Food to Make Your Mouth & Belly Dance

Food to Make Your Mouth & Belly Dance

I’d rather be a little weird than all boring. ~ Rebecca McKinsey

Need to get wild and crazy sometimes? Do something in a different way than before?

Expressing yourself full-out through the clothes you wear, how you furnish your home, and even what you eat is challenging when it goes against the norm.

A quick look around my part of the world would suggest the only food available is either Mexican or full of chiles. And we know that’s not true. Our options are never as limited as they seem. All we need is inspiration.


Your starting point might be the unusual cut of meat on sale. Or the vegetable with the funny name you’ve been meaning to try but didn’t know how to cook.  

If so, buy it already and google a recipe.

My adventure with the Arabian rice dish known as kabsa began when I went looking for lamb chops but could only find lamb for stewing.

Determined not to prepare it in traditional British style, I looked to the Middle East, where lamb is the meat of choice ~ and discovered this terrific kabsa recipe.

Besides lamb, you could cook it with goat, beef, or . . . camel. How’s that for different?

You also get to use a boatload of spices, some of which may be new to you. Like cardamom. And these limes, blackened by boiling and drying in the sun. From a distance, my husband says, they look like funny-looking walnuts.

What do you think?

Black limes

The black limes are tangy and intense. The combination of spices make the kabsa sing.

Black limes, cinnamon, sea salt, cloves, cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, bay leaf, fennel

Black limes, cinnamon, garlic, sea salt, cloves, cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, bay leaf, fennel, and ginger.

And the finished dish has onions, garlic, pepper, tomato, and aromatic basmati rice besides!


So good kabsa.

Don’t let the quantity of ingredients discourage you. With each one measured and ready to add at the proper time, you’ll find this kabsa simple to create.

 Look for black limes at a market specializing in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern foods. In Las Cruces, this means the Aden Market. Ask for dried lemon omani for making kabsa.

What crowd-pleaser do you serve when it’s time for something different?

Leave a comment ~ I’d enjoy hearing from you!

  • Cindy Thomas

    Hey Melodie! Our family loves lamb. This dish looks wonderful! Great pic of you by the way! Take care, Cindy

    • Melodie

      Hey, Cindy ~ and thanks! Should you ever prepare this, would like to hear about it ~!

  • Melissa

    I had the blessing of sharing an apartment with some women from Pakistan and they made the best food with the most unique spices. (my mouth is watering as I think of the food they made!) They eating experience they shared with me will stay in my heart and memory forever. I’ve always meant to try their style of cooking, but I never have. I’m going to text my old roommate and get the spice combination she uses. I find it so interesting that each culture has very individual and unique ways of creating dishes by changing the spices and the meat! Love your posts Melodie; they wake up my memory!

    • Melodie

      Your remembrances of Pakistani food and hospitality reminds me of friendship with a Persian woman years ago. Enjoyed excellent meals with her hubby and friends at their home ~

      Have you ever tasted tahdig?

      Tahdig is a crusty rice that appeared slightly burnt to my Western eyes back then HOWEVER it tastes anything but. DELICIOUS! ~ we ate a lot of it with I don’t know how many different spices!