Peas With Carrot And Meat (Bazella with meat and Rice)

It is not always easy to please children with a single main course, but when it comes to peas with carrot and meat with rice on the side, they all like it. We call them green footballs! What do you call them?

Ingredients:

  • 700 grams of frozen peas
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 medium onions finely chopped
  • 2 carrots cut in small dices
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste

Preparation:

  • In a pot heat the oil and fry the onion until light golden and add the meat to cook evenly, stirring occasionally, season with salt and seven spices
  • Add the diced carrots and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the peas and cook in the pot with cover on and low heat for 5 minutes
  • Dissolve the tomato paste with a cup of water and pour it over the peas, and add enough water to cover them
  • When it starts boiling cover the pot, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the peas are soft
  • In the meantime mix the crushed garlic with a pinch of salt and the fresh coriander, fry in a small frying pan with one teaspoon of oil until the garlic turns golden color
  • Add the garlic-coriander mixture to the peas in the pot
  • Serve it with cooked rice

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Siyadieh

It’s Good Friday today and in many parts of the world, it’s a meat-free day. Most people in the Levant Area will prepare something that includes fish. Today, I prepared a very popular dish with fish and rice called Siyadieh. It is an eastern meal, but each country has it’s own way of preparing it. Even in Lebanon each area has it’s own way of cooking it. this is the way I make it.

Ingredients:

  • 1000 grams of hamour fish fillet (or any other white fillet) cut into medium sized pieces, and the head of the fish
  • 4 onions
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 tablespoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • frying oil
  • handful of pine seeds, handful of boiled and peeled almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour+1/2 cup to coat the fish fillet

Preparation:

  • Cut the onions in thin slices
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a pot, fry the head of the fish and remove it
  • Fry half of the cut onions in the same oil of the fish until dark brown color,cover with 1/2 cup of water cover the pot and let it simmer until the water evaporates and the onion get caramelized, remove half of the onions and put aside. We will use it for decoration of the plate
  • Put the head of the fish back, add about 6 cups of water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices, 1 tablespoon cumin, let it boil, then let it simmer for about 20 minutes on a low heat, then drain it. We will use this water as a fish stock to cook the rice
  • In another pot, heat the remaining vegetable oil and fry the remaining onion until brown, then cover with 1/2 cup of water and caramelize it
  • Wash the rice, add it to the fried onion, cover it with 4 cups of the fish stock, add salt, seven spices, cumin and 1 teaspoon of turmeric, cover and let it cook on very low heat until done
  • To make the sauce of this meal, we will use the remaining water of the stock fish, put it on fire
  • Dissolve the flour with 1 cup of water and add it to the fish stock, stirring with a whisk until it gets thick
  • Rub the fish fillet with a bit of salt and seven spices, coat it with flour and fry it until nice light brown color
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter and fry the pine seeds, then the almonds, place them on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of butter
  • To serve, place the rice on a plate, cover with the fried fish fillet, place over the fried onion and the pine seeds and the almonds. Place the sauce in a bowl, and just pour some over the rice when you’re about to eat.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..BON APPETIT.

Mloukhiye

Today I am in Abu Dhabi at my daughter’s house. She asked me to make Mloukhiye, because she likes the way I make it. Even though I taught her how, she said that mine is different and tastes nicer. She flattered me and I couldn’t refuse her demand:).

I believe there are many ways to cook Mouloukiye in lebanon, and also in other Arab Countries, but my recipe is the traditional family one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo of fresh Mloukhiye (or the frozen one if you don’t find the fresh)finely chopped
  • 250 grams of cube meat
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 7 clove of garlic
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • salt, seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • Fry the meat  in  oil in the pressure cooker until it turns dark brown from all sides
  • Add a teaspoon of salt and another teaspoon of seven spices, cover with water and cook until it is tender, it will take about 15 minutes in the pressure cooker
  • In a pot heat some oil and fry the onion until golden
  • Add the Mloukhiye to the onion and mix for about two minutes
  • Put the cooked meat over the onion and Mloukhyie and put water just to cover, reduce the fire,cover the pot and let it simmer
  • In the meantime wash the fresh coriander and chop into very small pieces, mix it with the crushed garlic and a teaspoon of salt and the dried coriander
  •  Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small saucepan and fry the mixture of garlic and coriander until golden brown
  • Add the coriander to the Moloukhiye pot and cook for more 5 minutes
  • Add the lemon juice and put the fire off

Now that the Mloukhyie is ready we need to serve it.

For serving we need:

  • Toasted pita bread
  • 2 small onion finely chopped
  • Lemon juice or red vinegar (as you desire)
  • Boiled chicken
  • Cooked rice

Serving method:

  • In a plate place the toasted pita bread and break into small pieces
  • Over the bread put the rice, then the Mloukhiye
  • On the top place some pieces of boiled chicken
  • At the end put on tablespoon of the chopped onion with lemon juice or vinegar

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT.

Kafta with Tahini

About a month ago, I posted the recipe for Kafta with Potatoes. But there is many other ways to cook this lovely meat: it can be grilled on a barbecue, put in a pita bread and cooked in the oven and many other different ways as well. Today I prepared it with Tahini. I remember my grandmother used to cook it for us when we would go over her house for dinner, and I liked it a lot. It’s a less common way to prepare Kafta, but it is very tasty. Try it yourself!

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of minced meat
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of Tahini
  • 3 lemons squeezed
  • salt, seven spices
  • frying oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Some pine seeds

Preparation:

  • Mix the minced meat with chopped parsley and chopped onion in a food processor (or you can take it ready from the butcher if he knows how)
  • Season with 1 small tsp salt and 1/2 tsp seven spices
  • Preheat the oven at 180C, grease a tray, place the Kafta in thin layer and flatten it with a wet hand
  • Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices
  • Fry the potatoes until golden
  • Mix the Tahini with one cup of water, the lemon juice and salt; flavor to your taste
  • Take the Kafta from the oven, place the fried potatoes over the meat, and cover them with the Tahini sauce
  • Place in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce thickens
  • While waiting for the food in the oven to cook, roast the pine seeds in a sauce pan
  • Serve it with cooked rice and sprinkle the roasted the pine seeds over it

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT!

Spring Rice Salad

Today my son has a long day at University, which means I will have lunch by myself. Cooking for myself alone is not very tempting. This is why I decided to make a salad as a one dish meal. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I believe salad is a very free plate, something you should have fun with. So, I decided to prepare a salad with rice to be consistent and light meal.

Simple and easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tomato, cut in medium sized pieces
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 green pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup mix of olive oil and apple vinegar, a dash of hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper for the dressing salad
  • 1 small onion sliced and separated into rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint

Preparation:

  • In a small saucepan, place the rice with water, salt, curry and vegetable oil and bring to boil
  • Reduce the heat, stirring from time to time, cover and let it simmer until the rice is cooked
  • Place rice in a plate and let it cool to room temperature
  • Add tomato, carrot, green pepper
  • Season with the dressing and garnish with onion and dried mint

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Mjaddara (Lebanese Way)

For a long time, Mjaddara has been considered food for poor people because the ingredients are very cheap and easy to get. Lentils, onion, rice and some spices. However, nowadays  due to increased interest in healthy food containing proteins, iron, and vitamins we find Mjaddara being increasingly served at lunch or dinner parties. Did I mention that it is also one of our many Lebanese mezze dishes? Yes, it is. We can have it as a side dish, and even as a main dish. So here is the recipe I learned from my mother 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of lentil of broad white lentils
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Egyptian rice ( small grains)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the lentils in 2 litre of salted water, it will take about 30 minutes. Then drain it from water
  • In a pot heat the olive oil and fry the onion until light golden color
  • Wash the rice and add it to the onion with one cup of water, leave it ten minutes on a very low heat, until the rice is half cooked
  • In the meantime, put the cooked lentils in a food processor and puree them
  • Add the puree of lentils to the onion and rice, if you find the mixture is too thick, add a little water
  • Season with salt, seven spices and cumin, stirring always the lentils until the rice is well cooked
  • Pour the Mjaddara on a plate and leave until it is completely cold and set
  • Serve it with salad and pickles.

Sometimes I may boil excess lentils and after they are well cooked I’ll put the remaining in the freezer until I need them again.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Shrimp With Curry

I lived in Abu Dhabi for twenty years. The United Arab Emirates is a very diverse country, with many peoples from all around the world living and working there. One of larger communities there was the Indian community. Having come from a strictly Lebanese upbringing, I wasn’t accustomed to the large variety of tastes and smells in their cuisine. When walking along by the markets and restaurants, the strong smell of curry was prevalent and a bit pungent to my young, inexperienced nose. I had thought then that I would never eat anything made with curry, let alone any Indian dishes.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago: my son invited me to a nice Indian restaurant here in Lebanon. My children had grown up in Abu Dhabi and were familiar with international cuisine at a much younger age than I had. My son, for instance, loves spicy foods and he made me taste a plate of shrimp cooked in curry for my very first time. I was afraid it would taste spicy for me, but they had mixed it with fresh cream to cool it. I was so impressed with the dish that I hurried home to try and recreate it. After a few experiments, I found the perfect recipe that suits my slightly more delicate palette. Those of you who aren’t a fan of foods made with curry will find this dish to be delightfully smooth and mild.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of precooked and peeled shrimp (you can use frozen ones)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 red apple, peeled and grated
  • 250 ml of fresh cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of curry
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion and garlic until light golden color
  • Add the carrot to the onion and garlic, leave for 3 minutes
  • Add the grated apple to the mixture and leave it to cook for 2 minutes
  • Place the shrimps in the pot and add salt for flavor
  • Mix the curry with 1/2 cup of water and pour it over the shrimp
  • Cover and let it cook until the carrots are tender
  • Add the fresh cream cover, lower the heat and stir gently for 3 minutes

Serve it with cooked rice.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Stuffed Cabbage (Mehchi Malfouf)

A small girl asked her mother, “Mum where did I come from?” Her mother answered, “I found you in a cabbage”. This little girl believed her mother until she grew up and had her own children. Surprise surprise, it wasn’t a cabbage that brought them! That little girl was me, and as a mother, I was asked her the same question by my children and passed down this old wives’ tale just for laughs.

Every time I prepare any dish with cabbage, I remember this story and say to myself: poor delicious cabbage! how people have mistreated you. Its such a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, stuffed or in a salad. However, I have yet to find any kids in inside!

Stuffed cabbage is a popular dish among Arab countries, with small differences in preparation. As per usual, I’ll be showing you how to make it like my mother taught me, a la Libanaise.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kilo cabbage
  • 200 gs minced meat
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • about 15 clove of garlic peeled
  • 2 cups of rice
  • salt, 7 spices
  • lemon juice
  • dried mint
  • some corn oil

Preparation:

  • Separate the cabbage, leaf by leaf
  • Put it in a casserole of boiling salted water and cook for about 7 minutes, then strain it
  • In a small saucepan, fry the minced meat in some oil
  • Crush the garlic cloves, add to the meat while cooking and season with salt and 7 spices. Turn off the fire after a few minutes, before the meat is well cooked
  • Wash the rice and mix it with the meat. This is now your stuffing for the cabbage
  • Take one leaf of cabbage, open it carefully, place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing in the center and roll it. Repeat this with the rest of the leaves until you finish your stuffing
  • Put some corn oil in a pot and pile the stuffed cabbage inside delicately with the garlic cloves in between rows
  • On the top, place a plate upside down to keep them together while cooking
  • Fill the pot with water until the cabbage is all covered, and not more
  • Cook it on a low heat for about 25 minutes or until you find that rice is tender
  • Add lemon juice for flavor
  • Sprinkle with dried mint

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Vegetable Stew

Most children don’t like vegetables, especially zucchini and eggplant. They prefer to eat chicken nuggets, hamburger or anything else that can be found at a fast food restaurant. Even my siblings and I didn’t like those kinds of vegetables when we were young . My mother used to cook vegetables in this kind of stew with some meat to make us eat them (or else we’d be in trouble). It’s funny how we become our mothers… I too used this same recipe on my children. May it be as effective on your children as well:)

By the way, for those of you who can’t find the Lebanese Seven Spices ready mixed, here is a very useful guide to making it yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams lean beef cut into cubes
  • 2 potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 large carrot cut into slices
  • 2 zucchini cut into slices
  • 1 large eggplant cut into cubes
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 red tomatoes chopped
  • 3 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt, seven spices, 1 tablespoon of dried coriander
  • cooking oil

Preparation:

  • In a pressure cooker, fry the meat with a little oil
  • When the meat is cooked, cover with water add one teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon seven spices cook with the pressure cooker closed for 20 minutes
  • In the meantime, heat some oil in a pot and fry the the onion for 2 minutes then add the garlic and stir together for about a minute
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, cover the pot, lower the heat and leave it for 3 minutes
  • Remove the cooked meat from the pressure cooker and keep the water of the meat
  • Place the meat over the tomatoes, onion and garlic mixture
  • Add the carrot first for 4 minutes then the potatoes
  • Cover with the water used to cook the meat and add the tomato paste
  • Now add the zucchini then the eggplant after a couple of minutes
  • Season with salt, seven spices and the dried coriander
  • Lower the heat, cover the pot and let it cook slowly for about 20 minutes or until the carrot is tender
  • Serve it with cooked rice and green salad on the side

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Rice and Beans (Riz bil Foul)

When my children were young, we used to spend the summer holidays in our home in the mountain. One night, my sons felt they like to eat some beans from one of the street vendors. I took my little boys in the car and I asked them to keep an eye out for beans vendors. My eldest son saw one and I stopped the car with the vendor at the passenger’s side. I told my son to ask the man for some beans and, in his excitement, he mixed up the words while asking. Instead of saying, “3ammo 3andak foul?” (sir do you have beans?) he said “3ammak Foul” (your uncle is a bean!)

Since then, this has become a joke between us. My son is now a young man working in New York City, and while talking to him yesterday he told me “3ammak Foul”. I know that this is his way to tell me that he misses me. That’s why I decided to cook the rice with broad beans today.

Ingredients:

  • 100 gs minced meat
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup of frozen broad beans (the green ones)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • salt, seven spices

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion
  • When the onion start to get golden color, add the meat and fry it with the onion
  • Season with a dash of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • Add the beans and mix it with meat and onion, then lower the heat and cover the pot for few minutes until the beans becomes tender
  • In the same pot, put the rice with 2 cups of water, adjust the seasoning as desired, and let the rice cook on a low heat until it absorbs all the water
  • Serve it with yogurt and green salad

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)