Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Babaghanouge/Muttabal (Eggplant dip with sesame sauce)

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

3 large eggplant
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 fl oz tahina (sesame seed) paste
the juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon olive oil
garnish: 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
              a few black olives
            powdered chili
Make 2 or 3 slits in each eggplant then cook over charcoal, under a hot grill or in a hot oven until the skins are black and the flesh feels soft when poked with a finger. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, scraping off and reserving any flesh which comes away with it. Put the flesh into a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add the garlic and salt and continue to mash or pound the mixture until it is reduced to a pulp. Add the tahina and lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Spoon the mixture onto a large plate and smooth it. Pour the olive oil over the top and garnish with the parsley, black olives and chili powder.
 

 

Mahlebieh (Rice Pudding)

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

4 oz ground rice 

2 level tablespoons cornflour 

2 pints milk 

8 tablespoons sugar 

2 tablespoons orange blossom water or rosewater or a mixture of the two (optional) 

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg 

4 oz ground almonds 

garnish: 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped 

In a large bowl, mix together the ground rice and cornflour. Add about 10 tablespoons of the cold milk and stir until you have a smooth paste. 

Bring the rest of the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Slowly pour the hot milk onto the rice paste, stirring constantly, watching out for lumps. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Stir in the orange blossom water (or rosewater) and the nutmeg and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds. Pour into a serving bowl, leave to cool and then place in the refrigerator to chill. Before serving decorate with the pistachio nuts. 

Tabouleh

Friday, January 25th, 2008

5 bundles of parsley; soaked, rinsed, and leaves removed from the stems and chopped
8 oz of burghul
1 tomato, chopped
small head white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh (or dry) mint
salt, lemon, and olive oil to taste
Soak the burghul in cold water until it becomes soft. Drain and squeeze out any excess water. Put the tomato, onion, parsley and mint into the bowl and mix thoroughly with the burghul. Stir in the salt, lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Mix well together. Leave for 15 minutes and then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

You can’t say NO to food

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Big Guy Food is huge in the Middle Eastern culture, and is one of the most important ways to express hospitality and generosity.  When you are invited to an Arab’s home, you will be served a variety of dishes & drinks.  If your host is generous, then expect the amount of food to be enough to feed a small army :-)  If at any point you stop eating, you will be offered more of everything that you had and a portion of the dish that you missed.  Even if you decline something, your host will offer it to you again & again until you accept (unless, of course, you give a health reason like diabetes OR you decline three consecutive times).