turkish

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

How to make perfect Turkish Coffee

how-to-make-turkish-coffee

I love Turkish coffee and have been drinking it for years. I usually just drink regular coffee, but every now and again I love to make myself a cup of ‘real coffee’ and it’s also what I serve when I have Saudi guest. For the sake of this post I am going to link to one online store that has everything in the one place. I have not bought from this site and you do not have to but it is just easier for me to look around one place. It takes time to learn how to master making the perfect Turkish coffee but I promise it’s well worth it.

So here is what you will need:
1. Turkish coffee pot I have a few different sizes but the ones with the rim that goes out at the top are the best for getting the ultimate foam.
2. Turkish coffee You can order online if your in an area where you cannot find it, you can also grind it at home. The coffee should be powder like. I buy mine from a local shop and get three beans mixed which is light, medium and dark.
3. Turkish coffee cup You do not have to have a cup from Turkey however, you do need one that is straight. This helps keep the foam. My cup above is from Turkey because I wanted something traditional plus the lids help keep the coffee hot.
4. Spoon You can use any spoon you like, but I prefer a small longer one so that I do not burn my hand since I am using an electric top stove.
5. Water I use bottled water at room temperature. If you use pre-boiled water you will not get any foam.
6. Sugar This is all about what you like. A lot of people put a sugar cube in their mouth before drinking, some on the side or some in the coffee. I add a bit into my coffee before I make it.

Here is how you make it:
1. The coffee is measured per taste as well. I like strong coffee so I always use about 1-1/2 teaspoon per cup. then add sugar. You add these into the coffee pot.

2. Use the coffee cup to measure the water for however many cups you will make. Add a little bit more water per cup for the foam (about 1 teaspoon per cup).

3. Place the coffee pot on high heat and stir to mix everything up. You do not want to get to the boiling point but hot enough to get the froth. When it starts to get a lot of the froth to the point of it going over the pot pull it back from the heat. I usually do this a few times. Then remove the pot from the heat and spoon the foam that formed into the cups. Place the coffee pot back onto the heat and allow another froth to happen then pour the coffee evenly between the cups on top of the foam you already added.

There you go a beautifully foamed perfect cup of Turkish coffee. Serve your guest water and sweets. Give the coffee just a minute so everything can settle and make sure you do not drink all the way to the bottom of the cup or else you will get the coffee gunk.