Monthly Archives: October 2010

White Greek Frappé

I was just sitting here enjoying one of my favorite cool coffee drinks and thought I would share with it with you all as well. You can make a black version of this drink by using 20 ml of water instead of milk. However, I prefer the white version much better. In Greece they shake the coffee to froth it and this is also something they did while I was in Malaysia. You can use anything for your shaker but I prefer a good old reliable jar that does not spew my coffee all over me. For my instant coffee choice it would be Nestle Classic but Maxwell House is really nice as well. “Stinygiasou”!

2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons sugar

30 ml milk
3 tablespoons boiling water

1. In a jar add coffee, sugar and boiling water. Allow coffee and sugar to dissolve. Add milk and tightly seal on jar lid. Shake until coffee is extremely frothy. Pour into a glass filled with ice.

Yields: 1


Makhlouta is an amazing Lebanese soup best served with fresh lemon quartered. This delicious soup is a mixture of fine flavors. The chicken broth base goes perfect with lentils and rice.

1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-2/3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup red lentils, washed and picked over for stones
1/2 cup cooked rice
black pepper and salt to taste
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lemon, quartered

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat add olive oil and onion. Cook until tender. Add chicken broth, pepper, salt, coriander and cumin. Bring to a full boil, add lentils then reduce heat to low. Cook for about 30 minutes.

2. Add cooked rice, mix well. Serve each dish with a lemon quarter.

Yields: 4 servings


Simit is a popular Turkish bread that is also the most popular street food around the country. You can have this bread various ways. One of the most popular is simply being served with tea. I love to have feta cheese another Turkish favorite with my simit. Most simits are made with regular sesame seeds but you will find various places selling simits with black sesame seeds. I like to add some to my simits when baking to add color to the dish. The traditional way is to use grape molasses but I have yet to find any here in Saudi so I use honey which taste just as good.

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
400 ml warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
olive oil

2 tablespoons grape molasses or honey
150 ml hot water
1-1/2 cups sesame seeds

1. In a small bowl add yeast, sugar and a 4 tablespoons of warm water from the 400ml of water. Allow yeast to active for 5 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, yeast mixture and little bit of water at time until a soft elastic consistency forms. Knead for 10 minutes. Add olive oil on hands and pat around dough (do not work in). Place in a clean plastic bowl, cover with a towel and sit in a warm place for 2 hours.

3. Punch dough down and divide into 8 even balls. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Roll doll out into a 16-inch long even sized rope, carefully twist. Pinch sides together to form a large ring the size of a coffee cup dish.

4. Bake 2 at a time on a baking sheet until golden, 20-25 minutes.

Yields: 8 simits

Arabic Meat Pie

I love to make these delicious meat pies with fries for a light dinner. Everyone enjoys them and you have leftovers to snack on. Yogurt is the secret mixture in Arabic and Turkish meat pies. Please remember if that any words in blue mean that they are a clickable link. I get a lot of emails asking how to make Arabic spice mix. If you click the words it will take you to the recipe. And do not forget my ‘How to make perfect bread‘ post if you need help with the dough.

2 pounds fine ground lamb or beef
4-5 garlic cloves, mashed
1/4 bunch of mint, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Arabic Spice Mix
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil+ more for dough
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups water

1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water in a small bowl mix and set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until frothy.

2. In a large bowl add flour, oil salt and water a bit at a time until dough consistency forms. Add a bit of oil on hands and carefully pat around oil (do not work in). Cover dough with a towel and sit in a warm place until doubled about an hour.

3. Meanwhile, In large bowl add mint, onions, tomato paste, pine nuts, pepper, Arabic spice mix, meat and yogurt. Combine well.

4. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Divide the dough into 24 balls and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll thin 15-20 cm circles. Spread approximately 2 tablespoons of meat mixture evenly over the pastries and arrange on a lightly greased baking tray.

5. Bake until dough and meat are fully cooked. Serve with laban and lemon wedges.

Yields: 24 pies