Poopa Dweck is the poster woman for Syrian Jewish cooking. Her cookbook, Aromas of Aleppo, won a National Jewish Book Award. She gives lectures, does cooking demonstrations on television, and travels the world talking about the food of her ancestors. Dweck even has her own line of condiments, featuring specialties such as quince orange-blossom confit.
But if you really want to see Dweck in her element, you score an invitation to visit her at her home kitchen in a seaside town in New Jersey when she’s got her sleeves up and is elbow deep, once or twice a year, in soaking tamarind. That’s what producer Emma Morgenstern did earlier this spring to find out how to make ou’, the tamarind concentrate that defines so much of Syrian Jewish cooking.
Click here for one of Dweck’s ou’-dependent recipes.