Middle Eastern Feastin’

6 Dec

I love the flavours of middle eastern food and I made some of my favourite Lebanese dishes last week plus a recipe I haven’t tried before – Rashta, a Lebanese lentil soup. The brown lentils are boiled in salted water until almost cooked, add browned onions, some broken pasta, stir in dried mint and finally fresh garlic and parsley that has been ground into a paste.

We had the soup for entree followed by Majudarrah – lentils with rice. Start by boiling brown lentils in salted water and fry onions until caramelised. Stir the onions and rice into the lentils and simmer on a low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

I made lamb kofta with lamb mince, coriander powder, cumin powder, garlic and salt; and charred cauliflower,

I adapted the Baba Ghanouj recipe because I didn’t have tahini on hand. I baked 2 medium eggplants, scooped out the flesh into the blender, added 1 whole garlic clove, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and 1 can of washed cannellini beans which made the consistency beautifully thick and creamy.

My own version of Fattoush – cucumber, tomato, lettuce, mint, parsley, baked Lebanese bread, olive oil, lemon juice and sumac.

The recipes that I used were from different websites and recipes I have tried over the years. I’m looking forward to learning more traditional recipes and techniques from my friend Belinda who is a naturally gifted cook and her husband is Lebanese. Belinda made spiced date scones last week and they were the best scones I have ever eaten!

For dessert I made my friend Antoniette’s shortbreads using her secret recipe (well she did share it with me).

These shortbreads didn’t last long but I don’t think they tasted the same as when Antoniette makes them with her special touch.

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