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March 2020

3 Healthy and Easy Meals You Can Make Today at Home

These delicious modern Middle Eastern recipes require just a few ingredients.

 

Image from When Suzanne Cooks: Modern Flavours of Arabia by Suzanne Husseini


Easy recipe ideas from one of our favourite female foodies in the Middle East

 

As many of us stay home and hunker down to social distance, there is no better time to build on our kitchen skills and feed ourselves with healthy, immune-boosting meals. 

We have turned to Suzanne Husseini, one of our favourite Middle Eastern foodies and author of the best-selling cookbook, When Suzanne Cooks: Modern Flavours of Arabia, for three delicious dishes to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner.

These simple recipes call for only a few essential ingredients – most of which you are likely to already have in your fridge and cupboards. 

Scroll below to get cooking!

Breakfast: Fava Bean Dip

 

Fava Bean Dip from When Suzanne Cooks: Modern Flavours of Arabia

 

Suzanne says, “Foul m’dammas is a dip traditionally eaten for breakfast, but it can also be a healthy protein-packed snack for any time of the day.”

 

Ingredients: 4 servings
1 can of cooked fava beans (300g) 
2 cloves garlic, mashed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. cumin
Sea salt
1 red chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped 
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 tomato, diced
Extra virgin olive oil

How To:

1. In a saucepan heat the fava beans to boiling point and remove. 
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the water and place in a bowl. Add the mashed garlic, lemon juice, cumin and chilli pepper—season with salt. If the mixture is too thick, add some of thecooking water to loosen it. 
3. To serve, place the fava bean dip in a bowl, garnish with the parsley and diced tomatoes and drizzle on the olive oil. Serve hot with fresh pitta bread, along with sliced tomatoes, hot peppersand mint on the side.
Tip: Keep pitta bed in your freezer to pull out and toast when needed. 


Lunch: Creamy Lentil Soup

 

Creamy Lentil Soup from When Suzanne Cooks: Modern Flavours of Arabia


Suzanne says, “This was the soup my mother made whenever it was raining. She would look outside and say, ‘Yawm adas’, meaning ‘It’s lentil soup day’. Comfort food takes us back to a time and place.”

 

Ingredients: 6-8 servings
2 medium onions, finely chopped 
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups orange lentils, rinsed
2 large carrots, peeled and grated 
¼ cup rice (Arborio or short grain)
6 cups chicken stock 
1 tbsp. cinnamon
½ tbsp. allspice
2 tbsp. cumin
Sea salt

Taklia:

2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup finely chopped coriander
¼ cup plain yoghurt or sour cream 
2 tbsp. coriander, finely chopped

How To: 


1. In a large pot sautée the onions in the olive oil until soft. Add the lentils, carrots, rice and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Continue to cook until the soup thickens and lentils fall apart. Stir periodically so that the lentils do not stick. 
2. Add in the spices and season with salt. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until creamy.
3. To prepare the taklia, in a small skillet heat the 2 tbsp. Olive oil and sautée the garlic for one minute until it perfumes the air, then add the coriander and stir for an additional minute. 
4. Pour this on top of the soup and allow simmering for 5 minutes to heighten the flavour.
5. In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt or sour cream with the coriander. Place a teaspoon of this on top of each serving of soup. Sprinkle on a few pitta croutons and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the soup.


Dinner: Ground Lamb in Tahini Citrus Sauce 

 

Ground Lamb in Tahini Citrus Sauce from When Suzanne Cooks: Modern Flavours of Arabia


Suzanne says, “Kofta is ground meat, usually lamb mixed with fresh herbs like parsley and mint, onion and seasoned delicately with a few spices. There are many versions. This one is a delicious way to use tahini.”


Ingredients: 6-8 servings
4 medium potatoes, sliced into rounds
½ cup peanut oil
1kg minced lamb
1 onion, chopped fine
½ cup parsley, chopped fine 
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. allspice
Salt and pepper
1 cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons (or more) 
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups of water
Sea salt
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
A handful of chopped parsley, to garnish

How To:

1. Peel, wash and slice the potatoes into rounds. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet and fry the potatoes until golden on both sides. Remove and place on absorbent paper to cool and preheat the oven to 180 ̊C.
2. In a large bowl, combine the minced lamb, onion, parsley, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper. In a baking dish, place the potatoes in one layer. Shape the kofta into long sausages and place on top. 
3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until partially cooked. Remove and keep the oven on while you make the sauce. 
4. Mix the tahini, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, water, and salt to taste. It should be a pouring consistency and creamy. Pour the sauce all over and return to the oven to finish cooking and to thicken the sauce slightly about 20 minutes. 
5. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and parsley. Serve hot with white rice and a salad.


Credit: Recipes sourced from When Suzanne Cooks: Modern Flavours of Arabia by Suzanne Husseini published by Motivate Media Group.

 
May 2019

The Best Healthy Ramadan Recipes to Whip Up For Your Next Iftar

Impress the in-laws with these delicious dishes.

The best Ramadan Iftar recipes to try tonight

The best Ramadan Iftar recipes to try tonight 

 

Thinking up new Iftar recipes night after night is no easy feat, especially if you have a revolving door of guests coming through your home during Ramadan. 
In need of kitchen inspiration, we turned to one of our favourite chefs, Zahra Abdalla, whose famous book Cooking With Zahra has become our go-to guide for both traditional and modern Middle Eastern cuisine. 
Here are our top two healthy and meat-free recipes – so there’s no need to make something separate for veggie guests.


Roasted Cabbage with Lemon and Tahini Sauce

Roasted cabbage with lemon and tahini sauce

Roasted cabbage with lemon and tahini sauce

 

“Roasted cabbage with lemon and tahini sauce is a delicious, healthy and vegan dish that I love serving at my dinner parties. I usually like to serve it with some roast chicken, or it can be served as a simple and light meal on its own,” says Zahra. “Every time I prepare this at one of my dinner parties; my guests always leave asking for the recipe.”

Ingredients: Serves 4 – 6  

  • ½ head of cabbage
  • Salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • Olive oil 

Lemon and tahini sauce: 

  • 1 cup tahini paste
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder (optional) 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

Garnish: 
1 cup mixed sprouts, for garnish 

1. Preheat oven at 200°C. Cut half a head of cabbage into 6 or 8 equal-sized wedges, cutting through the core and stem end. Arrange the wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Flip the cabbage wedges and do the same on the other side.

2. Bake the cabbage for 20 – 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Roast until tender and golden-brown.

3. To make the sauce, combine the tahini paste and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly add the water to this, whisking until the sauce has a light, creamy consistency. Season with chilli powder, sea salt and pepper.

4. Serve the roasted cabbage on a platter and top with a drizzle of the lemon and tahini sauce, and garnish with mixed sprouts. Serve hot or cold.

 

Kookoo Sabzi Mixed Herb Frittata

 Kookoo sabzi mixed herb frittata

Kookoo sabzi mixed herb frittata

 

“Usually this dish is fried,” explains Zahra. “However, as a healthier alternative, I bake it like a cake and slice it before serving. This dish is delicious when served hot or cold.”

 
Ingredients: Serves 6 – 8 
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped 
  • 2 cups fresh coriander, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup fresh green onions, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup fresh chives, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup fresh dill, finely chopped 
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp barberries (optional)
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional) 
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder 

1. Preheat oven at 180°C.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until well beaten. Then add parsley, coriander, green onions, chives, dill, flour, barberries, walnuts, olive oil, salt and black pepper powder, and mix well until fully combined.

3. Pour the batter into a greased ovenproof skillet or cake pan and bake for 45 minutes.

4. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Cut into small pieces and serve with baked salmon and sabzi polo.  

 
Cooking with Zahra by Zahra Abdalla and Motivate Publishing

Cooking with Zahra by Zahra Abdalla, Motivate Publishing 

 

 
May 2018

Arabic Restaurants: 3 of the Tastiest Iftars to Try Tonight

Where to celebrate Ramadan and break your fast in Dubai.

The top restaurants for Iftar 2018 in Beirut

The top restaurants for Iftar 2018 in Dubai and Beirut

 

Platters are overflowing with tender grilled meats, bowls of creamy hummus, heaps of mezze filled with fresh tabbouleh and stuffed pastries, and do not get us started on our love of halloumi – we could wax lyrical about our appreciation for all things Middle Eastern-menu related. 

But for this purpose, we will keep it brief and merely list three of the best Arabic Restaurants in Dubai and Beirut you must try throughout Ramadan this year. 

The best restaurants in Beirut for Iftar

Get ready for an Iftar to remember with our guide to the best restaurants in Dubai and Beirut


AL Halabi

This favourite restaurant located in Mall of the Emirates attracts the masses for good reason – the menu is extensive, diverse and brimming with classic dishes, such as hot and cold mezzes, meat, fish fillets, kebbeh, fragrant soups and much more. 

The mixed grill is an AL Halabi house specialty and a real standout on the foodie front, as are the lamb chops, which are so tender the meat will fall-off-the-bone and melt in your mouth – need we say more! 

If you have any space left over for dessert, we highly recommend the homemade Baklava pastries. 


Ahwak


Ahwak restaurant in Beirut

Ahwak at City Centre Beirut

 

From grilled shish taouk topped with garlic sauce and crispy French fries to fresh fattoush salads, a burger seasoned with shawarma spices and more mezze than you could eat in a lifetime, the food at Ahwak is some of the best we have tried in town. 

Even the breadbasket here is a meal in itself, packed high with puffed-out pita, which is continuously replenished throughout your meal.

If you fancy a little something sweet with your coffee, opt for a bowl of freshly cut fruit or forgo the more indulgent route and order the chocolate-dipped dates. 


Abd el Wahab

Abd el Wahab restaurant in UAE

Abd el Wahab at City Centre Mirdif

 

You might be expected to wait for a table throughout popular Iftar timings, but trust us when we tell you it will be so worth it when you try the food at Abd el Wahab. 

While nearly every dish we have tasted here has been far above average, the chicken fatteh, falafel platter and shawarmas are the real draws. 

Go with an appetite as the portions are not only generous but too tasty to resist and you may end up over-ordering! 

Article Source: http://www.malloftheemirates.com/blog/dining/arabic-restaurants-3-of-the-tastiest-iftars-to-try-tonight

 
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