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Lifestyle : Focus on the Middle East 2011
1HERSA1 E018 *Selected departure dates only. Savings are based on land & air packages ying with Singapore Airlines. Bookings and deposits must be received by 31st August 2011. All prices shown are per person based on twin share. Single rooms are available at a supplement, check our website for details. Prices are correct at time of print but are subject to change. Note air supplement may apply depending on airline availability. Lic No TTA 149 286 Bunnik Travel Pty Ltd 1300 664 170 bunniktours.com.au ASIA • INDIA & THE SUBCONTINENT • EUROPE • MIDDLE EAST • AFRICA • THE AMERICAS Destinations Visited Cairo - Pyramids - Aswan - Abu Simbel - Edfu Kom Ombo - Luxor - Valley of the Kings Amman - Jerash - Dead Sea - Petra - Wadi Rum Destinations Visited Cairo - Pyramids - Aswan - Valley of the Kings Sphinx - Abu Simbel - Kom Ombo - Edfu Luxor - Karnak Destinations Visited Cairo - Pyramids - Sphinx - Valley of the Kings Luxor - Edfu Kom Ombo - Abu Simbel Aswan - Alexandria - El Alamein Your Holiday Includes Return economy class ights from Australia • to Egypt 2 domestic economy class ights in Egypt • Pre-paid tips - $160pp • 10 nights in luxury hotels (4-5 star) • 4 nights on board a luxury Nile cruise ship • (5 star Egyptian standard) in an outside cabin including all meals Expert Egyptologist guides • Visit the awe-inspiring Great Pyramids of Giza • Visit the world famous Egyptian Museum • Explore the impressive Valley of the Kings • See the stunning temples of Abu Simbel • Your Holiday Includes Return economy class ights from Australia • to Egypt 5 nights in luxury hotels (4-5 star) • Enjoy a 3-night luxury Nile Cruise • Expert Egyptologist guides • Visit all Egypt's must-see sights • Your Holiday Includes Economy class ights between Australia, • Egypt and Jordan 16 nights in good quality hotels (4-5 star) • Enjoy a 4-night luxury Nile Cruise • Visit all Egypt's must-see sights • Visit the incredible lost city of Petra • Egypt on Sale Explore Egypt with Bunnik Tours, sharing our passion for travel. You'll love our unique itineraries, travelling in the comfort of a small group and visiting all the must see sights. See bunniktours.com.au for our full itineraries, inclusions and departure dates! Egypt in Depth Egypt & Jordan in Depth from $4,218pp now 12 day tour 24 day tour from $7,353pp now Discover the Pharaohs Various departures available between now and March 2012 SAVE $500 PER PERSON* SAVE $500 PER PERSON* SAVE $400 PER PERSON* Airfares included! Airfares included! from $4,893pp now 17 day tour Airfares included! 18 Tuesday, August 30, 2011 smh.com.au good living focus on the middle east special report Art of sourcing ingredients Sweet success . . . Nadia and Russoul Sajadi at their store, Bahar Persian Food and Art. Photo: Tamara Dean A network of suppliers stocks shelves with rice, raisins and rose water, writes Carli Ratcliff. R ussoul and Nadia Sajadi have been behind the counter at Bahar Persian Food and Art in Ryde for 13 years. In exile from their native Iran, they arrived in Sydney in 1988, airlifted from Rome by the Australian government as part of its immigration program at the time. Since then, they have built a successful retail and wholesale business specialising in Persian ingredients. Customers come for the essentials of Persian cuisine, including rice and key hard-to-find ingredients, dried barberries and green raisins from Afghanistan. They also come for sweet treats. ''Sweets are an important part of Persian celebrations and festivals,'' Russoul says. Gaz (nougat) is highly sought- after. It is made using the resin of the angebin plant, which grows at the foot of the Zagros Mountains near the city of Isfahan. The resin is mixed with pistachios, almonds, saffron and rose water. Sowhan -- pistachio brittle scented with cardamom and saffron -- which Russoul says is ''one of the world's oldest sweets'' -- is also popular. Even with a long career in food wholesale and an extensive network of suppliers, there are times when getting ingredients out of Iran is slow and difficult. ''From time to time international sanctions and restrictions slow things down,'' Russoul says. ''But we are pretty lucky; some of our best 'Persian' ingredients are now produced in neighbouring countries.'' Russoul points to basmati rice, grown in India and now used the world over. ''Indian basmati is aged for two to three years, just as Persian rice, grown in the north of Iran, is. It has a distinct aroma and is wonderfully fluffy when cooked,'' he says. At Oriental and Continental Foods in Artarmon, Amanda Sayed also does swift trade in rice. Sayed is now at the helm of the retail/ wholesale enterprise, begun by her parents, Bahige and Fatima, 30 years ago. Sacks of basmati sit by the door. Sayed imports and roasts nuts and makes spice blends including dukkah and za'atar. Her shop is especially appealing to home bakers. Large bags of dried fruit, including figs and cranberries, sit beside kilogram bags of almond meal, Callebaut chocolate and bottles of rose water. At the Nut Roaster in Lakemba, aisles of freshly roasted nuts and bags of dried beans neighbour an aisle of sweets. Stuffed dates and sugar-coated chickpeas are on offer, so too jars of orange-blossom honey, studded with hulled sesame seeds. Useful, the label advises, ''in cases of sexual deficiency''. At SeaSweet Patisserie in Parramatta's busy Church Street, sweets including baklava and knefe fill the counter. The company, established in Lebanon in 1973, set up shop in Parramatta in 2008. Boxes of biscuits and pastries walk out the door in the arms of customers keen to bestow sweet gifts. Couples sit in, sharing desserts made from mascarpone- like kashta, made by skimming the thickest part of the cream from the whey. Osmalieh kashta -- layered with kataifi pastry and dressed with rose syrup -- is a popular choice.
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