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

2 tbs olive oil
5 big tomatoes
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
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.