Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely


I was thrilled to find a recipe for Maamoul when browsing through a Lebanese cookbook at Green Apple Bookstore in the Richmond District in San Francisco. I was trying to find a use for the leftover walnut date filling I had from the strudel I made a few days ago when I came across this recipe that also gave me the opportunity to utilize the wooden butterfly mold I bought in Chinatown a few months ago. Maamoul is traditionally made by the whole family during Easter in Lebanon. Date maamoul is supposed to be made in a specially shaped mold, but walnut maamoul can be made in any kind of mold. I think the butterfly mold goes well with the coming of Spring and the end of the rain here in SF. Let the sun shine!

Tune: Sunshine by Mos Def from The New Danger

Tune: Sun Comes Up by John Legend

Tune: Devil's Pie (Paul Nice remix) by another modern soul singer D'Angelo over a summertime Tribe Called Quest beat from the Bay Area's own DJ's J Boogie and Sake One's latest mix tape Leftism Pick it up at Fabric8

To fill the maamoul with the walnut date filling you are supposed to roll the semolina dough into balls and then make a well in the ball with your thumb, fill the well and close it back up. Then you are supposed to press the dough into the molds. I fill the molds half way with the dough then add the filling and then top it off and seal it with more dough. I found this easier to do with the intricate molds that I was dealing with.They are baked for only 10-12 minutes at 300 degrees F. The dough is just semolina, butter, a tiny bit of sugar, salt water, and flavor. The recipe calls for rose water and orange blossom water in the dough. I used saffron rose water, a great Middle Eastern and Persian flavor combination that is also a favorite of Elizabeth Falkner and is perfect for a breezy and sunny afternoon tea time.

Tune: Maktoubik Malyan by Lebanese pop star Wael Kfouri

French Labanese RapperClotaire K infuses nice Arabic melodies and instruments into his beats.
Tune: Laisse Les by Clotaire K
Tune: Maqam by Clotaire K

Arabic influenced beats by the Bay's own J. Boogie
Tune: Ritual of The Nile by J Boogie off his Dubtronic Science record

Tune: Dance of Ayten by another Bay Area artist, Jaleleddin Takesh who owns Pasha , a Persian restaurant in San Francisco with live music and belly dancing. Jalaleddin plays the kanoon which is popular in Turkish Gypsy music. Jalaleddin was also in a Hawaii 5-0 episode in 1978. Dance of Ayten is a short Belly Dance piece with a few sudden shifts in tempo and features violin and kanoon solos.

Our friends at Global Phatness Radio have been providing us with a great internet radio station for a minute now that is full of Arabic beats and traditional tunes and mas. There first CD Suryaghati is a modern classic.
Tune: Surya (sun) by San Francisco based Global Phatness feat. Hafez Modir

East meets West again with a another wicked mash up by The Boston Jerk. This next track is another study in sound and culture. Get schooled at The Riddim Method or at Wayne and Wax. He has some great observations, commentaries, and philosophies on pop culture and music. Check out his dancehall and reggaeton posts.
Tune: Big-Gyptian mix where he once again mashes and blends some classics with some classics. Jay-Z meets Abdel-Halim Hafez.

Tune: Guazz Aldam (Blood Wedding) by Egyptian rapper MC Pharosan

Tune: Celia in Cairo This track is from a bootleg CD I bought on the streets of Tangier, Morocco.
Tune: Nice Arabic Joint Another track from a Moroccan street CD.
Tune: Missy in Morocco A mash up by DJ Crow, another cut from the streets of Morocco.
Tune: Moroccan Street Jam A more traditional jam, but still popular with the youth.
Tune: Moroccan Street Jam with heavy duty MC

Tune: Calling All Absentees by Kid Gusto of True Grooves, Washington DC gives a middle eastern percussion touch to a rolling reggae stomper.

Tune: 3 Bandits by Bumcello from Nude For Love big Middle Eastern feel on this groove with hip hop beat
Tune: Beautiful You also by Bumcello also from Nude For Love This track does not have much Middle Eastern sounds but it features the Bay's own Gift of Gab and Lateef the Truth Speaker.

Tune: Ya Binaya Goumi (Oh Girl, Stand Up) by Bawin from Choubi Choubi: Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq