Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2021

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 29 of 123

NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 28 JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2021 Karimah's K itchen brings authentic Middle Eastern dishes to the North Shore. BY JEANNE O'BRIEN COFFEY FRESH FLAVORS E AT + D R I N K Karimah Omar Nabulsi brings a taste of the Middle East to New England. When made correctly, falafel is a revelation. The ingredients—just rehydrated dried chickpeas and a combination of fresh herbs—harmonize in deep-fried crispy perfection outside while staying moist, tender, and light on the inside. Traditionally gluten-free and vegan, the real deal has never contained flour or eggs. Unlike today, when you may find all kinds of fillers. "I don't know why anyone would put eggs in falafel," says Karimah Omar Nabulsi, owner of Karimah's Kitchen, a prepared food company in Kensington, New Hampshire, that uses fresh local ingredients to make authentic Lebanese food. "Once you add eggs, it's not falafel anymore." Nabulsi, who grew up in Lebanon, has similar disdain for chocolate hummus—and honestly any variation on hummus beyond the traditional blend of chickpeas, garlic, tahini, and lemon. And that has worked out just fine—for more than a decade, customers have come to trust that familiar Middle Eastern foods, like hummus and pita, and not so familiar items, like Arnabeet Tajin—an addictive dip of cauliflower baked in tahini sauce—will be delicious and freshly prepared. Which doesn't mean that people don't occasionally stop by her farmer's market stand, looking for flavored hummus or other less-than-authentic products. But through patient conversations over the years, Nabulsi and her staff have successfully broadened horizons. "My biggest advertisement is that direct connection with the customers," Nabulsi says, noting that she is always happy to take the time to explain each of her dozen or so prepared dips and salads. Before the pandemic, that also involved allowing folks to taste anything they'd like. "Even people who have never tried Middle Eastern food before, when they hear how the dish is made and what's in it, they take the risk and try it. And that's where they fall in love." Of course, it helps that all of Nabulsi's foods are prepared fresh, using local ingredients wherever available. In her kitchen, housed at the Farm at Eastman's Corner, she can be found daily with her small staff, chopping tomatoes and PHOTOGRAPH BY RACHAEL KLOSS

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