Thursday, 30 July 2009

July "WALIMA" Challenge, Egyptian dish !! Koshary & Basbouuussa !! Enjoy !!

Hellooooo, This month we are celebrating the egyptian cuisine, yes I am an Egyptian and I am hosting the event...;))
The egyptian cuisine is a very rich one, The variety of Egyptian recipes is endless. They go back a very long way. As a result of subsequent colonization, foreign influence is somewhat present, specially from the Turkish cuisine (it is understandable after more than 300 years of Turkish presence in Egypt).
Egyptian cuisine consists of the local culinary traditions of Egypt. Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of legumes and vegetables, as Egypt's rich Nile Valley and Delta produce large quantities of high-quality crops.Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes such as Ful Medames, Kushari, rice-stuffed pigeon, Mulukhiyya with rabbit, and Feteer Meshaltet, while sharing similarities with food found throughout the Eastern Mediterranean like rice-stuffed vegetables or grape leaves, Shawerma, Kebab, Falafel, Baba Ghannoug, and Baqlawa.
Bread forms the backbone of Egyptian cuisine. Bread is consumed at almost all Egyptian meals; a working-class or rural Egyptian meal might consist of little more than bread and beans.

Some Egyptians consider Kushari, a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni, to be the national dish. Ful Medames (mashed fava beans) is also popular and is used in making Ta'meyya (also known as Falafel), which Egyptians consider to be superior to elsewhere in the Middle East where chickpeas is the major ingredient of this dish, although chickpeas have been grown by Egyptians for thousands of years.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have used a lot of garlic and onion in their everyday dishes. Fresh mashed garlic with other herbs is used in spicy tomato salad and is also stuffed in boiled or baked aubergines (eggplant). Garlic fried with coriander is added to
Mulukhiyya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves, sometimes with chicken or (preferably) rabbit. Fried onions can be added to Kushari.
Other popular dishes include:
Kabab and Kofta, usually of lamb meat, chops and minced meat on skewers grilled on charcoal.
Shawerma (Arabic: شاورمة) is a popular sandwich of shredded beef, lamb or chicken meat, usually rolled in pita bread with Tahina sauce.
Hamaam Mahshi (Stuffed Pigeon) pigeon stuffed with rice or wheat and herbs, then roasted or grilled. A delicacy in Egypt!
Mahshi is a stuffing of rice, seasoned with herbs and spices, into vegetables like green peppers, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, or cabbage leaves. The stuffed vegetable is then placed in a pot and topped with two cans of tomato sauce and lemon or lime.
Mahshi Waraq 'Enab is grape leaves stuffed with a rice mixture that can be made with sauteed ground beef or vegetarian style. The rice is seasoned with crushed red tomatoes, onion, parsley, dill, salt, pepper and Egyptian spices (boharat). This mixture is then stuffed and rolled into an individual grape leaf and placed in a pot and topped with two cans of tomato sauce and lemon or lime.
Macaroni with béchamel[2] is a very famous pasta dish in Egypt. The béchamel sauce is the key ingredient in it. Typically, it consists of a mixture of penne macaroni and béchamel sauce, and usually one layer of cooked spiced meat with onions.
Moussaqa'a is sliced eggplants that are lightly grilled and placed in a flat pan with sliced onions, green peppers, and jalapenos. It is then covered with a red sauce made of tomato paste and Egyptian spices. This pan is cooked in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Kishk is made with milk or yogurt, and flour, sometimes seasoned with fried onions and chicken broth.
Mulukhiyah is prepared in various styles wherein the mallow leaves are very finely chopped, with ingredients such as garlic and coriander added to give it a characteristic aromatic taste.
Baba Ghannoug is a condiment made with eggplants, chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, cumin and oil.
Tahina salad (sometimes also referred to as Hummus salad if chickpeas are added for texture) is a condiment made with sesame butter, chickpeas, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, cumin and olive oil.
Duqqah is a dry mixture of chopped nuts, seeds and Middle Eastern spices and flavors.

Egyptian desserts are similar to other Eastern Mediterranean desserts.
Fatir are pancakes (filo dough) stuffed with everything from eggs to apricots or fruit of choice.
Feteer Meshaltet[3]
Eish al-Saraya[4]
Umm Ali is a national dish of Egypt. It is a raisin cake soaked in milk and served hot.
Basbousa or sometimes called Harissa (in Morrocco and Alexandria) is a sweet dish made from semolina and is soaked in a sugar syrup. It is usually topped with almonds and traditionally cut diagonally into pieces so that each piece resembles a diamond shape.
Qatayef is a dessert reserved for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, a sort of sweet crepe filled with cheese or nuts.
Kunāfah is a dish of batter "strings" fried on a hot grill and stuffed with nuts (usually pistachios), meats, heavy whipped cream or sweets.
Baqlawa is a sweet dish made from many layers of phyllo pastry, an assortment of nuts, and soaked in a sweet syrup.
Kahk is a traditional sweet dish served most commonly during Eid ul-Fitr in Egypt. It is a shortbread biscuit covered with icing sugar, which may be stuffed with dates, walnuts, agameya (like turkish-delight), or just served plain.
Ghurayyeba is a common dish in all of North Africa. It is a sweet dish similar to kahk but much thinner. It is like shortbread and is usually topped with roasted almonds.
Luqmat al-Qadi literally translates to "the bite of the judge". They are small, round donuts which are crunchy on the outside and soft and syrupy on the inside. They may be served with dusted cinnamon and powdered sugar.

So this month I brought to you kushary or koshary and as a dessert I brought to you Basbouussa recipe, let's go ........


Koshary is not just one of the most delicious dishes in Egypt but it is also one of the cheapest meals in Egypt. housewives make it at home because it is cheap and it is much cleaner than the ordered koshary. Our challenge this time is about Egypt as all of you knows, so I wanted this time to present to you the main recipe for our Egyptian Koshary dish, please follow the recipe but I need from you different ideas in presenting this dish, it is up to your imagination, change in the presentation of the dish or add for it a side dish, it is you choice now !!
First, the ingredients:-

1 cup brown lentils

1 cup rice (Egyptian rice)
1/8 kg ditalini pasta

For the fried onions :
2 big onions and some oil for frying it.

About a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.

For the salsa or tomatoes sauce:-

2 cups tomato juice.

1good onion chopped very finely.
3 garlic cloves, finely crushed.
1 TBS vinegar (white vinegar).
vegetable oil, salt, pepper, cumin, hot chili.

For Dakka:- a cumin, vinegar, garlic sauce

2 TBS cumin seeds crashed
Half a cup of vinegar
Half a cup of hot water
1tsp of hot chili- salt and pepper
4 garlic clovesHow to prepare it:-

Cook lentils in salted water until tender. Strain.

In a rice pan stir the washed rice in a tablespoon of vegetable oil then cover it with water put some salt and let it cooked till boiling then Cook it on a very low flame until tender.
Cook macaroni, strain, rinse, and strain again.
Place these three ingredients in a cooking pot.
Fry onions (in a separate pan) to a brown , then remove the onions onto absorbent paper and strain the oil into the lentil /rice/pasta mixture. Return the pot to the flame and cook for 7-10 minutes, keep the flame always low.

To prepare tomato sauce:-

Saute onions until soft, then add garlic and fry to a pale brown. Add tomato juice and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce is cooked and becomes thick . Add vinegar and seasonings and cook 2-3 minutes longer.

To prepare Dakka:-

Take garlic cloves and hit them with the end of the knife, but don't break them up. Add into white vinegar and water mix. Add some cumin and coriander into the vinegar as well as salt and pepper and hot chili. Stir and let it aside.Serve the dish by topping each individual plate "rice/pasta/lentil" with tomato sauce and fried onions. Sprinkle it with some whole cooked chickpeas.
Serve it with a bowl full of Dakka so you can add from it the quantity you need in your plate.


One of the most famous dessert dishes in Egypt, you can find it in other Arabic countries but with different tastes and different flavors as well as different names.
I am presenting to you this time the Egyptian basbouussa.

The ingredients:-

2 and half cups of fine Semolina flourA half cup of all purpose flour
1 and half TBLSof baking powder.
A half cup of coconut
A 3/4 cup of ghee " natural ghee" or you can use butter instead of it but you have to make it one full cup "softened at room temperature".
1tsp of vanilla.
One cup of yogurt.
Half cup of sugar.

For the syrup:-

2 and half cups of sugar
2 and half cups of water
1 tbls of lemon juice.

Tahini and some butter to grease the baking tray.

How to prepare it:-

Mix the semolina- flour- baking powder- coconut- sugar- butter or ghee- yogurt- vanilla, mix it well with your hands, don't be afraid it will not bite you….LOL
Just to feel the batter and to enjoy it as I always do.
Grease very well your baking tray with a mix of butter and tahini, you can use just Tahini.
Pour your basbouusa dough and spread it using your hand to cover and fit your baking tray.
Garnish it with nuts and candied cherries, it is up to you, I love it with walnuts, hazelnuts and candied cherries. Take care and insert your nuts or fruits very well by pushing it down.
Keep your basbouusa tray for 6 or 7 hours before baking it.

To prepare the syrup:-

In a pan put the sugar with the water , on the stove stir it until the sugar crystals dissappear then let the spoon and add the lemon juice, let it boil till it reaches the thread point stage , add some vanilla . Keep it warm when pouring it over the basbouusa tray, it should be hot too.
Bake basboussa in a preheated oven on 230C or from middle to middle high temp.
Pour the warm or hot syrup over the hot basbouusa tray, and Enjoooooooooooy !!!
But you have to wait or you'll burn your tongue dear ;))))

Decorating and serving your dish is the subject of our challenge so please do your best to add to the dish some about you, the story you had while preparing the dish, and even if you did not like it, tell us or send it to me I would be soooo grateful.
Thanks fellows and hope you'll enjoy my egyptian dishes.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Finally !!! July Daring Bakers Challenge !!!

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

I do not really know what was the wrong this month, I was struggling to accomplish this month's challenge, I did the recipe first time, made the cookies, made marshmallows and piped on it the mallows kisses, put it on a chair, suddenly I felt tired and simply sat on the chair !!!

Horrible, is not it !!! and of course all the cookies and the mallows stick on my tee shirt !!
I really did not want to start over but I felt that I have to make it so I started but I really did not use the same cookies recipe, I made this time craquelin graham cookies and I made mallows without eggs, I posted my marshmallows recipe before.

I made also some other shapes from marshmallows, I'll let you with the pics, I really feel sooo tired.

We have now a looooot of marshmallows and we are not fans of it except my little daughter, so anybody loves it, simply let me know and I'll send him some ;))

I made 3 layers of cookies and mallows and topped it with a big mallow kiss then napped it with chocolate and covered it with almond flakes.
Thanks a lot to Nicole the host of july's challenge, waiting for august challenge, wish it to be "ICE CREAM" it is tooo hot here in Egypt !!
Thanks for reading my post ;))
Chahira Daoud

Sunday, 12 July 2009

FUL & TAAMEYA " beans & Egyptian falafel" !!

I am back but this time with no bread....
I am back with my ful & Taameya.I promised before that I'll share the recipes with you.
Sorry for being late but I had a lot of work to do.

First talking about Ful Medammes....

"Ful medammes also Foul Medammas (Arabic: فول مدمس fūl mudammas) is popular in Egypt , often eaten at breakfast. It consists of brown fava beans, partially or completely mashed, which are slow-cooked and served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. Ful medames is typically eaten with Egyptian bread ('eish masri).'egyptian pocket bread or flat bread"Though originally a peasant food, ful medames has long been part of the daily Egyptian diet. Some have described it as being "like a stone in the stomach". This has led to it being consumed by many in the Middle East in the early morning meal to prepare for a day of fasting during Ramadan.
The dish's name derives from the Egyptian language: ful is the Egyptian word for fava beans, and medames is a Coptic word meaning "buried." The second word hints at the original cooking method, which involved burying a sealed pot of water and beans under hot coals."

Thanks to wikipedia ;)))

So today I am going to tell you how we cook ful from scratch.

200gr. Fava beans "the best quality has a lighter color"
50 gr. Of chickpeas "it is not in the original recipe but sometimes I add chickpeas for change, the original recipe contains just fava beans".
50 gr of yellow lentill
50 gr. of wheat seedsA half of small lemon.
First wash all these seeds very well then cover it with water for 2- 4 hours.

Rinse it again and put it in a pan we use a special pot, it is like a jar, we call it "damassah"The capacity of our pot is 3 litres.
Put the seeds and fill the pot with water till the top just leave 1 cm without water. Put it on the stove till boiling then tranfer it on a heater like this one, a lot of people use the stove by putting the ful pot on the smallest and weakest flame, but this heater gives wonderful results because we will leave ful for 7 or 8 hours on the this weak heat.

After this period take some with a spoon and test it , if it is done squeeze a half of lemon and pour your ful in a container so after being cooled you should put it in the refrigerator and it can be freezed very well too.

If you test it and you find that fava beans still firm and there is no enough liquid in your pot add water but it has to be very hot, just to keep the lovely light color of beans.and let it more time on the heater or on the stove.
Here you are the pics !!

It is time now to talk about falafel
In Egypt we call it taameya more than falafel it is a little bit different than the lebanese & the syrian one, we use more green herbs and we use just fava beans to make it.

For me I use to make it with fava beans but sometimes as a change I mix with my fava some chickpeas.

"Falafel is a fried ball or patty made from fava beans. Originally from Egypt,[1] falafel is a popular form of fast food in the Middle East, where it is also served as a mezze.Falafel is usually served in a pita-like bread, either inside the bread, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flat bread. In many countries falafel is a popular street food or fast food. The falafel balls, whole or crushed, may be topped with salads, pickled vegetables and hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a mezze. During Ramadan, they are sometimes eaten as part of an iftar, the meal which breaks the daily fast after sunset."

O.k thanks again to wikipedia ;)))

The ingredients;

-250 gr.skinless and crushed fava beans. Sometimes I put 125 chickpeas and 125 fava beans, but the egyptian original one does not contain chichpeas at all.
1 big onion
2 garlic cloves
125 of green herbs " leeks ,parsley, coriander, and dill
Salt & pepper cumin and dried coriander, hot chili "optional".
Wash the beans and rinse it then cover it well with water for 6 hours, if you are using chickpeas you will leave it for 12 hours.Rinse it and strain it very well then add to it the onions and the garlic and the fresh herbs "washed and cut to be ready to go to the food processor" you will mix all and put it in the food processor , it will take from you some time to be a real paste.You can add to it the salt, pepper , cumin and dried coriander or you can wait till you will start to fry it, I usually freeze all the quantity after dividing it into portions.To fry it , we need 250 gr of falafel paste and 1 big egg beat the egg with a fork and gradually add you falafel paste , add 1 tsp of sodium bicarbonate and continue to beat it for 2 mn. Add your salt , pepper , cumin and dried coriander.Start to fry it, I made a videoooo, yes I did it for the first time in my life , my husband and me, were struggling two days to make it, but finally we did it , it is horrible but I hope that it really helps.Thanks to all of you, hope you enjoy my recipe.

P.S:-This month's WALIMA challenge will be about Egyptian cuisine, if you are interested stay tuned , the revealing date will be the end of this month, we have a savory and a sweet original egyptian dish !!!!

Friday, 3 July 2009

YES !! Finally I GOT it !!

YES,,, I ordered BBA and got it, really happy, the book is really nice, And I think that the next book for Peter Reinhart will be a HIT !!
I did test the recipes and it is really full of new recipes and new techniques.
I am looking forward to get it too .
I started to bake some bread from the book's recipes, I did first two recipes, Anadama & Artos bread, it turned out very nice and delicious. But my freezer is full tank now and I still want to go through the next recipes, any suggestions??

Oh but this one is mine,, not in Peter's book ;))
That is our egyptian flat bread, it is our every day's bread !

My latest two cakes !!

I would like to put these two cakes, I made it lately, I think that my work in cake decorating becomes more and more better but still have a long way to go.

Actually I prefer bread baking, everything simple and delicious with yeast, this magic ingredient.

But we do not have these cakes and you can hardly find a cake decorater who deals with fondant and gumpaste, anyway I am trying to read and work more on my skills.

But guys,,, I love BREAD, Iam missing my YEAST sooo much !!

Walima's june challenge !!

This month challenge is about Bahrain, it is a small arabic country but a very beautifull one.
Talking about its kitchen, it is very influenced by the indian and persian kitchen, It has the food culture of the gulf region .
This month challenge , we had two choices, a savoury dish and a sweet one, from the recipe of the sweet one, it seemed to me that we will not love at home so I went through the savoury one, here you are the recipe, try it you will love it,specially if you are in love with the indian and persian cuisine, the same flavor !!

The ingredients:-

1 tsp of turmeric
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 kg of fish fillet cubed
2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed and finely chopped
1 tbsp of freshly chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic chopped
Some fresh ginger chopped
2 med size chopped onions
2 med chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp of mustard
2 ½ cups of water
2 cubes of chicken broth , unless you have homemade chicken stockReplace the water with stock2 tbsp of freshly chopped cilantro

Mix the turmeric with veggie oil, and marinate the fish in it for couple of minutes.Then lay the fish on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 400F oven for 18 minutes to turn golden brown.In a food processor, add the garlic, onion, jalapeno peppers tomatoes ginger and mustard, and whip until it turns to paste.
Heat a non stick pan and cook the paste on medium heat, without oil, till it start to turn golden,(takes around 5 min) add the water and dissolved chicken bouillon or the chicken stock, whatever you have on hand, and cook for 7-8 minutes more to become a thick sauce, pour over the fish in the oven and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.Serve over Basmati rice and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top.

Here you are my dish pics

I served it with basmati rice.

Hope you enjoy this month callenge.

And for next WALIMA challenge, it is my turn, Egyptian kitchen, Excited enough???

O.K come and join us, easy ;)))

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