Greek Mediterranean food

Daoud Basha


Daoud Basha

Daoud Bash – Lebanese Meatballs in Tomato Pomegranate Molasses Sauce

Ingredients

  • For Meatballs:
  • 1 Kg. minced meat (Beef or Lamb)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ cup parsley (or coriander) leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. all spice powder) or 1 tbsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon powder) instead of all spice and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil to sear the meatballs
  • Potato Chunks:
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  • For the gravy sauce:
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. all spice powder) or 1 tbsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon powder) instead of all spice and cinnamon
  • ¼ cup tomato paste (or 2 large tomatoes, chopped & pureed and 1 ½ tbsp. tomato paste or increase the tomatoes to substitute the paste)
  • 1 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (substitute with vinegar or lemon juice)
  • Fried potato chunks
  • ½ capsicum each (any colours), cubed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley or coriander leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Mix all the meatball ingredients and make lemon sized balls. 
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and brown the meatballs turning carefully. Remove and keep aside. 
  3. Add the potatoes to the same oil and brown. Remove and keep aside.
  4. Take a wide dish, heat it and add 1 tbsp. olive oil. 
  5. Fry the chopped onion and garlic for a 2 minutes, add the spice powders and salt and saute. 
  6. Stir in the tomato puree or paste and cook till moisture evaporates. 
  7. Add the pomegranate molasses and mix well. 
  8. Place the meatballs in a single layer. 
  9. Pour enough hot water to cover the meatballs.
  10. Bring to a boil, lower flame and cook for 30 minutes, till meat is cooked and sauce thickens.  Stir occasionally. 
  11. Add the potatoes and capsicums and adjust seasoning. 
  12. Cover and cook further 10 minutes. 
  13. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with rice, bread or pasta.

Arabian Lamb Stew


Arabian Lamb Stew Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Lamb/Mutton
  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 2 Zucchinis, sliced into thick slices
  • 2 Carrots, sliced into thick slices
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 whole cardamoms
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. Lebanese 7 spice mix (or garam masala)
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil

Method

  1. Clean, cut and wash lamb. Drain and set aside. 
  2. Heat a pan and add the chopped onion, fry till light brown. 
  3. Add the lamb and cook on high till the water almost dries up and lamb changes color. 
  4. Add the whole spices and garlic and stir. 
  5. Add the tomato paste and water and let it boil, lower heat and cook for one hour. 
  6. Then add the potatoes, zucchini & carrots, and salt and cook further 15 to 20 minutes. 
  7. Add some hot to thin the gravy if required. 
  8. When meat and vegetables are tender, turn off heat. 
  9. Serve hot with rice or bread.

Imam Bayildi


Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables!!

Imam Bayildi translated The Fainting Imam, the name given to this Eggplant (Brinjal/Aubergine) preparation originates from one of the stories on the origins of this dish. It is said that the Imam passed out when he tasted this simple but flavorful dish, although not certain if it was due to the amount of olive oil or from the delicious taste!

Imam Bayildi (The Fainting Imam)

Blanch, peel and chop tomatoes. Chop parsley/coriander leaves. Remove stems and peel strips of skin lengthwise from the brinjals to get a striped effect. Cut lengthwise stopping short of the edge. Place the brinjals in salted water to avoid turning brown. Cut the onions into wedges. Chop the garlic. 

  • Heat half the olive oil and fry the onion till nearly transparent. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley/coriander leaves all over. 
  1. In a frying pan, heat remaining oil over high heat. Drain the eggplants well and fry until lightly brown on all sides but still firm. Cool the eggplants slightly and stuff the onion mixture as much as possible into the eggplants. Place the eggplants over the remaining mixture. Sprinkle the lemon juice, sugar and ½ cup water, cover and place on medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

Imam Bayildi

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 long medium-large eggplants
  • 3 large onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Large bunch parsley or coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil

Method

  1. Blanch, peel and chop tomatoes. 
  2. Chop parsley/coriander leaves. 
  3. Remove stems and peel strips of skin lengthwise from the brinjals to get a striped effect. 
  4. Cut lengthwise stopping short of the edge. 
  5. Place the brinjals in salted water to avoid turning brown. 
  6. Cut the onions into wedges. 
  7. Chop the garlic. 
  8. Heat half the olive oil and fry the onion till nearly transparent. 
  9. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. 
  10. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. 
  11. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley/coriander leaves all over. 
  12. In a frying pan, heat remaining oil over high heat. 
  13. Drain the eggplants well and fry until lightly brown on all sides but still firm. 
  14. Cool the eggplants slightly and stuff the onion mixture as much as possible into the eggplants. 
  15. Place the eggplants over the remaining mixture. 
  16. Sprinkle the lemon juice, sugar and ½ cup water, cover and place on medium-low heat for 45 minutes.
  17. If necessary add a little water to prevent from drying.
  18. Ideally served with Pita bread, goes well with chapatis or any Indian bread.

Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables. Also check out Aloo Chutneywale and Musallam Phool Gobi.

Greek Chicken Souvlaki


Inspired by Suzy of Themediterraneandish.com

Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually eaten straight off the skewer while still hot. It can be served with pita breadfried potatoeslemon, and sauces, but the souvlaki itself is eaten on its own, with the side dishes eaten subsequently. The meat usually used in Greece and Cyprus is pork, although chickenbeef, and lamb may also be used. Source: Wikipedia

Cut the chicken into cubes, blend the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile soak the wooden skewers in water. Use as many as required and the balance can be dried again and stored.

Skewer the chicken, alternating with the onion.

Place on a preheated grill and roast till brown on both sides. Can also be grilled on a pan grill or frying pan. Use smaller sized wooden skewers to fit into the pan and roast on a well greased pan till brown all over.

Greek Souvlaki

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 1 kg. Chicken breasts, boneless
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper powder
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whie wine (or 2 tbsp. vinegar)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium onions cut into fours and petals separated
  • Wooden or metal skewers

Method

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 .5“ cubes. 
  2. Blend the ingredients for the marinade from garlic to lemon juice. 
  3. Place chicken in a large bowl and add the bay leaves. 
  4. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat evenly. 
  5. Cover and keep for 4 hours or overnight. 
  6. While the chicken is marinating, soak the wooden skewers (if using wooden) in water.  
  7. When ready to grill, preheat the grill. 
  8. Skewer a piece of onion petal, then a piece of chicken alternating with onion. 
  9. Place on a rack with a tray underneath to catch the drippings. 
  10. Grill till golden, turn and grill other side till done. 
  11. Serve with pita bread, roasted garlic hummus and tzatziki.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs


I have been making Foccacia over and over since few years but I don’t know why it did not occur to me to post it sooner. My family just loves this bread and more than half of it gets gobbled up no sooner it comes out of the oven while still warm and crisp.

Top it with chopped olives, roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, caramalized onions, etc. Foccacia is best eaten alone as a snack, but you can use it for sandwiches or pair it with dips for a delicious appetizer.

Here are the step-by-step pictures and method.

Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.  Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated.  Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours. Alternatively, if you wish to bake the same day, leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate the seasoning. 

Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of olive oil in the centre of each. Divide the dough into two pieces and place each on the pan. 

Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan. 

Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F.  With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 

Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs

  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Italian seasoning, as mentioned below
  • Flaky sea salt

Italian seasoning

  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Mix all the above together and keep to infuse until required. I have used dried herbs, use fresh if available. Secondly, you may omit one or the other as per availability, but increase the quantity propotionately so the bread is well seasoned. You may also use chopped olives.

Method

  1. Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated. 
  3. Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours.  Alternatively, you can also keep to rise for two hours, if you plan on making it the same day.
  4. After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate well. 
  5. Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of oil oil in the centre of each.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces and place one on each pan. 
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F. 
  9. With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, use more oil if required and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

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