Posts Tagged ‘middle eastern’

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lebanese sausages

June 17, 2019

1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mahleb (I substituted star anise ground coarsely in a mortar and pestle)
~2.5 T red wine
1 lb minced pork, lamb, and/or beef (any combination is fine)
2 cloves crushed or minced garlic
~2.5 T lard, bacon grease, or duck fat
~1.5 T pinenuts
sea salt
Aleppo chili or other chili flakes, to taste

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Mash up ingredients. Don’t overmix, or it’ll be crumbly. Let the flavors meld together for about 24 hours. Form into kebabs or patties, or if you want sausage crumbles, break it up in the pan. I love these fried in cast iron. You can bake them, though, or even grill them!

I substituted pork, but I think these would be great with chicken, too (maybe just add a bit more lard, since chicken can be leaner than pork.)

recipe adapted from nine.co.au

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Possibly my favorite homemade sausage, although I also adore maple breakfast sausages and spicy homemade chorizo! The clove and anise meld into something special. I don’t usually have pine nuts in the house, but I did this time, and they were absolutely incredible in this sausage. I cut the pine nuts a bit, from 2.5T to 2T,

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torshi tareh (persian sour spinach)

May 6, 2019

200 g fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
250 g fresh spinach, finely chopped (or any dark leafy greens)
2 tablespoons dried mint
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 eggs
lemon juice or grape verjuice, to taste
canola oil and butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 1/2 cups water
salt & pepper to taste

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heat onions in oil. when golden, add garlic and turmeric powder and saute for 1 minute.
add spinach and saute a few minutes. add cilantro, water, salt, pepper, and simmer over med-low til cooked.

dissolve flour in 3 tablespoons of cold water; pour it into the stew and stir. Add butter and lemon juice to taste (you want it sour!) and stir well.

crack the eggs into the center of the pot, do not stir.

cover the pot and cook for 3-4 more minutes. Then stir gently, cover the pot and cook until the eggs are set.

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recipe by cookingandcooking

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A great, simple way to switch up your dark leafy green routine! Great served with other Persian food, like Shirazi salad, cold cucumber yogurt soup, or lentil & butternut squash stew. I ate it with rice and plain yogurt as a great, healthy breakfast!

There are a ton of bugs going around right now – in my area, a stomach flu, pneumonia, and strep groups A and C. This combo of turmeric, garlic, and dark leafy greens is a perfect boost for your immune system! Take care of yourself as the seasons change and eat some veggies!

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persian chopped salad

April 15, 2019

Shirazi salad, also known as Persian chopped salad, is an amazing bright, fresh, and summery vegan treat. It doesn’t get much healthier than this raw crunchy salad.

The only necessary ingredients here are a veggie or two, lemon or lime juice, and something herby. It’s too early in the season here for fresh garden herbs, but dry mint was great in this!

Chop any combination of the following:
raw fresh cucumbers
raw fresh tomatoes
raw onion
raw garlic
fresh hot chili pepper
fresh herbs like mint, parsley, or cilantro

Add chickpeas if you like. (I do!)

Dress with lemon or lime juice, and any combination of salt and pepper, dry or fresh mint, dry or fresh dill, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

(If you’re leaving out the fresh herbs, make sure to add extra citrus, and some dried herbs like dill-and-garlic seasoning or capitol hill blend!

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recipe adapted from a variety of sources, including Persian mama and Cleveland clinic.

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Similar to a fattoush or “Israeli salad” – this infinitely adaptable salad goes with everything. I highly recommend the chickpeas. Chickpeas add an interesting texture, and lots of protein and fiber!

If you like spicy, Sichuan cucumber salad is your best bet. But what if you want something clean and fresh, not doused in spicy oil? The dry mint in this recipe makes it super refreshing.

This is basically a textbook example of a “detox meal” – something that makes you feel alive again after a winter of eating junk food like super-greasy crispy fried tofu. Easy to make low-sodium, great for a potluck, and a great way to use local veggies from your backyard garden or your farmers’ market.

It doesn’t get much healthier than this!

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laghataq (vegan eggplant, tomato, and pepper dip from afghanistan)

January 4, 2019

one whole eggplant
one red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic
1 T whole cumin seed
1 T whole coriander seed
1 t paprika
pinch of garlic powder

1 T tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

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preheat oven to 300

roast eggplant whole on 425 in skin. strip and discard some skin and anything burnt, and slice eggplant into rounds. place on baking sheet in one layer.

separately, toast coriander and cumin in dry frying pan. grind. grab your blender and add the ground cumin/coriander, a small can of tomato sauce, 1 T tomato paste, 2 whole cloves garlic, lots of olive oil (to taste,) and a pinch of garlic powder.

back to the baking sheet. layer sliced pepper and tomatoes on top of eggplant. top with sauce.

bake 1.5 to 2 hrs, or until eggplant is soft.

let eggplant cool. add everything to blender and pulse until chunky but not pureed.

top with plain, unsweetened yogurt with a little garlic powder and salt mixed in.

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recipe adapted from Humaira’s recipe at Afghan Culture Unveiled – adaptation by friedsig

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This was a little disappointing. I felt it could really benefit from lemon juice or vinegar, or something else acidic to cut the bitterness of the eggplant and the tinned tomato sauce flavor. I cut the tomato sauce from a regular can to a small can because I’m trying to eat low-sodium now, and added a bit more olive oil. Hard to imagine this dish with any more tomato sauce – it was extremely tomatoey. It tasted more like a mildly seasoned spaghetti sauce than a dip or an eggplant dish. I used a good quality Palestinian olive oil, but if you only have supermarket olive oil, you may want to skip this recipe, as a ton of the flavor comes from the olive oil. I also cut the cumin and coriander from a tablespoon of ground spices to a tablespoon of whole spices toasted and then ground, because it seemed a bit excessive, but maybe using the whole amount would help cut some of the aluminum can flavor.

Reminds me a lot of Mughlai-style eggplant from India, but lighter without the ghee and heavy cream.

My other tomato paste and eggplant recipe is Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrots and parsnips, but laghataq is less sweet without the carrots and parsnips. I think I’d still recommend the Georgian-style dish over this one if you wanted something healthy and interesting and very different from a tomato sauce. You could also serve as a dip with fresh pita, crackers, raw carrots and other veggies, or whatever you like – but I far preferred this as a tomato sauce than as a dip. For my tastes, this laghataq is not exactly a dip. However, if you are looking for a really unique spaghetti sauce, or a tomato sauce to eat with grits, or something to flavor white beans or okra, or something different for an egg dish like shakshouka, or something to freeze and bring down for chicken parmigiana, try this laghataq!

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carrot stew (qorma-e-zardak)

January 6, 2017

super simple and healthy stew from afghanistan. this recipe comes from the book afghan food and cookery by helen saberi.

MY VERSION:

8 oz (about a cup) split yellow peas
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 c oil
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
salt and black pepper

soak peas for at least a half-hour. in a soup pot, start onions and oil, then add all other ingredients except sugar. cover with water and simmer for about an hour, until peas and veggies are soft. add sugar and serve.

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HELEN SABERI’S VERSION:

8 oz split yellow peas
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 c sugar
salt and black pepper
1 tsp vinegar

soak the peas in a little warm water for a half hour or so before cooking.

fry the chopped onion gently in the oil until golden brown and soft. drain the peas and add to the onion. now add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. add the other ingredients, adjusting sugar to taste. stir well and cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the carrots and split peas are cooked, adding extra water if the stew becomes too dry.

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from the book afghan food and cookery by helen saberi

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I didn’t soak the peas long enough, and they were still crunchy an hour later. Definitely don’t skip the half-hour soak. Then I didn’t add enough water and the peas at the bottom of the pot burned, so, don’t do that. The flavor was good, but mild. I added the coriander and cumin to lend some depth. Overall, a great choice for someone looking for a mild, healthy, carroty stew. Would be a great choice for someone recovering from a sickness, or a picky eater, as it’s not strongly seasoned.

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advieh (persian spice mix)

December 15, 2016

this persian spice mix is used for khoresh (advieh-ye khoresh)

add this to your chicken and eggplant stew for amazing flavor. or add it to stir-fry or soups!

2 T cinnamon
2 T dried rose petals
1 t ground cardamom
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t ground angelica
1 t ground nutmeg
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander seed
1 t dried persian lime powder

grind, mix, and store in an airtight container

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from New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies by Najmieh Batmanglij – a beautiful book heavy on the recipes – so nice to see a cookbook that isn’t mainly focused on art, layout, and food photography – although the photography sprinkled throughout is very nice, and the persian art is even better, the book is squarely focused on the recipes and not the aesthetic. probably the best cookbook i have read all year.

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baharat (middle eastern spice mix)

August 24, 2015

another variation of bokharat

1 dried chili
1 T + 1/2tsp coriander
1 T + 1 3/4tsp cumin
2 1/2tsp ground allspice
1 1/4tsp white pepper
1/2tsp ground turmeric
2 1/2tsp of sweet spice mix

preheat oven to 375. crack dried chili and shake out the seeds. roast deseeded chili, and the whole coriander and cumin seeds, for 6 min. cool, crumble/grind, mix with ground spices, and store in airtight container.

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from Honey & Co. The Cookbook by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer