the edge of a long glass counter, behind which are whipped hummus, tightly wrapped vine leaves, and consistent Muhammara with peanut butter from a health food store. You will see a tray with very finely chopped tabbouleh cut with scalpel and 12 other mezes and salads.

In the background are two slowly spinning towers of meat, one chicken and one beef, which darkens until an order comes in and becomes distractingly aromatic. The dark areas are cut off and fall off like sheep’s wool.

Overall, it’s a standard falafel and shawarma setup, but one is a steel dome next to the front window that looks like a large upside-down wok. Its hot, convex surface is an iron plate that cooks many Palestinian dishes, Palestinian dishes, and the crepe-thin flatbread that is essential to this extraordinary Palestinian restaurant. The griddle is known as saj. In Ayat, bread is also called saj, but it is also called by other names, such as markouk.

Saj is a bread given to swing around with a roughly beaten Baba ghanoush. Saj wraps a grilled beef kebab sandwich.

And Saji makes the first layer of Ayat’s Mansaf. There, cinnamon and cardamom are sprinkled and spread on the bottom of a glossy red clay dish under an inch of yellow rice. This starch-on-starch foundation contains several large chunks of lamb stewed in white powder cut from the hard stones of dried yogurt called jamed. The stew produces very tender meat and a strong emulsion of rendered fat, rum and reconstituted yogurt is served in a separate bowl. This emulsion is a bit like hot buttered rum mayonnaise, but intoxicating that way, but rich enough to appreciate the crunch provided by the toasted almond sliver, which is freely distributed on the surface of mansaf. ..

The taller, more cushioned ring of bread, baked in the oven, serves as an edible plate for the Ayat version of Musacan, which is characteristic of Jordanian West Bank and Jordanian cuisine. Bread called taboon is covered with brown onions, pine nuts, roast chicken and lacquer sprinkled on it. It sits there and absorbs the juice from chicken and onions until you eat it.

Bread is the key to all good fatouches, but especially Ayat’s key is translucent, thin, crisp like potato chips, and made of substantially purple pita shards of lacquer mash. I will. The acidity of sumac is picked up and amplified by chopped cucumber, tomato, romaine lettuce, lemon juice dressing mint and pomegranate vinaigrette.

Manakish is Ayats’ most pizza-like bread, baked in the oven until the edges are soft and bulging. You can eat spiced ground beef, or spreads with olive oil and za’atar, or the Arabic version of mozzarella and crushed Akkawi cheese, which local Pizzeria calls white slices, melted around sesame seeds. I will. Nigella.

Ayat is owned by Abdul Elenani and his wife Ayat Masoud. He is a construction contractor, an entrepreneur, and seems to like to stay active. In addition to the new restaurant, he owns three Cocoa Grinder coffee shops. Falahi Farms is a halal butcher and grocery store with a rich portfolio of dates, olives and other Middle Eastern ingredients. And a Belgian fly shop called Fritebar.

They are at home on Staten Island when they don’t tend to do business on Third Avenue. There, a 13-year-old mare, Moggy, may be stored in a stable built on the edge of a driveway.

Their new restaurant is named after Masoud, a lawyer born to parents who immigrated from Jerusalem in Brooklyn. She is in charge of all recipes and all dishes except Shawarma and Marcook. Her view of Palestinian cuisine is based on family traditions that overlap with the traditions of the West Bank, Lebanese, Jordanian and Syrian chefs. The recipes enjoyed by Palestinian families like Mr. Masoud may have been passed down for generations, but the concept of Palestinian cuisine is relatively recent.

In the United States, it’s easier to read about Palestinian cuisine in cookbooks written by Yasmin Khan, Reem Cassis, and Sami Tammy, rather than finding a restaurant that serves them on a regular basis. Complicating hunting is the large number of dishes that Palestinian cooks share with others throughout the Middle East. There is the same template from Gaza to Aleppo, even if it is included in their individual recipe (a spice that is always used here but is usually omitted elsewhere). Information that connects them to a particular village as accurately as a set of GPS coordinates.

My taste, at least, makes little distinction between Ayat’s kebabs and shawarma, but suggests that Elenani has a very good source of meat. (The restaurant’s beef, mutton, and chicken come from the same farmers that feed Falafel Farm.) It’s also lively, chewy, but a little more compact and aromatic than other local vendors. It’s not uncommon for a few falafels.

However, Palestinian home-cooked canons are usually cooked with great care. Instead of stuffing rice and onions, Persian pumpkins are carefully hollowed out as if they were made into small stringed instruments. Ramkefta sticks are probably delicate, with peppers, onions and potatoes baked in tahini in a rich lemon sauce, shining as bright as the Mediterranean.

At the right time, you can see the Fatima fare making Marc and shaping the fabric discs one after another. She pushes it out with her palm so that the frilled ends of the sleeves do not become part of the bread, then inflate the dough and turn it over on the pillow. It looks like your big aunt is on his feet. Needle tip.

She pinches her fingertips and pulls on the edge of the dough to stretch it into a hubcap-sized circle, working so fast that it looks like a show dog issuing commands that the dough follows. She raises the air cushion over the saddle and flips it over to settle the fabric in a hot dome. About a minute before the bread is cooked on both sides, she is already ready to drop a new circle.

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Palestinian street food, and some at Ayat in Brooklyn

Source link Palestinian street food, and some at Ayat in Brooklyn

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