Hummus

(Chickpeas Dip)

In Arabic language the word “Hummus” is used to describe the dish or just chickpeas by themselves. The full name of the dish is ‘chickpeas with tahini’. Hummus is the most popular dip throughout the Middle Eastern world, but its origins are unknown and highly debated throughout the Middle East.

Hummus contains large amounts of the nutrients iron, vitamin c, and is a good source of protein and dietary fiber, and depending upon the recipe, it contains various amounts of monounsaturated fat. The Hummus with pita bread provide all essential amino acids to our bodies.

Hummus can be eaten in many ways throughtout the middle east.  It can be garnished with parsley, paprika, cumin (in Egypt), pine nuts (in Palestinian), tomatoes, cucumber, pickled turnips (in Lebanon), thinly-sliced onions, or with whole chickpeas over the top before drizzling with olive oil. Hummus is best eaten with warm pita bread, on fresh bagel, or with crackers.

Ingredients: 

  • 8-oz. can chick peas (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 4 tbsp tahini paste (sesame paste)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 black olive, chopped parsley, and paprika to garnish

  Method: 

  • Place the chick peas into a strainer, and drain the liquid.
  • Mix together tahini paste, garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Blend the chick peas to a smooth puree.
  • Then, add the tahini paste mix to the chick peas.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil through the lid.
  • Add the ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Blend to mix, and scrape the hummus into a bowl.
  • Drizzle over some olive oil.
  • Garnish with reserved chickpeas, black olive, chopped parsley, and paprika.

 

Baba Ganoosh

(Aubergine, Baba Ganoosh or Eggplant Dip).

Aubergines with sesame paste dip is very popular in the Middle East. This dip is also served as a salad and eaten with crackers or pita bread. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tbsp. tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley and paprika to garnish

Method: 

  • Prick eggplant all over with a fork.
  • Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until soft.
  • When ready to handle, peel the skin off.
  • Place the eggplant in the blender and add garlic, lemon juice, and parsley.
  • Blend until coarsely chopped.
  • Then add the tahini paste gradually, and beating all the time.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Blend until all the ingredients to form a smooth paste.
  • This mixture should be quite sour.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until served.
  • Garnish with parsley and paprika, and serve with pita bread.

 

Chinese Radish Salad

(Radish Salad)

Radishes are the vegetables, with a smooth crisp bite and a clean, fresh taste. A unique radish of Chinese origin is called “Shinrimei”. It is a ball-shaped radish, 4 inches in diameter, has deep green shoulder on white skin and bright red flesh. Shinrimei (Shin-Ri-Mei, in Chinese)means “Beauty-In-The-Heart”.  The name reflect the beautiful red flesh of this radish. This variety is also called Roseheart Radish or Watermelon Radish, in the West. Flesh is crispy with mild and sweet flavor, excellent for salad, garnish and cooking.

 This variety grows best in cool climates, suitable for fall/winter crops. They’re also quite good for your health. It has a full of vitamin B6, ascorbic acid, folic acid, copper, calcium, riboflavin, magnesium, and potassium. Radhishes should be stored in the refrigerator and are best if used within two weeks.

Ingredients: 

  • 10 radishes sliced very thin (ends trimmed)
  • 1 small green pepper finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Method: 

  • Combine the radishes and green pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In a cup, mix vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add this mix to the vegetables, and mix well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and leaf spinach, and serve.

(Keywords:salads,salad)

 

 

Tabbouleh (Lebanese Salad)

(Tabbouleh)

The king of Lebanese salad is the tabbouleh. This classical Lebanese salad carries several names like wheat garden salad, parsley salad and cracked wheat salad.

The ingredients for salad must be as fresh as possible. No meal is complete without a platter of crisp salad vegetables. This is a well-known Middle Eastern salad. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup fine bulgar wheat
  • 2 large bunches of fresh parsley washed and dried
  • 10 spring onions (scallions)
  • ½ bunch fresh mint (or 2 tbsp dried mint)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (or more) olive or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with a few black olives

Method: 

  • Soak wheat in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until swollen and tender.
  • Squeeze wheat dry by pressing between palms of hands to remove any excess water. (The wheat will swell to double its original size.)
  • Place the wheat in a bowl.
  • Finely chop the parsley (remove thick stalk), mint, onions and tomatoes.
  • Add wheat, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Spoon the tabbouleh on to a shallow serving dish.
  • Garnish with a few black olives.
  • Serve with fresh lettuce leaves (used as scoops).
  • Serves for 6.

(Keywords: tabouli, tabooli, tabooly, tabouly, parsley salad.)

Red Cabbage Salad

(Salatit El Malfouf)

This is the tasty salad from Middle Eastern origin. The main ingredient of this salad is cabbage and it should be washed well and dried, and served fresh and crisp. This is one of the healthy salad recipe. 

Ingredients for salad: 

  • 1 small red cabbage or green cabbage
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 tsp. salt

Ingredients for dressing: 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 glove garlic crushed
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Method: 

  • Remove tough outer leaves of the red cabbage.
  • Finely shred the cabbage leaves and sprinkle some salt.
  • Let it stand for half an hour.
  • Then, squeeze the leaves to remove moisture and place them in a serving bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice according to taste.
  • Serve on a salad plate.
  • Garnish with tomato pieces.
  • Serves for 6.

(Keywords: cabbage salad, red cabbage salad, green cabbage salad.)

 

Fattoush (Peasant Salad)

(Peasant Salad)

The name Fattoush is derived from the Arabic word and is often pronounced ‘fadash’. It is one of the most popular salads in Lebanon. One of the great advantages about Fattoush is that can use a variety of vegetables according to taste preferences. The vegetables are cut into relatively large pieces compared to Tabbouleh. 

Ingredients for salads: 

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup toasted pita bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 small green pepper (capsicum), chopped
  • 2 small cucumbers peeled and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup chopped spring onions
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint (1 tbsp dried mint)
  • 1 tbsp sumac (optional)

Ingredients for dressing: 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 glove crushed garlic

Method: 

  • Place all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl and toss well.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice according to taste.
  • Serve on a salad plate.
  • Serves for 6.

(Keywords: fattoosh, fatoush, fatoosh, fatush )

Rasmalai

(Cheese Balls In Milk Syrup)

Rasmalai is a famous Indian and Pakistani dessert and found in the Indian subcontinent consisting of sugary, cream to yellow-colored balls . This popular sweet is made of home-made fresh cottage or ricotta cheese soaked in sweetened, thickened creamy milk and garnished with pistachios, almonds and rosewater.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 ½ lb. ricotta cheese
  • 2 quarts half and half
  • 2 cups sugar (or acc. to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. rose water
  • 2 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbsp. chopped almonds

Method: 

  • Place the ricotta cheese into a strainer until all the water is gone.
  • Then, put the cheese into a bowl and knead very well.
  • Make about 40 small round balls.
  • Put the balls on paper towel. Set aside.
  • Combine half and half and sugar in a sauce pan, and heat for it to boil.
  • After the first boil, put the balls into the pan very gently.
  • Heat over a medium flame until another boil comes.
  • During this time do not touch the balls.
  • It will take about 40-45 minutes to boil.
  • When it comes to boil remove the pan from heat and let it cool.
  • Add rose water.
  • Put the balls carefully into a serving bowl and pour liquid over it.
  • Garnish with pistachios and almonds.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours and then serve.
Carrot Halwa

(Gajar Ka Halwa) 

 Carrot Halwa is a traditionally a Punjabi dish made with purple carrots. Purple carrots have almost disappeared from India, so we use regular carrots (orange one) to replace purple carrots.

Orange is not the original color of carrots – purple is! Dutch farmers harvested an orange carrot to match their country’s color. The “traditional” purple variety tastes sweeter, and is especially rich in anthocyanins, which also act as antioxidants. Carrot Halwa is very popular among Indian sweets and it has rich in vitamin A due to the carrot as main ingredient. 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (or according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped almonds or cashews
  • 2 crushed cardamom

Method: 

  • In a sauce pan, combine carrots, milk and melted butter and cook until very soft.
  • Then add sugar, and cardamom.
  • Let simmer until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens.
  • Pour into serving dish.
  • Garnish with almonds or cashews.
  • Serve hot or cold as desired.

(Keywords: Gajar Halwa,Gajar Halva)

Besan Halwa

(Besan Halwa)

Besan Halwa is one of the authentic Indian sweets, it is usually served with main dishes, in an important occasion. Its main ingredients are gram flour, milk, sugar and ghee. Kids love this sweet.

Ingredients:

  •         1 cup besan (gram flour)
  •         1 cup milk
  •         ¾ cup sugar
  •         ½ cup pure ghee
  •         1 tsp. cardamom powder
  •         2 tbsp. finely sliced almonds
  •         2 tbsp. finely sliced pistachios 

Method: 

  • In a sauce pan, heat the ghee and add gram flour to sauté until it turns  golden color and an aroma emanates from it.
  • Then add milk, sugar and cardamom.
  • Keep stirring until the mixture turns thick.
  • Then place it on a serving dish.
  • Garnish with almonds and pistachios.
  • Serve hot.

 (Keywords: bean halwa,gram halwa)

Sooji Halwa

(Semolina Halwa or Suji Ka Halwa) 

This Universal sweet has different names. It is called as Sooji Halwa, Suji Ka Halwa, Semolina Pudding, Semolina Dessert, Rava Kesari and also it is called Sheera in Konkani, Sanja in Marathi and Kesari Bhath in Kannada. Actually the name ‘Halwa’ is an Arabic word, but the art of making it has spread all the way from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bay of Bengal. This dessert is popular in all parts of India, this is sweet is served along with the main meal or serving as a dessert. It can be served either warm or cold.

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup cream of wheat (sooji)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar (or according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp. crushed cardamom
  • pinch of saffron

 Method: 

  • In a sauce pan combine milk, sugar, water and saffron and mix well.
  • Boil this mixture for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid stick it at the bottom of the pan.
  • Then pour into a bowl and let it stand for several minutes.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the cream of wheat over low heat for about 10 minutes or until it became golden brown.
  • Add sugar syrup and cardamom and mix well.
  • Then cook for about 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and remove from the stove.
  • Pour into a serving dish.
  • Garnish with almonds and saffron.
  • Serve warm or cold.

 

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