taste arabia




taste arabia

March 4, 2011

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contents preface breakfast appetizer soups main courses accompanimants desserts drinks glossary index acknowledgement 7 9 17 31 37 55 65 75 84 91 93 5 .

economy and last but not least culture. foie gras in China or sushi in Scotland has become rather normal. The cuisine and traditions related to food in individual countries have spread all over the globe.preface As-Salamu Alaikum Rapid globalization is the dominant reason that the world has become smaller in terms of politics. To a certain extent these Western countries have contributed or rater refined the Arabic cuisine. Agriculture. That is to say eating pizza in Brazil. In ancient Egypt the people in the Nile Valley discovered that they could exploit the annual river overflow for their own benefit. One of the benefits of globalization is that it has given us the opportunity to explore other cultures through food. Nations and empire that have invaded countries in the Arab world have left footprints in Arabic gastronomy. In modern history nations such as Great Britain and France have invaded Arabic land. These empires include The Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire. the turbulent history and trading routes in Arabia have all played a huge part in shaping the Arabic cuisine. With no more than eight inches of rainfall annually it is impressive that Egypt was one of the earliest nations in which agriculture was made possible. These and other ingredients such as molokhia have been staple food in Egypt from the days of the Pharaohs. 6 . Soon crops such as wheat and rice grew with ease. The Arabic kitchen is an outstanding gastronomical experience and just one of many exciting cuisines to explore.

When I tell my friends that Arabic cuisine is one of my favorites they usually nod and eagerly talk about an amazing place to eat shawarma. This books allows you to take the time to journey through one of the most colorful. Tahiyati Yasmin Al-Modhwahi 7 . but there is also focus on less known areas of the Arabic cuisine. and to serve in his own house. pomegranates and figs when they sailed to Zanzibar. Arabic hospitality and generosity can seem overwhelming at first. to serve his horse. to serve his guest. It is time to have a taste of Arabia. countries in East Africa and the Indian Ocean. ginger and chilli. Till this day these spices are fundamental in Arabic cooking. During a meal the host will encourage the guest to taste all the served food and to eat more than his or her filling. Traders from both countries loaded their boats with dates. cardamom. tasteful and unique gastronomical cuisines. Hospitality and generosity are two of the highest held virtues in the Arabic culture and are strongly associated with food.Between 1600 and 1800 there was active trading tradition in Oman and Yemen. as I would like for people outside the Arab world to be familiar with and be able to cook authentic Arabic dishes. This book is intended for people in non-Arabic speaking countries or for those without Arabic background. Though shawarma tastes delicious I think of more than just this dish when I mention Arabic food. Several recipes in ‘A Taste of Arabia’ are well known including hummus and falafel. sibling or a stranger – he or she should be welcomed with open arms. but once you get familiar with it you feel that it is a gesture that comes from the heart. They returned with spices including cinnamon. As the Old Persian saying and the Arabic proverb states: “A guest is God’s gift” and “Three things are no disgrace to man.” It does not matter whether the guest is a neighbor.


breakfast .

beaten 500 g plain flour 1 tsp. 230°C. If not using a forn. place one bread at a time on top of the oven. Brush each circle with olive oil and sparkle with zaatar. Beat in the eggs and add salt. for 5 to 8 minutes or until the topping sizzles and the bread is firm. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a big bowl. salt topping 1 tbsp. dried zaatar Heat milk and butter in a small pan until lukewarm. Sift the flour into the yeast liquid.manakish bil zaatar makes 12 dough 150 ml milk 125 g butter 25 g fresh yeast 3 eggs. olive 1 tbsp. Leave the bread for a few seconds or until the bread can be taken off the forn with ease. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece out to a thin round circle. Add the yeast and blend well. close the door and leave for few seconds until the topping of the bread sizzles. Move the bread with a metal spatula into the oven. bake the bread in a preheated oven. 10 When baked place the bread on a rack. . Serve warm. Put the forn on and when burning hot. knead the mixture to a soft dough and leave it to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

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Serve the lebnah in a deep dish. Make a cavity in the center of the cheese and fill it with olive oil. Drain the yoghurt through a piece of cotton in a colander for 24 hours in a cold place.6 persons 2 dl olive oil 1 dl zatar lebnah 4 . 62) by dipping the bread into the zaatar. Eat with khubz (p.zaatar 4 . Mix the drained yoghurt with salt. Eat with khubz (p. 12 .6 persons 1 L yoghurt natural ¾ tsp. 62). salt olive oil Mix oil and zatir.

Add the broad beans. cumin ½ tsp.6 persons 4 tbsp. olive oil 1 onion. chili (optional) 3 tsp.foul 4 . 62). chopped 1 dl parsley. Leave to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. It is believed that the dish dates back rom the days of the Pharoahs. Add remaining ingredients and stir. ! Heat oil in a deep pan. salt ½ tsp. and the tomatoes. 13 . chopped 1 can of broad beans (450 g) 2 tomatoes. as fava beans have been found in pharaonic tombs. Eat with khubz (p. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. pepper olive oil In Egypt fava beans are used instead of broad beans. inclusive the water from the can. Mash the bean mixture with a fork. The dish originates form Egypt and is considered a naitonal dish of the nation. chopped ½ tsp. Serve in a deep dish and drizzle generously with olive oil.

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This will make the dough fall apart when frying the falafel. but fava beans. These delicious vegetarian-friendly balls are not just enjoyed at breakfast. When chopping the herbs do so using a knife. Serve warm or cold. ! Falafel have become a character trait of the Middle East and have gained global popularity. Remove onto absorbent paper. finely chopped 2 dl coriander. chili powder cooking oil garnish chopped herbs Soak chickpeas for 24 hours and discard water. 15 . sesame seeds 2 tsp. Quarter the onions and put them in a food processer with chickpeas and garlic. sodium bicarbonate 1 tbsp. Otherwise they are usually a part of a mezze table. finely chopped 10 garlic cloves 2 onions 4 tbsp. salt 1 tsp. 61). If chopped in a food processer the juice of the herbs will be extracted. Form the dough into 60 balls at the size of a walnut. finely chopped 1 dl dill. In Egypt falafels are known as tamiya. Blend until a smooth paste. Mix all the ingredients and leave the dough to rest for 4 hours. Garnish with chopped herbs. Deep fry the falafels in sizzling oil to a brown color. cumin 2 tsp.falafel makes 60 500 g chickpeas 2 dl parsley. Tamiya are not made of chicpeas. Sometimes they are served in khubz (p. 62) with some type of tahina or yoghurt sauce (p.


appetizer .

It is important to hollow it so that the wall of the ball is as thin as possible without cracking. Close the kibbeh and reshape the ends to resemble an American football. kibbeh bil-sanieh. as they are baked rather than fried. finely chopped 150 g minced meat 35 g pine nuts ½ tsp. For the filling. These kibbeh are alternative kibbeh krass. Stuff each ball with one portion of the filling. salt fill 1½ tbsp. Transfer the bulgur into a bowl. grated 1 tbsp. Serve with zabadi bil nana (p. fried kibbeh that has a shell and fill consisting of minced meat and bulgur. Divide the shell mixture into 25 balls. olive oil ½ tsp. oil and salt to the bulgur. There are several versions of the dish including kibbeh nayye. Hollow the meatball from one end to the other with the index finger.kibbeh makes 25 shell 75 g bulgur 350 g minced meat 1 onion. Add the minced meat and cook until evenly browned. . kibbeh on tray that is layered and baked. Shape each raw meatball like an egg. onion. 61). raw kibbeh similar to paté. salt ¼ tsp. heat olive oil and fry the onion till golden. ! 18 The national dish of Lebanon is kibbeh. Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes or until evenly brown. olive oil 1 onion. Place the kibbeh on a tray. Add remaining ingredients and leave it to cook for a few minutes. However do not make a hole all the way through. Knead to a thick paste. Leave space between each one of them. and kibbeh krass. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the filling from the heat and divide into 25 portions. Add meat. pepper Rinse bulgur in a sieve and squeeze out any excess moisture.

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finely chopped 1 dl mint. Chop vegetables and herbs with a knife. finely chopped dressing 1 dl olive oil 1 dl limejuice 1 garlic clove 1 tsp salt Soak the bulgur in water for 2 to 3 hours and drain. 21 .tabouleh 4 . finely chopped 2 dl parsley. finely chopped 3½ dl tomatoes.6 persons ½ dl bulgur 2½ dl cucumber. finely chopped 1 dl spring onion. Pour the entire dressing in the salad and toss well. Just before serving mix all the ingredients for the salad. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing.

pepper garnish olives chopped herbs Preheat the oven to 200°C. Half the eggplants and scoop out the flesh. According to the legend that is how Baba Ganoush was invented. 62) ! 22 The Sultan’s harem of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th century refers to an enclosed quarter of women. wives. The Valide Sultan.6 persons 3 eggplants 5 garlic cloves 2 dl tahina 1 tbsp. cumin 2 tbsp. Prick eggplants with a fork and roast them on a rack for 45 minutes or until the skin wrinkles. Garnish with chopped herbs and olives and eat the baba ganoush with khubz (p. Blend the flesh and garlic till a smooth paste. concubines and daughters. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. salt ½ tsp. and the hasekiks. paprika powder 1 tbsp. vinegar Juice of 3 limes 2 tsp.baba ganoush 4 . The quarter included the Sultan’s mother. were highest in the harem hierarchy and they had great political influence. . the Sultan’s favorite.Remove the eggplants from oven and leave to cool for a while. The women of the harem competed with one another to become hasekiks by for instance impressing the Sultan with new exciting dishes. the Sultan’s mother.

Break the bread into small pieces of 1-2 cm squares When chopping herbs and vegetables do so using a knife. finely chopped 1 dl parsley. finely chopped 1 big loaf Arabic bread dressing ½ dl olive oil Juice of 1 lime 2 tsp. Just before serving mix all the ingredients for the salad.6 persons 1 dl mint.fatoush 4 . diced 2 small cucumbers. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing. finely chopped 8 romaine leaves. Pour the entire dressing in the salad and toss well. salt Roast Arabic bread in a 200°C preheated oven until the bread is golden and crisp. 23 . diced 2 spring onions. chopped 2 tomatoes. sumak ½ tsp.

Do not spoon too much of the filling as the wine leaf will cut when cooking. Afterwards the stock is added until the wine leaves are completely covered with liquid. finely chopped 4 tbs. olive oil 1 pack/glass wine leaves stock 1 can peeled tomatoes 3 tbs. They must be packed closely. Add tomato paste and stock cubes. The juice from the filling is poured over the wine leaves. then the sides. 24 . bokharat 2 big bunches parsley 2 big bunches mint 5 tbs. This is in order to prevent the wine leaves from expanding too much and thereby becoming too soft. Before placing it on the leaf. Put the rolls in a pot. place it over the wine leaves before the lid is put on. Cover with a lid and boil on low fire for 2½ hours. Cut off the stalk.warak einab makes 120 400 g rice 500 g minced beef 6 big tomatoes. lemon juice 1 tsp. Place wine leaves in a pot and cover them with water. salt 5 tsp. black pepper 5 tsp. finely chopped 3 medium-sized onions. If there is any stock left add it to the wine leaves during the cooking time. Mix all ingredients except wine leaves in a big bowl. Eat the wine leaves warm or cold and serve with zabadi bil nana (p. cinnamon 2 tsp. YASMIN’S WORD: If there is space for a dish. Boil them for 5 minutes. Spoon some of the mixture on the stalk end of the leaf. First fold the stalk end of the leaf over the mixture. Finally roll the wine leaf tightly towards the tip. tomato paste 2 beef stock cubes Remove parsley and mint leaves from the stalk. 61). Place one wine leaf on a work surface at a time with the shiny sight down. Rinse thoroughly and chop finely. Blend the peeled tomatoes in a bowl. If no stock is left add water. make sure to squeeze the juice of the mixture into another dish.

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Serve with the warm stock. cinnamon 2 tsp. Leave about 1 cm without filling so that the vegetables won’t crack when cooking. black pepper 5 tsp. salt 5 tsp. tomato paste 2 beef stock cubes 26 . bokharat 2 big bunches parsley 2 big bunches mint 2 big bunches diill 5 tbs. Makes 60 400 g rice 500 g minced beef 6 big tomatoes. Add tomato paste and stock cubes. olive oil 60 small zucchinis 1 green pepper stock 1 can peeled tomatoes 3 tbs. parsley and mint leaves from the stalk. Cut off stem end of the zucchinis and green pepper. Place the green pepper in the centre of a pot and encircle it by standing zucchinis as shown in the picture to the bellow. Rinse thoroughly and chop finely. Cover the vegetables with the stock and leave to boil on low fire for 1 hour or till tender. Stuff the zucchinis and the green pepper with the mixture. finely chopped 1 tsp.kousa mahshy Remove dill. Mix all ingredients except zucchinis and green pepper in a big bowl. The wall of the hollow zucchini should be no more than 2 to 3 millimeters and the rounded end of it should be kept intact. Blend the peeled tomatoes in a bowl. Remove the inside of the pepper and hollow the zucchinis using a corer. finely chopped 3 medium-sized onions.

vinegar Juice of 2 limes 1 dl chopped parsley (optional) garnish Chopped parsley 1 can chickpeas Mix all the ingredients to a very smooth mixture. 27 . crushed 1 tbsp. ! After more than three months of planning and five hours of mixing.hummus 4 . Serve with khubz (p. red chili 2 tbsp. The hummus should have a creamy and soft consistent.452 kg plate of hummus in May 2010. 300 cooks presented a 10. If too thick add water.6 persons 1 can chickpea purée (430 g) ½ dl tahina 1 dl yoghurt 3 garlic cloves. It earned a Guinness World Record for the heaviest plate of hummus. Garnish the paste with chopped parsley and chickpeas. 62).

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Place one spring roll dough sheet on a working surface and put a ball of cheese near the bottom middle it.asabi gullash bil gibna makes 50 125 g halloumi cheese 1 dl parsley. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix. Cover the cheese with the bottom part of the sheet. because making the asabis can take some time. 29 . Shape the cheese as a 3-5 cm long sausage. chopped 1 dl mint. Roll the roll towards the top. chopped 240 g mozzarella cheese 250 g domyati 2 eggs 1 pack spring roll dough (50 sheets) cooking oil Grate the halloumi cheese into a bowl. YASMIN’S WORD: The sheets of spring roll dough can become dry and dull. To solve this problem I sprinkle the sides as well as the top of the sheet with water. Divide the cheese mixture into 50 balls. wet a tea towel and cover the unused spring roll sheets as well as the rolled asabis. To keep the dough nice and moist. Fold in both of the sides and gently press to seal. Another problem that you might experience when folding the asabi is that the dough won’t seal. Deep fry the cheese rolls until golden brown and crispy.


soups .

32 . diced 2 carrots. Just before serving garnish with fried onions and add juice from lime according to taste.6 persons 1 middle-sized onion 4 tbsp. Remove onion from oil. diced 1 big tomato. cumin 2 limes Cut one onion into thin slices. This does not include the two limes. black pepper 2 tbsp. diced ½ kg split lentils 3 chicken stock cubes 1½ L water 2 tsp. Put the diced vegetables in a pot together with the remaining ingredients. oil 1 middle-sized onion. Leave to boil for 20 minutes. but keep oil aside. diced ½ zucchini. Before blending the soup add the oil from the fried onion. salt ½ tsp. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion until golden brown.shorbed ads 4 .

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Remove pasta from the pan and add to boiling soup. 2 kg 1½ L water 20 cardamom seeds 30 g cinnamon stick 2 stock cubes 2 tsp. cinnamon stick. flour 4 mestika 1 tbsp. Fry the pasta until golden.shorbed el-crema 4 . Boil in water with cardamom seeds. The question is who is to thank? The lovely flavours of the soup or those stars? 34 . Leave it to boil till pasta is cooked. Leave it to boil on low fire. Gradually stir in the stock and milk. Crush the mestika between two spoons and put it in the soup when boiling. Remove chicken and sieve the stock. because star shaped pasta was used. When melted add flour and stir. stock cubes. salt 3 onions 1 tbsp. Meanwhile melt one tablespoon butter in a pan. Keep in mind that I drank litres of this soup already in a young age. butter 160 g pasta (star) Clean chicken. Leave on low fire for 45 minutes. Before serving.6 persons 1 chicken c. skim the soup. salt and onions. butter 1 dl milk 5 tbsp. Actually any type of small pasta can be used. YASMIN’S WORDS: When I was younger I knew this soup as the ‘star-soup’. Melt one tablespoon butter over low fire in a pot.

The soup is nourishing. tomato paste and chickpeas. paprika 1½ L water 3 stock cubes 5 big tomatoes. chopped 1 big bunch parsley. Fry the onion and celery for 5 minutes or till golden brown. Leave to simmer for half an hour. diced 2 stalks celery. Remove any impurities. diced 3 tbsp. 4 . Add salt and pepper to taste. tomato paste 120 g vermicelli Salt Pepper 2 bunches coriander.harira Soak chickpeas in water for 48 hours.6 persons 2 dl chickpeas 1 dl brown lentils 1 tbsp. tomatoes. ground ginger 10 g cinnamon stick ½ tsp. If soup is too thick dilute with water. Harira is a Moroccan soup. Stir in lentils and simmer for thirty more minutes or until lentils and chickpeas are easily chewable. water. Ramadan. Add vermicelli and leave the soup to simmer 5 more minutes. but it is well known throughout the Arab countries. 35 . rich and full of flavor and is thus very popular especially during the fasting month. Add spices. thinly sliced 1 tsp. stock cubes. chopped ! Just before serving stir in chopped herbs. oil 1 large onion. cayenne pepper pinch saffron 2 tsp. Soak lentils for half an hour. Heat the oil in a pot. Discard water and skin the chickpeas.


main courses .

Blend the mixture to a smooth sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. the other half of the pasta and finally the béchamel sauce. Grease a 20x30 cm roasting tray with butter. Stir in tomato paste. chopped 2 tbsp. Meanwhile heat oil in a pot. Bake in preheated oven. Cover the béchamel sauce with a thin layer of breadcrumbs. water and add salt and pepper to the meat. The dish will consist of four layers: Half of the pasta in the bottom. tomato paste ½ dl water 1 tsp. Blend the peeled tomatoes and garlic cloves. pepper béchamel sauce 40 g butter 8 tbsp. Heat butter over low fire. olive oil 1 onion. Add salt. . flour ½ L milk ½ tsp. Melt butter in a pan.makaroni bil forn 4 . for 30 minutes or till the top layer is crusty and golden. 200°C fan. Pour half the amount over the meat. breadcrumbs 25 g butter Boil pasta according to packet directions. Pour in the remaining tomato and garlic sauce as well as the tomato paste. salt ¼ tsp. Leave to simmer until all liquid is evaporated. salt tomato sauce 1½ tbsp. tomato paste 2 dl water 1 stock cube 3 tbsp.6 persons 500 g pasta (penne rigate) meat 25 g butter 500 g minced meat 1 can of peeled tomatoes 4 garlic cloves 2 tbsp. reduce to low fire and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the milk gradually while stirring. Brown chopped vegetables. the meat sauce. coarsely chopped 1 green pepper. Add the flour and stir until a smooth paste. Fry the minced meat until brown and crunchy. Coat the entire tray with breadcrumbs. When the sauce has come a boil. Set the other half aside. Cut butter into small cubes and place them on top of the dish. 38 Serve the pasta dish with the warm tomato sauce. water and stock cube.

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40 .

cinnamon 1 tsp. Stir until rice is dry. The rice is cooked when all water is evaporated. Add the meat when the butter starts to sizzle. cover the rice with a lid and put the pot on low fire.6 persons meat 1½ tbsp. shelled 75 g pine nuts 2 tbsp. Transfer to an absorbent paper. Fry until brown and crispy. Cover it with the crispy meat and decorate with almonds and pine nuts. salt 3 tsp. salt 6½ dl water 3 carrots. Spoon the rice and vegetable mixture on to a dish. 41 . Melt olive oil in a pot. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon and mix well. Stir continuously otherwise the almonds will burn. Mix the rice and vegetables gently when cooked. Heat the olive oil in a small pan. olive oil Heat the butter in a pan. salt and vegetables. Add the pine nuts as soon as the almonds change color.roz il-basilla wa lahma mafrouma 4 . Make sure that all excess water is removed before adding the rice in the hot oil. When the water boils. The dish can be a little dry thus it is always served with zabadi bil khiyar (p. cinnamon rice 400 g rice 1 tbsp. Rinse rice through a sieve. Pour in water and add cinnamon. Stir until almonds and pine nuts are golden. olive oil 1½ tsp. Halve the almonds and fry. butter 500 g minced meat 1 tsp. 61). The latter takes about 4 minutes. diced 150 g peas nuts 100 g almonds.

6 persons 1¼ kg lamb shoulder 35 g butter 1 garlic. 62). 59) or plain rice. pepper 2 stock cubes 2 tbsp. salt and pepper to taste. onions and haricot beans. sliced 900 g haricot beans 2 cans peeled tomatoes 2 tbsp. Blend the peeled tomatoes and add them and the remaining ingredients to the pot. sliced 3 onions. Serve with khubz (p. 42 . garlic.4 . Stir in the cinnamon. salt ½ tbsp. Add cinnamon. Add the meat. cinnamon ½ tbsp. tomato paste cinnamon salt pepper fasoulia Ask the butcher to cut the lamb shoulder into 5x5 cm cubes. Leaver to simmer for about an hour or until meat is tender. Cover with a lid and leave on medium-high fire until all the liquid from the ingredients evaporates. roz bil shariya (p. In a big pot melt the butter.

samak makli 4 . YASMINS’S WORD: Any white fish can be used. 43 . Another variation of the dish is to use 2 tablespoons of ground coriander instead of cumin. salt ½ tsp. half oil to obtain the best flavour. 27). crushed 2 tbsp. Fry fish in half butter. Cut fish into serving pieces. Remove fish from marinade before frying.6 persons marinade Juice from 2 lemons ½ dl olive oil 2 garlic cloves. cumin 2 tsp. Marinate for at least 8 hours. Served with roz ahmar (p. 58) and hummus (p. Coat fillets with flour. pepper fish 1200 g halibut wheat flour Mix all ingredients for the marinade.

Remove meat from broth and grill in oven until brown. Sprinkle with cloves. When the butter is warm crush the garlic into it. Pour in water and add salt. Bring to a boil and keep aside till later use.fatta 4 . butter 6 dl water 1 tsp. grounded Ask the butcher to cut the lamb neck into 1½ cm slices. pour 1½ dl of the broth over the brad. cover the rice with a lid and put the pot on low fire. Sieve out remaining ingredients and keep the broth for later use. The rice is cooked when all water is evaporated. Melt butter in a pan. Immediately after the bread has been taken out of the oven. onions. Cut bread into small pieces approximately 2x2 cm squares. water and vinegar. Rinse rice through a colander. When the water is boiling. cook the rice. salt sauce 15 g butter 1 garlic.6 persons meat 1.2 kg lamb neck 700 ml water 2 onions 20 cardamon grains 30 cloves 1 tsp salt rice 350 g rice 1½ tbsp. Top the dish with the grilled lamp neck. cloves. Make sure that all excess water is removed before adding the rice in the hot butter. Add meat. 44 YASMIN WORD: The remaining broth is delicious to drink hot.5 arabic bread 25 g butter 1 tsp. . Spread evenly in an ovenproof dish and place knobs of butter on top of the bread. While the meat is boiling. Fry for a couple of minutes or till golden. spices and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until meat is tender. Spoon the rice on top of the bread and pour the tomato vinaigrette so that the rice is completely covered. peeled 3 tbsp tomato purée 6 tbsp water 2 tbsp vinegar bread 1. Stir in tomato purée. The latter takes about 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it as the bread can burn all of a sudden. Melt butter in a pot. Boil 700 ml water in a pot. Toast the bread in a hot oven. Stir until rice is dry. stir once in a while.

45 .

pumpkin and rutabaga in 5 cm long stalks. In a small pot melt butter with onion. salt ½ kg couscous 6 tbsp. salt. drained Remove the skin of the chicken. saffron threads water 1 tbsp. Remove chicken and vegetables from broth. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes. 46 . reduce to low fire and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Well the center and spoon sugar sauce in here. Add couscous and simmer until water is absorbed.6 persons meat and vegetables 800 g chicken dru m sticks 6 carrots 500 g pumpkin 350 g rutabaga 35 g butter 2 onions. Move pot back to high fire and add the vegetables. Stir in raisins. pepper 1 bunch parsley 2 bunches coriander couscous 7 dl water 2 tsp. Fry onion until it is soft. paprika and saffron threads. Leave for a minute. Garnish the dish with chickpeas and serve with warm broth. sugar and water. When boiling. Cut the carrots. paprika ½ tsp. chopped 3 tbsp. Place the couscous on a serving dish and form it into a mountain. when onion is soft. ras-el hanout 2 tsp. Melt the butter on high fire in a big pot. Blend in ras-el hanout. Toss the olive oil evenly. Add chopped herbs. Surround the couscous with the chicken and vegetables. For the couscous boil water and salt. salt ½ tsp. Reduce to low fire and simmer for 15 minutes.couscous 4 . sugar 2 dl water 1 can chickpeas. pepper and pour water until the legs are covered. Add chicken legs. olive oil sugar sauce 35 g butter 1 small onion. finely chopped 2 dl black raisins 2 tbsp. Bring to a boil. If necessary add water until everything is covered.

47 .

lahma bil forn 4 . salt 1½ tsp. Place the lamp shanks in a roasting tray and put the dish in a 230° preheated oven for 30 minutes or till golden brown. pepper 4 lamb shanks vegetables 30 g butter 2 big onions 6 big tomatoes 3 green peppers Mix salt. cinnamon and pepper. Place lamp shanks on top of vegetables and cover tray with silver paper. 59). Brown onion and green pepper.6 persons meat 1 tsp. Cut onions and tomatoes into thin boats. Add tomatoes and cook for five minutes. 48 . cinnamon ½ tsp. On the stove melt the butter in another roasting tray. while the green pepper is cut into thin slices from the top to the bottom. add water during the cooking time. Rub lamp shanks with the mixture. Leave on stove to simmer for approximately 2½ hours or until meat is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the meat and vegetables with roz bil shariya (p. If so. Keep in mind that all of the liquid might evaporate.

salt 1 tsp. Place the tomato slices on top of the okra and cover the dish with tin foil. Place in the middle of a 175°C preheated oven and cook for 1 hour. bokharat 1 dl water 1 tomato. pepper 1 tsp. grinded 2 tbsp. Add meat and fry until brown and crispy. 59). chopped 500 g minced meat 4 tomatoes. In another frying pan melt butter and fry onion and garlic till golden. Serve with plain rice or roz bil shariya (p.6 persons okra 1 tsp. Pour the meat sauce in an ovenproof dish and cover it with the okra. Put off the fire. pepper meat sauce 25 g butter 3 garlic cloves. coarsely chopped 400 g okra 1 chili. chopped Juice of 1 lime 1 tsp. Fry onion and garlic until golden. Pour limejuice and add salt and pepper to the pan. chopped 2 garlic cloves. tomato paste ¼ tsp. 49 . salt ¼ tsp. olive oil 1 onion. Add okra and chili and leave to fry until the okra turns into a brighter green. sliced Heat olive oil in a frying pan.bamia 4 . chopped 1 onion. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cut the onions into thin slices. Be aware that the color change from brown to black can occur rapidly. Cook pasta according to direction on pack. Remove any impurities. oil tomato sauce 1½ tbsp. Add lentils and leave to boil for half an hour. cumin and oil from the onion. olive oil 3 garlic cloves. crushed 1 onion. Simmer for 10 minutes. cumin 2 tsp. Simmer until all water is absorbed. 60) 50 . Remove to an absorbent paper. Add rinsed rice. salt 6 dl water 3 dl rice fried onion 3 onions 10 tbsp. Spread tomato sauce and sprinkle with fried onion. Blend peeled tomatoes and add it and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Fry them to a rich brown color. Boil water with salt. Serve with dakos (p.4 . To serve stir the rice and lentils gently. Keep the oil for later use. Do not stir the ingredients. Place on dish and spoon pasta on top. Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry garlic and onion till golden. diced 1 can peeled tomatoes (400 g) 2 tbsp. tomato paste ¼ tsp pepper 1 tsp salt 2 dl water 1 stock cube 250 g pasta (1 cm penna rigata) koushari Rinse the lentils in water the night before and spread them on a tea towel to dry.6 persons koushari 2 dl brown lentils 4 tsp.

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52 .

Serve the molokia as a sauce to roz bil mikassarat (p. salt and onions. crushed 4 tbsp. Fortunately After his death the ban was lifted. Remove chicken and sieve the broth. ground coriander molokia 400 g frozen molokia 4½ dl broth of chicken topping 1 middle-sized red onion 4 tbsp. but it is a traditional Egyptian dish originating from times of the Pharos. 56). cinnamon stick. Leave on low fire for 45 minutes. because he believed that molokhia could be used as a sexual stimulant. Add frozen molokia and leave to simmer until the molokia is defrosted. salt 25 cardamom seeds 25 g stick of cinnamon 1 L cold water taqliya 20 g butter 15 garlic cloves. Fry the taqliya for a couple of minutes. Sauté garlic and add ground coriander.2 kg) 1 onion 2 stock cubes ½ tbsp. Boil in water with cardamom seeds. Chop the red onion finely and mix with vinegar. ! Molokhia is found in countries such as India and the Philippines.molokhia 4 . vinegar Clean chicken. Boil broth. 53 . 985-1021 AD. Toss in the taqliya and leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes. the consumption and the cooking of molokhia in Egypt was forbidden. Pour the molokia into a bowl. stock cubes. The vinegar sauce can be used as topping over the molokia. Roast chicken in a 200°C preheated oven until the skin is crunchy and golden. Melt butter in a pan.6 persons chicken 1 chicken (1. Keep the broth for the molokia. During the reign of Caliph al-Hakim Abu Ali Mansur.


accompaniments .

Move to low fire. oil 75 g almonds. Stir for 4 minutes or till the rice is dry. 53). peeled 50 g pine nuts rice 1½ tbsp.roz bil mikassarat 4 . cover with a lid and leave to simmer until water is absorbed. Heat oil in a pot and add vermicelli. Add the pine nuts as soon as the almonds change color. oil 400 g rice (basmati) 6 dl water 1 tsp. Pour in water and add salt. 56 . salt Heat the olive oil in a small pan. Serve with molokhia (p.6 persons nuts 1 tbsp. Let the rice boil. Halve the almonds and fry. Stir till golden brown. Stir until almonds and pine nuts are golden. Stir continuously otherwise the almonds will burn. Transfer to an absorbent paper. Rinse and sieve the rice before adding to vermicelli.

57 .

salt Rinse and sieve the rice in a colander. Remove cardamom seeds before serving. Heat oil in a pot. oil 400 g rice 6 dl water 15 cardamom seeds ½ tbsp. Add rice to onion and stir for 4 minutes or till the rice is dry. Sauté onion. finely chopped 2 tbsp. Sere with samak makli (p. cover with a lid and leave to simmer until water is absorbed. Move to low fire.6 persons 1 onion. Let the rice boil. Pour in water and add remaining ingredients.roz ahmar 4 . 43) 58 .

olive oil 100 g pasta (vermicelli) 400 g rice 7½ dl water 1½ tsp. 49). Move to low fire. Stir till pasta is golden brown.roz bil shariya 4 . cover with a lid and leave to simmer until water is absorbed. 59 . Let the rice boil. Rinse and sieve the rice before adding to vermicelli. salt Heat oil in a pot and add vermicelli. Served with among other things bamia (p. molokhia (p.6 persons 2 tbsp. Pour in water and add salt. fasoulia (p.53). Stir for 4 minutes or till the rice is dry. 42).

Blend the vegetables. Serve with koushari (p. vinegar and salt to a sauce.6 persons 3 medium-sized tomatoes 1 red chili 1 tsp. 35) for a more hot flavour. vinegar ½ tsp.dakos 4 . 50) or add to harira (p. salt Quarter the tomatoes and cut the chili into 4 pieces. 60 .

41). crushed 2 tsp.6 persons ½ cucumber ½ L yoghurt 2 garlic cloves. Serve with roz il-basilla wa lahma mafrouma (p. chopped Mix yoghurt with chopped mint. zabadi bil nana 4 .zabadi bil khiyar 4 .6 persons 4 dl yoghurt natural 1 dl mint. 18). Eat with kibbeh (p. Mix all ingredients gently in a bowl. 61 . cumin Half the cucumber and cut it into cubes.

The latter takes about 4 minutes. Place one of the breads on the pizza stone and bake till bread can be removed from the stone with ease. Knead the dough. Add salt.khubz makes 14 24 g yeast 7 dl water. Cool on a rack. Let the dough rise 3 hours or overnight. lukewarm 2 tsp. Leave for 10 minutes. Place the breads on top of the paper and bake on the lowest rack in a 230°C preheated oven. 62 . Cover the breads with a dry tea towel and leave to rise for a further 10 minutes. Repeat until all breads are baked. Blend in flour gradually and knead the dough for 10 minutes. If not using a pizza stone cover a baking tray with baking paper. Preheat pizza stone on the lowest rack in a 230°C oven. Roll out the rolls to ½ cm thick circles on a lightly floured surface. sugar 3 tsp. Serve warm. salt 18½ dl wheat flour Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and mix in sugar. Divide into 7 rolls and leave to rise for 15 minutes.



chopped Boil water in a pot. mestika 1 tsp. Stir in rice until water is absorbed. Cover the pot with a lid and boil rice on the lowest fire for 35 minutes. 66 . blossom water 1 dl pistachio nuts.roz bi laban 4 . Sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts. Crush the mestika between two spoons and blend in to rice with sugar and blossom water.6 persons ½ dl water 1 dl pudding rice 6 dl milk 1 dl sugar 2 tsp. Pour in milk. Serve cold. Spoon the rice pudding into four serving dishes or glass and eave to cool.

of the Egyptian Sultan Ezz El Din Aybek who invented the dish. ! Om Ali literally means ‘The Mother of Ali’ in Arabic. Finally spread the puck crème over the pastry. Break the pastry and place half of it in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Separate the middle layer from the top and bottom.8 persons 3 sheets buff pastry 9 dl milk 2 dl cream 75 g pistachio nuts. I interpret it as sweet revenge. Bake in the preheated oven till the top layer golden brown. almonds. It is said that it was the first wife. After the Sultan’s death there was a fight between Om Ali and the Sultan’s second wife. who was mother to Ali. Place the buff pastry on the tray and bake in a preheated oven. Serve warm. After many obstacles Om Ali finally had the second wife killed. raisins and sugar in a bowl. To celebrate Om Ali made this sweet dessert. coarsely chopped 6 . Keep the golden top and bottom layer aside and bake the middle layer until it has the same color as the top and bottom. 67 . 200°C.8 persons 75 g hazelnuts.om ali 6 . cream nuts. Mix the milk. This takes between 15 and 20 minutes. Pour the milk mixture over and cover the milk with the other half of the pastry. When pastry is golden remove from oven. shelled 75 g almonds. coarsely chopped 75 g raisins 150 g sugar 2 cans puck crème (340 g) Cover a baking tray with baking paper.

The baklawas must be cut all the way through to the bottom of the dish.25 160 g shelled pistachio nuts 240 g filllo dough 2 tsp. which surface is brushed as well. 70) Chop pistachio nuts. 68 . Cover with another sheet and brush with oil. Leave to cool and absorb syrup overnight. Bake in 180°C preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the baklawa’s are crispy and golden brown. brush with oil and cover with another sheet. Cut the dough into sheets that have the same size as the dish. Spread the pistachio and sugar mixture on top of the dough. Place one sheet in the dish and brush with oil. Continue the procedure with the rest of the fillo dough. The easiest way to make perfect diamond shaped pastry is to cut the baklawa into 5 verticle lines and 4 or 5 diagonal lines. Do not grind them.baklawa makes 20 . Place a fillo sheet on top of the mixture. Continue to do so until half of the fillo dough is used. sugar 1 tsp. Take the sweets out of the oven and pour syrup over them. Brush base and sides with oil. Use a sharp knife to cut about 20 diamonds shaped baklawas. Mix with sugar and rosewater. Use a 15x15 cm ovenproof dish. rose water 2 dl oil 2 portions cold syrup (p.

69 .

sharbat 1 portion syrup 2 dl sugar 1 dl water 2 tsp. lemon juice Mix water and sugar in a pot. YASMIN’S WORD: For a sweeter taste. Let the syrup cool. 70 . Bring to a boil and then leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Blend in lemon juice and simmer for another 5 minutes. add 1 teaspoon of blossom water when you blend in the lemon juice.

6 persons ½ pack amar el-din 4 dried dates 4 dried apricots 4 dried prunes 8 small dried figs ½ dl raisins 1 dl blanched half almonds ½ dl pine nuts Cut amar el-deen into small pieces and place in a pot.koushaf 4 . Pour water in to pot and leave to simmer. Let the sweet simmer for 20 minutes. Halve the almonds and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into serving glasses and place them in the refrigerator to cool. when the amar el-deen is dissolved. 71 . Quarter the dried fruits and add them to the water. Serve cold.

Dip them in cold syrup (p. Pour ½ or ¾ dl of batter into the pan and spread to a circle 10 cm in diameter. 200ºC. Sprinkle with finely chopped pistachio. sugar 4 dl water cooking oil filling 1 tsp. Deep fry ataif and turn occasionally. Meanwhile prepare the filling. When they are golden in color they are done. YASMIN’S WORD: A more calorie friendly method of cooking the ataifs is to bake them in the oven.ataif makes 10 batter 12 g yeast 3 dl water. Stir in sugar and floor until there are no more lumps. 70) and arrange on a plate. Take care not to stuff the pancake so much that it will break when being fried. lukewarm 1 tsp. finely chopped Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and set aside for 5 minutes. A rule of thumb is if the pancake is not sealed with ease there is too much filling. The walnuts should not be grinded. After filling the ataifs they can also be frozen. Usually 2 teaspoons of filling should do. Fry pancake until surface is relative dry. Pour remaining syrup on top of all the ataifs. Pinch the edges tightly to prevent ataif from opening. Serve warm or cold. However the ataifs are best when they are crispy. Cover with a damp tea towel and let the batter rise for 2 hours. Lightly oil a thick-bottomed pan. Remove the pancake to a rack and repeat the process with the rest of the batter. cinnamon 1 tsp. Thus eat them within a few hours after being cooked and dipped in syrup. chopped garnish pistachio nuts. Mix all ingredients for the fill. Place filling in the center of the uncooked side of the pancake. 72 . icing sugar 120 g walnuts. Brush ataifs with oil and place them next to each other in a greased baking tray. till they are golden and crispy. When burning hot reduce to low fire. Fold the pancake so it looks like a half moon. Bake in a preheated oven. about 20 minutes.

73 .


beverages .

as it lowers blood pressure. Actually the entire plant. jellies and tea. Serve ice cold. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and dissolve sugar in juice while still hot. except the roots. ! 76 On warm days this bright-red drink is served cold and fresh on open cafés and vendors all over Egypt.karkadé makes 2 liters 160 g hibiscus petals 1 L water 400 g sugar 35 g dried tamarind Rinse hibiscus petals through a colander. In addition to cold drinks the hibiscus petals are used in food coloring. is caffeine free and is rich in C vitamin. is eatable and used in cooking. . Pour water in a big pot and add petals as well as tamarinds. Hibiscus tea is said to be one of the best types of tea. Dilute until the juice makes two litters.

77 .

Add lemon. 78 . Let the blender run on highest setting for 4 minutes or until water is green. add mint leaves to the blender with the limes. ice cold 1 bunch mint (optional) Cut the unpeeled limes into cubes. Blend sugar and water till sugar is dissolved.asiir lamoon makes 1¼ L 8 limes 2 dl sugar 11½ dl water. If using mint. Sieve the juice and serve immediately.

Pour water into the pot. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for half an hour. Put off fire and dissolve sugar in the hot drink. Blend when drink is cool. rose water 1 dl pine nuts 2 dl blanched halved almonds Rinse the amar el-deen. 79 .amar el-deen makes 1½ L 1 pack amar el-deen 1½ L water 120 g sugar 2 tsp. cut into small pieces and put in a pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and put drink in a refrigerator. Serve cold.

Pour into teacups. Add sugar for a sweeter taste.shai bil nana makes 1 L 1 L water. fresh sugar (optional) Place mint in a pot and pour boiling water over. 80 . If using loose tea sieve the tea before serving. Let the tea draw according to taste. boiled black tea 10 branches mint. When the water turns green. remove leaves from pot. Add tea according to taste.

81 .

remove when coffee rises and let it settle. bring to a boil. discovered the coffee beans on a journey to Ethiopia. According to one legend it was the Abyssinian goatherd Kaldi who discovered coffee in 850 AD. Sheikh ash-Shadhili. Return kanaka to heat. Kaldi collected the berries and reported his findings to the local monastery. A similar myth describes how a Yemeni man. As the sun went down Kalid was exhausted from looking after his flock of goats. Arabic coffee 1½ dl water Add all ingredients to a kanaka (coffee pot). Bring to a boil. In contrast the goats were full of energy. The drink was regarded as a miracle as it kept the monks awake for their evening prayers.ahwe makes 2 cups 2 brown sugar cubes 2 cardamom seeds 1½ tbsp. It is said that he exported the beans from Ethiopia to Yemen. ! 82 There are several legends suggesting the invention of coffee as a beverage. As soon as the coffee rises. Let the coffee settle. Kalid noticed that they had been eating some red berries. . Repeat one more time. Serve in Arabic coffee cups or in Espresso cups. The beans were put in water and the beverage drunk by the monks. remove from heat.

83 .

nuts and syrup bamia: okra stew with minced meat and tomatoes 84 .glossary A ads: lentils ahmar: red ahwe: arabic coffee amar el-deen: apricot leather. apricot drink asabi gullash: fillo pastry fingers asiir: lemonade ataif: pancakes with filling B baba ganoush: eggplant dip baklawa: dessert made of thin layers of fillo dough.

paprika. black pepper.bokharat: ready made mixture of the grounded species cinnamon. coriander. rice and tomato-vinaigrette sauce fatoush: salad with roasted bread 85 . cumin. nutmeg and cardamom. C couscous: baby pasta coated with wheat flour crema: crème D dakos: chili sauce F falafel: fried chickpea patty fasoulia: haricot beans fatta: grilled lamp neck on top of roasted bread. cloves.

foul: bean salad forn: oven


gibna: cheese

harira: moroccon soup hummus: chickpea dip

khiyar: cucumber karakadé: drink made of dried hibiscus petals khubz: bread kibbeh: meat-bulgur balls with meat and pine nut filling 86

kousa mashy: stuffed zucchinis


koushari: brown lenils, rice and macaroni served with tomato sauce

laban: milk lamoon: lime lahma: meat lebnah: yoghurt cheese


manakish: bread with topping makaroni: macaroni makli: fried mikassarat: nuts molokhia: leaves of corchorus species 87

nana: mint


om ali: a warm dessert combined of puff pastry, nuts, raisins and milk

roz: rice

samak: fish shai: tea sharbat: syrup shariya: vermicelli pasta shorbet: soup 88

sumac and herbs such as oregano and thyme. zabadi: yoghurt 89 .T tabouleh: parsley and mint salad tahina: paste of ground sesame seed W Z warak inab: wine leaves stuffed with rice and meat zaatar: a mixture of sesame seeds.

90 .

index ahwe 82 amar el-deen 79 asabi gullash bil gibna 29 asiir lamoon 78 ataif 72 baba ganoush 22 baklawa 68 bamia 49 couscous 46 dakos 60 falafel 15 fasoulia 42 fatta 44 fatoush 23 foul 13 harira 35 hummus 27 karkadé 76 khubz 62 kibbeh 18 kousa mashy 26 koushaf 71 koushari 50 lahma bil forn 48 lebnah 12 makaroni bil forn 34 manakish bil zaatar 10 molokhia 53 om ali 67 roz ahmar 58 roz bi laban 66 roz bil shariya 59 roz il-basilla wa lahma mafrouma 41 roz bil mikassarat 56 samak makli 43 shai bil-nana 80 sharbat 70 shorbed ads 32 shorbed el-crema 34 tabouleh 21 warak einab 24 zaatar 12 zabadi bil khiyar 61 zabadi bil nana 61 91 .

92 .

acknowledgement Without the incredible contribution form the following individualts this book never would had been written: First and foremost a big thank to my supervisor Ms. chief publisher at Politikens Forlag. 93 . Without your assistance when things went wrong I never would have finished this project on time or created this quality of work. Thank you for reading and editing my personal statement as well. Thank you for making me fall in love with my Arabic background in terms of the cuisine among other things. A thank goes to aunty Iman. for finding time in her busy schedule for an interview. The picture of shai bil-nana never would have looked like this without the glass! I am grateful to my parents who have been interested and supportive in my project from day one. I owe my deepest gratitude to Ulla Mervild. Thank you for reading. I can not wait to prepare these dishes for you especially as you have cooked and introduced them to me in my childhood. re-reading and giving feedback on my personal statement. yet kept a tight rein on me throughout the project. A thanks goes to my father for eating and suggesting improvemnt to the dishes. aunty Hiba and Teta for your wonderful help and ideas. A special thank to my mother for being the greatest help one can imagine. Karen Hornshøj-Møller who has supported and encouraged me. Your helpfull and supportive e-mails are greatly appreciated. This project has truly been a pleasure and I will miss our lunch meetings. I would like to thank my lovely cousin Lamis for her interest and thoughts on the project. Ulla provided me with a lot of useful and relevant information that helped me to create a good looking and good content wise cookbook. I am thankful to Ayten who gave me the beautiful teacup.

Lebanon. Her mother is from the Faroe Islands. Each country has specialties. but in general the cuisines and recipes in these countries are somewhat similar. When Yasmin’s mother married her father they moved to the Middle East for a couple of years. Yet there is local nuance to every dish depending on in which nation the course has been prepared. Her father grew up in a number of Arabic countries including Morocco. Egypt.This is the first cookbook by 16-year-old Yasmin Al-Modhwahi who was born and grew up in Copenhagen. whereas her father is from Arabia. The author’s love for the Arabic cuisine expresses itself in the 94 pages long ‘A Taste of Arabia’. Yasmin has grown up in a multicultural home where traditional and delicious Arabic food has been served frequently. He has therefore been used to food from each of the 22 Arabic countries. Yemen and Iraq. This book consists of more than 40 authentic recipes that are focused on the Egyptian and Levantine kitchen. Yasmin’s mother learned how to cook authentic Arabic food during her stay in Arabia. Denmark. . The term Arabia covers all Arabic speaking countries from Morocco in East to Iraq in West and from the Mediterranean Sea in North to the Indian Ocean in Southeast. In total the Arab world spans over 22 countries.

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