Lebanese

Ramadan Soups

ramadan-lentil-soup

I love having soup anytime of the year, even in the Summer time, maybe it’s a Southern thing! One thing I love about Ramadan is that everyone expects and enjoys soup for iftar. After families in Saudi break their fast with dates and qahwa they enjoy soup with samboosas. I have shared dozens of soup recipes with you all over the years and thought I would do a round up of my favorites that I always make during the Holy Month.

1. Syrian Dajaj Ablama

2. Saudi Quacker Soup

3. Lebanese Chicken and Semolina Soup

4. UAE Shorba Dajaj

5. Moroccan Harira

6. Yemeni Salta

7. Saudi Chicken Quacker Soup

8. Turkish Lentil Soup

Serbian Potato Musaka

Potato-Musaka

I have never met a musaka that I have not absolutely loved, but my favorite is with the Serbian yogurt topping. This is actually one my husbands favorite meals and he gets excited every single time I make it. I do not really use a set recipe, but I kind of combine them all from Arabic, Greek to Turkish and it has been a keeper. I always tend to make this dish the day after I make lasagna. When I make my meat mixture for the lasagna I always make a bit more then I need so I can use the next day for this recipe. It ends up being super simple and a great side, but I will provide you with the recipe as if you made it all from scratch. Many countries eat this dish as the main course, but in Saudi homes it’s always a side dish.

1/2 pound ground lamb (or beef)
1/2 small white onion
1 garlic clove
1 small tomato, diced
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds russet potatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

topping:
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk

1. In an 8×8 baking pan (I just used a round cake pan). Add olive oil, brush all over the bottom and sides, sit aside.

2. In a food processor add onions, garlic and cilantro, pulse. In a saute pan on medium heat add lamb, cook until no longer pink and drain any excess fat. Return to pan and add onion mixture, tomato paste, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well and allow to cook for a few minutes.

3. Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick. Cover the bottom pan with potato slices, then meat and repeat once more. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. In a bowl add egg, yogurt and milk, mix well. Carefully pour over the potatoes until it’s right below the top potatoes.

3. Cover the top with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Allow to cool then serve.

Yields: 1 (8×8) pan

Armenian Katah

armenian-katah

Many Armenian recipes are similar to middle eastern recipes, especially those from Lebanon. The reason being that many Armenians have resided in Lebanon for centuries. I love making katah and serving it with mint tea, it is such a delicious little treat. This is a very popular sweet bread also referred to as ashma and you will find all kinds of various versions mostly being stuffed.

yeast mixture:
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon sugar

1. In a small bowl, add yeast, sugar and warm water, mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.

dough:
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or sunflower)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon salt

2. In a food processor, add butter, oil, sugar, egg, fenugreek and salt, mix well. Add yeast and flour, carefully add milk until a soft dough has formed. Form into a ball and lightly cover outside with oil. Place back in the bowl, cover and place in a warm place for an hour.

filling:
3/4 cup melted butter
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
1-1/2 cups flour

3. In a pan add butter, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, walnuts and flour, mix. Cook for about 1 minute when spices become fragrant.

4. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Form each one into dough the size of a peach. Shape into a bowl and place 2 tablespoons of mixture inside. Carefully seal top and flatten.

5. On a baking sheet, place flattened pieces.

topping:
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon milk
black seeds

6. In a small bowl, add egg yolk and milk, mix. Brush the tops carefully with mixture, then sprinkle black seeds. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Yields: 20-25