Quick Arabic Bread



Quick Arabic bread is one of the recipes that I make the most in my house. You can pretty much start and finish this bread in 20 minutes or less and that includes the baking time. This recipe will make 5 rounds and they should each be about 6 inch rounds. You really have to stay by the oven and watch to see how long it takes to finish because of all the various oven temperatures. My last oven baked these in 2 minutes and my oven now takes about 5 minutes. Some of them will puff but do not worry if they all do not, that’s normal. Some do and others don’t.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 500F.

2. In a small bowl add yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 cup of warm water and salt. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.

3. In a large mixing bowl add flour, oil and remaining sugar, mix. Add a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture then mix. Carefully pour a small amount of the water until a dough like consistency has formed.

4. Divide the dough into 5 even balls then shape into 6-inch rounds (use a bit more flour in needed in rolling). On a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat add 2 rounds at a time and bake for about 4-5 minutes until bread browns and puffs.

Yields: 5

Chicken Kofta Gulf Style


Your food processor is going to be your best friend when making this recipe because you literally use it to grind everything. The worst possible thing you can do is not use one when making kofta. No one wants big bits of stuff sticking out of one after all. I have previously posted a chicken kofta recipe here on the blog but this recipe is quite different. This is the recipe you will find being made throughout the Gulf countries. When I make these I always serve them with white rice, samboosas and salad.

4 skinless and boneless chicken breast, boiled
1 large potato (or 4 small ones), boiled
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 small white onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil

1. In the food processor grind the chicken breast then add into a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, parsley and garlic, pulse in the processor then add into the bowl with the chicken. Next, process the potatoes (skin and all) and add to the chicken mixture.

2. In a large saute pan on medium heat add olive oil.

3. In the bowl add cheese, mayonnaise, oats, salt, pepper and eggs. Mix well. Roll the mixture into golf sized balls and place into the pan (I cooked 2 batches). Cover pan and allow to cook for about 3 minutes until bottom is golden then with tongs carefully flip and allow over side to cook. Place koftas on a paper towel lined dish and serve.

Yields: 25

Hibachi Steak and Chicken


My husband had to fly to Dubai last weekend for business so Talal and I had the house to ourselves. I tend to always crave things more when I know that I can not have them and I was really wanting Japanese Hibachi. I thought I would give it a go on my own for our dinner and it turned out pretty good. I made my version much more healthy as you can see. If you have ever had Hibachi in America then you already know about the mayo sauce that comes with it. Us Americans go crazy for that sauce and I have not found it anywhere else but this recipe is pretty accurate and goes along perfect with the meal.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 steaks, cubed (I used filet Mignon)
1 small white onion
2 small zucchinis, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. In a large saute pan on medium heat add two tablespoons of oil. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook until thoroughly done then sit aside. When finished cook steaks then add chicken back into pan. Add onions, butter and soy sauce. Sprinkle seeds on top, mix then remove from heat.

2. In another small skillet on medium heat add remaining oil, zucchinis, salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for about 6 minutes or until soft.

Mayonnaise Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 dash cayenne pepper

1. In a bowl whisk add all of the ingredients together until the sauce is creamy. Add a small amount of water at a time until you get the consistency you want. Refrigerate over night for best results.

Cardamom Tea


The first time I tried cardamom tea was seven years ago on the first day of my Arabic lesson at a Yemeni woman’s house whom I had found through the local mosque. This was also the first time that I had tried cardamom and the beginning of my love for the fragrant spice. Green cardamoms are popular throughout the Middle East and are even used as medical aides throughout Saudi Arabia. Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world due to the fact that each individual fruit pod containing the seed spice must be harvested from its flower stalks by hand. I remember in the states it cost $20 for a bottle of cardamom at Wal-Mart (that would be sr75 wow) but thank goodness its much cheaper here.

4 cups water
2 teaspoons loose black tea (or 4 tea bags)
4 green cardamom pods

1. Using a mortar and pestle lightly crush the cardamom pods. Place loose tea in a heat proof tea pot and add water. Add the cardamom and bring water to boil.

2. Remove from heat and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes. Bring mixture to boil again then strain and serve.