Monday, 16 May 2016

Eat like a Pharaoh !!!!!

The days are like the sweet chocolate chip cookies that Nael anxiously snacks on while watching his favourite cartoons on TV. They’re being digested at unbelievable rates. Where are they all going?
In many ways, this is a good sign, I believe. I’ve been busy like a crazy caffeinated bee lately - trying to juggle a million things at once: family and work commitments, friends, health issues, vacation planning, finances, to name but a few. But as said, all good. I am thankful for my full and amazing life. And I LOVE COOKING!!! Call me crazy but it´s my relaxing outlet from the usual stresses of life. A kind of meditation when I am aspiring for peace of mind.

And then there is my 
love for variety. I like the idea of buffets, I like the idea of experimenting with flavors, textures and smells. I like the idea of eating with groups, of tasting food and exchanging comments like fine professionals. All this and a lot more was achieved with a bunch of foodies over a wholesome brunch at my home last week.

Since most of the guests were vegetarian, I decided to cook Egyptian, with lentils and beans at the forefront.














There were a few traditional breakfast items on the menu like Ful Medammes (cooked Fava beans with garlic, olive oil, cumin, lemon juice, parsley and tomatoes), Shakshuka (poached eggs in tomato sauce), freshly baked Aish Baladi (Egyptian Pitas).





Other dishes included home-made Falafel with Tahini sauce, Salads using fresh herbs and tomatoes,
Chicken in Tahini and Dukkah sauce, and the very famous Kushari !!















When you think of Egyptian food, you automatically think of Kushari. Its a simple yet filling and protein packed vegetarian blend of rice, lentils and macaroni topped with fried onions and a spicy tomato sauce.







The rest involved sitting in the dining chairs and pigging out at the delicious stuff and flavours infront of us.







Recipe for Falafel and Tahini Sauce is already on the site. Here is the one for


Egyptian Shakshuka


Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
5 big tomatoes
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 cup tomato ketchup (see note below)
2 tbs chopped parsley
6 poached eggs


Take oil in a pan. 
Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant. 
Add chopped tomatoes and bell pepper to pan. Add spices and stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add tomato ketchup. If your want the sauce a bit runny, add a little boiling water and cook for another 3-4 min. 

*Note: I always add ketchup to my tomato sauce to give a sweeter touch. Trust me, you wont regret it either!

Poach eggs according to the instructions here.
Tip: You can also poach a large number of eggs for a party ahead of time. Ask Mr. Google how! The warm-cold-water method works and is very easy to follow.

Transfer the tomato sauce to a serving bowl and place the poached eggs over it. Sprinkle some roasted cumin on top and decorate with chopped parsley.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Tabbouleh with Pomegranate

With Spring in the air, people seem more inspired to eat healthy and light food. And what is better than a fresh salad or a side dish with lots of fresh greens to jazz up a meal or barbeque. 





I love creating salads and sides with produce that is in season. And you know it´s always fun combining different ingredients to create new colours, flavours and textures. One of my latest discoveries is this tabbouleh salad with lots of fresh herbs, tomatoes, cracked bulgur and olive oil with an exotic touch of pomegranate.

There are various recipes out there for this salad but here is my version:



Tabbouleh Salad with Pomegranate

Ingredients

50 g fine bulgur
1 bunch of spring onions
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber (optional)

200 g fresh parsley
15 g fresh mint
salt
white pepper
juice and zest of two limes
3 tbs oilve oil
8 tbs fresh pomegranate seeds


Wash bulgur thrice in cold water and cover generously with enough water to moisten. Set aside for about 30 min. Itll automatically double in size.
Cut tomatoes and cucumbers in cubes. Chop the herbs. In a bowl mix olive oil with the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Add in the lemon zest.

Toss the cucumbers tomatoes, soaked bulgur and herbs together in the bowl with the dressing. Add fresh pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator to use later (up to one day).



This salad is even great for parties and crowds. Click here for ideas and inspiration.