This post is a few days late but the winter hasn't even started properly and I am sure we will have many more cold days to come to enjoy this drink. For those outside the UK and don't know what I am talking about, we spent last week in knee-deep snow.

To many people, Syria is this Middle Eastern extremely hot place. While true at the height of summer winter is a complete different story. It comes sometimes as a great surprise when I tell people that we have snow in Syria, a fair bit of it on occasions. I think we get more snow in Damascus than we do in London. There is a difference though, we enjoy it a lot more back home.

Snow days in Damascus have their own great tradition. No sound minded child will go to school on a snow day. Children, teenagers and even university students will get their heavy jackets and gloves and head straight for snow fights. Syrian TV will stop its scheduled programs and broadcast live pictures from the city. Talj Talj (snow snow) song from Damascus favourite singer, Fairuz, playing repeatedly on TV to accompany pictures of snow covered streets and children posing with dodgy looking snowmen.

Winter season has of course its food tradition. In our household after a day of snow fight we always returned to hot warming bowel of Keshkeh. Other winter classics includes Tahini Pumpkin and Kebbeh Labnyeh. Few drinks do qualify for a winter drink category but Damascenes warm to one drink more than others, Kammun.

Kammun is the Arabic origin of the word cumin. It is the name of the spice and the name of the drink made with cumin. The drink is a favourite in a cold winter night. Although people make the drink at home it is most commonly consumed in cafes.

Here is hot to make a nice warm cup of Kammun:

Water 200mls
Ground Cumin 1tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp (add more or less according to taste)

In a pot, add the water, cumin and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for few minutes. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon.


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Zora said...

Will try this--sounds great! And thanks for the Fairouz song too!

tasteofbeirut said...

I have never had this drink! Thrilled to learned more Damascene culinary customs.

Julia said...

I've never heard of this before - interesting. might have to give it a try. Sounds like the Syrians have more sense than the British when it comes to snow. Snow should be fun! :)

Pity said...

this surely is great for these cold days! must give it a try! thanks!

Anonymous said...

how nice and interesting... and how young looks Fairouz in this video... really a pleasure to read your blog :-)

Kano said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by!

I am having very little chance to write and when I see you guys coming back, reading and leaving comments it fills my heart with happiness.

Gosia said...

I'm interested Arabic culture, your blog is wonderful. Thanks

Kano said...

Welcome to my blog. I am really glad you like it. I will check yours.

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