Shorba Dajaj

I am a soup person I would happily live on soup, salad and bread forever those are my favorites after all. This recipe is at the top of my soup list and I could go for it anytime but it especially popular throughout the month of Ramadan. Muslims usually break their fast with sometime of soup. In Saudi its Quaker soup, in Algerian shorba frik, Moroccan harira and The Emirates have shorba dajaj which is just a simple chicken noodle style of soup.

If you have fresh chicken stock on hand use 4 cups then 4 cups of water if not you can use 8 cups of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes. Also choose your favorite pieces of the chicken or you can use mixed. I usually use chicken bread and chicken legs so my entire family is happy. Make sure to always use chicken with skin and bones, that where the taste comes from after all.
1 cup cilantro, fresh, cleaned and chopped
6 pieces of chicken (bones and skin)
1 large white onion, diced
8 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (I use Maggi)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups dried vermicelli
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Juice from 1 lemon
1 lemon quartered for serving
1. In a stock pot on high heat add water, chicken cubes, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low-medium, cover and allow cooking for 1 hour.
2. After the hour is up in a small skillet on medium heat add butter and vermicelli, cooking until golden. Add cardamom, mixing and allow to sauté for 5 minutes. Place mixture and lemon juice into shorba, mix and allow cooking for a remaining 30 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges. 
Yields: 8


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. Place a small amount meat at the bottom of the leaf then fold side to side to get a triangle shape. Seal with paste tightly.

4. In a Saute pan with enough oil for frying on medium heat add samboosas, cook on each side until golden. Drain on a paper towel.

Chicken Soup for the Flu

For at least 900 years, the healing
properties of chicken soup have been noted and regarded as weird by the medical
community. For years studies have been conducted to try to figure out just why
chicken soup does make us feel better. It seems too been left at that it’s
simply magic. Studies have shown that chicken soup does in fact contain certain
‘drug like’ agents that minimize inflammation. Apparently, the soup inhibits
the tendency of certain white cells to congregate. The reasons why are still a
mystery and in one study, the soup was diluted 200 times and still produced the
same result. So with that being said can soup is as good for you as the
homemade stuff but of course homemade taste much better.  
We have been having crazy weather here in
Riyadh all month, nothing that I have ever seen especially at this time of
year. One day it’s pouring and the next a major sandstorm then cold and hot. With
that kind of weather it seems to be the perfect recipe for the flu. This past
weekend my husband starting showing the first symptoms of the flu so I quickly
whipped up my fast yet healing chicken soup. I love this soup during anytime,
it taste great.
4 cups water
1/2 rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons fresh diced ginger
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. In a 4-quart saucepan on
high heat add water, chicken, salt, curry powder, ginger, garlic, carrot,
potato, onion and pepper, stir well.
2. Add lid, reduce heat to
low and allow cooking for 30 minutes.
Yields: 4 servings

Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast

This is my go to
recipe when I need to get some food on the table for my family yet I do not
feel like cooking. It’s so fast yet it taste great. You can cook some rice as a
side or use the leftover rice that you may have on hand. Oh and did I mention
this is a healthy dish?
4 tablespoons
olive oil
3 chicken breast,
skinless and boneless
1 teaspoon black
2 tablespoons
lemon juice
1 teaspoon onion
In a small
bowl add 2 tablespoons olive oil, black pepper, lemon juice and onion powder.
Stir well.  Pour mixture all over chicken
breast, covering well.
In a sauté
pan on medium heat add remaining olive oil. Place chicken into pan. Cook for
about 7 minutes on each side. Cook through until no longer pink.
Yields: 3