I have always wanted to make a Fattoush salad ever since I was introduced to it many, many years ago in Michigan by a friend. The salad looked so simple and yet the tangy blend of spices caused my flavor receptors to just burst out singing. The basic Fattoush salad recipe starts with leftover pita bread that has been baked till they are crunchy, tossed with lettuce and other ingredients in a citrusy dressing. The a key ingredient in the tangy Fattoush salad dressing is a Middle Eastern spice called Sumac.
Recently, when I went looking at the International Food Bazaar for ingredients to make a simple tahini and date syrup dip (which a friend had introduced to me), I ended up also finding Sumac. I did not hesitate to grab the sumac I found and that very week, I made Fattoush salad.
We’ve been back in San Jose for a few days now, and we are slowly getting over the jet lag (not easy when there’s a 16 hour time difference between here and Malaysia). It’s been pretty smooth so far, thanks in large part to our good friends who helped to ease us back in. I got a head cold the first day back, and experienced some troubling heart palpitations as well, but they couldn’t stop me from taking us out to our favorite Saturday morning destination: the farmer’s market at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA.
I love Indian food and mamak food in particular. We often go to one particular place in Kuching almost weekly for roti and thosai. The thosai comes with dipping sauces of dhal and coconut chutney but we like the fish curry sauce the best.
One day I got some pieces of fish to go along with the curry. It was delicious! But then we got the bill and it turned out that the fish pieces were 5 ringgit each! Being the pake person that I am, I decided that I should learn to cook fish curry for myself because then I could buy a whole fish for 20 ringgit and save some money.
Armed with just my instincts and the flavor profile that I got from having this fish curry over several visits I decided to try to recreate it.