Zucchini fritters ….  مشاط او عجة الكوسا

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This is an easy quick and delicious recipe  for lunch or snack especially when zucchini is in season.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 big or 4 medium zucchini grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup scallions finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbs olive oil for frying

Pita bread and lemon wedges for serving
Method:

  1. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle the zucchini lightly with salt. Allow the zucchini to stand for 10 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible. 
  2. Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl.
  3. Add the flour, eggs, scallions, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and red pepper (if used) to the bowl, stirring until the mixture is combined. Line a plate with paper towels.
  4. Add the olive oil to large sauté pan set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 1 tablespoon mounds of the zucchini mixture into the pan, (or 2 tbs depends how big in diameter you want the fritters) pressing them lightly into rounds and spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Cook the zucchini fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook an additional 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked throughout. Transfer the zucchini fritters to the paper towel-lined plate. 
  5. Repeat the scooping and cooking process with the remaining zucchini mixture.

Enjoy!

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Punjabi samosa … السمبوسة الهندية

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Ingredients: 

For the dough you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds or thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs ghee butter
  • Water for kneading (approximately 1/4 cup and 2 tbs)

For filling :

  • 2 tbs ghee butter
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 inch piece ginger finely diced
  • 1 green chili diced
  • 3 medium potatoes boiled, peeled and smashed
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 dried mango powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp  crushed coriander 
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup peas

Method:

 To make the samosa dough:  

  1. in a big bowl,  mix together ajwain, salt, flour and ghee. Rub the flour well in between the palms to incorporate the ghee well. 
  2. Add water little by little and mix the flour to dough. Cover and set aside until the filling is ready.
  3.   In a sauté pan, heat the 2 tbs of ghee butter, then add cumin until begins to sizzle.
  4.  Add ginger, green chilli and saute until it begins to smell good. Add ground beef an brown    for 5 minutes or until all liquid absorbed.

    5.    Add smashed  potatoes, peas, chili powder, garam masala, crushed coriande, mango powder and salt. Mix everything well and saute for 3 to 5 mins. Set aside to cool.

How to assemble Samosa:
 Make 8 portions of the dough and roll to balls.     


     2.   Grease the rolling area and then flatten a ball. Begin to roll to a oblong or oval shape. Cut        it to two. If the edges are too thick, gently roll it to thin down.

4.  Smear water over the straight edge and join the edges to make a cone. Press gently to seal the cone.


5. Fill the cone with potato masala and smear water on the edges. Bring the edges together and make a pleat on one side. Bring back the pleat and seal it. Make sure the samosa has been sealed well.

6.  Finish making all the samosas.


How to deep fry samosa

  1.  Heat oil in a pan until medium hot. A piece of dough dropped in the hot oil must rise gently not immediately. This is the right temperature.
  2. Add the samosas to the oil and deep fry them until golden. When they are half fried you can increase the flame to little high and fry until crusty.
  3. Drain them on to a kitchen tissue.
  4.  Fry all of them in batches.
  5. Serve with tamarind or cilantro mint sauce

Enjoy!!

  

Turkish Gözleme.. المطبق التركي باللحمة و الخضرة

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Gözleme is a traditional savory Turkish flatbread,  made of hand-rolled  dough that are filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a griddle. The name derives from the Turkish word göz, meaning “compartment”, in reference to the pocket of dough.
Ingredients:
For the dough:

  •  2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  1/2 cup plain yogurt room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For Filling

  •  1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  •  1/2 lb ground beef
  •  1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper شطة مجروشة
  •  2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  •  1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  •  1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 medium tomato seeded and chopped
  •  lemon wedges and olives to serve

Method:
For the dough:

  1.  In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and stir in the yogurt and water. Continue mixing with a spoon until everything is well combined. If the dough is too dry adjust by adding a bit more water, start with a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Flour your work surface and knead the dough for about 3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside.
  3.  To make the filling, in a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, sauté onion until translucent.
  4.  Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the bell peppers, parsley, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir everything together and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  5.  Transfer the meat mixture to a wide dish and let cool slightly.
  6.  Meanwhile, divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each piece into a rectangle that’s about 12×10 inches.
  7. Spoon about 3 tbsp of the lamb mixture in the middle of the rectangle and spread it out a bit. Add some of the crumbled feta. Fold over the edges of the dough to seal. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
  8. Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium heat. Depending on the size of your griddle, add 1 or 2 of the gozleme and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  9.  Cut each gozleme in half diagonally and serve with lemon wedges.                                  Enjoy!

Zaatar (thyme) bread … مطبق الزعتر

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Zaatar bread … مطبق الزعتر . Is a Palestinian pastry mostly made in spring, which is the season of collecting fresh wild thyme. It is a flat bread stuffed with sautéed fresh zaatar leaves, onions and sumac and I like to add crumbled white cheese to mine. When baking these pastries my house smells phenomenal.

مطبق الزعتر الاخضر الفلسطيني

  • 2 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole weat flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbs powdered milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lukewarm water
  • More olive oil for brushing 

For filling

  • 3 cups fresh green thyme (zaatar)
  • 1 medium size onion diced 
  • 2 tbs sumac 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • White cheese crumbled (optional) 

Method:

  1. To make the dough: in the mixer bowl add flour, salt, powdered milk and mix to combine.Make a well in the middle and stir in the yeast and honey and 1/4 cup of the luke warm water. 
  2. Let rest 5 minutes until the yeast mixture is frothy. Add the rest of the water with the olive oil and with the paddle hook attached to the mixer, mix for a minute.
  3. Replace the paddle hook with the dough hook and start kneading until a soft dough ball is obtained and the sides of the bowl are clean.
  4. Brush some olive oil on top of the dough and cover to rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile start preparing the Zaatar filling.
  6. Take off the Zaatar out of the branches and wash it for 3 times by changing the water each time until the water comes out clean. 
  7. Get rid of excess water by squeezing the zaatar leaves between your hands.
  8. In a medium sized frying pan and on medium heat on the stove add olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. 
  9. Stir in salt, black pepper, sumac, and Zaatar .
  10. Sauté for a minute and transfer the Zaatar mixture to a plate to cool down.
  11. In a big tray that is brushed with olive oil, divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls.
  12. Brush a little olive oil on top of a clean surface and start rolling out each ball into very thin squares.
  13. Brush some olive oil on top of each square to help rolling out.
  14. Spread a table spoon of the thyme ( Zaatar ) mixture in the middle and top it with a tablespoon of the cheese.
  15. Fold dough the same way as in the picture.
  16. Keep repeating the same procedure with all the balls.
  17. Leave them aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
  18. With the roller pin flatten each square to make it bigger (as shown in picture).
  19. In a oven tray covered with parchment paper arrange the Zaatar squares and brush the top with olive oil.
  20. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  21. Arrange the Zaatar pastries in the serving plate and brush with more olive oil.

Enjoy!

Spinach hummus … حمص بالسبانخ

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This a silky creamy hummus and  adding spinach to it, gives it a nice vibrant hue and a ton of nutrients. It truly tastes like the classic hummus, but it’s way more fun. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked and drained from water
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves washed
  • 4 tbs tahini
  • Juice of 1 1/2  freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 garlic clove mashed
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Olive oil for topping

Method:

  1. Add everything but the the chickpeas to the pitcher of a blender or food processor. Pulse, until all ingredients turned into a smooth paste.
  2. Add the chick peas and water as needed to get things moving, until the hummus is completely smooth.
  3. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
  4. Transfer into  a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Serve with pita bread 

Enjoy!

Za’atar sticks ( grissini) …. عيدان الزعتر المقرمشة

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 3 tbs powdered milk
  • 1 tbs active dry yeast
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 3/4 cup Luke warm water 
  • 2 tbs dry  or green zaatar herb (thyme) … not the one that we use for manaeesh
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • Olive oil for brushing

Method:

  • Wash Zaatar in a colander and pat dry
  • Grind Zaatar in the coffee grinder 

  • In a small bowl stir in the yeast, honey and water. Set aside for ten minutes until frothy.
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, stir in the flour, powdered milk, Zaatar, sesame seeds and salt .

  • Remove the paddle hook and attach the dough hook to the mixer. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. 

  • Knead at medium speed for five minutes to form a ball.

  • Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about an hour.

  • On a clean counter top, roll out the dough to a rectangle ( as in picture)

  • Fold the dough from both sides to the middle. 

  • And fold in half again.

  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

 

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle again. With the pizza cutter, cut thin stripes.

  • Roll out each stripe into a thin rope.

  • Bring a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and arrange the ropes on it.
  • Brush the ropes with olive oil. Cover and let it rest for ten minutes. 

  • Bake the Zaatar sticks in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 15-17 minutes.
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea and appetizers!

  

Guacamole 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbs sour cream
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper powder and cumin powder 
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Cilantro leaves and slices scallions for garnishing

Method:

  1. In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp, lime juice, lemon juice and salt and toss to coat.
  2. With a fork or the potato masher, mash the avocados mixture.
  3. Mix in the onions, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro.
  4. Mix in the cayenne pepper and cumin.
  5. To corporate the flavors, set aside at room temperature or in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy with tortilla chips!

Tips: wash cilantro many times before chopping. For really sandy cilantro,  swish them around vigorously in a big bowl of cold water and then let them sit for a few minutes (to give all the dirt a chance to settle to the bottom).