#TurkishFood
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The Most Authentic Hummus Recipe You Will Ever Find (Vegan)
Growing up in a Palestinian-American family, hummus was such a staple. My mother used to make sure plenty of tahini and chickpeas were readily available in the kitchen for when it was time to whip up a fresh batch for visiting family and friends. I ate hummus while I watched Saturday morning cartoons. I ate hummus at birthday parties, graduation parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Sunday. I ate hummus in sandwiches or as a dip with carrot sticks and cucumbers. It was even a great alternative for onion dip when I needed something to dip my pretzels in. I recently 're-stumbled' across a book one of my cousins typed up from scribbled down Palestinian-style recipes passed around in my family for several generations. I figured there were probably tons of fellow hummus lovers on Vingle, so I've decided this would be a good opportunity to share the family recipe with others! --------------------------------------------------------- Chick Pea Dip (Hummus bi Tahineh) 1 lb. can of chick peas 1/3 cup tahineh Juice of 1 or 2 lemons 1 clove garlic Salt to taste 3 tbsp. olive oil A pinch of sumac (Note: Sumac is a dark-colored spice used in a lot of Arabic cooking. It's optional in this recipe, but if you're wanting to find some for yourself, I'd suggest looking in the ethnic ingredients section of your supermarket.) Boil chick peas in juice for 5 minutes on medium heat. Drain. Place chick peas, Tahineh, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in blender. Blend for 15 seconds to make an almost smooth, thick paste. Place Hummus in a plate and garnish with parsley, radishes, red pepper, and pickles. Cover dish with olive oil and sprinkle sumac. Or brown 3 tbsp. pine nuts in 2 tbsp. butter, and pour over Hummus instead of olive oil. --------------------------------------------------------- You can customize the garnish to your own personal tastes. I usually like to use olive oil, sumac, fresh chopped mint, whole chickpeas, and/or whole kalamata olives. The recipe is really easy and really inexpensive to make. (I'd suggest trying some in a fresh falafel sandwich!)
A Baba Ghannouj Recipe That Isn't Baba Ghannasty (Vegan)
Baba Ghannouj (also spelled 'gannoush' or 'ghanouj') is a tahini-based dip similar to hummus, swapping out creamy chickpeas for the smoky flavor of roasted eggplant. I'm a bit of a baba ghannouj snob, as ratio is really important in a dip like this. Too much tahini makes the consistency runny, while too much eggplant gives it a really seedy texture. ('Baba ghannasty' is actually what I used to call really seedy baba ghannouj growing up. No kid likes a lot of mushy eggplant!) Here is a traditional recipe for baba ghannouj. Pair it with some lightly toasted loaves of pita bread or sliced veggies for a healthy snack that's full of flavor! --------------------------------------------------------- Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj) 1 large eggplant 1/2 cup tahineh 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 clove of garlic, minced Juice of 1 lemon Salt to taste Cut 1" slits in eggplant to prevent from splattering while baking. Bake eggplant at 500 degrees until tender (or boil in water 10 to 15 minutes). Split eggplant open and scoop the inside pulp together with the juice. Mix Tahineh, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to make Tahineh sauce. Add water, in needed, to make a thick sauce. Add mashed eggplant to Tahineh sauce. Place in salad bowl and pour oil on top. Garnish with parsley and tomato slices, if desired. --------------------------------------------------------- I hope you all enjoy making this at home! Try creating your own variations, or swapping out the eggplant with zucchini or acorn squash for a whole new flavor!
Iced Turkish Café au Lait (with Vegan Alternatives)
Iced Turkish coffee has been my go-to coffee recipe for the past few months now. I spent a majority of my 20s working behind the counter at Starbucks, and ever since I've been having to brew coffee at home again, I've found myself getting a little too creative with what I can do with my coffee knowledge. I love Turkish coffee. I love the punch it packs, I love the smell of it boiling over my stove, and making it is so much fun. Different from your standard Mr. Coffee machine, it really feels like you're an active and important part of the brewing process, even moreso than with a French Press. If you don't want to have to get a brass coffee pot to enjoy the taste of an iced Turkish latte, you really don't have to! Follow this recipe, and you'll be enjoying a nice and refreshing (and incredibly aromatic) iced latte inspired by the flavors of the Middle East. ------------------------------------ Iced Turkish Café au Lait 1/2 cup milk (or any non-dairy milk. I usually use Silk soy milk, unsweetened.) 1/2 cup half-and-half (or any non-dairy creamer. I usually use Trader Joe's Organic Soy Milk Creamer.) 1 tablespoon sugar 6 whole cardamom pods, crushed 1 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled (I prefer using the Turkish coffee brewing method, which I described in this card: http://www.vingle.net/posts/522373-Making-Arabic-Coffee-Kahwa-at-Home-Bonus-Fortune-Telling-Video -- However, any brewing method of your preference should work for this recipe.) 1. In a small saucepan stir together the milk, the half-and-half, the sugar, and the cardamom pods, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let it cool. 2. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a small pitcher, stir in the coffee, and chill the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes, or until it is cold. 3. Divide the iced café au lait between 2 stemmed glasses filled with ice cubes.
Your New Favorite Tabbouleh Salad Recipe (Vegan)
I love Middle-Eastern salads. I am a big advocate of eating tons of Middle-Eastern salads when you're on a diet. Not only are all the ingredients so colorful and fresh, but the lemon, mint, and olive oil so essential to these dishes create such a perfect combination of flavors that you don't even realize just how healthfully you're eating! Tabbouleh salad is perhaps my favorite one, and I remember growing up, tabbouleh was one of those few things (minus cold pizza) that tasted arguably even better a few hours later. Similar to a panzanella salad, the wheat absorbs all the delicious ingredients if it sits a little longer! Don't believe me? Let this taboulleh sit in your fridge for at least an hour before eating it, and you'll see that it was definitely worth the wait! ------------------------------------------------------------- Tabbouleh 1/2 cup fine burghul (cracked wheat) 2 large tomatoes, diced 1 bunch green onions, chopped 4 bunches parsley, chopped 1/2 bunch mint, chopped (or 2 tbsp. dried mint) 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped 1/2 cup olive oil Juice of 3 lemons 1 tbsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper Wash Burghul. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add all chopped vegetables and mix well. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix again, and serve over fresh green lettuce. ------------------------------------------------------------- You could eat this with a fork, but perhaps my favorite way is scooping it up with leaves of romaine lettuce, slightly similar to how you would eat a lettuce wrap. It's delicious!
Katayef (Arabic Sweet Dessert Pancakes)
Recently, one of my cousins decided to have a 'baking day' where he made a big and beautiful plate of katayef, which not only got me all sorts of salivating but also inspired me to introduce katayef to the rest of you! I feel like many cultures have something similar to katayef, a dessert pancake filled with chopped nuts and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. In India, for example, certain varieties of gulab jamun are dumplings will with nuts. In the Ukraine, varenikis is a dessert similar to the apple dumpling, which swaps out apple with chopped nuts, sweet cheeses, and berries. And in South Korea, of course, there is the street food, hotteok, a pancake literally filled with warm sugar, spices, nuts, or sometimes seeds. Katayef is a pancake made with smeed, also known as 'farina' or 'fine semolina'. It is then filled with chopped nuts, spices, and sugar before being folded over and pinched closed to create dumpling shape. Among the Middle East's Muslim population, katayef is most often enjoyed during Ramadan season as a delicious way to break the fast. However, it is also enjoyed throughout the year as a staple dessert on special occasions. Here is the recipe for katayef in two variations - with walnuts or with sweet cheese (known as katayef assafiri). Not only is katayef fun to make, but it's also beautiful in every stage! Try it out the next time you want to surprise friends with a fun and delicious addition to the usual dessert spread. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Katayef (Stuffed Pancakes) To make Thin Attar: 2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cups of water 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. orange blossom water (Mazaher), optional Mix sugar and water and bring to boil. Add lemon juice and boil for 7 more minutes. When cool, add orange blossom water (optional). Makes 2 1/2 cups of Thin Attar. To make Pancakes: (Note: To make the cheese-stuffed katayef, use half the amount of these listed ingredients.) 4 cups smeed (Farina) 8 cups water 1 cup flour 1 package yeast Dash of salt 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 cup rendered (or clarified) butter 2 cups Thin Attar (see recipe above) To make Walnut Stuffing (Option 1): 6 cups walnuts, chopped 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tbsp. rendered (or clarified) butter To make Cheese Stuffing (Option 2):** 1 1/2 lbs. sweet cheese (Syrian or Ricotta) 1/2 cup sugar 1 tbsp. mazaher (orange blossom water) 1. Mix all stuffing ingredients and set aside. 2. Mix smeed, flour, and salt. 3. Place warm water in an electric mixing bowl. While mixing on high speed, add the smeed mixture gradually to form a thin pancake mix. 4. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of water and a dash of sugar. Add to the pancake mixture. Mix for 1 more minute. Set aside for 40 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes (so water won't separate from smeed to avoid a lumpy mixture). Add the baking soda and keep stirring. When the dough bubbles, it is ready to be baked. 5. Use an electric frying pan set at 450 degrees. 6. FOR NUT FILLING: Pour 1/4 cup dough and cook like a pancake, on one side only. Remove from fine when pores form on the surface of each cake. Place the pancakes on a smooth surfaced towel until they cool. 7. Fill each pancake with the stuffing mixture. Fold by pressing edges together to make a semicircle. Brush each on both sides with warm butter. 8. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until light gold. 9. Remove from oven and dip in cold syrup (thin Attar). Makes about 35 pieces. 6. FOR CHEESE FILLING: Pour 2 tbsp. dough and cook like a smaller pancake circle, on one side only. Remove from fine when pores form on the surface of each cake. Place the pancakes on a smooth surfaced towel until they cool. 7. Stuff the pancakes with the cheese stuffing, closing one edge half-way to look like stuffed shells. 8. Do not dip in syrup. Pour 1 tbsp. of thin Attar on each. 9. Decorate with ground pistachios or one red preserved cherry for each shell, optional.
Making Arabic Coffee (Kahwa) at Home + Bonus Fortune Telling Video!
The greatest experience a true 'caffeine head' can have is sitting down to a cup of Arabic coffee. Arabic coffee, often referred to as 'Turkish coffee' as well, is something my grandfather used to jokingly insist put "hair on your chest" based on its strength and thicker mouthfeel. Instead of straining the ground coffee through a French press or a standard Mr. Coffee, the coffee used for Arabic style coffee is ground into a fine powder and boiled into the water. It's definitely quite a kick! One of my favorite parts of drinking Arabic coffee growing up was having my fortune read to me from the remaining coffee grains that rested at the bottom of my cup. After we're done drinking our coffee, we flip over the small demitasse cup we're drinking it from and allow for the rest of the coffee to collect in the saucer. When you flip it back over, the 'fortune teller' of the family looks for symbols in the grinds and tells you what to expect in your future. This is, of course, just for fun, but it doesn't make it any less exciting! (Check out the attached video of a Syrian family reading one another's fortunes to see what I mean.) Here is a quick recipe for how to make Arabic coffee at home. If you don't want to invest in a brass coffee pot, you can use a regular saucepan for a similar result. ----------------------------------------------------------- Arabic Coffee (Kahwa) 2 cups water 3 to 5 tsp. sugar 6 tsp. Turkish coffee (or any medium to dark-roasted coffee ground to a powder) 3 cardamom pods or 1/8 tsp. cardamom powder 1. In a brass coffee pot or regular saucepan, bring water and sugar to boil. 2. Add coffee and cardamom, stirring constantly. When mixture comes to a boil and becomes frothy, remove from fire and stir until froth has receded. Repeat this process two more times. 3. After the coffee has foamed and subsided for the third time, pour into Arabic coffee cups (or demitasse). Serve the coffee very hot - a minute or two after pouring in cups to allow the grounds to settle in the bottom. Note: The amount of coffee and sugar may be increased or decreased to suit your taste. Makes six servings. ----------------------------------------------------------- Serve this with a fresh plate of baklava (using the recipe I posted in my 'Middle-Eastern Recipes' collection) and a small bowl of Jordan almonds for a complete Arabic style dessert spread!