Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt Balls

July 30, 2012 § 10 Comments

My patient followers, new visitors, family and friends…

Ramadan Mubarak on all.

Its a been a very  very long break for me, and I apologize for that. A lot has happened during this time… most important of all is the addition of a new member to my little family, a baby girl ‘Reem’, who’s almost 1 soon! has it been that long?!

2 months ago I was approached by a talented woman, Reem Falaknaz, who works as an Executive Producer for Noor Dubai TV, she asked me to film a cooking segment featuring talented food bloggers to share a recipe that had a middle eastern ramadan essence. I immediately jumped in! Got super excited and recipes started flooding in. Caramelized figs with honey yogurt balls was born.

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Meeting Reem and filming was an absolute joy! She’s one of those people you feel comfortable with immediately, we shared a lot in common, most important was the love of Thai food and growing up a block away from each other!!

She has a culinary palate and huge talent for photography and videography! She blogs her adventures on I Found My Day & Ate It check it out.

The figs and yogurt surprised me… give it a try and let it surprise you too.

To many more posts yet to come, I hope!


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Tahini Cake

July 27, 2011 § 6 Comments

A new friend of mine asked me to guest post on her blog, this got me super excited and honored at the same time. She’s a fellow food blooger, an emirati, and a super Hero (i.e.full time mom) like me! She blogs at LaMereCulinaire. I totally relate to her life, juggling a toddler around is hard, and she does it with an infant on the other hand! I’m freaking out thinking about how I’m going to manage my life around 2 babies!!! I bow to you Arwa…

I’m writing this post right now while my daughter is lying on the couch next to me watching TV in a big mess of cracker crumbs around her, screaming “mommy one!” indicating she’s done with her cracker and wants one more! She’s full, now lets move to feeding mommy and making a bigger mess…. anyways back to the recipe.

Ramadhan is knocking our doors and we are getting super excited! Ramadan is a holly month that we get to clean our bodies and souls in. 29-30 days of fasting, praying and asking God for forgiveness,health, safety and anything we want. Its a time where you feel peace and serenity all around you through out the day, its truly a magical time.

Unfortunately it has been mistranslated recently into staying up late till dusk in “arabesque” tents smoking shisha, gossiping, and watching the so called arabic belly dancers. So to all you looking at us from the outside, this is not how we live it, and most certainly the purpose behind fasting and having shorter working days is not sleeping all day and being awake all night.

I ask God to bless us all and bring this month to us in health and prosperity.

I wanted to create something that had an arabic essence, a feel of Ramadhan about it. I was googling for inspiration and thought about tanini, a favorite ingredient of mine, especially in desserts. I love to have dates drizzled with tahini or some freshly baked pita bread dipped in Tahini then in date molasses for breakfast… yumm!

I immediately imagined the flavor in a cake and started searching for a recipe. I found a greek tahini cake “tahinopita” which seemed very appealing. I tweaked the recipe a bit and came up with this amazing cake that is delicious warm, bursting with orange, tahini and molasses flavors, and even better sliced and baked in a warm oven to give you the most delicious biscoties you have ever tasted.

Tahini Cake (my own recipe)

  • 2 cups whole meal spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • juice and zest of one large navel orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt or butter milk

Preheat oven to 175C, brush your baking pan with tahini, I used a rectangular loaf pan, it really works as an amazing non stick agent.

Sift all dry ingredients together and set aside.

Mix wet ingredients together, add the sugar, orange zest and whisk till well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients gently till its incorporated in the dough.

Pour into your prepared baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until skewer inserted comes out clean. let it cool for few minutes and serve warm drizzled with date molasses, the cake is not sweet enough to have as dessert on its own, it needs the extra molasses and it complements the flavor of tahini well.

You can also slice it thinly into biscoties and lay on a baking rack and bake in hot oven for 15 minutes till crisp. Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Fatma

1001 Hot Days and A Cooling Lemonade

July 20, 2011 § 10 Comments

Dubai is practically an oven, those few months we call summer are just unbearable…. You step out of the house and the sun starts stabbing you with its strong rays, piercing your head like you have killed its only child… you get into your car and think you are safe but wait… the heat in there is worse! switch on the A/C and you have suffocated yourself! The hot air is just killing! Roll down the windows and wait for the A/C to cool then start driving to your destination.

I don’t think that 1.5-2L/day are enough to cover the insensible water loss we suffer daily in this humid hot weather. I’m sure more than 70% of residents suffer from dehydration.

If you are one of the people who get to escape the heat then you are lucky, for the few of us who are stuck here we need something that helps us get through this HEAT!

There’s a way that helps you cover the water loss and cool down.. It’s enjoying an ice cold glass of lemonade.

This is no ordinary lemonade. I had it at one of my mom’s friends house, my cool aunt “A’afary”. She’s like a mom to us. Whenever we went over we where fascinated with everything about her, clothes, vintage colorful ethnic decor, quirky touches she adds to her outfits, amazing food she serves. Its always a jaw dropping experience visiting her. I love her to bits.

I tried to recreate the drink, what I recall was a lemonade with sago and orange blossom water aroma. Sipping it ice cold is amazing, the middle eastern flavor and smell of the orange blossom water takes you to another place and after you are done you get to spoon out ice cold flavorful sago to eat. Its just perfect to combat the heat!

1001 nights Lemonade:

  • 6 lemons sliced
  • 1//2 cup sugar (adjust sugar to liking)
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup cooked sago (i usually poor boiling water over it and let it stand for few minutes till its done)
  • 2 liters of cold water
  • ice to serve

Slice the lemons thinly and place in a large bowl mix in the sugar and start squeezing the juices out mix it to dissolve the sugar and let it stand for 30 minutes.

Before serving mix in the orange blossom water, poor the water and ice over it.

You can spoon the sago in each glass separately or with the whole thing, it tends to fall to the bottom so stir before pouring.

I usually do the above steps without addding the water and ice, mix in the sago and store in the fridge and serve by a glass when needed, which acts as a syrup, only add water, ice add more orange blossom water before serving.

You can also add to it some thinly sliced green apple or pomegranate seeds which u’ll enjoy munching after you finish the drink.

Fatma

shakshouka

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

(previously posted on fatmazkitchen)

Cracking the code to the famous “Baker & Spice“‘s Shakshooka: Last week I had breakfast with my two best friends (my sisters) at Baker & Spice souq albahaar, downtown Burj Khalifa. Although I’m not a big fan of their menu, which was disappointing on several occasions, I opted for the highly raved about Shakshooka. It was brought to the table family style, in a big frying pan to share in the middle of the table. It is not the usual middle eastern Shakshooka that we are used to, where the eggs are mixed into the spicy tomato sauce, but rather eggs poached over the tomatoes. The tomato sauce was perfect, spicy tangy and sweet tomatoness oozing out of it. The eggs perfectly sitting on top of the sauce waiting for you to scoop out! Point is, for the first time I truly enjoyed a dish at Baker & Spice. A couple of days later I open the pantry and a jar of Arrabbiata pasta sauce is screaming at me… “It was me it was me!” I’m not crazy I swear. I opened the jar took a sniff, it’s a close one. Tasted it, well it was indeed the same sauce used for the Shakshooka! I placed the bottle in the fridge, saving it for the weekend, and this morning, waiting for it eagerly, I made the Shakshooka. It was YUMMY! Although my 17month old didn’t let me enjoy it to the most but nonetheless it was good. I used Marks and Spencer’s Arrabbiata pasta sauce seasoned it with salt & pepper and added fresh chopped coriander. Switched my broiler on high. Heated the sauce first  in a frying pan and cracked the eggs into it, once the eggs started to get opaque on the bottom I transferred the pan under the grill to cook the top part. A few seconds later it was ready. Steamy spicy and the smell was amazing! We dunked pita bread into it and savored the joy of my triumph.

Cracking the code to the famous “Baker & Spice“‘s Shakshooka:

Last week I had breakfast with my two best friends (my sisters) at Baker & Spice souq albahaar, downtown Burj Khalifa. Although I’m not a big fan of their menu, which was disappointing on several occasions, I opted for the highly raved about Shakshooka.

It was brought to the table family style, in a big frying pan to share in the middle of the table.

It is not the usual middle eastern Shakshooka that we are used to, where the eggs are mixed into the spicy tomato sauce, but rather eggs poached over the tomatoes.

The tomato sauce was perfect, spicy tangy and sweet tomatoness oozing out of it. The eggs perfectly sitting on top of the sauce waiting for you to scoop out!

Point is, for the first time I truly enjoyed a dish at Baker & Spice.

A couple of days later I open the pantry and a jar of Arrabbiata pasta sauce is screaming at me… “It was me it was me!” I’m not crazy I swear.

I opened the jar took a sniff, it’s a close one. Tasted it, well it was indeed the same sauce used for the Shakshooka!

I placed the bottle in the fridge, saving it for the weekend, and this morning, waiting for it eagerly, I made the Shakshooka. It was YUMMY!

Although my 17month old didn’t let me enjoy it to the most but nonetheless it was good.

I used Marks and Spencer’s Arrabbiata pasta sauce seasoned it with salt & pepper and added fresh chopped coriander. Switched my broiler on high. Heated the sauce first in a frying pan and cracked the eggs into it, once the eggs started to get opaque on the bottom I transferred the pan under the grill to cook the top part. A few seconds later it was ready. Steamy spicy and the smell was amazing!

We dunked pita bread into it and savored the joy of my triumph.

fasoulya belzeit with brown rice

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

(previously posted on fatmazkitchen)

I got my first BumbleBox© today from the Dubai Garden centre, it was full of lovely fresh organic veggies! I was really impressed with the work Becky and Sonia (founders) are putting into it. Sourcing local producer not only organic but to reduce carbon footprint from importing the produce. So back to the veggies, as soon as I went through the box I started brain storming recipes for the week! Although each week the box comes with a recipe for the veggies in it ( this week purple capsicum couscous salad with feta) I decided to post a series of recipes out of the box through the week. The veggies in there were: runner beans, tomato (plum, cherry, beef), basil, baby leeks, yellow onion, carrots, red beetroot, cucumber, lettuce, capsicum (yellow, purple and red), and potatoes. Recipe #1 Fasoolya Bel zeit (green beans in oil) with brown rice The dish is originally Lebanese and my lovely big sis Mai used to always cook this for us. So this is dedicated to her, luv u sis x. Ingredients: 1 large onion finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, minced 2 cups of green beans cut up into 2 or 3 peices 5 large ripe tomatoes cut up into 1 1/2 inch squares Olive oil to fry Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste Juice of 1 lemon Method: In a medium sauce pan fry the onion and garlic over low heat till golden, throw in the beans and toss for 1-2 mins. Add the tomatoes and season, cover and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 mins. Check every few minutes to see the consistency of the sauce it shouldn’t be too dry, add water if needed. The beans should still be crunchy to bite when done. Add the lemon juice just before serving. Can be served hot or cold, traditionally with white rice but I luv it with steamed brown basmati rice. It just feels healthy writing about it! Going to have a second plate… Adios! I got my first BumbleBox© today from the Dubai Garden centre, it was full of lovely fresh organic veggies!

I was really impressed with the work Becky and Sonia (founders) are putting into it. Sourcing local producer not only organic but to reduce carbon footprint from importing the produce.

So back to the veggies, as soon as I went through the box I started brain storming recipes for the week! Although each week the box comes with a recipe for the veggies in it ( this week purple capsicum couscous salad with feta) I decided to post a series of recipes out of the box through the week.

The veggies in there were: runner beans, tomato (plum, cherry, beef), basil, baby leeks, yellow onion, carrots, red beetroot, cucumber, lettuce, capsicum (yellow, purple and red), and potatoes.

Fasoolya Bel zeit (green beans in oil) with brown rice

The dish is originally Lebanese and my lovely big sis Mai used to always cook this for us. So this is dedicated to her, luv u sis x.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of green beans cut up into 2 or 3 peices
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes cut up into 1 1/2 inch squares
  • Olive oil to fry
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

In a medium sauce pan fry the onion and garlic over low heat till golden, throw in the beans and toss for 1-2 mins. Add the tomatoes and season, cover and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 mins.

Check every few minutes to see the consistency of the sauce it shouldn’t be too dry, add water if needed.

The beans should still be crunchy to bite when done.

Add the lemon juice just before serving.

Can be served hot or cold, traditionally with white rice but I luv it with steamed brown basmati rice.

It just feels healthy writing about it! Going to have a second plate… Adios!

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