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Monday, January 23, 2012

Egyptian Cuisine

Egyptian Cuisine

The Food is Hearty as well as Healthy!
The Egyptians eat a lot with family & friends with no less than 20 different Varieties on  the Table

Some Important Spices are an integral part of the Cuisine:
Dukkah
Baharat in Arabic means Spice Mix, includes Black, Green & White Peppercorns, Cinnamon, Cloves & Nutmeg
Coriander
Ghee B L D
Beans Lentils Protein Fava Beans Solit Fava Beans De Skinned
Nuts Spread Almonds Pista Hazelnuts Used on Rice topped with Desserts
Karkade Hibiscus Tea Medicinal Qualities High BP
One of the most important dishes in Egypt is Breakfast
Ful Medames is the Starter & it makes you full for the Rest of the Day
Fava Beans is what any true Egyptian eats mostly in the Meal

Dukkah is one of the National Dishes made up of a Mix of Roasted Nuts, Seeds & Finely Blended Spices

Sesame Seeds- ¾ Cup
Pine Nuts- ½ Cup
Coriander Seeds- ½ Cup
Ground Cumin-  ½ Tsp.Salt- ½ Tsp.
Chilli Powder- ½ Tsp.
Baharat (White & Black Peppercorn, Cinnamon, Cloves & Nutmeg)- ½ Tsp.

In a Pan, Mix Pine Nuts, Coriander Seeds on Medium-High Flame
As the mix starts to colour, Add the Sesame Seeds & Continue to toast until Golden Brown
Pour the mixture into a Mixer
Add Cumin, Baharat Mix, Chilli Powder & Salt
Blend together
Use as Seasoning in cooking or Serve as an Accompaniment with Bread and Olive Oil

Traditionally Dukkah is consumed with Fresh Egyptian Bread dipped in Olive Oil & then in the Nuts Nix
Dukkah is also a versatile Seasoning in the Egyptian Cooking

The Molokhia Leaves have potent Antioxidants like Vitamin E
The stem is removed, finely chopped Leaves along with Garlic & Coriander are made into a Soup which is considered by many as the National Dish


Kushari is a fragrant mix of Rice, Lentils & Pasta served with Onions and delicious Tomato Sauce

Kushari is made with Rice Butter in Pot Water
Lentils & Beans in Water
arranged Layer by Layer


Kushari is a Traditional Egyptian Recipe made with Green Lentils, Pasta & Rice mixed together with Caramelised Onions
It is served with a Tomato based Topping and Finished off with a Crispy Onion Garnish
It is best served Hot with a side of Garden Salad     

1 cup green lentils
1 cup medium grain rice
2 cups small macaroni
2 large onions, thinly sliced
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed spices or baharat spice mix
Salt to taste

Sauce
1 small onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g tomato paste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
Salt & pepper
1 tsp baharat spice mix
Chilli flakes (optional)

Crispy Onion Garnish
2 onions, finely sliced
Oil for deep-frying

Over a moderate heat add heat 2 tbsp oil, the rice and a tsp of salt to a medium-size saucepan. Fry for 2 minutes and then add two cups of water. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once the mixture has reached boiling point, lower the heat, cover and simmer for a further 15mins or until the rice is cooked.

Wash the lentils under cold running water until the water runs clear. Add the lentils to another saucepan with two cups of water and bring to the boil. Once tender, remove from the heat, strain and set aside.

Cook macaroni separately in boiling water with a little salt and strain when al dente.

To caramelise the onions, heat remaining oil in a fry pan and add onions. Cook until soft and slightly brown.

Place macaroni In a large serving dish and coat with a little olive oil. Then add the cooked lentils, rice and onions and mix through

For Sauce:
Place a saucepan on moderate heat. Add oil and onion and cook until soft. Add garlic and fry to a pale brown.
Stir in tomato paste, water, salt, baharat, pepper and ground chilli. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 15-20 mins or until sauce has reduced by half. Remove from heat.

For the Onion Garnish:
Heat sufficient oil in a pan for frying. Add onions and fry until dark brown. Remove from oil, place on absorbent paper towel and leave to cool.

Just before Serving, Sprinkle with Baharat Spice Mix, Pour desired amount of Tomato Sauce & Garnish with Crispy Onions!


Basbousa is a Sweet Semolina Cake with Rose Water & Lemon Syrup is very popular in Egypt and throughout the Middle East

Coarse Semolina- 2 ½ Cups
Self-Raising Flour- ½ Cup
Castor Sugar- 1 Cup
Desiccated Coconut- 1 Cup
Natural Thick Yoghurt- 200 Grams
Unsalted Butter- 200 Grams, Melted
Vanilla Extract- 1 Tsp.
Almonds- 25 No’s, Blanched
Milk- As Needed
For Syrup:
Castor Sugar- 1 ½ Cups
Water- 1 Cup
Lemon Juice- 1 Tsp.
Rose Water- 1 Tsp.
Preheat the Oven at 180 Degrees C for 20 Minutes
In a Bowl, Mix the Semolina, Flour, Sugar, Coconut, Yoghurt, Butter & Vanilla
 If the mixture is too thick, add a little Milk
Spread evenly in a Slightly Greased Baking Tray, dab the edges so it bakes all over, Cover & Keep aside for about 30 Minutes
Cut into the Classic Diamond Shape
Put one Almond in the centre of each Diamond
Bake in an oven at 190°C for 35-40 Minutes until Golden Brown

In a Pot, Mix Sugar & Water until the Sugar dissolves
Simmer for about 5 Minutes
As the Syrup starts to Boil, Add the Lemon Juice & Rosewater
Remove from the Heat and Set Aside to Cool
Pour the syrup over the Hot Cake & Keep it aside till it reaches Room Temperature
Serve Fresh!


Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this one turned out :)

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