The concept of Karam Kitchen, which when translated means ‘generosity’, is rooted in an ancient tradition, full of hearty flavours, aromatic spices and familial values. At its purest, Syrian cuisine is a diffusion of cultural tastes from the great civilizations that at one time or another have settled across Syria’s fertile soil. Now, after centuries of cooking and tailoring a distinct flavour profile, the ancient knowledge of Syrian cuisine is making inroads across Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area.
Rawa’a, Dalal and Manahel, are three female Syrian refugees quickly endearing themselves to the city and its people. Their passion for Syrian culture radiates across the colourful and carefully arranged plates and platters that define the Karam Kitchen. It is also here, through the authentic sensory experience of their food, that we can get a better understanding of their business, culture and traditions.
Moutabel Dip بابا غنوج
This is like a spicier version of baba ghannouj. This dish has a smooth, creamy texture with a slightly smoky flavour. Made from the eggplant, a popular Middle Eastern ingredient and staple in Syrian culture, the dip is traditionally served with pita bread and paired with meat dishes. Blended with yogurt, tahini and freshly
squeezed lemon and garlic, the Moutabel dip is the perfect appetizer.
Kousha Mahsi كوشا
One of the most popular Middle Eastern dishes from Karam Kitchen is a hollowed out zucchini, stuffed with rice and meat. The exact origin of the dish is not entirely known, but there is strong evidence tracing it back to Ancient Syria. The dish can be made with either lamb or beef, but because lamb, at least historically, was a cheaper option, this is the most preferred ingredient. The dish is served hot, and flavoured with mint and garlic. Kousha Mahsi is a main course and can be served for either lunch or dinner.
In Syrian-Arabic dialect, shish means skewer and taouk, taken from Old Turkic translation, means chicken. Eaten across the Middle East and most of the world, this dish is a staple at Karam Kitchen. Marinated chicken, usually with a marinade of yogurt, lemon juice or tomato puree, are skewered and grilled to perfection.
Served in either a sandwich or on a platter with vegetables, the Shish Tawook is the perfect finish to a Karam experience.
Every dish from the Karam Kitchen is executed with centuries of traditional cooking wisdom and passion. Though delicious, the dishes featured here are only a few of the many available. Regardless of the function or event you are looking to have catered, you can be sure that every single offering will provide guests with a glimpse of truly authentic Syrian cuisine.