Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Halva Kharrub (Carob Halvah)

Most of the halvah available in Middle Eastern markets is either hard, brittle, frozen and lacking any taste.Traditional middle eastern halvah should be light and soft.The following recipe uses carob, a pod that is used primarily in Middle Eastern cooking.This carob halvah can be put together in a few minutes and can be ready to eat immediately and is the perfect dessert for when company shows up unexpectedly.

Yield:6 small servings
1 c raw sesame seeds
1 tbsp. raw carob powder
dash of ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1/4 c raw honey
2 tbsp. raw tahini
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Put sesame seeds in a food processor and process for 60-90 seconds.Put sesame seeds in a large bowl.

2. Add the carob powder, cinnamon, and the salt to the sesame seeds and blend together.

3. Add the honey, tahini, and vanilla extract to the sesame seeds mix and blend together to form a stiff dough and shape.

4. Store halvah in the fridge prior to serving.Will keep in a sealed container for 3 weeks.Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tajin Samak (Baked Fish with Bay Leaves)

Pic courtesy of Habeeb.com
The following recipe is popular throughout the Middle East.It is preferable to use whole fish but fillets work as well.

Yield:2-4 Servings
1(3-4lbs.) whole fish such as red snapper,cod, or trout,gutted, rinsed
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves,mashed
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
4-5 bay leaves, crushed
salt & pepper
lemon wedges, to serve

1.Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Make about four incisions on the top of the fish an rub the olive oil and mashed garlic allover and inside the fish.
3.Put half the bay leaves and cumin seeds inside the fish and the other half on top.Bake fish for 45-50 minutes.Serve with lemon wedges.
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Ranginak (Persian Date Fudge Cake)

A popular Persian dessert that hails from Southern Iran,ranginak is an easy, no-bake stuffed dates set in a fudge-like mixture garnished with ground walnuts and pistachios.

*Pic coming soon

Yield:12-16 pieces
3/4 c walnuts, halved
2 2/3 c dates, pitted
1 c butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. almonds, ground
1 Tbsp. pistachios, ground

1. Place half a walnut inside each date.Lightly grease a shallow baking dish and place the dates in it, making sure they are tightly packed.
2.Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan and stir in the flour.Cook it until it turns a caramel-like color.
3.Pour caramel/fudge mixture over dates and let it set.In a small bowl, combine ground almonds and ground pistachios and mix.Sprinkle ground pistachios and almonds over dates.
4. Cut Ranginak into squares and serve with tea or coffee.
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Rubyan al Maghreb (North African-Style Shrimp)

This is a quick and easy spicy shrimp recipe that is very common to the Maghreb countries of Northern Africa.Serve with couscous or basmati rice.

Yield:4 Servings
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cumin
2 pinches of cayenne or ground chili pepper
6 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 lbs.large fresh shrimp,peeled

1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan.Add the garlic and stir for 3-4 minutes.
2.Add the shrimp,paprika,ground ginger,cumin, and cayenne and cook till the shrimp become pink, stirring constantly.

3.When most of the shrimp are almost pink, add the fresh cilantro and salt and keep stirring till all the shrimp are pink and fully cooked.Remove from heat and serve immediately.
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