I went home for xmas, and i made it a point to visit the local nurseries for seeds. My home is an island and in the north we have what we call a green belt zone ( historically where agriculture was booming, now only a few farms left amidst hideous tall buildings and shopping malls)
i was on the hunt for the local basil, otherwise known as Rehan. We have different varieties of it. One called the mashmoom and the other, Rehan. We eat the Rehan and we decorate brides hairs with mashmoom (in the olden days..)
Well i couldnt find either, but i found and bought the following:
شبنت: pronounced “shbent”, i’d be prompted to say it’s dill but this one has a more of a deep earthy note, and can withstand high temperatures when cooked. i love it cooked with plain white rice.
بربير: pronounced “Barbeer” i have always thought this was watercress. a very plump version of it. arabic wikipedia says it is the Common Purslane. People use it as salad greens. I have nostalgic memories of the salad bowl lunchtime at grandma’s: a big basket of Barbeer, Rehan and green chillis and limes that have been halved.
حلبه: pronounced " Helba" aka the fenugreek. I haven’t tasted the local variety before so this would be the first time to grow and taste!
بقل:pronounced “bagul”, arabic wikipedia says it is the" Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum aka leeks. Well they hardly look like or taste like leeks, they are long and thin (1 cm thin) with a neat fold in the middle. they grow up to 30 cm long and are enjoyed raw with a local dish of bbq’d small meat skewers called “tikkah”. Locals believe that it is also a form of a galactagogues (breast milk enhancer) and they give it to new moms to encourage milk production.
the seeds packs are loaded and i am short of space in my small balcony garden. anyone who likes some of my seeds please raise your hands!