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The Vegetarian Terrorist loves Vegan Cauliflower Fritters مشاط الزهرة 04/29/2012

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One head of cauliflower
6 eggs
One onion
Few garlic cloves
1-2 TBS flour
Salt , Black Pepper and Allspice to taste
Oil for frying

-Boil the cauliflower in water until soft, add a tablespoon of cumin to the water. Drain.
-Mix the eggs with the finely cut parsley, onions and garlic. Add the flour and the seasoning.
-Heat the oil. Drop the cauliflower in the egg mixture and fry. Do not stir it, let it set in the hot oil for couple of minutes until it is cooked from the bottom, turn over and let it cook from the other side until it is firm and set. 
-Enjoy eating with round arab bread and salad on the side.

رأ س واحد من القرنبيط 

٦ بيضات 

بقدونس مفروم 

بصله واحدة مفرومه 

بضعة حبات من الثوم المهروس
ملعقه او اثنتين من الدقيق 

الملح والفلفل الأسود والبهارات حسب الذوق 


زيت للقلي 
الطريقه : 
-يسلق القرنبيط ، في الماء حتى تصبح طرية ،يتم إضافة ملعقة كبيرة من الكمون إلى الماء. 
يتم خلط البيض مع البقدونس المقطع ناعما والبصل والثوم. يتم إضافة التوابل و الدقيق، ثم يتم اضافة الملح و الفلفل 
يتم إسقاط القرنبيط في خليط البيض حتى يتغلف من جميع النواحي بالبيض، يتم قليه في الزيت الحار. يترك بدون تحريك حتى ينضج من الاسفل ثم يقلب على الجانب الثاني حتى تتم عملية القلي و النضج ،
يقدم مع الخبز وسلطة خضراء.

Wheat harvest in Palestine 04/18/2012

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Wheat harvest in Palestine

Ancient Recipe: Vegan Dry Mellow with Dry Fava Beans(Bisara)- بِصاره 04/18/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Main Dishes, Soups.
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Bisara is a vegan recipe that is prepared in the Levant (the countries that border the Mediterranean from Turkey to Egypt). It is high in nutrition, inexpensive and delicious. Usually this meal is served for lunch or dinner at room temperature or cold the next day. It is dipped with Arabic pita bread and eaten with few condiments on the side or a simple squeeze of lemons. This recipes, like many other old recipes, is quite endangered because it is not prepared much in the modern Middle Eastern kitchen just because people do not give old recipes a try!

*2 cups dry, split fava beans (Broad Beans), without the skin
*3-4 cups water for boiling the beans
*2 cups dry Jew’s mellow or Jute or Corchorus Olitorius
*A handful of garlic cloves
*Canola oil for frying
*One bunch of fresh Cilantro
*Sliced onions and more canola oil for frying
– Wash and boil the fava beans until soft. With a hand blender or a mixer, mix it until it is mashed up.
-Add the dry Jute and mix well. If the mix is too thick, add a little water. the consistency of the mix should be a little on the runny side while it is cooking. The dry fava beans tend to thicken and solidify when they get cool. Make sure to add salt to the mix to season it up to your liking.
-In a frying pan, fry the crushed garlic with the canola oil. Add the cut cilantro and fry with it. When the color of the garlic is golden, pour on the Bisara mix. Simmer for ten minutes. If you like, add more fresh cilantro.
-Pour the Bisara mix in small bowls or a one big serving platter.Garnish with fried sliced onions. serve at room temperature or cold with fresh pita bread and condiments such as red chili paste, pickles, spring onions, radishes and lemon squeeze on the side.

البِصاره من ألأكلات الشعبيه المعروفه في مطبخ بلاد الشام .هي أكله بسيطه تحتوي على القليل من المكونات و المتوفره بسهوله في ألاسواق العربيه. هذه ألوصفه عالية في القيمه الغذائيه و لا تكلف الكثير لطبخها و لكنها لذيذة الطعم.
تقدم هذه الوجبه للغداء أو أالعشاء بارده أو بحرارة الغرفه. تُغَمّس بالخبز و يؤكل معها المقبلات مثل عصير الليمون الطازج.
ككثير من الوصفات القديمه، فوصفة البصاره تعد من الاكلات المهدده بالانقراض حيث انها لا تُعد في المطابخ العربيه العصريه فقط لأن الناس لا تعطي الوصفات القديمه الفرصه حتى لمحاولة التحضير!

المكونات :
كوبين الفول المجروش الجاف (بدون قشر)
ثلاثة الى اربعة أكواب من الماء
كوبين من الملوخيه الناشفه
ثوم مقشر، يفضل استعمال كميه ملحوظه لأن الثوم هو المكون الاساسي لاعطاء النكهه المميزه للوصفه
زيت للقلي
ضمة كزبره خضراء
شرائح بصل مقلي للتزيين
* يتم غسل وغلي الفول حتى يصبح طريا
*يتم تنعيم الفول بالخلاط
*يتم إضافة الملوخيه الناشفه و الخلط جيدا
*يتم إضافة الماء للخليط إذا كان الخليط سميكا. الفول يعمل على تجميد البصاره
*يتم قلي الثوم بالزيت و اضافة الكزبره لها
*يتم إضافة الثوم المقلي و الكزبره لخليط البصاره و التحريك جيدا
*يتم انهاء طبخ البصاره لعشر دقائق للتسبيك
*حسب الرغبه، بالامكان اضافة المزيد من الكزبره الخضراء
*يتم سكب البصاره في أطباق التقديم و تزين بالبصل المقلي، تقدم دافئه او بارده مع الخبز الطازج والمقبلات مثل المخللات والبصل والفجل والليمون وصلصة الفلفل الاحمر الحار المعروف بالشطّه. صحتين و عافيه.

The Gaza Kitchen cookbook recaptures lost history through food by Megan Detrie 04/04/2012

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A vendor cuts a piece of Gaza's famous Knafa Arabiya - rich and buttery layers of walnuts, cinnamon and semolina crumbs.

Grilled sea bream, sour plums and citrus fruits were once the staples of the Gazan diet. In the evenings, families would gather around a plate of fried fish stuffed with dill, accompanied with fragrant, chilli-spiced rice. Now, the daily struggle to put food on the table has forced many Gazans to reinvent their cuisine.


A new cookbook exploring dishes of the area formerly known as the Gaza District aims to create a record of the culinary history of hundreds of towns and villages that exist only in memory. Prior to 1948, the Gaza District encompassed an area far larger than the modern Gaza Strip and shared culinary similarities with Egypt as well as cities as far as Asqalan, Isdud and Yaffa to the North.

The Gaza Kitchen is a result of the journalists Laila El Haddad and Maggie Schmitt’s trip to the Strip in 2010. Set to be released this summer by Just World Books, the cookbook documents traditional recipes from Gaza, as well as the Israeli siege’s effect on food production and access to ingredients. For El Haddad, the book focuses on Gaza as a “hothouse experiment of sorts”, a microcosm for understanding Palestine and other regions in de-development.

“Food is the last real thread of connection for many refugees with their native villages and homes,” said El Haddad, a Palestinian from Gaza who grew up in the Gulf.

“Culture ultimately determines who we are as Palestinians; it defines us, even locates us, where maps and modern dictionaries fail to do so,” she said. “From our dialects to the stitches we embroider our thobes with to, for the purposes of our book, the way we finish our stews, our culture defines us.”

Unlike the more tempered dishes of the Levant and the West Bank, Gazan cookery relies heavily on the use of hot peppers, cumin, dill and red tahini, made by roasting, not steaming sesame seeds. Recipes focus on single-pot stews and are rich in seafood. Sour fruit such as plums, tamarind and pistachio-green pomegranates are featured ingredients. But, according to Schmitt, each dish has a strong regional character.

“There’s a real love of tangy, bright, sour tastes. Seafood-based cuisine was popular in coastal cities, while in the farming interior there is a strong emphasis on hearty stews and one-bowl meals that are notable for their sourness,” said Schmitt. “There are these connections through food to the rest of Palestine and the Levant, almost universal street food is served with a local twist.”

One uniquely Gazan dish is the sumagiyya. Served during Eid Al Fitr, it is a thick meat stew made with an infusion of sumac berries, red tahini, chard, dill, coriander and chilli. Mainstays of Levant cuisine, molukhiyya and falafel, are served with green chilli and dill seeds crushed with lemon. Chillies are even ground with kofta meat.

A narrow piece of land along the Mediterranean coast between Israel and Egypt, the Gaza Strip is just 20km long and 10km wide. The majority of its 1.5 million population are refugees who fled or were expelled from their land in 1948 during the creation of Israel. Many of them have been living in refugee camps for decades.

“In a refugee community, people marry within villages they came from before the exile, so within families there is an incredible continuity of recipes and inherited memories that create a ghost map of things that no longer exist,” said Schmitt.

The cookbook is designed to capture the Gazans’s isolated cuisine, as well as how the past two decades of blockades and UN food rations have affected it.

“There’s an evolution of what ingredients people have access to based on the vicissitude of the political situation,” said Schmitt.

Israel has been limiting travel of people and goods in and out of Gaza since the 1990s. Israel’s blockade intensified in 2007 and until 2010, allowing into the territory only those goods that it deemed “vital for the survival of the civilian population”. For years, Gazans have been dependent on food aid from international organisations, but even that was often limited to staples such as rice and wheat.

“It’s fascinating how the cuisine has changed,” said Schmitt. “The recipes people want to make haven’t changed, but the question is how to do it. There’s a constant adaptation to what’s available and what people can afford.”

Historically, Gazans had a very protein-rich diet. Now, there is very little access to beef, fish and traditional meats, according to Schmitt. However, aid projects helping farmers raise rabbits and chickens in recent years, as well as a growing fish-farming industry, are changing the popularity of some dishes.

“There’s an evolution of Gazan agriculture, the way the lands have been made inaccessible with buffer zones. Gaza was famous for fruit trees. Those were torn down, so it’s very difficult to recuperate those things. It’s complicated, but provides an interesting portrait of how the ‘logic of siege’ works and how life is degraded without ever reaching the point of starvation.”

Around 30 per cent of Gaza’s most arable land falls within the security-justified buffer zone that Israel has established within Gaza. Aimed at stopping explosives from being planted, the 300 metres approaching the border is off-limits, including to farmers who own orchards, crops and grazing land within the boundary. Israel regularly fires on anyone who approaches the fence.

The effect is obvious: olives, a centuries-old mainstay of the Palestinian economy, have become “prohibitively expensive”, according to El Haddad. Olive oil, once pervasive in Palestinian cooking, is now only used for dipping or left out of dishes altogether.

“It’s reserved as a gift from someone who owns land, and grows olives. It’s no longer used by most of the population because it is prohibitively expensive,” said El Haddad.

But it isn’t just farmland that is blocked. Ten years ago, Palestinians fished 12 kilometres off the coast of Gaza, in accordance with the 1993 Oslo accords. But in recent years, Israel has limited fishing to three kilometres, policing the perimeters with gunboats. Fishermen are confined to the polluted shoreline, while larger fish migrate to deeper waters beyond their reach.

Though fish farms help supplement residents’ diets with tilapia, traditionally caught fish such as sea bream, tuna, sardines and mackerel have become scarce and unaffordable for many Palestinians. Dishes such as zibdiyit gambari, or “shrimp in a bowl”, made in a clay bowl, are now mostly found in restaurants, too expensive for most Palestinians to make at home.

The cookbook, El Haddad says, will shed light on Palestinian history, using food to examine the effect of the Palestinian exodus, and how people have worked to preserve memories and traditions over four generations of refugees.

“Unlocking these recipes unlocks keys to the past we know very little about in a real sense,” said El Haddad. “How people lived, how they interacted, what Palestine was like and how life was suddenly and violently interrupted, as well as the tenacity and steadfastness of the people … it is contributing to the Palestinian narrative, telling the Palestinian story from the point of view of those who lived it and continue to live it.”


Handmade clay bowls, or zibdiyat, and accompanying lemon wood pestles are staples in the Gaza kitchen, used for everything from pounding garlic and chillies, to baking shrimp stews.

Two recipes:

Bsees (buttery semolina pastries)

3 cups pastry flour
1 cup finest available semolina
tsp salt
cup high quality butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour and semolina, then slowly add just enough water to form an elastic, but not sticky, dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into eight lemon-size balls.

Roll out each ball into a circle on to a well-buttered surface to a thickness of 1/8 of an inch, then spread a thin, even layer of butter on the surface (about a teaspoon). Fold in two opposite sides of the circle to meet in the middle and pinch down, forming a flattened cannoli-like shape. Spread another thin layer of butter on top, then fold in the other two round edges, forming a square. Roll out again to form a very thin circle. Repeat with remaining dough balls.

Using a pastry wheel, cut the rolled out pastry dough into very thin strips. Don’t worry too much about uniformity.

Brush the surface of these cut strips with a little melted butter, then gather them together and shape them into a full circle. Transfer to a greased baking tray. Leave them to relax 10 minutes then flatten gently with the palm of your hand.

Bake for about 7-10 minutes. Pastries will not turn golden.

Let cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Rumaniyya (lentil and aubergine stew with pomegranate infusion)
Serves 5-6
cup brown lentils
1 lb aubergine (approx 6 cups chopped)
2 onions, chopped (approx 2 cups)
3 sour pomegranates (substitute 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses plus 6 tbsp lemon juice)
cup flour
2 tbsp tahina
2 whole dried red chilli, or 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp dill seed
1 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic
tsp cumin
9 tbsp olive oil

Boil lentils in 1-2 cups of water for approximately 15 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Remove pomegranate seeds from fruit. Combine seeds with 1-2 tablespoons of water, then place in a food processor and purée. Strain, reserving juice. Set aside.

Cut unpeeled aubergine into one-inch pieces. Sprinkle with salt and set on a paper towel.

In a mortar and pestle crush teaspoons of salt, dill seed and dried chilli until fragrant. Add garlic and continue to crush. Set aside.

Mix pomegranate juice with flour until uniform then slowly add to stew on stovetop while stirring continuously. Set aside.

Sauté one of the chopped onions in 4 tablespoons of olive oil until golden. Add the aubergine and continue to sauté, until soft and wilted, for about 10 minutes.

Add lentils along with two cups of water and salt. Boil the mixture for about seven minutes.

Add the crushed spices, cumin and garlic to the stew and continue stirring until thickened. Once thickened, add tahina. Continue stirring another five minutes and remove from heat.

Pour into serving bowls and allow to cool.

In a separate pan, fry onions in four tablespoons of olive oil until golden. Divide according to the number of bowls, and top each bowl of rumaniyya with fried onions. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Serve at room temperature or cool with Arabic bread and olives.

Palestinian farmers harvest sesame seeds in a field near the West Bank city of Jenin 04/04/2012

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Palestinian farmers harvest sesame seeds in a field near the West Bank city of Jenin, Hundreds of pounds of sesame seeds are harvested in the West Bank every year, some which are sent abroad to be used in sweets and oil manufacturing.

Nine photos of this harvest time

Vegetarian Maamoul, an Easter Tradition in Palestine 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Easter Traditions, Sweets.

Maamoul is a semolina shortbread bound with butter, orange blossom water and rose water which on the inside holds a sweet filling. The filling is either buttery dates, or a concoction of walnuts or pistachios with sugar, more orange blossom water and rosewater. Now consider that for a minute. Imagine biting through that buttery, crumbly crust and getting the faint hint of roses and orange blossoms, followed by the chewiness of pistachios, nutty and sweet. Delicious opulence and comfortable luxury. Maamoul works on so many levels.

Ingredients – Crust
900 g coarse semolina
150 g fine semolina
550 g good quality butter at room temperature
125 ml rosewater
30 ml orange blossom water
1/2 cup milk (used on the second day)
Equipment – maamoul molds bought from a Middle Eastern supply store
Ingredients – Fillings
Fillings are tricky to give amounts with, because it depends on how many types you want to make. Use these ratios as a guideline, and make less/more depending on how much you want to make

2 cups dates and 1/2 cup butter combined in food processor
2 cups coarsely ground walnuts and 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tbsp rosewater and 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
2 cups coarsely ground pistachios and 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tbsp rosewater and 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
Try the combinations and adjust the sugar and aromatic waters as you like
Knead the coarse and fine semolina with the butter until incorporated
Gradually add the orange blossom water and the rosewater until all added
Knead for 30 minutes
Rest for 12 hours, kneading it around 3 times in between
Before you start using the dough, you must knead it one last time, this time you wet your hands with the 1/2 cup of milk and kneading until all the milk is used up
Now your dough is ready, create a little ball of dough and make a hole in it, making the sides even
Look at the picture that shows the stages of filling the maamoul. Fill with your desired filling. If you are using dates, they should be formed into individual balls to fill the dough
Close the dough so that the filling is totally covered by dough
Put in the maamoul mold and push firmly but not overly so, otherwise the dough will stick
Put a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel
Strike the top tip of the mold on the kitchen towel to release the maamoul
Repeat and when you have a tray full, put into an oven that has been preheated to 220 degrees Celsius
It will take around 15 minutes to bake, but what you are after is the slightest colouring. You don’t want it to brown
Remove, cool down and eat when warm or cold

 — at Palestine .

Easter Tradition Palestine : Vegetarian Barazek Cookies 04/04/2012

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40 g light brown sugar
45 g icing sugar
150 g unsalted butter
200 g 00 flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 Orange blossom water
60 g pistachio nuts
70 g sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Makes about 20 biscuits

Put sugar and butter in food processor and blend to form a cream-like mixture. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Finally add the flour and baking powder.
Take the dough out of the processor and place in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes or in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the pistachios to medium. And toast the sesame seeds by putting them in hot pan over medium heat for approximately minutes or until they begin to brown.( remember to keep stirring)
Place the crushed pistachios in a large flat plate and the sesame seeds in another.
Take little pieces of dough with your fingers and roll them between your hands to form marble-like balls. Flatten each ball, first in the pistachio plate then turn it over and press the other side into the sesame seeds.
Place on a baking tray.
Bake for 12 minutes in a 180°C oven.
Transfer and leave to cool.

 — at Palestine .

Vegan Stuffed Dates 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Easter Traditions, Sweets.
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Stuffed Datesstuffed dates are stuffed with almonds and rolled in powdered sugar. Perfect for coffee or tea!

15 pitted dates
15 toasted almonds or pecans
powdered sugar for dusting

Stuff dates with one pecan per date. Roll in powdered sugar.

Place on greased wax paper in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve stuffed dates with coffee or tea.

 — inPalestine.

Palestinian easter Tradition: Bread rings with sesame seeds and mahlab (ka’ak) 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Breakfast Dishes, Easter Traditions, Snacks, Sweets.
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Bread rings with sesame seeds and mahlab (ka’ak)INGREDIENTS:3 1/3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of water

2 teaspoons of yeast

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of mahlab (optional) Note below on substitutes


Place the flour and salt and mahlab in a mixing bowl. Combine the dry ingredients for a few seconds.
Proof the yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and the sugar for a few minutes.
Add the oil to the flour mixture and combine well until the flour particles are moistened.
Add the yeast mixture, add the warm milk, mix with the dough hook or by hand until you get a firm ball.
Let it rest covered for 15 minutes. Knead again 2 minutes then let it rise in a bowl that has been covered with a thin film of oil; cover the dough with a film of oil as well. Set it in a warm place to rise for at least one hour, until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl, fold it like an envelope and let it rise again, covering it with a towel.
When the dough has doubled in volume, form into 20 balls. Cover with a damp towel and let them rise.
Form each ball into a long rope. Cut into smaller ropes and press the ends to form a ring. Brush some egg on each ring and sprinkle sesame seeds on the rings. Cover with a wet (but squeezed dry) towel and let them rest and rise for 45 minutes.
Bake in a 375F oven for about 15 minutes till golden. Then reduce the oven to 175F and let them dry out for another 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped with a knife.

You can order mahlab online through a number of purveyors, including penzey’s. www.penzeys.com

Mahlab can be found in Greek stores. You can substitute one of these: ground fennel seeds, ground cardamom, or ground Chinese almonds. OR, grind one 2-inch cinnamon stick with three cloves and one bay leaf . greekfood.about.com/od/herbsspices/p/mahlap.htm

 — at Palestine .

Arabic Bread 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Breads.
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1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup lukewarm water (100 – 110 deg. F; hot to the touch)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup (8 fl oz) lukewarm water
Mixing bowl, rolling pin (or use a bottle), paddle or similar to transfer bread to and from oven, pizza stone or baking sheet, oven.

DISSOLVE yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water, add one tsp sugar, stir and let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.

IN a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt, mix thoroughly using your hands or a rubber spatula; make a well, add the yeasty water and about 1/2 the lukewarm water; mix and gradually add more water a few TBSP at a time using a rubber spatula (it can be very sticky until well mixed) until firm and elastic and just a little sticky (may adhere slightly to your hand).

TURN dough on to a lightly floured working surface and knead for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 2-3 hours (much less if you are using ‘rapid-rise’ yeast).

WHEN dough has nearly doubled in size, punch down, knead lightly, roll out a ‘rope’ and pinch off hand fulls to form into balls about the size of tangerines – between a ping-pong and a tennis ball.

PUT pizza stone or baking sheet in oven on lowest rack; remove any other racks to ease access, pre-heat oven to 450 deg. F.

PLACE balls on a lightly floured surface a few inches apart, cover and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

ON your lightly floured working surface, squash a ball flat and round with your hand and then roll out, flipping and turning, a round of the desired thickness – less than 1/4 inch thick and about 5″ across. This will take experimentation, until you achieve the kind of bread you like. I like it very thin, but suit yourself.

SET aside, covered, for another 10 minutes.

NOW the interesting part: baking the bread. Middle Eastern bread ovens are cavernous affairs (even wood-fired from time to time) and are very hot, with a very hot floor. The bread is put on long paddles (same as pizza) and deployed in the oven until it puffs and browns slightly on top.

WE try to achieve the effect by using the bottom rack of the oven; using a pre-heated pizza stone or baking sheet; transferring the bread to the hot stone or sheet and baking for about 4 minutes – when the bread has ‘popped’ and browned ever so slightly on the edges or top. The time depends on how thick and moist your bread is; how your oven is constructed, and how hot the oven is. My best results have been with the stone – you will have to experiment.

ALLOW to cool, flatten, store in plastic bags. Can be refrigerated or frozen, with appropriate re-heating or micro-waving.

 — in Palestine.