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MINCED MEAT MAKHLOUTA SOUP

Makhlouta, which literally means ‘mixed’, is a levantine traditional vegetarian soup that is typically made of a mixture of dried vegetables such as lentils and beans. With the addition of some meat, this beautiful soup is best enjoyed during the cold season of autumn and winter.

Recipe

ingredients:

about 100 g minced meat 2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
1 cup red lentils, washed and drained
1/4 cup rice, washed and drained
1/4 cup bulgur, washed and drained
2 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper, according to taste
4 – 5 cups water
Lemon juice & slices (optional)

preparation:

In a medium to large saucepan put over medium heat, sauté the minced meat for a about 7 – 10 minutes, stirring often. Set sautéd meat in a small bowl aside.
Using the same saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes stirring often. Add the lentils, rice, bulgur and stir frequently for another few minutes.
Add the cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour about 4 – 5 cups of water to the lentil and rice mixture. Couver the saucepan with a lid. Lower heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
Once the lentil and rice mixture has been thoroughly cooked, you can add the minced meat to it. Cook for a few minutes further.
Serve the soup hot with a slice of lemon (optional: add a few drops of lemon juice to the individual serving bowls).
Enjoy!

mjaddarah: a taste from home away from home

Mjaddarah (مدردرة – مجدرة), the “hungry man’s food”, is a simple yet very rich dish that is relatively popular in the Arab world and a food enjoyed by everyone. Classically served with yogurt and mint, Mjaddarah is a true delight.

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Reminding me of home, Mjaddarah has always been a favorite dish that I would delightfully have anytime, anywhere. And lately, I have been nostalgic and missing my mum’s cooking and so, naturally, have been craving this dish often. And I’m not ashamed to admit that, despite my love for this dish, I failed to make it a few times before. So being finally able to prepare it not only makes me happy knowing I can enjoy this dish whenever I want, but also give me a certain sense of pride.

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green lentil salad

Green lenil salad 2

Rich in nutrients with the ability to last for years when stored properly, lentils are among the most ancient staples known in history, and they constitute a very important component in the pantry of different civilisations / nations. Lentils come in different colours, and even shapes and their taste and texture and even uses vary accordingly. And there seems to be endless possibilities for dishes that can be prepared using them.

I’ve shared a few delicious lentil recipes before, and always feel tempted to share some more. Lentils are just so delicious!

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Today, I share this totally yummy green lentil salad, which is a beautiful, light and healthy snack. It is so easy to prepare and is full of simple freshness! As is the case in most kind of salad, it should be eaten fresh once prepared.
For the Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup green lentils (washed, and soaked in water for about 10 minutes then drained)
3 celery stalks, washed, trimmed and chopped
12 – 15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper, according to taste

Cook the lentils over medium heat in a medium pan covered with 2 cups of water, for about 20 – 25 minutes. Drain the lentil to get rid of any excess water. Set aside to allow to cool before making the salad.
In a medium to large serving bowl, mix the lentils with the other ingredients. Give the mixture a good stir and your salad is ready to go 🙂
Serve and enjoy fresh!

Bon Appétit!

Sometimes, all you need is a Harira Soup

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Harira Soup شوربة الحريرة

Originating from Andalusia الأندلس, Harira حريرة is a heart warming soup that made its rich journey all the way to North Africa, namely Morocco and Algeria, to become yet another magical flavor of the exquisite North African Cuisine.  

Widely prepared during the month of Ramadan, and during the winter season (which is far from being the case in Dubai), this beautiful food brought me comfort and peace after a few stressful and busy weeks. And it was one of those kinds of dishes that fill your home, and heart along, with beautiful aroma. 

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Harira Soup

This soup takes some time to prepare (mise en place of the ingredients). But once you start bringing this soup together (mainly when adding the saffron to your soup basic mixture and having the magical smell of oriental spices invading your kitchen), you realize that this soup is so worth the work and that it just cant go wrong.

I have to admit though that it would normally be more interesting to work with dried chickpeas (about half a cup chickpeas soaked in water overnight), but I went for the road more taken and thus took the easier option (canned peas). Sorry! 


For the Recipe

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

40 g butter

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 cm fresh ginger, grated

1 ½ tsp freshly ground cinnamon

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

½ tsp saffron threads

1 tsp salt, or to taste

350 g lamb meat, diced

1 can of chickpeas, washed and drained

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

½  Ltr chicken stock

1 ½ Ltr hot water

½ cup green lentils, washed and drained

½ cup white basmati rice, washed and drained

a generous handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped, plus some extra leaves for garnish

zest of 1 lemon

juice of ½ lemon

  • In a large saucepan and over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil, till butter has melted, sautée the onions, celery, and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 5 – 7 minutes, till onions start to soften. Add in the ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and saffron. At this magical moment, the smell will tell you you are on the right way to heavenly food. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the diced lamb meat. Sautee for about 5 minutes stirring continuously till meat is brown. add the chickpeas and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Pour the chicken stock and water into the the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Add the lentil and cook for another 15 minutes before adding in the rice. Cook further for about 10 – 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and add the lemon zest, juice and coriander. Give it a stir before serving the soup garnished with coriander leaves.

         Bon Appétit!