Most popular in Arabic cuisine, are the appetizers, also known as mezze. On most occasions, the mezze could be considered a meal in itself.
Salads are an important side dish and a meal is finished with dessert or fresh fruits.
Last but not least comes the famous coffee without which no meeting, formal or informal is complete. Coffee is often served only a few drops at a time and is heavy with the fragrance of cardamom seeds.
Traditionally It is poured from a long- handled copper coffee pot into a cup. When a guest's cup is empty, it is automatically refilled, only when the guest has drunk enough and he has tipped the empty cup from side to side, does the host cease offering.
Bread is eaten with every meal either dry or as a dip. There is a variety of tastes and textures to the flat bread, aka Khoubz in Jordan , depending on how the bread is baked, but most is round and flat.
To name some, one can find the Khoubz Sh'rak, a large thin, round, unleavened bread . Taboun, a thick, leavened and baked on hot rocks and Pita bread. Ka'ik is a round ring bread covered with sesame seeds and Manaqeesh is a snack of hot bread moistened with olive oil and covered with thyme.
Tea is usually served lightly flavored with mint and heavily sugared.
3 cups plain yogurt mixed with 1 cup water
1 egg white, beaten with a fork until frothy
2 tabs cornstarch
3 teas salt
3 Kg lamb cut into pieces
1 1/2 teas pepper
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 onion, chopped
1 teas turmeric , 1 teas cumin , 1 teas paprika
1/2 teas cinnamon
3 cups rice, rinsed
6 cups water
Arabic bread, toasted and broken into pcs
Place yogurt in a pot and stir in egg white, cornstarch and 1 teas of the salt, stirring continually with a wooden spoon in one direction , bring to boil over medium heat. Lower heat to low then allow to boil uncovered until yogurt thickens about 3 minutes, continuing to stir. Set aside but keep warm.
Place lamb in a large pot and cover with water then bring to boil over medium heat, skimming off froth repeatedly until boiling. Add remaining salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 4 tabs of the butter in a frying pan and sauté pine nuts until it begin to brown, pour on to a plate, draining butter back into the frying pan.
Add onion to frying pan and fry , adding more butter if necessary. Stir in spices and stir further 2 minutes.
Add this mixture to the boiling meat. While the meat is cooking, place the rice and water in a large saucepan then bring to boil. Turn heat to low, cover,cook for 20 minutes, stirring a number of times. Turn off heat but leave covered . Stir in remaining butter and keep warm.
After meat has been cooking for 1 1/2 hours remove lid and stir in yogurt sauce. Turn heat to low and cook until meat is tender and sauce thickens. Remove meat and set aside, keeping warm. Pour sauce into a bowl and keep warm. On a large platter place rice , place meat evenly over rice. Spoon some of the sauce over top then sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.
½ Kg' lamb meat, cut into strips
½ Kg' chicken breast, cut into strips
½ teas each cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup red wine vinegar
6 pita bread
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 slices pickled eggplant (optional)
3 serrano or jalapeסo chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped
Place the meat in a glass bowl. In another bowl, combine the spices, salt, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and vinegar, stir well, and pour it over the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Drain the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Grill the meat over a hot charcoal or gas fire until done, about 10 minutes, turning often. Divide the meat into the pita bread sections, add tomatoes, pickled eggplant if using and the chiles. You can top it with tahini sauce.
Peel vegetables and chop into medium size pieces. Wash lentils very well several times and drain. Fill a medium pan with water, bring to boil over high heat. Add lentils, carrot, tomato, potato and garlic. Leave to boil.
When all vegetables are tender pour all components of pan in a blender. Blend well then strain in a medium bowl. In a medium deep pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Stir in double cream for about 1 minute.
Add strained vegetable mix, chicken broth, salt, pepper and cumin. Leave to boil for about 5 minutes. If texture of soup is thick, add more broth or water.
1/4 kg' lamb cut to pcs
1 chopped onion
4 chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
some from each: salt, peppr, cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric
3 chopped cloves garlic