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By Kiran Ansari
Warm apple pie or a spicy chicken stew, a hearty soup
or piping hot haleem ( a slow cooked, spicy meat and
grain dish popular in South Asia), regardless of when
or where you grew up, chances are your comfort food
of choice elicits those warm, fuzzy feelings as when
you first ate them. Comfort foods trigger fond memo-
ries, peppered with bouts of nostalgia. For many, it is
what their mother or grandmother made for them as
children. With families increasingly living in countries
other than where they were raised, it is comfort food
that connects them with a taste of home.
Cooking comfort foods can become even more interesting
when two cultures come together through marriage. Cjala
Surrat’s winter comfort food is hot Dutch Apple Pie with
Vanilla Bean ice cream on top. “Now let me be clear, not any
old apple pie with a plain crust on top,” Surrat explained.
“Dutch Apple pie has a brown sugar, butter and cinnamon
crumple topping. Dutch apple pie really is perfect for a cliché
winter postcard moment.”
In contrast, her husband, Emad Abdul Rahim’s winter com-
fort food is a traditional Cambodian beef or chicken stew
called
kutiev
(ca-tee-you). “Growing up, we knew that family
was coming when kuytiev preparations began,” Abdul Rahim
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