Palestinian Za’atar Rolls.                                           فطاير الزعتر الأخضر الفلسطينية

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup room temperature plain yogurt
  • 1/2 Luke warm water
  • 1 cup fresh Za’atar (thyme) herb removed out of the stems , washed and chopped.
  •   This is a picture of the Za’atar herb in my garden.

Method: 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, semolina,salt and Za’atar ( Thyme) stir to combine.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, and add yeast, sugar and water.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until yeast is frothy.
  4. Add yogurt and oil to the yeast.
  5. With the dough hook attached to the mix, knead the dough on a medium speed, until a soft dough ball obtained (ab0ut 4 minutes).
  6. If the dough is still sticky, add some flour.
  7. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
  8. Leave the dough in a draft free place for (about 30 minute) or until double in size.
  9. Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  10. When the dough is ready, gently punch it down with your fist.
  11. Divide the dough into egg size balls.
  12. With the balm of your hand, gently flatten the balls ( as shown in the picture. 
  13. Cover rolls and Let them rest for ten minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F.
  15. Bake rolls until golden in color ( about 8 minutes).
  16. Enjoy with a cup of tea and slices of cheese, tomatoes and cucumber 😊!

Tips:

  • It is really important for the yogurt to be at room temperature.
  • If using dried Za’atar (thyme), add just 3/4 cup.
  • Make sure to always bake your rolls on the middle rack of the oven.  

Fresh Za’atar (Thyme) cupcakes.                                   كب كيك الزعتر الأخضر

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh Za’atar ( thyme) herb cleaned from stems, washed and chopped.
  • 1 cup white cheese ( akkawi, nabulsi or queso fresco) crumbled.                                                       

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside
  3. In  a stand mixer bowl beat in eggs and vinegar, until thick.
  4. Beat in oil.
  5. Detach the wire hook from the stand mixer, and use a spatula to stir in yogurt, Za’atar and cheese until combine.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture
  7. Prepare a cupcake tin,  by using paper cups, or spray it with nonstick spray. 
  8. Fill the tin cups with the batter to the half.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean
  10. Enjoy with a cup of tea!!😊

Mandi (Yemeni chicken and rice) المندي

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Mandi (Arabic: المندي‎) is a traditional Yemeni dish, usually made from rice, meat (lamb or chicken), and a mixture of spices. The meat used is usually a young and small sized lamb to enhance the taste further. The main thing which differentiates mandi is that the meat is cooked in the tandoor (taboon in Hadhrami), which is a special kind of oven. The tandoor is usually a hole dug in the ground and covered inside by clay. To cook mandi, dry wood is placed in the tandoor and burned to generate a lot of heat turning into charcoal. The meat is then suspended inside the tandoor without touching the charcoal. After that, the whole tandoor is closed without letting any of the smoke out. 

Ofcourse, I don’t have a tandoor oven at home, so I will do mandi in the regular oven.
  Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tbs samneh or (ghee)
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 stick cinnamon 
  • 5 pieces whole gloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 chili pepper (optional)
  • 5 whole cardamoms 
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt for soaking the rice

For chicken:

  • 4 pieces chicken
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander1/2 tsp ground lumi (dried lime)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/2 ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom 
  •  1/2 tsp white pepper 
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs corn oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Method:

  1. Wash chicken pieces, and pat dry
  2. In a small bowl mix all chicken spices, lemon juice and oil
  3. Massage chicken pieces with the spices mixture.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Wash rice until water runs clear
  6. Soak rice in water and 1 tbs of salt for 20 minutes
  7. Meanwhile, in a big non stick skillet, sear the chicken pieces 5 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  8. In the same skillet, sauté onion in the samneh( ghee butter) until translucent 
  9. Drain water from rice
  10. In an oven safe baking dish, add onion, tomatoes, rice and all the whole spices and the broth
  11. Taste the broth to adjust salt
  12. Make some slashes on the chili pepper and add it on top of the rice
  13. Cover the baking dish with heavy duty aluminum foil
  14. Make small holes on the foil, and place chicken on top of the foil
  15. Bring another piece of foil, and cover chicken tightly and completely with it to prevent steam from coming out.
  16. Cook in the middle rack of a preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hour, or until chicken is tender.
  17. To serve, take aluminum foil off, and spoon the rice in the serving dish with chicken pieces on top
  18. Garnish with toasted pine nuts

Enjoy!!

  • Notes:
  •  you can double up the recipe, depends on how many people you have.
  • The amount of salt you add to the rice makes a big difference in the taste.
  • In this recipe, chicken will cook on the steam of the broth
  • This step is optionl, to obtain the smoke flavor, before serving, bring a piece of charcoal and burn it on the top of the stove. Meanwhile,  cut a small piece of aliminium foil, and put some olive oil in it. When charcoal is ready, add it to the olive oil. Put the charcoal with aluminum foil in the middle of the rice and cover the rice tightly for two minutes. Remove it , and serve.

Apple Cake كيك التفاح

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups apples diced
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup nuts chopped (optional)
  • 1 Apple sliced to garnish the top

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare baking pan, by spraying pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Arrange the 1 Apple slices in the bottom of the baking pan.
  4. In a big bowl, the 4 cups apple slices and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add oil, nuts (if used) , eggs and vanilla.
  6. In another bowl, add all dry ingredients, and mix well.
  7. Add the apples batter to the dry batter, and stir to combine.
  8. Pour cake batter in the baking pan.
  9. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done.
  10. Let rest for 10 minutes, and then flip the pan over a wire rack, until cool down.
  11. Transfer to the serving plate, and enjoy with a cup of tea😊!