Middle Eastern cooking

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.

Mhullabiya


Mhallabiyyeh – Creamy Rice Pudding

Mhallabiya is a famous and very common dessert in Middle Eastern Cooking. It is very simple and easy to make and result is almost like the Indian ‘Phirni’. Several ways to make it, and is usually made with rice flour, rice paste, corn flour which makes the pudding smooth and thick. I have used rice rava for the grainy texture.

An Arabian dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 litre milk
  • 125 gms. sugar
  • 10 gm. Rice flour (or paste)
  • 1 tbs. orange blossom water or rose water
  • Nuts or fruit to serve

Method

  1. Take a pan and add the milk along with the sugar and rice and dilute it well. 
  2. Place on fire and cook till thick and creamy and the mixture coats the spoon. 
  3. Will thicken further upon cooling. 
  4. Add the orange blossom water and stir. 
  5. Transfer immediately to individual or a large serving bowl. 
  6. Garnish with nuts and cherries or top with fruit cocktail.

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.

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