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… Continue reading

Shish Barak

 It was several years
ago as I was flipping the pages of Arabesque that I came across this
interesting recipe for a new style shish barak. Originally shish barak is
homemade dough filled with meat and plotted into a yogurt bath much like
Turkish manti. I became quite taken with the recipe and just had to make it.
This dish quickly became my husband’s favorite dish. Over the years I have tweaked it a bit and made
it work for me. I do not make it that often as anyone who has worked with fillo
knows that it’s a labor
of love but hey it’s Ramadan and he asked for it so I spent the evening frying,
stuffing, rolling and baking my golden little heart shaped pastries.
10 fillo
pastry sheets (unfreeze for a few hours before use and then lay a damp towel
over at all times or they will not be usable)
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon garlic, diced
1-1/2 teaspoons dried mint
1-1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped in food processor
Dash of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper to tasting
1/2 tablespoon allspice
1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add sunflower oil and
meat, cook thoroughly. Add onions, cinnamon, allspice, molasses, salt and
pepper allowing cooking for a few minutes. Make a well in the center… Continue reading


Samboosas are a Saudi favorite that you will find on almost every table especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan. You can choose if you would like to use ground beef, lamb or chicken. Chicken and lamb are the preferred choice of Saudis and myself included. Another usual ingredient you will find in the mixture is chopped up boiled egg whites which you can choose to add if you wish. If you do not live in the Gulf then samboosa leaves are probably not available to you so a better alternative would be making the dough at home yourself. Samboosas are served as a pre-meal appetizer usually with soup.

1 pound ground lamb or chicken
1 onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cardamom, ground
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon dried mint
4 tablespoons pine nuts
1 package samboosa leaves
sunflower oil for frying

3 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of water

1. In a saute pan add ground beef and onion, cook on medium heat until no longer pink then drain grease. Add beef back into pan with coriander, cumin, cardamom, garlic, mint and pine nuts. Cook on medium heat for 4 minutes.

2. In a small bowl add 1 tablespoon flour and enough water to make a paste. Set aside this will be used to seal the samboosas.

3. In a small bowl make paste by mixing flour and water.… Continue reading

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