Omanis love their BBQ & I love them for that!

I simply adore the outdoors and with places like Wadi Al Arabieen, Oman has casts a hypnotic spell on me… Fine… I confess, it is hypnotic because good food is part of every experience here.

Nothing in Oman is complete without food and that’s just the way I like it.

During the most recent long weekend, my friends and I decided to go back to the basics. We went camping to this place called Wadi Al Arabieen to enjoy the sights and devour the meat(z). I love going camping with my local friends as they are so adept with the ways of enjoying and making the most out of the outdoors and available resources.

Step 1: Preparing for the trip, which meant shopping for supplies (charcoal, lighting fuel, grills, skewers and of course an arsenal full of meat, veggies and more food)

barbequeinoman_shopping

Step 2: Stopping for Ice (food has to be kept fresh no matter what)

ice-stor-eoman

They... hard at work!
They… hard at work!

Step 3: Getting to Wadi Al Arabieen

On the way to Sur,  take the right turn where the road sign says Wadi Al Arabieen. For more details and visual treats of the location visit the Oman Tripper website, For tummy treats continue reading.

Step 4: Scan the scene and take in the vistas

Step 5: Now comes the fun part. Start the food prep.

I guess you are wondering, where the hell are the food pics… I want to insert them right away… please do wait a bit more.

First we dig the hole place the coal and collect from dried grass and then start the fire!
First we dig the hole, then place the coal and collect dried grass and then start the fire! – Only if it was as simple as that!

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corn and onion
corn and onion

Last Step: Sit together and enjoy the meat, flavored with a dash of fresh air and a sprinkle of nature. Look at the food shots below, don’t they look restaurant quality and believe me, the bbq chicken tastes so much better than what we get served at some of the restaurants.

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AND I HAVE TO MENTION THIS. LOVE FOOD BUT RESPECT NATURE. 

Cleaning up.. helps burn off the extra calories as well
Cleaning up.. helps burn off the extra calories as well

Please do not forget to clean up before leaving. There is something magical about unspoiled beauty.  Let the explorers and food nerds after you enjoy the space as much as you did.

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The Natural Kind of Love

I consider myself blessed as I belong to a ‘generation of parents’ who are firmly grounded to their roots. They might have branched out to greener, brighter pastures but their roots keep pulling them back to the land they were born in. Because of that gravitational pull – me, my brother and my cousins got to experience the village life in all its glory.

So when my cousin whtapped me the images of the produce from my Uncle’s vegetable garden it filled my heart with the memories of my late Grandma overseeing all the mango and tamarind harvest in our backyard.

My Ancestral Home in Palakkad, Kerala, India
My Ancestral Home in Palakkad, Kerala, India

Our ancestral home is more than 100 years old and has a lot of acreage.

My Uncle the man behind the prodcue
My Uncle the man behind the produce

Kudos to my uncle for nurturing the land that has the potential to yield gold. He has such a big heart that he distributes the produce to family, friends and passerby for FREE. Such is our love for food 🙂

Here are some of his productions:

Half blushing Tomatoes
Half blushing Tomatoes
Okra / Lady Finger - Hmmm i never knew it grew upward, facing the sun.
Okra / Lady Finger – Hmmm i never knew it grew upward, facing the sun.
Melony goodness
Melony goodness
Look closely - wild yet tamed chili
Look closely – wild yet tamed chili

When you love you love naturally. When you love food you love it to the extent that my Uncle does – Nature-lly. Some day I wish to do the same.

First Bite Experience:

I cant tell you how different these home grown, organic veggies taste. If you have never had it, I have to boldly say that you are missing  sublime goodness that stems from the lap of nature. My Omani friends have farms and they have got me freshly plucked Cherry Tomatoes and they taste just the same. Sublime!

Have you ever tried to grow something a herb, a plant, a veggie… anything? Do share your experience. 

 

The Fishy Kind of Love

Caution: This post may be inedible for the Finding Nemo fan base!

There is nothing fishy about my love for the ocean and the creatures that dwell therein. I would like to think of myself as a mermaid but my insatiable appetite for seafood would make me an inhospitable member of the community.

So I settled for a road trip to a fishing village located 50 kilometres away from Al Ashkhara, Oman.

going to the sea

It was during this trip that I witnessed the early morning ritual of fishermen setting out into the sea, coming back with a boat full of the freshest catch.

coming bac from the seaI stood there in awe as the locals untangled the fish from the fishing nets. I touched the freshly caught fish and was amazed at the absence of the distinctive smell that we have grown to associate fish with (thanks to the supermarket fish aisles).

all types of fishI went to the makeshift market where sardines, king fish, jumbo prawns, squid, octopus and lobster were being sold. I brought home some of the treasure and fried it with close to no marinade. The shiny skin crackled as soon as it hit the hot pan, the natural oil from the fish made it crispy and ready to eat.

Fishing Village in Oman (approx…50 km from Al Ashkhara Beach Resort, Resort Coordinates: 21°44’07.2″N 59°28’55.8″E)

First Bite Experience:

Took the first bite and I fully understood the adage “tasted like the ocean”.

I have been a heavy seafood eater but the sheer freshness, melt-in-your-mouth texture and taste of the sea won my heart and my palate.

How can you gobble up something you love so much…that’s why it is my fishy kind of love!