Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hometown & Cooking with Mom

I'm home in Ohio this week. It feels so good to be where you feel comfortable. I've spent some time in Columbus and some time in my hometown of Logan, Ohio. Logan is a small southeastern Ohio town in the Hocking Hills region. It's bittersweet. All the memories. Driving down 93 South between the orange and red filled trees. Fall in these parts is like no other. I remember thinking this town sucks when I was a teenager. I longed for city life. For more to do...but now I am so glad I grew up here. I am so glad that I can "come home" to Logan, Ohio and feel so comfortable. 

When I'm in Logan I stay at my brother's house and we cook so much. My mom and I cook all kinds of food and my sister-in-law Jamie helps and we have so much fun talking and catching up....and of course nibbling on all the food we make. 

My all time favorite food my mom makes is what we call Kuba. These are rice ball that are filled with a ground beef, almond and raisin mixture. I am amazed how perfectly my mom forms these balls. It's not as easy as it may look. It takes years to perfect and my Kuba still don't look as nice as my mom's. Here's some pics from our Kuba making today!


The mixture is basically lean ground beef sauteed with finely chopped onion, parsley almonds and raisins with some cumin, salt and pepper.
The rice has to be perfectly boiled. It can't be too soft or hard. It is drained & cooled then mixed with a few eggs, turmeric and a little salt.
You can form the Kuba into round balls or if you can master the real Kuba shape, they are supposed to be more in this oval shape. To shape the Kuba, you have to make sure that your hands are wet so the rice doesn't stick to your hands.
Kuba gets deep fried until the rice is nice and crunchy. Be careful when you first bite into one, the inside is hot! Let them cool a bit first, though I burn my mouth every time my mom and I make Kuba. I just can't wait to eat one!

20 comments:

Helene said...

I never heard of that. That looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Nate-n-Annie said...

That's a really nice flavor combination. Is there a dipping sauce to go with that?

Kovan said...

I miss home and my mom!!!!! When are you guys coming to LA to cook for me??

Anonymous said...

I know this might be blasphemy, but it is possible do something other than deep fry these? I would love to try making them, but lack the fryer.

Thanks!

Ingrid said...

Oh, those look good. That is pretty impressive, your mom has them shaped perfectly!

BTW, I have a little chocolaty something for you on my blog. Please swing by and pick it up! Thx!
~ingrid

avesta said...

Helene, it is similar to Lebanese Kibbie but they use bulgur wheat and we use rice on the outside. Different versions of this recipe are made throughout the Middle East. If you have a Lebanese restaurant or Middle Eastern store near you, check to see if they sell some sort of this. Also...if you want to use finely diced up chicken instead of ground or minced beef, you can. My mom used to do this for us when we didn't want to eat read meat!

avesta said...

Nate n Annie, we always serve ours with the cucumber-yogurt sauce (similar to Greek Tzatziki sauce) or a tomato based spicy red sauce, it is similar to a spicy marinara sauce. Thanks for visiting!

avesta said...

Kovy...Winter is when I'll be heading to Cali...I told your friend Tori I'm gonna fatten you skinny girls up! :)

avesta said...

Sorry for the confusion...you don't need a deep-fryer to fry these. Most people don't have one that make these...growing up, my mother would fry them on the stovetop in a pan with lots of vegetable oil in it. Don't use olive oil here.

When you put them in the pan, do not touch them until they start to get a little crispy, then you can flip them or they could fall apart.

avesta said...

Ingrid, you are too kind..thanks for the award! And yes, my mother is a pro...but like she always says..."practice makes perfect!" So I will continue to try to perfect these, too!

moxie said...

OMG Avesta I totally forgot about these... I miss them!!! I miss all your food!

Med nachos? Late night was oh-so-good! ;-) xoxo Jules

Katherine said...

Kuba is easily my favourite Kurdish food. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

WHERE ARE YOU FROM IF YOU DONT MIND ME ASKING?

avesta said...

I'm Kurdish but grew up in Southeast Ohio in a small town called Logan.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, I am kurdish also and live in Ohio...I thought you are kurdish but did not want to assume. Which part of kurdistan are you from?

Anonymous said...

My neighbor is from Iraq and makes these. They are the BEST!!! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Love Kuba ,I could eat it every day :-)Any way I love all Kurdish food,my husband is from Kurdistan and I really enjoy making kurdish food.

Ineta said...

It looks delicious.
I have Kurdish friend who loves Kuba so much.
I want to make him surprised. So, can you write full recipe (how many rise, beef, eggs do i need? ) Thanks!

Snjólaug said...

I cant wait to make this my self. Tried this one time when my friend cooked it for me when he visited my home in Iceland

Anonymous said...

I just ate some of these and they are incredible. There is an Iraqi grocer around the corner whose wife "pre-makes" them and freezes them. I just deep fried them and they are so delicious. Hers have hot peppers in them as well.