Thursday, August 29, 2013

Maglooba, A dish meant to eat upside down

A wonderful dish eaten in most of the Arab world made of mixed vegetables, chicken & rice, served inverted on a large platter - and shared by all.


2   Tablespoons (T) virgin olive oil
2   Teaspoons (t) salt
1.5 Cups of rice *
3   Cups of boiling water
1   Large eggplant
1   Cup of Grape Seed Oil or Virgin Olive Oil **
2   Cups of sliced zucchini (green coosa)
.5  Pound of lamb meat, no bones
.5  Pound of chicken, boneless and boiled
1.5 Sticks of unsalted butter
1  Tablespoon salt
1   teaspoon pepper

* About rice:  - Uncle Ben's converted rice is nice and firm for this, however a basmati or any long grain rice will work well
** About oil - Grape seed oil is great for high heat cooking, such as a quick fry - or making samboosa 


Heat the 2 T olive oil in a large heavy saucepan with the 2t salt. When the oil is hot, stir in the rice and saute until the rice becomes fragrant and golden in color. Now - pour in the boiling water and cook the rice, covered over a low heat until all the later has been absorbed. Set aside.

Peel the eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Saute the slices in 1 cup of the oil by adding a few slices at a time. Make the slices golden on both sides, adding oil as needed. When done, drain on paper towels or cotton kitchen towels. 
Treat the zucchini as the eggplant, adding the slices to the oil and frying until golden.  Remove and drain. 

Cut the lamb into 2 inch pieces, and brown in the remaining oil. 
Cut the lamb into 2 inch pieces

Preparing the pot

Cut half of the butter into small pieces and put it on the bottom of a large heatproof dish. Mix the 1t salt and 1t pepper into the rice. Layer the bottom of the dish with a small amount of rice, make sure the bottom is covered. 
Next - begin the layering of the vegetables and lamb by arranging a layer of 1/3 of the zucchini and eggplant over the rice, adding another layer of rice, then add half of the lamb, covered with another 1/3 of the zucchini eggplant mixture. 
Add another layer of rice.
Add the remaining chicken and another layer of rice
Layer the remaining zucchini-eggplant mixture, and cover the vegetables with the remaining lamb. 
Cover this all with the remaining rice. 
Dot with the remaining butter and sprinkle 1/2 cup of water over it all. 

Cover the casserole with a lid or aluminum foil and cook on top of the stove over low heat only until all of the ingredients are hot. 

This meal serves six to eight grateful people.

Turkish Baharat

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground mint
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pinch of ground cinnamon

Khaleegi Baharat

This spice mixed is used in Dishes of the Khaleeg, the Eastern part of Saudia

1 tablespoon red pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoon ground (dried/black lime or lemon)
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon kolengan

Jeddawi Baharat

Jeddah, KSA 2011


Used in Kabsa, Adam Dishes and more

2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
6-1/2 teaspoons paprika
4-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mahallabiyya - Queen of the Rice Puddings

    Mahallabiyya - Rice Pudding with Pistachios and Rose Water- MILK RICE PUDDING

    Easy Mahalabiya (Milk pudding) recipe. Mahalabiya, mahalabia, muhalabia or mahallabiyya is a favorite desserts dish both in summer and winter, especially liked by children. In the Middle East the rice may be purchased already pulverized. It could also be pulverized at home with a mortar and pestle or in an electric blender ( use the spice grinder unit to gring egyptian rice )

    1 qt. milk
    1/4 cup pounded rice
    3/4 cup water
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon ma'ez zahr (orange blossom essence)
    1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds and skinned pistachio nuts
    Mix rice with water and add to milk which has been brought to a boil.
    Stir and cook until thickened and then add sugar.
    Continue cooking and stirring until mixture coats the spoon.
    Add flavorings and boil a few minutes longer.
    Pour into individual serving dishes and decorate with chopped nuts.

Basbousa with Semoline and Lemon Syrup

  1. Syrup Ingredients
  2. 2 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 1 1/2 cups water
  4. juice from 1 lemon (or 2 tablespoons orange juice)
  5. 1 teaspoon honey(optional)
  6. ------------------------------------
  7. Cake Ingredients
  8. 2 cups semolina
  9. 1 cup sugar
  10. 1 stick butter, softened
  11. 1 cup whole milk
  12. 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  14. 1 tablespoon baking soda
  15. 2 eggs
  16. blanched split almonds
  17. whipped cream (optional)

  18. Preparation:
    Prepare syrup first. Dissolve sugar in water in a medium saucepan. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil. Once the syrup begins to boil, add in honey. Reduce heat and allow to slowly boil for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x12 baking dish.

    Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla.

    In a separate bowl, combine semolina, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly add to butter and egg mixture. Stir in milk.

    Pour mixture into baking dish and smooth with spoon.

    Take a butter knife and make diagonal lines from left to right and complete to make diamond shapes. Place an almond in the center of each diamond. Bake for 25 minutes.

Kunafa - Heaven of Desserts


    cups sugar
    cups water
    tablespoon lemon juice
    tablespoons orange blossom water
    Cream filling:

    cup rice flour
    cups milk
    cup heavy cream
    tablespoons sugar

    pound Kataifi pastry, defrosted
    sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter, melted

    cup pistachios, chopped

    1. Syrup: In a small saucepan on high heat add water, sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil then reduce to low, cook for 5 minutes. Cook until thick, like a syrup (if it becomes to thick add a small amount of water). Add orange blossom water, cool then chill.
    2. In a medium saucepan on high heat, add milk. Have a whisk and gently pour rice flour into milk, whisk vigorously until there are no lumps what so ever. Add cream, mix well. Reduce heat to low and allow simmering 10 minutes, whisking through out every minute. Add sugar, set aside.
    3. In an extra large bowl, add Kataifi pastry, breaking all strings apart with hands. Add melted butter over pastry mixing well with hands, until covered. In an 11-12 inch pie pan, add half of Kataifi pastry, press down. Add cream filling, smoothing out then add other half of Kataifi pastry, press down. Bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 45 minutes.
    4. Take a sharp knife and run along pastry sides. Cover pan with plate and gently flip. Pour half of sugar syrup over pastry; reserve other half to serve at table. Garnish with pistachios.

Kabsa - Jeddawi Style

    Kabsa, in Arabic it is called "كبسة" is a family of rice dishes that are served mostly in Saudi Arabia, and the other Arab states of the Arabian Gulf. Chicken kabsa recipe is one of the most popular dishes in Saudi Arabia. It is considered a staple. There are various methods to prepare Saudi kabsa. Let's try two wonderful methods:

    Saudi Kabsa Recipe I

  1. 1 2/12 - 3 pound chicken, cut into eight pieces
  2. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  3. 2 medium onions, sliced
  4. 1 (12 ounce) can tomato puree
  5. 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  6. 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  7. 2 medium carrots, grated
  8. Grated rind of one orange
  9. 4 cloves
  10. 4 cardamom pods
  11. 3 sticks cinnamon
  12. Sale and pepper to taste
  13. 1 pound long grain rice
  14. 1/4 cup raisins
  15. 1/4 cup sliced almonds

  16. Preparation:

  17. Sautee onion in oil until it begins to brown. Add chicken pieces, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and garlic and stir for about five minutes over low heat. Stir in three cups hot water, grated carrot, orange rind, spices, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, covered, about 20-25 minutes, until chicken is done.
  18. Remove chicken. Set aside to keep warm. Stir rice into the liquid in the pan, and cook, covered over low heat for about 35 - 40 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  19. Put rice on a serving platter with chicken pieces arranged around the circumfrence. Toss raisins and almonds over all.
  20. Serves: 6

    Saudi Kabsa Recipe II


  21. 1 roasting chicken, small one for 2 people and large one for 4 people
  22. 2 bay leaves
  23. 1 maggie chicken bouillon cube
  24. 1 diced onion
  25. 2 chopped garlic cloves
  26. 6 cardamoms
  27. 5 cloves
  28. 2 cinnamon sticks
  29. 2 dried lemons
  30. 1 teaspoon cumin
  31. 1 teaspoon coriander
  32. salt & pepper
  33. 1 teaspoon ginger
  34. 1 teaspoon cardamom
  35. 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  36. 4 hard-boiled eggs
  37. pine nuts, and raisins, for flavor

  38. Preparation:
  39. PLEASE note, when cooking with basmati rice you always have to soak in water first or it will not cook well, for at least 15 mins!
  40. In a stockpot add your onions and garlic on medium and let brown. Then add all of your *spices. Stir in tomato sauce on med heat until sauce thickens.
  41. Then add you chicken into the sauce. I let it sauté for a few minutes on med heat still. Rotate your chicken so it gets all the flavors. After this add your maggie and water. Add water so it covers your chicken this is usually between half and full that I do.
  42. Now let your chicken cook like this for about 35 minutes. The first few minutes let it cook on boil them turn the heat down to medium for the rest of time.
  43. Meanwhile get another pot the same size and put your basmati in it. I use about 4 teacups full (the Arabic tea cup) then add some vegetable oil or ghee. Not too much but not to less. Then just set your rice aside until after your chicken has cooked.
  44. Now after your chicken has cooked for 35 minutes you will turn your oven on broil. Put the chicken in a roasting pan. I add the dried lemons to it. You have to watch it because it only takes a minute on so on broil. It will get crispy and blacken a bit but this is how it is supposed to be.
  45. Do not throw your broth away that you cooked your chicken in because we will use this to cook the rice.
  46. Add the broth spices and all to your rice (just let it cover the rice and some extra) then just throw the rest away. Cook rice covered for 8 minutes then uncover stirring and cook for another 8 minutes. Make sure you left your sticks and all in the rice this makes it tasty.
  47. Now on a serving platter put your rice, then lay your chicken on top, add boiled eggs around the chicken and sprinkle nuts and raisins. You now have the best Saudi Kabsa there is.

Old Fashioned Falafel like your Grandmother Used to Make

    Learn how to make the best authentic falafel balls. A very filling vegetarian recipe, perfect as a starter, main course or just a snack.

    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: Max 1 hour and 45 minutes; adjust according to ingredients used.

    Falafel Balls Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  4. 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon coriander
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin
  7. 2 tablespoons flour
  8. Salt
  9. Pepper
  10. Oil for frying

  11. Falafel Balls Preparation:

  12. Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans.
  13. Drain chickpeas, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.
  14. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour.
  15. Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  16. Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour.
  17. Mash chickpeas, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.
  18. Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.
  19. Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).
  20. Serve hot 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Batinjaan Mahshi with Ground Lamb

  • 20 small cylindrical eggplant
  • 1-1/2 cups minced lamb or beef
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup minced onions
  • 1-1/4 tsp. 
  • Salt-1/2 tsp. 
  • Pepper-to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh tomato juice, or diluted tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup (or more) samneh, (or other shortening)

Clean eggplant and trim stems to about half an inch. Do not remove hulls. Partially peel, leaving lengthwise strips of alternating peel and flesh. Fry eggplant until soft in hot samneh. Drain into shallow baking pan or pyrex baking dish. Fry chopped onions in samneh until yellow. Add meat, pine nuts, salt and pepper and fry until meat is well done.

Slit each eggplant lengthwise to form a pocket. Gently press several spoonfuls of stuffing into the slits. Cover with tomato juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Simmer on top of stove 15 minutes and then bake 15 minutes in hot oven to brown the tops. Serve hot in the baking dish. Good with Lebanese rice.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bint Al Sah'n

Bint al Sah'n - "the concubine"

400 degrees F. 20 minutes

 Serve with Natural Uncooked HONEY.

One of my favorites, learned from the Yemeni side of the family - and my blessed mother-in-law.

1) 1 tsp of yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water2) 4 eggs3) 3 cups of white flour sifted before use4) 1/4 cup of water (in addition to the 1/4 of cup in which you have dissolved the yeast)5) 1 tsp salt6) 1/4 cup of melted butter(or ghee if you have some at hand)

In a bowl hand whisk the eggs, add the salt, water, yeast mixture and whisk well. Slowly add the flour and knead into a dough. Slowly pour the melted better and continue kneading until all the butter is incorporated. You can use a mixer for this, but we usually knead it by hand.
The dough takes on a yellowy color from the eggs and the butter!

Divide into 16 balls of equal size and cover so they do not dry up ( REMEMBER to flour the plate you put them on, so they do not stick to the plate). Let rise for about 20 min. You can use a rolling pin and start opening up each circle as big as you can–each one has to be so thin that you can literally see through it. Our yemeni mothers and sisters do this by hand. I continue with my hand here, tossing it from one hand to the other. BE CAREFUL it does not break! It will be VERY thin, almost see through.

With a spoon sprinkle some melted butter onto a round metal oven dish (about 14 inch in diameter). Then place the first layer onto the butter–make sure the edges stick to the oven dish. Sprinkle more butter on this layer and repeat the process of opening up the balls of dough–basically repeat the previous three steps–until you get the to last one. Don’t sprinkle the top of this layer with butter, but rather brush it with some egg yolk and sprinkle some black seeds on it.Place in the preheated oven about 20 minutes, until it rises and browns on the top.