Posts Tagged ‘middle eastern’

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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

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middle eastern sweet spice mix

August 24, 2015

for baked goods

10 cardamom pods
6 cloves
1/2 nutmeg
1 1/4tsp whole fennel seeds
2 1/2tsp whole mahleb seeds
1 T + 1/2tsp ground ginger
1 T + 1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

preheat oven to 375.

roast cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg for 5 minutes, then add mahleb and roast another 5 minutes.

cool, grind, and mix together.

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

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bokharat (arabic seven spice powder)

August 11, 2014

2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

mix and store in airtight container

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from egyptianfood.org

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very clove-y, so it’s best on things that cook for a long time. so far, i love it in chili and sprinkled on chicken before it bakes. bet this would also be amazing mixed with brown sugar and paprika on ribs. it’s great in stews, like a chickpea stew, or anything with lentils. it’s also perfect on anything grilled, like eggplant or squash, or mixed into ground meat for burgers. it can be brushed onto flatbread dough with olive oil. what do you like to do with your baharat / bokharat?

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update: posted another version here – baharat

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minted cabbage salad

May 7, 2014

1/2 lb savoy cabbage, core removed, finely shredded
1/3 c watercress leaves
1/2 c mint leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1 large clove garlic crushed w 1 t salt
3 T evoo
1 t dried mint
salt and pepper

combine and serve