Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
I had no idea that Bahrain was an island nation until I started the research for this week’s country meal. It’s a small archipelago in the Persian Gulf, comprised of about 50 natural islands and 33 man-made islands. The more you know! Bahrain has been long known for its pearl fishery (yep, pearls that come out of clams), Bahrain is a wealthy country with substantial oil, tourism, and financial economies. Check out this beautiful blog post about spending a week in Bahrain:
I could not find an official site that named Chicken Machboos as the national dish of Bahrain, but across the Internet, this dish is informally known as Bahrain’s national dish. Chicken Machboos is a traditional meat and rice dish. We followed this recipe by Daring Gourmet.
If you’ve been following this challenge for a while, you’ll know that one of my favourite aspects of trying a new recipe from around the world every weekend is cooking with new ingredients. This recipe used whole dried limes, also known as Loomi. I was able to order them on Amazon. They have a pleasant, mild aroma and contributed that same pleasant mildness to our dish.
Before getting the stew started, I made the Baharat spice mixture. Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice mixture, and interestingly (and appropriately), Baharat is also the Arabic word for ‘spices’. This spice mixture, along with the buttery onions, garlic, turmeric, and dried limes, sent a wonderful smell throughout our kitchen.
Unfortunately, the flavour did not quite live up to the aroma. Aside from the hint of lime, it was not as unique or rich as some of the other dishes we have made throughout this challenge. That said, the texture was great and it is very healthy and filling. I’m glad we tried Chicken Machboos and it will certainly be enjoyed as leftovers throughout this week, but I probably would not go through the effort of making it again.