Saudi Moussaka

Moussaka has always been a meal I enjoy regardless if it’s the Greek version or this Saudi one. This is a typical dish that is served in a Saudi home for dinner. We usually make samboosas, salad and some sort of soup to serve alongside it.

1 large eggplants
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 green peppers, cleaned and sliced
1 pound cooked ground beef or lamb
1 large potato, cleaned and sliced
1 large white onion, minced
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
Parsley, chopped for garnish

1. Peel the eggplants into strips (2cm slices). In a saute pan on medium heat add oil. Fry then arrange at the bottom of a baking dish. Next later potato slices.

2. Preheat oven to 350F.  In the same saute pan add onions and garlic, cook until tender. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, water and lemon juice, bring to a full boil then remove from heat.

3. Our the sauce on top of vegetables in the baking dish. Add the meat then later with green peppers and tomato slices. Cover the top with foil and cook for 1 hour.  Garnish the top with parsley.

Yields: 6-8 servings

Crock Pot Lamb

If you have never had lamb cooked in a crock pot then you’re in for a real treat. Lamb is the perfect type of meat for the crock pot since it’s a meat that must be slow cooked for a long period of time. This small amount of spices is the perfect taste to bring out the savory flavor of the lamb. If you would like to add vegetables to your lamb you should do so a few hours before the cooking time has completed. I always add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk it into the stock leftover in the crock pot after I remove the lamb to make delicious gravy to sit on the table.

1 leg of lamb (2-3 pounds)
4 tablespoons of butter, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 cup water

1. In a crock pot add water and lamb. On top of lamb add butter then sprinkle rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic on top. Cover and allow to cook on high heat for 6 hours. Half way though baste lamb with juices.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Yorgurtlu Kofte Kebabi


For those of you who love Middle Eastern food then this is the dish for you. It’s complete with everything in one impeccable dish of toasted pita bread, fresh yogurt, golden pine nuts, soft and tender kofta with bright sumac over the top. Make sure you layer this dish right before serving so the bread stays crisp.

Tomato sauce:
1 white onion, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 large pita breads
1-1/2 pounds ground lamb
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sumac plus more for topping
2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 scallion, chopped
1. In a sauté pan on medium heat add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Add red pepper flakes, tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar, mix well. Cook for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl add lamb, salt, pepper and cilantro, mix well. Make golf ball size shapes and form into small sausage shapes. Use a non-stick baking mat or foil on a baking sheet. Place kofta and broil under a high broiler in the oven for 8 minutes.
3. Toast the pita bread under the broiler for a few seconds until crisp and breakable. In a small saute pan on medium heat add butter, pine nuts and sumac, cook until golden.
4. In a serving platter crumble pita, pour tomato sauce on top, add yogurt, pine nut mixture, and sprinkle sumac then place kofta on top. Garnish with scallions.
Yields: 4 servings