Saturday, September 29, 2012


Ferakh bil Hummus

This is a tasty and easy entrée, something with which to impress your family and friends in the art of Middle Eastern Cooking. Chickpeas are synonymous with Arab cooking and their pleasures have even been recounted in the art of the Arab poet.

"You can talk of your many vegetables from Morocco to Cathay,
And talk of all the tasty food the kitchen smells betray,
But if you’ve never tasted chickpeas, you’ve nothing else to say,
For this delicious legume rules supreme from Cairo to Bombay."

* 4 tablespoons butter

* 3-5 lbs. Chicken pieces, trimmed of fat and cut into serving size pieces

* (I happened to have chicken breasts in my refrigerator)

* 2 medium onions, chopped

* 4 cloves garlic, crushed

* ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

* 1 can chickpeas (19 oz or 540 ml)

* 1 ½ - 2 cups water (I added 2 chicken bouillon cubes)

* 3 tablespoons tomato paste

* ½ teaspoon allspice

* ¼ teaspoon chili powder

* Salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, sauté’ the chicken pieces in the butter over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Be sure to turn them several times, making sure that they brown evenly.

Remove the chicken pieces from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions and stir-fry until they begin to brown. Add the garlic and coriander leaves and stir-fry again, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, including the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are well cooked. Serve hot over rice.

Serves 6 to 8.

Friday, September 28, 2012



With the rich flavors of the Mediterranean in this dish, you can imagine yourself sitting al fresco along the corniche in Alexandria, watching the boats in the harbor, as you enjoy this tasty dish!



*      1 large chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skinned, about 5 pounds ( or 5 pounds of skinless, bone-in chicken breasts  if you prefer all white meat)


*      1 Tb. olive oil


*      2 large onions, finely chopped


*      2-3 garlic cloves, mashed


*      2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (roma tomatoes are good for this)


*      1/2 c. chicken stock


*      1 Tb. vinegar


*      3 whole cloves


*      2 bay leaves


*      pinch paprika


*      pinch cinnamon


*      1 lb. pasta noodles, such as macaroni or other shaped pasta


*      1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesean


*      salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

-Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot and brown the chicken in batches, over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set aside.

-Add the onions and garlic and saute', stirring occasionally or until softened.

-Add 1 2/3 c. water, tomatoes, stock, vinegar, cloves, bay leaves, paprika and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Add chicken, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear, about 45 minutes.

-Remove the chicken and keep warm. Remove the bay leaves and cloves from the sauce and discard. Skim the fat from the sauce and set sauce aside.
-Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain and stir into the sauce and heat through.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve pasta with grated parmesan and with the chicken.
Serves 8.

Thursday, September 27, 2012





This marinade is delicious on chicken breasts and on chicken legs and quarters, or whole butterflied chickens. Wash the chicken well by scrubbing it with salt or flour. Soak your chickens in either salt water or buttermilk over night to draw out unwanted fluids and to tenderize the meat. After soaking, marinate the chicken as directed.



* 1/2 cup olive oil

* 2 tablespoons ground cumin

* 1 tablespoon ground coriander

* 1 onion, grated

* 3 cloves garlic, finely minced

* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.



If using boneless chicken pieces, cut into 1-in cubes and place in a shallow non-aluminum container, or plastic zip top bag. You may use cut up chicken pieces also.
Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and pour over the chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can marinate for up to 48 hours if properly refrigerated.
Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. While the meat is warming to room temp., prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat your oven broiler (griller) Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade.
If using chicken cubes, thread on to skewers. Place the skewers or butterfield or halved birds on the grill rack or a broilerpan and grill or broil until cooked through, basting with reserved marinade while cooking. (use a kitchen brush or spoon).
Cooking time will depend upon the size of the poultry pieces; But DO NOT LET THE MEAT BECOME DRY. Watch the meat carefully. It may only take 1 hour for breast pieces and less for bonier pieces. Serve the broiled/grilled chicken with pita bread & lemon wedges.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012




2 lbs. stewing lamb or beef, cut into one-inch cubes.
2 onion(s), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
1 cup(s) peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
1 cup(s) stock (beef) or water, or as needed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs. okra
juice of 1 lemon




Note Okra must be cooked so that its slimy texture is eliminated. The Greeks have the best technique for achieving this. Trim the conical tops with a sharp knife, then soak the okra in red wine-vinegar (Khall) for 30 minutes, allowing 1/2 cup vinegar per pound. Drain, rinse and dry the okra and proceed with the recipe. This dish is popular throughout the Middle East and can be prepared with lamb or beef. Serve with rice.




1. Preheat an oven to 325 F (165 C)
2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the butter or oil per serving.
3. Working in batches, add the meat and fry, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a baking dish or stew pot.
4. Add the onions to the fat remaining in the frying pan and saute over medium heat until tender and translucent, 8-10 mins.
5. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, the 1 cup stock and mint (if using). Stir well. Pour over the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Cover and bake until all the liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2 Hrs. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
7. Meanwhile, prepare the okra as directed in the note above.
8. In a saute pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1/2 tablespoon (per serving) of butter or oil Add the okra and saute for 3 mins, stirring gently.
9. Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the okra on top in a spoke pattern. Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the surface. Re-cover the dish and return it to the oven.
10. Bake for 35 minutes longer. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry.
11. Serve the "BAMIA" stew piping hot.

Sunday, September 23, 2012





2 Package of frozen, cut Bamya
2 Lb of cut lamb meat (you may use beef) cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes
1 medium onion (fine chopped)
2 crushed and fine chopped cloves of garlic [optional, and if you are single like me :)]
1 Tbs oil (to counteract the high fat in lamb)
2 diced bell peppers
1 small can of tomato pasteMethod


1. Heat the oil and sautee the onions and garlic till the onions become translusecent.
2. Drop the the meat and brown it, here if you care for for your diet and weight you may drain the fat other wise do not (I prefer the latter), add the contents of the paste with one can full of water
3. Simmer until the the tomato boils and thickens a bit drop the Okra, bell pepper and simmer on low till done.
4. I always like my food to bite me back so I use a dash or cayanne pepper to make it hot.
5. Enjoy it


How to eat it A l' Omran


1. Do not eat it in same day, eat it the following day so the flavour is better.
2. Add a few dashes of lime juice (freshly squeezed) and eat the first bowl with whole wheat Egyptian Pita (or Nan if you know an Indian grocery).
3. The second bowl I eat it mixed with nice white rice.

Friday, September 21, 2012




2 lbs. okra
1 lbs. savory minced meat
5 garlic cloves
2 cup(s) tomato juice
cooking oil
salt, pepper, and mixed spices




1. Lightly fry okra, Crush garlic w/ salt and add to the savoury minced beef.
2. Neatly arrange 1-2 layers of okra in the stewing pot. Cover with the savoury minced beef and top with another layer of okra.
3. Pour seasoned tomato juice over okra and cook over very low heat, until the juice has absorbed .
4. Turn over onto serving dish.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012




Fattah is a mixture of meat cubes embedded in rice and crusted pita pieces in soup. It  is a traditional meal that is enjoyed by all Egyptian and is considered the most famous dish in Egypt. It is served in the bairam feast (an Islamic holy feast after the month of Ramadan) but it can also be served at any time of the year.


(Serves Four)

* One kg of meat cut in cubes. One may use any type of meat but lamb if preferred.

* Two cups of short rice.

* 2-3 loafs of pita bread

* two small peeled onions

* dash of pepper

* mastic

* cardamom

* garlic

* ghee

* cumin

* tomato paste

* salt

* vinegar


To prepare a perfect dish of Fattah you need to follow four steps.

Preparing the meat

Fill a pot with water and place two small peeled onions, pepper, mastic and a cardamom. When the water starts to boil drop in the pieces of meat and let them boil to a stew.
Preparing the rice
Wash the rice and let it sit in water for about 10 minutes then seive it well. Place two tablespoons of oil in a pot on medium heat. As soon as the oil starts to fry add the rice and half a tea spoon of salt. Stir the rice for 5 minutes. Add 2 glasses of the meat stew to the cooking rice. Let the rice cook (for 20 minutes) on the lowest heat until it absorbs all the stew and becomes tender. When the rice is all dried up remove it from the stove.
Preparing the crisp pita bread
Cut the pita bread into small squared pieces, then place those pieces into a pan. Apply oil or butter to the bread pieces. Place the pan filled with bread pieces in a preheated oven for ten or so minutes until it becomes golden and crisp.

With the above three steps finished you have to place the ingredients in a deep bowl in layers before you can proceed on to the fourth step. Do not forget to pour some of the meat stew on each layer after placing it in the deep bowl. Make the lowest layer from bread top it with a thin layer of rice and pour some stew. Add the meat layer and pour some more stew on it. Place the final layer of rice and do not  pour soup on the top layer of rice so that it does not turn soggy.

Preparing the dressing
Now that you have placed the meat, the bread and the rice in layers in a deep bowl, you are ready for the final and most important step in making the Fattah dish. The dressing gives the secret taste to the whole dish. So you have to be extra careful when you prepare it.

In a frying pan place one tablespoon of crushed garlic, one table spoon of ghee, half a teaspoon of cumin and 14 teaspoon of salt. Dissolve one tablespoon of tomato paste in two tablespoons of water in a cup. In a frying pan, use low heat and stir the garlic, ghee, cumin and salt until the mixture darkens. Then add to the darkened mixture the tomato paste you prepared. Stir the mixture for a minute then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Leave the mixture on low flame for 4-5 minutes. Pour the dressing on top of the Fattah.

“Bel hana wesh shefa” (eat and be happy with good health).



Fattah is a mixture of meat cubes embedded in rice and crusted pita pieces in soup. It  is a traditional meal that is enjoyed by all Egyptian and is considered the most famous dish in Egypt. It is served in the bairam feast (an Islamic holy feast after the month of Ramadan) but it can also be served at any time of the year.


(Serves Four)

* One kg of meat cut in cubes. One may use any type of meat but lamb if preferred.

* Two cups of short rice.

* 2-3 loafs of pita bread

* two small peeled onions

* dash of pepper

* mastic

* cardamom

* garlic

* ghee

* cumin

* tomato paste

* salt

* vinegar


To prepare a perfect dish of Fattah you need to follow four steps.

Preparing the meat

Fill a pot with water and place two small peeled onions, pepper, mastic and a cardamom. When the water starts to boil drop in the pieces of meat and let them boil to a stew.
Preparing the rice
Wash the rice and let it sit in water for about 10 minutes then seive it well. Place two tablespoons of oil in a pot on medium heat. As soon as the oil starts to fry add the rice and half a tea spoon of salt. Stir the rice for 5 minutes. Add 2 glasses of the meat stew to the cooking rice. Let the rice cook (for 20 minutes) on the lowest heat until it absorbs all the stew and becomes tender. When the rice is all dried up remove it from the stove.
Preparing the crisp pita bread
Cut the pita bread into small squared pieces, then place those pieces into a pan. Apply oil or butter to the bread pieces. Place the pan filled with bread pieces in a preheated oven for ten or so minutes until it becomes golden and crisp.

With the above three steps finished you have to place the ingredients in a deep bowl in layers before you can proceed on to the fourth step. Do not forget to pour some of the meat stew on each layer after placing it in the deep bowl. Make the lowest layer from bread top it with a thin layer of rice and pour some stew. Add the meat layer and pour some more stew on it. Place the final layer of rice and do not  pour soup on the top layer of rice so that it does not turn soggy.

Preparing the dressing
Now that you have placed the meat, the bread and the rice in layers in a deep bowl, you are ready for the final and most important step in making the Fattah dish. The dressing gives the secret taste to the whole dish. So you have to be extra careful when you prepare it.

In a frying pan place one tablespoon of crushed garlic, one table spoon of ghee, half a teaspoon of cumin and 14 teaspoon of salt. Dissolve one tablespoon of tomato paste in two tablespoons of water in a cup. In a frying pan, use low heat and stir the garlic, ghee, cumin and salt until the mixture darkens. Then add to the darkened mixture the tomato paste you prepared. Stir the mixture for a minute then add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Leave the mixture on low flame for 4-5 minutes. Pour the dressing on top of the Fattah.

“Bel hana wesh shefa” (eat and be happy with good health).

Monday, September 17, 2012




[Feta and Lamb Stuffed Grape Leaves] Make these savory appetizer bundles of lamb and feta up to a day ahead, then cook in the microwave oven in minutes.



* 3/4 pound ground lamb or beef

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

* 1 clove garlic, minced

* 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)

* 1 tablespoon snipped fresh mint or oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano,crushed

* 1/4 teaspoon pepper

* 1/2 of a 16-ounce jar grape leaves (20 leaves), drained and well rinsed

* Olive oil

* Lemon wedges

1. In a medium skillet cook ground lamb or beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until lamb is no longer pink. Remove from heat; drain off fat. Stir in feta cheese, mint or oregano, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Place a grape leaf on a clean work surface, shiny side down and stem end toward you. Place 1 level tablespoon of filling about 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of each leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, overlapping slightly. Starting at the bottom edge, roll up the leaf and place, seam side down, in a 2-quart square microwave-safe baking dish. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling. Cover the baking dish and chill until needed or heat and serve immediately.

3. To heat, add 1 tablespoon water to the baking dish. Brush grape leaf bundles lightly with olive oil. Cover and micro-cook on 100% power for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through, turning dish once. (For a low-wattage oven, micro-cook bundles on high power for 5 to 6 minutes, rearranging once.) Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Makes 20 bundles (2 per serving).
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare bundles as directed. Cover the baking dish and chill up to 24 hours. To serve, micro-cook as directed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012






1. Saute the onion in the oil until it changes color to dark yellow.
2. Add the meat and brown it then add the water, salt and pepper and let it cook until all the water has evaporated. If you decide to use nuts add them at this time. This is called asaag and it is used in makaronah felforn bilbashamel (pasta casserole).


3. Open the Fillo dough package and divide the sheets in half (they are usually sheets of 10X20" rectangles, you want to end up with 2 stacks of 10X10 sheets.


4. In a greased 9x12x3" baking dish layer 2 to 3 sheets at a time and sprinkle them with a few drops of the melted butter, and so on until you finish the first half of the sheets.


5. Spread the meat and nut mixture on it and start doing the same thing with the other half of the sheets. Don't worry about spreading the butter on the sheets.


6. When you finish with all the dough cut the feteer in 2X1" squares with a sharp knife.


7. Mix together the left-over melted butter, the egg and the milk and a pinch of salt (not much) beat it with fork.


8. At this point, if you want, you can wrap the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate until 1/2 hr before it is time to eat.


9. Pour the egg mixture gently over the feteer and bake, uncovered, in a 375o oven for about 20 minutes or until the milk is absorbed and the feteer turns gold yellow.


When I make this, it lasts for a week and can be used for suhur (mid-night meal) by those people who wake up hating to fix something or finding nothing to their liking to eat.

Thursday, September 13, 2012






* 1 kg beef

* 2 onions, chopped finely

* 1 teaspoon cinnamon

* 2 tablespoons flour

* 5-7 garlic cloves, crushed

* cooking oil

* salt and pepper


Cut beef into bite-sized cubes. Mix flour, cinnamon and seasoning and roll meat in this mixture.  Cook meat, onion, and pinch of salt over very slow flame.  When the juice is re-absorbed, add garlic and cooking oil and fry lightly.  Add water to barely cover and cook over low heat for one hour, adding more hot water, along the side of the pot, whenever the level of the juice is too low.  Serve with the juice, which should be fairly concentrated.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012






* 1 kg beef

* 3 onions

* 1 dablespoon lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons parsely

* cooking fat

* salt and pepper

* 1 piece charcoal





Mince twice beef, onions and 1 tablespoon parsley, then add lemon juice, and seasoning and knead well. Shape into fingers about 5 to 7 cms long and 2 cms thick.  Grease cooking pot and arrange kufta neatly side by side.  Brush kufta fingers very lightly with cooking oil and repeat with other layers of kufta, brushing with fat until all the kufta is used. Cook over very slow flame until the meat loses all its juice, then increase heat to maximum to reduce juice further. Shake the pot gently several times to check that the meat fingers are all well fried and do not stick to bottom of pot. have ready a piece of burning-red charcoal.  Make a well in the middle of pot, toss in the charcoal, cover and allow to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove charcoal and serve on a bed of parsley.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Apricots are used throughout the Middle East as is rice. This is a tasty and unique dessert.


1/4          cup uncooked brown rice

3           tablespoons cornstarch

3/8           cup water

2 (1            lbs) cans apricot halves in juice, drained

2           cups milk (approx.)

3/8           cup sugar

1           tablespoon vanilla extract

1           teaspoon almond extract



1.     Have a 1qt. shallow bowl handy.
2.     Put the rice in blender, blending until fine.
3.     Pour into small bowl, add cornstarch & water, stir to dissolve the cornstarch.
4.     Pour the drained apricots in blender, and blend until smooth.
5.     Add just enough milk to total 4 cups (approximately 2 cups milk.).
6.     Pour into a small saucepan & add sugar & to the rice mixture.
7.     Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture begins to a boil.
8.     Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
9.     Remove from heat & stir in extracts.
10.     Stir to blend.
11.     Pour pudding into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for 1/2 hour, then chill.
12.     When pudding is cold, serve.


1 cup(s) long grain rice.
1 cup(s) of whole milk (skim milk for the die conscious).
2 cup(s) of heavy cream.
2 tsp. of salt.
15 tblsp of butter.





1.Heat the milk to scalding temperature.

2.Put the rice in the beram, pour the hot milk over it, stir in the salt and stick the beram in the oven at °400 for about 30-40 minutes

3.Just before all the milk is absorbed, make a little indentation in the center of the rice and drop the butter in it.

4.while the butter is melting take some of it and sprinkle on top of the rice.

5.Let it cook for 20-30 minutes more, until the rice is brown on top.


Legend has it that this recipe has been deciphered from a hieroglyphic. These sweets were served at wedding banquets and given their high energy value, we imagine that Cleopatra offered them to her lovers to restore their spirits.

Makes 6 or 7 servings, or about 15 candies
Preparation time is about 35 minutes, including five minutes for cooking



50           g almond flour

50           g sugar

1–2           tablespoon orange essence

30           walnut halves

50           g sugar



1.     Mix the almond flour (milled almonds, grind your own in a food processor or blender if you like) with the sugar and enough orange essence to form a paste.

2.     Place a little of this paste between two walnut halves and press.

3.     Melt the sugar in a pan with a few drops of water and when it starts to turn to caramel, remove it from the heat source and dip the nuts inside to coat them with caramel.

4.     Set them out on grease proof paper to dry.




*      1 (2-layer) package butter-recipe chocolate cake mix
*      10 tablespoons butter, melted
*      1 egg, lightly beaten
*      8 ounces cream cheese, softened
*      1 (1 pound) package confectioners’ sugar
*      2 eggs
*      ½ cup chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake mix, butter, and I lightly beaten egg in a mixer bowl and mix well. Press into a greased and floured 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Beat the cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar in a mixer bowl until light. Add 2 eggs and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips. Spread over the layer in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until light brown. Cut into squares to serve.


**Variation:  For Vanilla Butter Gooey, use a yellow cake mix and omit the chocolate chips.


Makes 2 loaves

* 1 cup vegetable shortening

* 2 cups sugar

* 5 eggs, beaten

* 2 cups flour

* 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 cup buttermilk

* 1-1/3 cups coconut flakes (one 4-ounce can)

* 1 tablespoon coconut extract

* 1-1/2 cups Glaze ( see below )



1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two standard loaf pans (9 x 5 x 3-inch).
2. Beat shortening and sugar together. Beat in eggs.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Alternately add flour mixture and the buttermilk to the sugar mixture, stirring vigorously.
4. Fold in coconut flakes and coconut extract. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
5. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes. Poke many holes on top of each loaf with a toothpick or a bamboo skewer and pour half the glaze on each cake. Cool another 10 minutes and remove from pan to a cooling rack to completely cool.




Makes 1-1/2 cups


* 1 cup water

* 1/2 cup sugar

* 1 teaspoon almond extract

* 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

2. Boil 2 minutes and remove from heat.

3. Cool slightly and pour over cakes that have been punctured with a toothpick or skewer.



This sweet and tasty treat is actually Moroccan in origin.

2 c. grated coconut

*      3/4 c. half and half

*      1 1/2 c. sugar

*      3 tablespoons butter

*      3 tablespoons lemon rind


Combine the coconut, the half and half and the sugar in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Simmer until a soft ball is formed when a spoonful of the mixture is dropped into cold water. Add the butter and lemon rind and mix. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and with an electric mixer, mix the batter until thick and glossy. Pour into a small buttered pan and chill. Cut into squares and serve.


This is the season of Ramadan and one of the traditional foodstuffs of this holiday are dates.  The date market in Cairo is full to overflowing with a variety of dates in all shapes and sizes during this festive season.
Date palm paintings can be found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, indicating that this stately tree and sweet fruit has been cultivated in Egypt since the time of hieroglyphs.  Here is a simple but sweet recipe.


* 4 C. water

* 2 cups pitted dates

* 1/3 cup sugar

* 1/4 cup raisins, washed

* 6 whole cloves

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice

* 1/2 cup whipping cream

Heat the water in a pot until boiling, then add the dates and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove the dates with a slotted spoon, cool and peel, then set aside.  Reserve the cooking water.

Bring the reserved water to a boil, add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the raisins, cloves, and dates, and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat.  Add the lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place in fruit cups. Whip the cream until frothy, then spoon over the dates before serving.




* 1 cup warm "samn" (veg. Oil or melted butter)

* 1/2 cup powdered sugar

* 3-4 cups of flour



* Mix "samn" and sugar well.

* Add flour gradually and mix.

* Shape into little balls and press down gently to flatten into shape.

* Garnish with an almond.

* Bake in a preheated oven at 400 ƒF (200 ƒC) for 10 to 15 minutes.



2 cups flour

· 2 cups sugar

· 1 teaspoon baking powder

· 2 teaspoons baking soda

· 1 cup milk

· 1/2 cup vegetable oil

· 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa

· 1 tablespoon vanilla

· 2 eggs

· 1 cup hot coffee


Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350F degrees for 30-35 min.
Top with your favorite frosting, powdered sugar or whipped topping.


After slicing the cheese, put the slices in a large bowl and cover with water and let it stand for 1 hr. Drain the water and add fresh water and let it stand for another hour. What you are doing is getting rid of all the salt in the cheese. After the 2nd hour drain the water from the cheese and arrange the slices on paper towels and cover them with clear plastic wrap until they are ready to use.



If you are making this for yourself only (1 person) I advise you to use a small baking dish for one to two serving. This dish is no good if you have left overs. I usually make enough to be eaten at the time and keep the rest of the konafah and cheese in the fridge until I want to make it again in a couple of days. But, if you are only making this once, then you can use some of the konafah for this dish and make the rest into konafah with nuts.

Butter a baking dish and put some cut-up kohafah in the bottom of it (enough to cover 1/3 of the depth of the dish. Sprinkle some butter all over the konafah, you don't have to use a lot of butter with the cheese filling since it has enough fat in it! Arrange on layer of cheese slices, by the way the slices should be 1/4-1/2 cm in thickness. Add for cut-up konafah to cover the cheese and to almost reach just before the edge of the dish. Sprinkle some more butter on the surface and you might want to put a little more than the bottom layer. Bake it in a 350 oven until it turns golden.



While it is baking make the syrup. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice and let it boil on mid-high heat for about 15 minutes. as soon as the konafah turns golden, spoon the syrup over it and stick it back into the over for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately and watch out you don't burn your mouth! Now I am hungry for it!




2           kg ripe sweet mangoes (8-10)

1/2           liter milk

30           g pistachios, cut into thin slivers



1.     Peel the mangoes.

2.     Cut and blend with the milk in a food processor.

3.     Pour into glass dessert bowls.

4.     Sprinkle with pistachio slivers.

5.     Chill before serving for atleast 1 hour.


Pumpkin isn't just a Native American favorite - pumpkin is found throughout the Middle East. Here is a sweet treat that can be used as a hearty sweet bread for fetar (breakfast) or, with drizzled buttercream frosting, a wonderful dessert cake.



*  3 c.  all purpose flour

*  2 1/4 c. granulated sugar

*  3/4 c. brown sugar

*  1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice

*  1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

*  1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

*  1/2 tsp. salt

*  6 oz. milk chocolate chips ( semi-sweet is ok, too)

*  1 15 oz. can pumpkin

*  3/4 c. melted butter or margarine

*  6 eggs slightly beaten or equivalent egg substitute

*  Oven 350F

*  Tube pan or fluted tube pan ( Bundt pan )


*  Preheat oven to 350F

*  Generously spray the tube pan with nonstick spray.

*  Set aside 1/2 c. flour in a small bowl

*  In a large bowl, combine the remaining flour, sugars, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

*  Place the chocolate chips in the reserved flour and toss to coat. Set aside.

*  In another bowl combine the pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs.

*  Add the pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Add the chocolate chip mixture. Stir until combined, then pour the batter into the tube pan.

*  Bake for 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean, when tested near the center of the cake.

*  Cool pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove the cake from the pan and cool for 30 minutes. Garnish with powdered sugar or drizzle with icing.

*  12 to 16 servings.





1. Dry the roqaq or gullash, 1-2 sheets at a time, for 1-2 minutes in a hot oven, enough to make them dry and crisp.

2. Crush with fingers and place in lightly greased oven dish. Mix nuts and coconut, and scatter on top.

3. Warm the sweetened milk and pour over the dessert.

4. Dab with butter or cream, and placed in moderately hot oven (325-375 d F: I don't know Celsius) until top is browned...





Depending upon availability, nuts that can be used are almosned, huzelnuts, pecans, and peanuts, roasted and peeled. A Micture of two or more are used. Crushed very fine, amd mixed iwth sugar at teh ration of 2/3 nuts to 1/3 sugar. Rose water or vanilla essence is sometimes added.


A spice and nut mixture that can be sprinkled on salads or pasta dishes, mixed with olive oil and brushed on pita or pizza dough, or coated on chicken or fish and then grilled. You can also take some great bread, dip it in olive oil, then in the Du'a.



1           cup rice

2           cups cubed pineapples

6           tablespoons butter

3/4           cup brown sugar

3/4           cup pineapple juice




1.     Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2.     Boil rice.
3.     Place 1/3 of rice in bottom of buttered baking dish.
4.     Cover with half of the pineapple, half the brown sugar, and half of the butter.
5.     Repeat with next 1/3 of rice and second half of pineapple, brown sugar and butter.
6.     cover with last 1/3 of rice and pour over pineapple juice.
7.     Bake covered for 30 minutes. Serve with cream.


It's very cold this year in Egypt, and to warm one's self, one of the most popular hot drinks is Sahlab.  Sahlab is made from the starch found in the ground bulb of the orchid, Orchis mascula .  The starch, which can be purchased in Egypt as a powdered mix,  thickens the milk while giving it a unique flavor.  However, it is more difficult to find Sahlab mix outside of the area. Here is a recipe to mimic Sahlab, using cornstarch as a thickener.


* 1 1/2 tablespoons Sahlab powder or 2 tablespoons cornstarch

* 4 cups milk

* 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

* 2 teaspoons rose or orange-blossom water ( optional )

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

* Ground cinnamon



Mix the Sahlab powder or cornstarch with a few tablespoons of milk.  Bring the remaining milk to a boil.  Pour in the starch mixture, stirring vigorously, so that lumps do not form.  Cook over very low heat, stirring continuously, until the milk thickens ( about 10 minutes). Then stir in the sugar and the rose water or orange blossom water, if you so desire.

Serve in cups with the chopped pistachios and cinnamon as garnish.  You may also sprinkle grated coconut on top.



24-48 servings or 36-48 turnovers
1 hour 30 minutes (45 min prep, 45 min cooking)

A Ramadan dish popular in Egypt. This is a single recipe for dough, and various different fillings



3/4           cup butter
3/4           cup oil
5           cups white flour
2           teaspoons salt
1/2– 3/4           cup cold water

---Meat filling---

1 1/2           lbs ground meat
3/4           cup of finely chopped onions
1/4           cup oil
1/2           cup pine nuts
2           teaspoons salt
1           teaspoon pepper
1/2           cup of finely chopped parsley
3/4           teaspoon cinnamon

---Cheese Filling---

1 1/2           lbs feta cheese, crumbled
3/4           cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (dill, mint, chives, parsley, cilantro)
3           tablespoons water
3/4           teaspoon pepper

---Vegetable Filling---

1/4           cup olive oil
3/4           cup of finely chopped onions
1 1/2           lbs leafy greens, coarsely chopped (spinach, chard, dandelion or nettles)
2           teaspoons salt
1/2           cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
1/4           cup currants
3/4           teaspoon pepper

---Sweet Filling---

3           cups almonds, finely ground
1 1/2           cups sugar
2           teaspoons cardamom
1/4           teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
2           tablespoons rose water






1.     ----To Make the Dough----.

2.     Melt the butter with the oil.

3.     Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the center, and add the oil and butter.

4.     Stir vigorously until combined, and then add water until the dough holds together and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

5.     Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator while preparing the stuffing.

6.     ----To Make the Meat Filling----.

7.     Work all ingredients with the hands until fully combined.

8.     ----To Make the Cheese Filling----.

9.     Place ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor; blend well.

10.     ----To Make the Vegetable Filling----.

11.     Heat the olive oil over medium heat, and then sauté the onions for 2 minutes.

12.     Add the greens and salt and stir well.

13.     Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook until the greens are wilted and give off their juices.

14.     Turn off the heat, add the toasted walnuts, currants and pepper, and stir well.

15.     ----To Make the Sweet Filling----.

16.     Combine all ingredients and stir well.

17.     ----To Assemble the Sanbusa----.

18.     Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.

19.     For each pastry, take a walnut-sized piece of dough and roll it out into a 3 inch circle.

20.     Place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of the dough, fold the circle into a half-moon shape and pinch the edges firmly.

21.     (Another traditional shape is the triangular pocket, formed by pinching together the edges of the circle in three seams that meet in the center over the filling).

22.     Place the pastries on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until golden yellow, or deep fry in vegetable oil.

23.     Serve warm.




  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

  • 1/2 Cup Water

  • 2/3 Cup Golden Raisins ( Sultanas )

  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Allspice

  • 1 Tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

  • 3 large oranges



    • Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

    • Add raisins, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, allspice and ginger.

    • Simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes until syrup is thickened.

    • Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate 10 minutes.

    • Cut peel and pith from oranges.

    • Slice oranges into 1/2 inch rounds.

    • Cut rounds into halves or quarters and place in medium bowl.

    • Pour cooled raisins and syrup over oranges and stir gently.

    • Chill 2 hours or overnight.Serve over ice cream or cake.Makes 4-6 servings.

Stuffed Dates


*Pitted Dates

*Shelled Nuts (Walnuts, Peacans, halves or chopped)

*sugar or unsweetened dried shredded coconut




1.      Open up center of each Date.

2.      Place nuts in center of each date and close up.

3.      Roll each date in sugar or coconut.

4.      Make as many as you want.

Upside Down Cherry Pudding

This pudding dessert is very clever - it turns itself upside down in the over!


* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 cup butter or margarine

* 1 cup sugar

* 1 egg, unbeaten

* 1 teaspoon vanilla

* 1 cup milk


* 1 cup sugar

* 1 small can sour red pitted cherries

* 1/2 cup boiling water

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream the butter or margarine, adding the sugar gradually and continue creaming until light and fluffy.  Beat in the whole egg. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat well after each addition.  Pour batter into a greased 9" square pan.

Prepare the sauce by heating the cherries, juice, sugar and boiling water, then  pouring it over the batter.  Bake in a 350F oven for about 35 -45 minutes or until the pudding begins to shrink and the top is golden brown.  When baked, the cherry sauce will be on the bottom.  Good served with  whipped topping or ice cream. Serves 8.





1/2           cup dried apricots

2           tablespoons honey

1/2           cup cottage cheese (non or low fat works fine)

1/2           cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/2           packet unflavored gelatin



1.     Put apricots in bowl and cover with boiling water.

2.     Set aside for 1 hour to soften.

3.     Place drained apricots in blender, add honey and blend until smooth.

4.     In a small saucepan, dissolve gelatin in 2 tbls of water.

5.     Place on low heat and stir until all gelatin is dissolved.

6.     Combine cottage cheese and yogurt in a seperate bowl and whip until smooth.

7.     (this can be done in the blender too.) Pour yogurt mixture into a bowl and slowly stir in the gelatin, the fold in the apricot puree.

8.     Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

9.     ENJOY!




1   envelope dry yeast

2   teaspoons salt

1   tablespoon sugar

4  cups white all-purpose flour

1 1/2  cups water

1   tablespoon olive oil


1.      Combine the yeast and sugar in a small bowl, add 1/2 cup of the warm water and let it stand for 10 minutes to proof and ferment it.

2.      Dissolve the salt in the remaining warm water.

3.      Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the middle and put the dissolved yeast and salt water into it.

4.      With your hands, blend it into a dough.

5.      You may need a bit more or less water depending on your flour.

6.      Knead the dough in the bowl with your fists for 10-15 minutes or until it is smooth.

7.      Pour the oil over the dough and knead it again until the oil is absorbed.

8.      Cover the dough in the bowl with a towel and set it in a draft free area to rise to double it's bulk (1-2 hours), then punch it down and knead it again for a few minutes.

9.      Preheat your oven to 350°F.

10.      Cut pieces of dough, egg size or larger, depending on the size of the pita desired, shape them into balls with your hands and roll them out over a lightly floured board or pastry cloth to 1/4 inch thickness.

11.      Set 2 or 3 pitas on a lightly oiled cookies sheet and bake them on the lower rack 2 to 3 minutes each side.

12.      Pitas should be white and soft.

13.      Wrap the baked pitas in a clean towel until they are cool, then store them in plastic bags to prevent them from drying out.

14.      When you are ready to use them, heat a bit of oil in a shallow skillet and fry them a minute or so on each side, or until golden brown.

15.      Use them immediately, because they get hard when they dry out.


Makes 8 loaves.


* 1 teaspoon active dry yeast

* 1/4 cup warm water

* 1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt at room temperature

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1 cup barley flour

* 1 cup wholewheat flour (or other whole grain)

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in warm water.

Stir the yogurt until smooth, then mix in the baking soda. Yogurt will froth. Combine the flours in a mixing bowl with the salt.  Add the yeast liquid and the yogurt. Stir. Knead by hand for 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic film and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours. until doubled in bulk. Turn the dough out onto a board and knead a little. Divide into 8 equal portions, and roll into little balls.

Roll each ball into a 6" round.  Cover and leave for 20 minutes. Heat a griddle or electric frypan to medium high heat. Rub pan with oil or use cooking spray.  Place one round of dough in pan and then press with a folded cloth to encourage small bubbles. This prevents a pocket from forming.  Cook for 1.5 minutes, then turn and cook for one minute further. Edges of breads will appear moist when cooked.

Wrap and keep warm until all rounds are cooked. Serve warm.





1 cup chopped pitted dates

1 cup chopped dried figs

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt



1     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch baking pan.


2     In a medium bowl, combine the dates, figs, butter and baking soda. Pour in the boiling water, stir well and let stand for 15 minutes.


3     Beat the sugar, walnuts and eggs into the date mixture. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt; stir into the date mixture just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.


4     Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.




* 1 loaf crisp local bread

* 3 tomatoes, chopped very small

* 5-6 cucumbers, chopped very small

* 1 onion, grated

* 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

* 1 lettuce heart, shredded

* a few fresh mint leaves

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice

* 1 tablespoon sumac

* 2 tablespoons oil

* salt


Cut up the bread into small pieces 1-1 1/2 inches square, sprinkle with cold water, and place in a salad bowl.  Pile all the vegetables and the mint leaves over the bread.  Mix lemon juice, sumac, salt and oil.  Pour over fatush and toss.

Sunday, September 9, 2012




Serves 8 to 10


* 2 tablespoons butter

* 2 medium onions, chopped

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 1/4 c. finely chopped fresh coriander leaves ( cilantro )

* 1 can chickpeas, 19 oz.

* 3 cups tomato juice

* 4 cups water

* 1/2 cup rice, rinsed

* salt and pepper to taste

* 1/4 teaspoon cumin

* 1/4 teaspoon allspice



Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan over medium heat, then saute' the garlic and onions until they turn golden brown.

Add the coriander leaves and stir-fry for a further few minutes; then stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
Serve warm with crusty bread.




* 1/2 cup very fine bulgur

* 2 bunches parsley

* 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped

* 1 small onion, thoroughly minced

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon dry mint

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1/4 cup lemon juice





Soak bulgur in enough fresh water for about 15 minutes.

Drain well.

Toss all ingredients in a large cooking bowl and add oil last.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerator.

Serve the mouthwatering dish decorated with lettuce leaves.




Even though the weather where I live is unseasonably warm for a late January day, I made this hearty soup for lunch. Try it!


*2 cups chicken broth


*1 small onion, chopped


*2 cups chopped cauliflower


*Hot sauce to taste


*2 tablespoons butter or margarine ( optional; omit for low fat)


*2 tablespoons all purpose flour


*ground pepper, salt to taste


*1 cup low-fat milk





Combine the chicken broth, onion, cauliflower and hot sauce in a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer until the vegetable bits are tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetable to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Repeat until all the cauliflower is smooth ( if you don't have a food processor, you can use a food mill or potato masher). In a separate saucepan or small skillet, melt the butter, add the flour and pepper and make a roux. Add the roux to the milk and stir well. Add the milk mixture to the soup ( in the original saucepan ); cook and stir until thickend and bubbly. Do not let the soup burn. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 3 or 4 servings.



Note: if you like hot spicy food, don't be afraid to add more hot sauce to the soup.



Cabbage Salad



* shredded white cabbage leaves

* 1 finely chopped onion

* 1 tb. oil

* 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

* 3-5 crushed garlic cloves

* salt





Sprinkle the salt onto the cabbage and onion and rub well. Rinse and drain. Mix oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pour over the cabbage-onion mix. Toss well.



*2 cups brown lentils


*2 spring (green) onions


*2 tablespoons lemon juice


*2 tablespoons olive oil





Cover lentils with double their amount in water and boil until tender. Drain and cool.


Slice onion, white root part only, and soak in lemon juice. Mix all ingredients together before serving.




This Arabic potato salad is a refreshing change from the standard mayonnaise version, perfect for serving at barbecues and picnics.


* 5 large potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes

* 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped.

* ¼ cup finely chopped green onions

* ¼ cup finely chopped parsley

* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

* ¼ cup olive oil

* 2 cloves garlic

* ¼ cup lemon juice

* salt & pepper to taste



Place the first six ingredients in a large salad bowl. In a separate bowl, mash the garlic with the salt, then add the lemon juice & stir. Add the dressing to the rest of the ingredients and toss gently, being careful not to crumble the potatoes and the eggs. Serve chilled.


Serves 4 to 6.


Rice with Vegetables



1 thinly sliced onion
2-3 ripe tomatoes, peeled & chopped
2-3 sweet green peppers, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, finely chopped or shredded
2 cups rice
3 cups water
cooking oil
salt & pepper




Saute' first 4 ingredients in a small amount of cooking oil and remove from pan. With the same oil, fry the rice, stirring constantly, until each grain is coated with oil. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is cooked, according to directions on the rice packaging. Add the vegetables and stir well. Heat thru if necessary.





* 3/4 c. vermicelli, 1" lengths
* 1 1/2 TB. melted butter
* 1 1/2 TB. Olive Oil
* 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
* 3 cups boiling water or chicken broth
* 1 1/4 tbs. salt
* Freshly ground black pepper or ground cinnamon for garnish




In a 2-quart casserole, over low heat, saute' the vermicelli in butter and oil until golden, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the vermicelli. Stir in the rice and fry until glazed, about one minute. Add the boiling liquid and the salt and boil for one minute. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until liquid has been absorbed, about 15-18 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Sprinkle with one of the spices and fluff with a fork right before serving.




500           g instant couscous

300           ml boiling chickens or vegetable stock

65           g melted butter

80           g raisins

1           grated lemon, rind of

50           g roasted sliced almonds

80           g pistachio nuts

salt & freshly ground black pepper



1.     Place the couscous in a bowl and add the boiling stock.

2.     Leave for 5 minutes until couscous has softened and liquid is absorbed.

3.     Stir in melted butter, raisins, lemon rind and nuts.

4.     Season to taste.


This is Mediterranean, but all of the ingredients would be found in Egypt.





1 pound orzo pasta

8 ounces peas

2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced

1/2-ounce fresh oregano, chopped

1/2-ounce fresh chives, chopped

1/2-ounce fresh parsley, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

5 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of one lemon

2-3 plum tomatoes, diced

Pinch of white pepper

Pinch of salt





Cook orzo in lightly salted boiling water for 7 minutes or until cooked through. Remove to a colander, drain, and rinse well with cold water.


Place orzo in a large serving bowl; then drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil around the orzo and toss well.


Cook the peas in slightly salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold water in a colander.


Mix peas and orzo together, slowly adding all the other ingredients until well mixed.


Add salt and white pepper to taste.


Makes 6 (1 cup) servings








1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cumin

1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Red Pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt






3 seedless oranges, peeled and thinly sliced

1 bunch fresh radishes, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach or 6 cups torn spinach

1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted







In a small bowl, blend vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except almonds.

Just before serving, toss half of vinaigrette with salad mixture. Sprinkle with almonds. Serve remaining vinaigrette at the table.


A refreshing winter salad, with seasonal navel oranges.


* 8 navel oranges, peeled and white pith removed, sliced

* 3/4 cup good quality black olives, cut in half and pitted

* 1 red onion, sliced very thinly

* juice of one medium-sized lemon

* 1/2 - 1 tsp. ground cumin (to taste)

* salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 1 Tb. olive oil




Toss together oranges, olives and onion.  Mix together lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper, then which in oil.  Toss with the salad and serve. Serve 6.




2 1/2           cups chopped onions

2           tablespoons vegetable oil

2           cups diced potatoes

5           cups chopped cauliflower

2           teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2           teaspoons ground fennel

4           cups hot water

2            vegetable bouillon cube

2           tablespoons fresh lemon juice

salt & freshly ground black pepper

chopped tomatoes and chives



1.     In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, saute onions in vegetable oil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until translucent.

2.     Add the potatoes, cumin, and fennel; cook for 1 minute.

3.     Add the hot water; cover, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.

4.     Add the cauliflower and bouillon cubes and return to a boil.

5.     Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until the vetetables are tender.

6.     In a blender, puree and vegetable/broth mixture until smooth.

7.     Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

8.     Reheat the soup, being careful not to scorch it.

9.     Serve warm; garnish with chopped tomatoes and chives.




* 2 cups diced tomato

* 3/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese

* 3 tablespoons minced shallots

* 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

* 1 garlic clove, crushed

* 1 1/4 cups water

* 1 cup uncooked couscous

* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

* Basil leave for garnish (optional)


1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
2. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool. Add couscous and basil to tomato mixture, toss gently. Garnish with basil leaves if desired. 5 servings; serving size 1 cup.




* 1 kilogram of beef

* 1 onion, chopped very fine

* 1/2 cup tomato juice


* 1/2 teaspoon mixed spices

* cooking oil

* salt and pepper

Mince the beef coarsely.  Place meat, onion, mixed spices and seasoning over low flame, stirring often.  When the juice has been reabsorbed, add tomato juice and cook until the juices are substantially reduced.  Add cooking oil and cook for 5 minutes.


This is the time of year when everyone north of the equator thinks of fall and the coming winter. Soups made from squashes, even in North Africa, are a seasonal favorite. Here is a good one to try.


* 2 ½ pounds orange pumpkin

* 3 ½ cups chicken stock

* 3 ½ cups milk

* salt and white pepper

* 2-3 teaspoons sugar, or to taste

* 2/3 cup measure of raw rice, but cook it for this recipe

* 1 teaspoon cinnamon garnish
Remove the peel, seeds and fiber from the pumpkin and cut it into pieces. Put it into a large pan with the chicken stock and the milk, season with salt and pepper, and sugar and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Lift the pumpkin out and puree in a food processor or mash with a potato masher. Return to the pan.

Bring to a boil once again, add the cooked rice, and simmer to heat through. Add a little water if necessary to have a light creamy consistency. Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon. Serves 6.


Fatta is a traditional soup served by the Coptic Christians of Egypt as the first meal after the Lenten fast period.



* 1 lb. lean beef or lamb, cut into small pieces


* 6 c. water


* salt and pepper to taste


* 1 medium onion


* 3 tablespoons butter


* 5 cloves garlic, crushed


* 1 teaspoon vinegar


* 1 loaf Arabic pita bread, dried in the oven until crisp


* 2 cups cooked rice

Make a broth by simmering the meat in the water with the salt, pepper and the whole onion, until the meat is tender.  Then skim off the froth, and discard the onion.  Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a frying pan. Fry the meat over high heat until well browned, then remove to a serving bowl and keep warm.

Fry the garlic in the remaining butter until golden brown.  Stir the contents of the frying pan and the vinegar into the broth; then bring to a boil.
Just before serving, break up the bread into the soup;  then divide into individual bowls. Present the meat and the rice separately, allowing each person to serve themselves.





* 2 c. cooked white meat chicken, cubed ( may used canned )

* 1/2 c. sliced celery

* 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

* 1 c. green or red seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise

* 3/4 c. scallions, chopped

* 1/2 c. low fat mayonnaise ( less or more to taste )

garnish with lettuce, grapes, walnuts if desired
Combine ingredients gently and serve cold. May be multiplied to increase servings.




1 1/2          cups uncooked rice, preferably short grain


1 1/3           lbs boneless skinless chicken breast


2           tablespoons oil


1 1/4           teaspoons salt


3/4           teaspoon fresh ground pepper


3/4           cup chopped red onions


1            mango, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice


1            avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice


3 1/2           tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)


3/4           cup chopped cilantro



1.     Cook rice until done, and rinse with cold water.


2.     Coat chicken with 1 tbs.


3.     of the oil, and season with 1/4 tsp.


4.     of the S/P.


5.     Cook chicken until done; when chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2" dice.


6.     Toss the rice, chicken, onion, mango, avacado, and rest of the oil (1 tbs), remaining salt and pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.


7.     Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.




1. fry the onions until brown, but not burnt and keep separate
2. gently cook the garlic in the butter on a slow heat for a minute or so without browning it.
3. add the flour and blend to a past
4. add the yogurt one or two spoons at a time and blend gently (you may have to increase the heat a little) until all the yogurt is mixed. at this stage I had to use an egg whisk to beat the lumps out).
5. add a little of the chicken stock and all of the onions (you can keep some for garnish if you want)
6. keep stirring and add the rest of the stock
7. simmer for about 5 mins. and stir occasionally
8. add salt and pepper and simmer for 5 or so more mins. (if it gets too thick add more stock or a little water).
9. turn heat off an let it rest for 5 mins. or so (if you can wait that long)
10. bil hana wil shefa

It was delicious. Kind regards



By the way Kishk seems to be very forgiving, I made it with chicken stock cubes with real chicken stock and when there was no trace of chicken in the house a couple of beef stock cubes did the trick (the colour was a bit on the dark side but who cares!). I really hope you enjoy it.



¾ lb. Fresh green beans, trimmed and broken into bite-sized pieces

1 large ripe tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces or 8 oz. Cherry tomatoes halved

½ small red onion, thinly sliced and diced

½ cup shaved Asiago or Feta cheese

Basil Vinaigrette Dressing*

Cook or steam the green beans until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, then drain again. Place in bowl; add tomato. Add red onion and toss. Add Basil Vinaigrette and toss. Chill before serving. At serving time, sprinkle shaved cheese on top.



*Basil Vinaigrette Dressing




1/3 cup snipped fresh basil (use fresh!)

3 Tb. Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 Tb. Extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ Ts. Salt

¼ Ts. Pepper

Mix ingredients and refrigerate, covered, up to 8 hours. Makes about 2/3 cup.



  • 2 can chickpeas, drained

  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes ( or more if you like tomatoes)

  • 1/2 cup minced onions

  • 1/2 cup sliced celery

  • 1 cucumber sliced and chopped

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon dill weedsalt & pepper

  • 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup olive oil




Mix oil & vinegar well and set aside.


Combine all other ingredients and toss with the oil and vinegar mixture. Chill before serving and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.



16 -ounce bag frozen French cut green beans.
16 -ounce can black eyed peas.
2 large ripe tomato(s), chopped.
1/2 cup(s) chopped parsley.
4 scallions, chopped.
Juice of 2 lemon(s) 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil.
salt and pepper to taste.
Steam and drain the green beans and allow them to cool completely. Drain and rinse the black eyed peas. Combine all ingredients and mix well. May be served chilled.




*      1 can chickpeas
*      1-2 ripe avocados, diced
*      2 cups shredded cabbage
*      1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
*      1-2 spring onion, chopped
*      1-2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
*      1/2 cup cold extra virgin olive oil
*      1/2 teaspoon herb-seasoned salt



Place the cabbage, chickpeas, olives, Sundried tomatoes and avocado into a large bowl.

For Dressing, blend spring onions, parsley, salt and olive oil. Pour over salad.




1    cup fresh mint

2 1/2   cups pineapple juice

1     cup frozen raspberries

3     ounces frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

16   fluid ounces cold carbonated lemon-lime beverage

lime wedge (to garnish)



1.      Rub the mint leaves around the inside of a large iced tea jug or pitcher, then drop them in. Pour in remaining ingredients and mix well.

2.      Serve with a lime wedge on the edge of the glass.



Place 6 cups water and 2 unpeeld, quartered lemons in a pot and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Strain into a teapot, stir in the 5 tablespoons sugar and  1 tablespoon Orange Blossom Water ( Mazahar ).  Bring to a boil and serve.






2     cups whole milk yogurt
1     cup ice water
1     cup cold milk
1/2   teaspoon ground cardamom
1      tablespoon rose water
2       mangoes, peeled,cut from pit and cubed or 5 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced  toasted sliced almond, for serving




1.     Put all ingredients, except almonds, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
2.     Serve with ice cubes and sprinkle with almonds.
3.     ENJOY!


Karkady is one of the most popular and unusual drinks that you can find in Egypt. Made from the dried, dark red petals of the Hibiscus flower.  It is served in many of the popular cafe's throughout Egypt. The best Karkady comes from Upper Egypt. Be sure to bring home a bag of dried petals from Aswan or Luxor.



* 1 cup hibiscus petals

* 2 cups sugar


Pick over the dried petals, removing any stems or leaves.  Soak the hibiscus petals in cold water to cover for 1-2 hours. Transfer the petals and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Remove the pot immediately and strain the liquid through filter paper.  Return the petals to the pot, add fresh cold water to cover, and repeat as above.  Repeat the process until the karkady loses its reddish hue.  Then, discard the petals and sweeten the juice while it is still hot.  Serve cold, although it is a pleasant drink when served warm in the wintertime.
It is possible to purchase hibiscus tea bags from other lands as a substitute, but the intensity of flavor will not be the same. I have found hibiscus tea bags from Poland in the international food department of a very large supermarket.



50           g Toblerone chocolate bar (honey nougat chocolate) (Cadbury's equivalent would work, too)
1/4           can condensed milk
2           cups hot water
4           teaspoons instant coffee powder
2           tablespoons sugar
2           tablespoons gelatin
5           cherries


1.     Mix gelatin in 1/2 cup water.

2.     Dissolve it by heating it over a pan of hot water.

3.     Divide into 2 equal parts (one for the white coffee mixture and the other for the black one).

4.     Blend coffee powder in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of hot water.

5.     Divide into 2 equal parts.

6.     Add sugar and one portion of the dissolved gelatin.

7.     Keep this coffee-jelly mixture aside.

8.     Add condensed milk and the remaining gelatin to the other portion of the coffee.

9.     Mix this milk-coffee-jelly mixture nicely.

10.     Take 5 cocktail glasses and pour 1/2 inch layer of black jelly coffee mixture.

11.     Chill till set.

12.     Pour a 1/2 inch layer of the milk-coffee-jelly mixture.

13.     Chill till set.

14.     Repeat the layer.

15.     Chill to set.

16.     Chop the Toblerone chocolate into small pieces.

17.     Melt it over a pan of hot water.

18.     Just before serving, pour 2 tsps.

19.     of the melted chocolate on the set dessert.

20.     Decorate with a maraschino cherry and a mint leaf.

21.     Serve in style!

Friday, September 7, 2012


Lamb and Eggplant Stew with Pitas


  1. Kosher salt

  2. 1 large eggplant (1 1/2 pounds), sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick

  3. 1/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  4. 4 lamb shanks (about 1 1/4 pounds each)

  5. Freshly ground pepper

  6. 1 large white onion, chopped

  7. 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses (see Note)

  8. 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas (3 ounces)

  9. 4 dried red chiles

  10. 2 teaspoons baharat spice blend (see Note) or garam masala

  11. 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  12. 8 small pita breads, warmed and torn into large pieces



  1. In a bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 quart of water. Add the eggplant, cover with a small plate to keep the slices submerged and let soak for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, turning once, until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 10 minutes. Add 3 quarts of water, the pomegranate molasses, split peas, dried chiles, baharat and coriander and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, skimming and stirring a few times.

  3. Drain the eggplant and pat dry. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 11/2 tablespoons of the oil. Add one third of the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes per side; transfer to paper towels to drain. Brown the remaining eggplant in the 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the eggplant to the lamb and simmer over low heat, stirring, until the lamb is tender, 45 minutes.

  4. Transfer the lamb to a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into 1-inch pieces. Boil the stew over high heat, skimming, until the liquid has reduced to 3 cups, about 40 minutes.

  5. Return the lamb to the stew and season with salt and pepper. Divide the pita among 4 bowls. Ladle the stew on top and serve.

NOTES Pomegranate molasses is basically reduced pomegranate juice. Baharat is a complex spice blend typically containing cumin, coriander and paprika. Both are available at Middle Eastern groceries.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012







* 2 racks of lamb, deboned, fat removed

* Brown sauce made with lamb stock from bones (recipe below)

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

* 4 slices prosciutto, 1 tbsp butter

* 2 tbsp chopped shallots and 1 garlic clove, sliced

* 7 oz. fresh spinach, washed,

* salt and pepper, 2 sheets phyllo pastry

* 2 tbsp butter, melted

* Vegetables:  8 oz. potatoes, peeled, cut in thin slices

* 2 tbsp vegetable oil

* 8 cherry tomoatoes,

* 4 thyme leaves



To make stock, place bones under broiler, turn to brown on all sides.  Place browned bones in sauce pan, cover with cold water, simmer for two hours.
In frying pan, heat oil and saute loins on medium-high heat to brown on all sides, but ensure meat is rare inside.  Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.  Roll prosciutto around loins.  Reserve.
Add stock to pan, boil down to make 1 cup brown sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.
In saucepan, add butter, saute shallots and garlic.  Add spinach, cover, cook just until spinach is wilted, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat, drain.
Fold each phyllo sheet in half.  Brush with butter.  Place loins on phyllo, cover with spinach.  Fold pastry around each loin like an envelope.  Place on bake sheet, bake in 375F oven 10 minutes (meat shouldbe medium-rare).
Vegetables:  Fry potato slices in very hot oil until golden brown and cooked.  Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt.  Place tomatores on lightly oiled pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake in 350F oven for three minutes or until barely tender.
To serve, place sauce on the obttom of hot plate, slice lamb in thick slices, place slices on sauce and garnish with potatoes and tomatoes.  Decoreate with thyme.
Makes 4 servings.

Monday, September 3, 2012






Serves 4
A Tagine is a baking/casserole dish with a conical cover, causing the steam from cooking to condense and fall back into the stew. Use a casserole dish with a tight lid for a similar effect.

Flat breads, such as lavash or pita bread, are traditionally used to eat this highly spiced Moroccan stew. Ras el hanout is a complex Moroccan spice blend that often can have up to fifty ingredients.* It is available at Middle-Eastern markets.



*      3 pounds lamb shanks, sawed into 1-inch pieces

*      3 medium onions, peeled and grated, two peeled and thickly sliced

*      1 tablespoon ras el hanout, plus more to taste*

*      Salt and freshly ground black pepper

*      1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

*      Large pinch saffron

*      1 cinnamon stick

*      1 teaspoon olive oil

*      2 teaspoons sugar

*      1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes

*      1 cup canned chickpeas

*      3 cups pumpkin or butternut squash chunks

*      3/4 cup pitted prunes, halved

*      Pita Bread or lavash



1. Coat lamb with grated onion, ras el hanout, and salt and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan. Add meat, and brown lightly on all sides. Add saffron, water, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Let cool slightly, and remove shanks. Pull meat from bones, keeping pieces as large as possible; discard fat, gristle, and bones. Season with salt and pepper. Skim fat from liquid, or refrigerate overnight, and remove fat. Refrigerate meat.
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon oil. Add sliced onions, and sprinkle with sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, tossing or stirring only when brown. Turn heat to low, and cook until onions are very soft and brown, about 20 more minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and cooking liquid from the lamb, and bring to a boil. Add meat, chickpeas, and pumpkin or squash, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove lid, stir in prunes, and simmer until thick, about 15 to 20 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately with harissa sauce and lavash or pita bread.

*To make your own Ras el Hanout:


*      1 teaspoon ground cumin

*     1 teaspoon ground ginger

*      1 teaspoon salt

*      3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*      1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*      1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

*      1/2 teaspoon cayenne

*      1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

*      1/4 teaspoon ground cloves