Necessities in Middle Eastern Cuisine
Necessities in Middle Eastern Cuisine
Common ingredients in daily cooking includes dates, olives, couscous, wheat, legumes , fresh fruits & vegetables. Yogurt, cheese, black and red beans, chick peas , lentils, rice, pita bread and phylo dough . Cracked wheat is a substitue for rice and a must in
Berber in origin, native to the Maghreb region. Granules of pasta made from semolina flour, couscous is traditionally cooked by steaming it over boiling water . A feast to body and mind, Couscous is used in a variety of dishes, from stews to cakes and desserts.
Burgul (scroll for recipes) aka Bulgur
A common ingredient in Middle East cuisine. Burgul, aka cracked wheat, is used in variety of dishes, and mixed with vegetables and meats.
A sweet confection, made from washed, dried and ground sesame throughout the
Moroccan in origin. The best are the small ones . Adds sweet and sour taste to couscous, vegetable, meat and chicken dishes.
Native to North Africa, flavour many dishes with its tangy lemony taste.
Native to the
Water combined with fresh rose blossoms, for use mostly in sweets, cakes as the famours Baklava . Can be use with rice and meat dishes too.
There are evidence which show that olives grew and used in
There are many different kinds of olives, to name just a few we can find:
- Kalamata olives, origin in
, its black olives are best for Greece
- pickling.Manzanillo, origin in
, good for pickling and for oil making. Spain
- Santa Catherina , origin in
, excellent high quality olives. Italy
- Mochasan olives, big type, great for Middle Eastern salt pickling.
Middle Eastern sauces are not prepared separately in order to pour over the dish , but created during cooking as the sauce which accumulates in the stew pot ,or soups which are thickened with a mixture of egg yolk and lemon. Hard to leave, we dip our bread into it.
One exceptional is tomato sauce which dominant Middle Eastern cuisine. Originate in
Lots of popular sauces will be served cold such as garlic and mayonnaise sauce or yogury sauce, used as is or accompany with fresh mint , garlic or dill. Yogurt sauce is used with vegetables, rice, omelet, meat etc.
Sauces will give the final touch to the dish.
Yogurt with Garlic Sauce
2 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste
2 chopped garlic cloves
Put the yogurt in a bowl. Beat gently with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy. Add all the other ingredients. Beat to mix. Cover and chill until needed..
Oil and Lemon sauce
1/2 C oil, 2 lemons, salt, peppr
Beat the juice of the lemons with the oild and add the salt and pepper. This sauce is served with fish , either grilled of boild and goes good with salads too.
Taratour Sauce - aka Tahini sauce
1 C tahini (sesame seed paste), 3 tabs lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, salt
Put tahini in a bowl and add some water to thin it. Stir in lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt. Correct seasoning to your taste.
1 C of fresh red jalapeno, 1/2 C paprika mixed with 1 C olive oil and 1 teas. cumin, 3/4 C lemon juice
Mix all in blender and serve cold.
Kubbeh , the noun based from Arabic verb "to form into a ball", is a dish made with lamb or beef, burgul and pine nuts into oval or round shape. Very popular in
Jews who came from Arab countries brought with them their cuisine heritage and adopted recipes. Kubbeh can be eaten fried, baked or raw and can be made with rice or semolina too .
3/4 lb bulgur
3/4 lb ground beef or lamb
4 tabs chopped mint leaves
1 tabs chopped parsley
1 teas baharat
1 tesp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
Soak bulgur in water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out as much watr as possible. Place onion, burghur, 1/2 lb beef and herbs in a food processor and run the machine to grind it into a fine dough. Add a little water if it becomes too hard. Season with salt, pepper, pcumin and cinnamon. Chill.
Chop 1 onion and cook it in oil until translucent. Add beef and stir until the redness disappeared. Season with salt, pepper and baharat.
Wet your hands , make balls with the dough and using your finger to make a hole in each patty, aiming at having a thin wall. Place 2 teas filling inside each patty and close giving them an oval shape. Deep fry
Kubbeh in Sour soup
1 cup matzo meal
1 1/2 cup semolina
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound beef
oil for frying
salt and peppper to taste
6 cloves garlic
10 chopped scallions (green and white parts)
300 gr' chopped spinach leaves
Fry the meat cuts in a small amount of oil. Grind (coarse).
Prepare the dough by mixing all ingredients. Wet your hands, and shape small balls. Fill with 1 tesp of meat and seal.
Heat toil, fry the garlic until gold, add scallions and spinach leaves , mix well. Cook about 10 minutes. Cover with water and continue to cook. Add lemon juice . Add kubbeh to the boiling soup, and continue cooking about 15 minutes.