Monthly Archives: February 2011

Marqat Al Bamiyah Al Iraqiyah

The most famous Iraqi vegetable stew made with fresh lamb and vegetables. Traditionally potatoes are not added to the stew however I love them in mine. This stew is served with rice, fresh bread and salad.

1 kilogram fresh okra
3/4 kilogram lamb cubes
1 white or lamb bullion (I use white Maggi)
2 potatoes, cubed
3 garlic cloves, sliced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon Khaleeji baharat
4 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash the meat, trimming any excess fat. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat add meat covering with water. Add bullion cube. Allow to come to a full boil then reduce to low. Cook until meat is fully cooked 15-20 minutes. Reserve broth.

2. Meanwhile, wash the okra, trim the small steams without opening the okra from the base. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil, onions and garlic. Cook until tender.

3. Add meat and okra with about 1/2 cup broth. Cover until okra has fully cooked. Shake pan from time to time so food does not stick. Add potatoes, lemon juice, tomatoes, Khaleeji baharat, salt and pepper. Add remaining stock and tomato mix, mix well.

4. Cover and allow to simmer until sauce has thickened. Place into a shallow serving platter.

Yields: 6-8 servings

Machbous Al Ribyan

Another beautiful Arabic dish showcasing shrimp. This colorful dish has fresh seafood and vegetables combined with just the perfect spices. Be careful when cooking shrimp to not overcook it as it gets tough and also make sure you do not lift the lid when cooking the rice since the steam is what fully cooks it. If you have any leftover shrimp stock just pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge you will certainly use it again and nothing compares to fresh shrimp stock.

1 kilogram cleaned shrimp
sufficient water to cover shrimp (allow 1-3/4 for every cup of rice)
2 dried limes
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of Khaleeji Baharat
salt to taste

1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoons Khaleeji Baharat
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons oil
1 green chili, stem removed and cut lengthwise
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander
a pinch of ground cardamom
3 cups basmati rice, cleaned washed and strained
pinch saffron threads soaked in 1/4 cup rose water

toasted pine nuts for garnishing

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat add shrimp and cover with water. Add dried limes, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, turmeric and pinch of Khaleeji baharat. Allow to boil for 1 minute, add salt and simmer for 1 minute. Strain saving the stock. Sit shrimp aside. Meanwhile, In a small bowl add rosewater and saffron. Allow to soak.

2. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil, onion, garlic and chili. Cook until onion is tender. Add salt, Khaleeji baharat, ginger, tomato, coriander and cardamom. Mix well and add lemon juice. Allow to cook for 5 minutes until tender.

3. Add rice into pan stirring with mixture gently cooking. Add enough shrimp stock to cook rice (1-3/4 cup per cup of rice used). Cover bring to a full boil then reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is fully cooked.

4. Add shrimp into cooked rice and mix. Sprinkle rose/saffron water on top of mixture. Place into a serving platter. Garnish top with pine nuts, tomatoes, lemon and cilantro. Serve this meal with Salata Hara.

Yields: 6-8 servings

Bayedh Al Qetah

The name literally means Qetah eggs. Qetah is a delicacy game bird. The name of the Bedouin style stuffed pastries is derived from the close resemblance of the desserts shape, size and color to that of the Qetah eggs. This very old Bedouin dessert is about to be forgotten as time passes but one taste of this amazing little pastry and it will quickly become a family favorite. If you all knew how good these were you would rush to make them now. This goes perfect along side a cup of Gulf coffee or tea.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
powdered sugar
sunflower oil for frying

1/3 cup walnuts ground
a pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1. In a large mixing bowl add flour and cardamom. Make a well in center of flour and add butter. Mix well, add milk a bit at a time until dough consistency is obtained. Cover and sit aside to rest for 15 minutes.

2. In a small bowl add walnuts, saffron and orange blossom water, cinnamon and cardamom, mix well.

3. In a 9-inch skillet add 1 cup of oil on medium heat allowing oil to get hot. Meanwhile, make balls with dough the size of a walnut. Take each ball and make into a bowl in your hand filling with about a teaspoon of the nut mixture. Close and seal, rolling into a ball. When finished fry balls in two batches.

4. Place balls on paper towels allowing grease to drain. Meanwhile, add powdered sugar into a bag, place pastries into bag and shake until fully covered with sugar. Place onto a platter and serve.

Yields: 30 pastries

Beyaz Peynirli Makarna

This is one of my favorite pastas to make for myself because its good, filling and quick. You can easily use your favorite pasta and get a bit creative as to what you add to it. This dish usually does not contain tomatoes however I love them and they go just perfect.

2 servings pasta (I used spinach Tagliatella, cooked per package directions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tomato, diced
salt to taste

1. In a medium serving bowl add feta, salt, olive oil, tomato and feta. Add pasta and toss.

Servings: 2