Red almonds decorate Wadi al Dawassir farms

1 / 3
Indian almond trees in the Wadi Al-Dawaser governorate. Visitors to the region can harvest the fruit for free. (SPA)
2 / 3
Harvested Indian almonds in the Wadi Al-Dawaser governorate. (SPA)
3 / 3
Indian almond trees in the Wadi Al-Dawaser governorate. (SPA)
Updated 07 May 2018
0

Red almonds decorate Wadi al Dawassir farms

  • Saudi Arabian farmers plant belts of the 10-meter-high trees to create wind barriers to protect their farms.
  • The fruit is available free to anyone who wants to harvest it from any tree they encounter.

CAIRO: Lovers of Indian almonds are preparing to reap the fruit off trees spread across the Saudi governorate of Wadi al Dawassir, or purchase it from markets that begun selling toward the end of last month.

Prices of the Indian almond, which is also known by several other names, cost between 10-20 Saudi riyals per kilo.

Visitors to the Wadi al Dawassir governorate may encounter the tree anywhere across the region. Saudi Arabian farmers plant belts of the 10-meter-high trees to create wind barriers to protect their farms.

But it soon proved popular among many people in comparison to any other fruit. Farmer Abdullah Nasser Al-Dosari explained that this thorny tree bears its fruit in the middle of Spring season, with big, leathery leaves whose color changes to red before they drop on the ground. It is among trees which bees depend on, providing them with a habitat.

The Indian almond tree is considered the largest tropical tree in the Leadwood tree family and is native to tropical Asia and northern Australia. It is believed to have existed in Wadi al Dawassir with five decades.

Farmer Mohammad Mubarak Al-Dosari said the seed within the fruit is edible when fully ripe. It is available free to anyone who wants to harvest it from any tree they encounter.

Nutritionist Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah said that Indian Almonds are low in calories just like other almonds. Studies say that almonds are rich in oils that are not fully absorbed by the body, which means eating 84 grams of healthy almonds in a diet on a daily basis reduces calories by 5%.


Family favorites: Toto’s famous spaghetti and meatballs soup

Updated 21 May 2018
0

Family favorites: Toto’s famous spaghetti and meatballs soup

This hearty dish is the middle point between spaghetti and meatballs and soup. It is a family favorite in my household, my kids love it and ask for seconds — and thirds sometimes! As any mother of picky eaters knows, this is a dream come true and I promise you, this soup will have your kids slurping from the bowl.

I was first introduced to this delicious meal by my mother-in-law, whom we affectionately call Toto, and ever since then, it’s become known as Toto’s famous spaghetti and meatballs soup in our home.

It is perfect for a satisfying iftar dish, so why not try it today?

 

Ingredients:

Store bought spaghetti (Toto makes hers from scratch. If you can do that, kudos to you, if not just use store bought spaghetti).

Two peeled potatoes cut into large cubes.

Half-a-pound of minced meat.

One onion, chopped finely.

Six ripe tomatoes and two  tablespoons of tomato paste.

Five garlic cloves, crushed.

A handful of chopped coriander leaves.

 

 Method:

Combine the tomatoes and tomato paste with one liter of water in a blender, with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture into a big pot on the stovetop and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to let it simmer.  

In a separate bowl, add the minced meat, onions and garlic, with a dash of salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated and roll into small meatballs.

Cook the meatballs through in a sizzling, oiled pan. Transfer the meatballs into the pot with the simmering tomato soup.

Add the peeled potatoes that have been cut into chunks into the soup.

Let it cook for 10 minutes and add the spaghetti. Continue to cook the dish until the spaghetti is al dente and serve with a garnish of freshly chopped coriander leaves.