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VEGAN Palestinian Mujadara المجدرة Rice, Lentils, Onions 05/15/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Easter Traditions, Main Dishes.
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المجدرةRecipe Description

This dish is very popular in the Middle East – especially in Palestine and Lebanon. It is considered a ‘poor man’s dish’ because of the cheap ingredients. Among Arab-Christians, this dish is a staple during Lent when they fast from meat.

1 whole Medium Onion
1 cup Lentils
1 teaspoon Cumin
4 cups Water, Divided Use
1-½ cup Rice
4 whole Onions, Cut Into Rings About 1/4-inch Thick
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 whole Tomatoes
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions
Dice onion and place in a pot (make sure it’s a pot that has a cover) with the lentils, cumin and 2 cups water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are soft.
Once lentils are soft, add the rice to the pot. Add enough water to just cover rice and lentils and about 1/4″ more. Stir once and then don’t stir again. Bring back to boil, then reduce heat, cover pot and simmer on low until all water has evaporated. This takes about 10-15 minutes just depending on your heat source and pot. I usually check by using a fork to part the rice a little and look into the bottom of the pot to see if there’s any water left.
Once water has evaporated, turn off heat and leave the cover on – let it sit for 15 minutes (the longer the better) or until ready to serve.
Fluff with a fork before serving. Mujadara is traditionally served with Carmelized Onions, Tomato Salad and Plain Yogurt, optional.
Carmelized Onions
4 onions cut into rings about 1/4″ thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
Put onions and olive oil in a thick bottomed skillet (I use a cast iron one) over high heat. Cover for first 5-10 minutes to sweat the onions – this makes them soft and makes the process faster. Once soft, uncover and let cook over medium/high heat stirring often until they are a dark golden brown.
Tomato Salad
3 medium tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Dice tomatoes and toss in a bowl with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.


عدس ، أرز ، بصل ، زيت زيتون ، بهارات ، ملح ، ماء و كمون .


نغسل العدس و نضعه بالماء على النار مع القليل من الملح لمدة ساعة (حسب نوع العدس). و من ثم نحضر الأرز و يضع فوق العدس مع مرقته و نضع الملح و القليل من الكمون و نخلطه مع بعضه البعض .

نغطي الطنجره حتى يتشرب الأرز مرقه العدس و يبقى على نار هادئة لمدة ربع ساعة .

لا ننسى البصل بعد أن يقطع ويقلى مع زيت الزيتون .

و من ثم يقدم الطبق مع وضع القليل من البصل فوق الأرز و العدس و يقدم مع اللبن و السلطه.

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

Posted by vegetariancooking in Easter Traditions, Sweets.
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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 .