Lebanese cuisine is considered a delicacy with a wide range of recipes seasoned with an appetizing array of spices and herbs. One of the most well-known Lebanese specialties is called ‘mezze’, which is a selection of delectable appetizers. Here are some of the flavorsome recipes of the Lebanese ‘mezze’.
1 (12-oz) can garbanzo beans 1 clove garlic 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2-3 tbsp sesame paste Juice of 1 small lemon ½ tsp salt
Drain 1/3 of the water from the can of garbanzo beans into a small bowl. Set aside for later use. In a blender, mix together the garbanzo beans with the remaining can water and the rest of the ingredients. Blend for 1-2 minutes until a smooth, slightly fluid paste is formed. If desired, add small amount of the saved can water and blend to create a more fluid consistency.
¼ cup cracked (bulgar) wheat 1 cup hot water 1 large tomato 3 green onions, chopped very fine 1 large bunch parsley, chopped fine Juice of 1 small lemon ¼ - ½ cup olive oil 1 sprig or sprinkle of mint ¼ tsp. salt & pepper
Take cracked wheat and pour hot water over it to cover it until you have prepared all other ingredients. This is so the wheat will become soft. Chop parsley, tomato and green onion. Mix all together in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and mint. Drain excess water from wheat and pour the wheat into the mixture. Mix well with hands or a large spoon. You can serve it on Romaine lettuce leaves and wrap leaf around the salad or just eat with a fork as is.
DELICIOUS SPANISH DISH RECIPES
Get a taste of Spain! Treat yourself to some mouth-watering Spanish dish recipes that are perfect for parties, picnics or lazy Sundays.
Tortilla De Patatas
1 cup olive oil 4 large potatoes (peeled and cut into small 2mm thick pieces) Salt to taste 1 large onion, thinly sliced 4 large eggs 1 red pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
Heat the oil in a 9-inch pan; add potato pieces one slice at a time so that they don't stick. Alternate layers of potato with onion. Cook slowly on medium flame. Turn occasionally until potatoes are tender, but not brown. They must be loose, not in a cake.
Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add salt to taste. Drain potatoes. Add potatoes to beaten eggs, pressing them so that they are completely covered in egg. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan. Add the potato-egg mixture, spreading quickly. Lower the heat to medium-high. Shake pan to prevent sticking. When potatoes start to brown, put a plate on top of the pan and flip to cook the other side, adding another tbsp of oil. Brown on the other side. You may flip three or four times for better cooking.
Churros With Chocolate
Vegetable or olive oil 1 cup water ½ cup margarine or butter ¼ tsp salt 1 cup flour 3 eggs ¼ cup sugar ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (optional) For Chocolate 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped 2 cups milk 1 tbsp cornstarch or corn flour 4 tbsp sugar
Prepare to fry the churros by heating oil in a pan (1 to 1 ½ inches) to 360˚F. To make the churro dough, heat water, margarine and salt to rolling boil in a saucepan; stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute; remove from heat. Beat eggs all at once; continue beating until smooth and then add to saucepan while stirring mixture.
Spoon the mixture into a cake decorators' tube with a large star tip (like the kind used to decorate cakes). Squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into hot oil. Fry 3 or 4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Mix sugar and the optional cinnamon; roll churros in sugar or dump the sugar on the pile of churros.
Chocolate (for dunking)
Place the chocolate and half the milk in a pan and heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk and whisk into the chocolate with the sugar. Cook on low heat, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is thickened, for about five minutes. Add extra cornstarch if it doesn't thicken after 5 minutes. Remove and whisk smooth. Pour and serve in cups or bowls for dunking churros. Do not pour over churros, but use the mix for dunking churros after every bite. Serve warm.
COLOURFUL RECIPES OF HOLI
The festival of f Holi begins on Duwadashi - the twelfth day of the month of Phalgun. Spirits run high as the preparations for the festivities begin. As a custom, mothers make mouth watering recipes. Here are a few of the chosen recipes.
A popular sweet dish from Gujarat distributed among neighbours during the festival.
Ingredients: 500 gms maida (white flour) 1 kg khoya 3 tbsps kismis (raisins) 200 gms almonds (cut into thin strips) 6 tbsps cooking oil ( keep some more aside for deep frying) 200 ml water 500 gms sugar
Method of Preparation:
Mix 6 tablespoons of oil with the maida. Using your fingers, mix them properly in the form of breadcrumbs so as to bind it to a certain extent. Now add some water and knead lightly. Keep adding water as required and knead into soft dough. Set aside and cover with a damp cloth.
Put the khoya in a deep-frying pan and fry to a light brown colour. Add sugar into the khoya and mix well. Add almonds and kismis. Fry for a few minutes and remove from the fire. Let it cool.
Roll out the kneaded dough into a chapatti, thicker and smaller than a normal chapatti. Fill half the chapatti with the khoya mixture, fold the chapatti and seal the round, twisting the edges inwards. Take care that the filling does not ooze out.
Deep fry these gujjias, a few at a time, till they are a deep golden brown. Fry on a slow fire. When done, take them out with a sieve type ladle, draining the oil completely. Let them drain further on a spread out newspaper, till all the grease is soaked up.
SStore for use in an airtight glass jar.
This is meant to be a starter but also served as a snack during the festival of Holi.
Ingredients: 1/2 kg besan (gram flour) 1 tsp mustard oil 1 tsp (heaped) salt 1 small tsp red chilli powder 1 cup water 1 tsp meethi leaves (fenugreek leaves, chopped fine) 1/4 kg maida (white flour)
Method of preparation:
Mix besan, salt, red chilli powder and oil well. Knead the mixture into dough. Knead for about five minutes. Add the methi leaves. Knead for another three minutes. Make the dough into a big round ball and throw the dough on the plate to soften it. This should be done for about seven minutes. Heat the oil in a deep-frying pan on a very high temperature. While heating the oil, rub some oil on your palm and roll out the dough into a long strip one inch thick. Cut the roll into inch size pieces. Keep rubbing oil on your palms to keep the roll moist. Flatten each piece out into a round shape and roll it into small chapattis. Lightly dust both sides of the small chapattis or papris with maida.
Fry very lightly, turning the flame from medium to low as required. Do not let the papris turn brown or red. They should look golden yellow when ready.
Drain oil and store in an airtight container.
Kanje ke vade
Ingredients: 1 kg Urad dal (lentils) 2 pieces (small) asafoetida (hing) 3 tsp salt 4 tsp mustard (finely ground) 2 tsp red chilies (pounded) 6 jugs water ( 1 jug = 6 glasses) Oil for deep frying Whole red chillies for garnish
Method of preparation:
Soak the urad dal overnight and grind to a fine paste. It should have the consistency of cake batter. Put it n a vessel and whisk it very well so that the mixture is fluffy. Heat oil well in a deep frying pan. Test if the oil is ready by dropping a little of the mixture into the pan if it fluffs up and floats to the surface the oil is ready.
Take a piece of wet cloth on your left palm. This allows the vadas to slide off into the pan without difficulty. Put some of the mixture onto the cloth and flatten it, shaping it into round one-inch vadas. Slide these off one by one into the oil, and deep fry. They should be fried through and through, and have a golden brown colour. Take care not to make the vadas too thick.
Keep a tawa on the fire and put the crystals of hing on it. Take a matka or an earthenware pot, and as soon as the asafoetida (hing) emits an aroma, turn the matka upside down on the tawa to soak up the smell. Take it off the fire and fill it with warm water. Mix the rai, salt, red chilli powder and whole red chillies into the water. The fried vadas are now put into the matka. The top of the matka is covered with a clean muslin cloth and securely tied. The matka is left out in the sun during the day for eight days. It is then ready to be served.