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Fried Halloumi Cheese #Vegetarian #Palestine #Recipe 11/03/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Appetizers, Breakfast Dishes, Side Dish, Snacks.
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Fried Halloumi Cheese #Vegetarian #Palestine #Recipe

olive oil (for frying)
300 g halloumi cheese (see NOTE below)
plain flour, for dusting (all purpose)
fresh mint leaves

Dry the cheese with paper towels and slice into 8.

Heat the oil over medium heat.

Dust the cheese slices in the flour and fry for 1 minute a side or until golden.

Serve immediately, garnished with mint leaves.

Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep milk, and sometimes also cows’ milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. Halloumi is set with rennet and is unusual in that no acid or acid-producing bacterium is used in its preparation.
The cheese is white, with a distinctive layered texture, similar to mozzarella and has a salty flavour. It is stored in its natural juices with salt-water and can keep for up to a year if frozen.
The cheese is often used in cooking and can be fried until brown without melting, owing to its higher-than-normal melting point. This makes it an excellent cheese for frying or grilling (e.g. in saganaki) or fried and served with vegetables, as an ingredient in salads.
Many people in Palestine also like halloumi that has been aged; kept in its own brine, it is much drier, much stronger and much saltier. This cheese is very different from the milder halloumi that Western chefs use as an ingredient.
It is often garnished with mint to add to the taste. Traditionally, the mint leaves were used as a preservative, this practice arising from the serendipitous discovery that Halloumi kept better and was fresher and more flavoursome when wrapped with mint leaves. In accordance with this tradition, many packages of halloumi contain fragments of mint leaves on the surface of the cheese.

Recipe Hummus #Palestine #Authentic 11/03/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Hummus, Side Dish, Snacks.
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Hummus with Tahini recipe


250g chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight
2 lemons, juice of
3 tablespoons tahini
3 garlic cloves, crushed
salt to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped


Drain the chickpeas and simmer in fresh water for about an hour or until tender. Reserve the cooking water.

Process the chickpeas in a blender (or food processor) with the lemon juice, tahina, garlic, olive oil, salt and enough of the cooking liquid to obtain a soft creamy consistency.

Serve on a flat plate, garnished with a dribble of olive oil, a dusting of paprika and ground cumin (this is usually done in the shape of a cross) and a little parsley.

Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.

♦ ♦ ♦   Tips   ♦ ♦ ♦


use bicarb’ of soda in the soaking water but make sure you rinse the chickpeas before boiling

soak dried chickpeas overnight for the best results

quick start – use boiled hot water (not tap hot water) if you’re pressed for time


remove the froth from the water as you boil the chickpeas

simmer soaked chickpeas for 1-2 hours for nice soft chickpeas
simmer canned chickpeas for half an hour

don’t forget to save some of the cooking water for the blend!


a traditional pestle will give texture
a blender will make it ‘creamier’

use the same pestle to mash that you crushed the garlic and spices with for little extra flavour

crush the garlic and salt in a mortar, use the pestle to mash the chickpeas for extra flavour

from  book – Arabesque

Hummus VIDEO: Easy Vegan Palestinian Style 05/26/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Appetizers, Hummus, Side Dish.
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GoodHousekeeping.com comes to Palestine for the best hummus recipe.

Palestine Brings Eggplant Dip to our Vegan table! 04/04/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Appetizers, Salads, Side Dish, Snacks.
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– 1 big eggplant (about 1 pound) 
– 1/4 cup tahini 
– 3/4 cup yogurt
– 3 gloves mashed garlic
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt to taste. 


1. Grill the eggplant until it’s perfectly done and very soft all through. I usually throw a couple
eggplants on the side of the grill every time we do some grilling. When they are done, let them
cool then peel and preserve them in the freezer in small bags. When you need grilled eggplants,
defrost one bag and put it in a colander to drain excess water.
2. In a mixing bowl, add the other ingredients except the olive oil and mix well.
3. Cut the eggplant into rough chunks and add to the previous mixture.
4. Scoop in a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil.
5. It tastes best when it is cool, so you can take it out of the refrigerator and set aside for

Palestine Vegan Falafel: No ‘mix’ needed, totally fresh! 01/06/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Sandwiches/Fast Food, Side Dish, Snacks.
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Chickpeas, dried — 1 cup
Breadcrumbs — 1/2 cup
Garlic, crushed — 2 to 3 cloves
Parsley, minced — 1/4 cup
Flour — 2 tablespoons
Salt — 1 to 2 teaspoons
Baking powder — 1 teaspoon
Ground coriander — 1 teaspoon
Ground cumin — 1 teaspoon
Turmeric (optional) — 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper — 1/2 teaspoon
Oil for deep frying

Place the chickpeas in a large saucepan and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and then cover tightly and remove from heat. Let set for 1 to 2 hours to soak.
Drain the chickpeas and rinse them with fresh water. Place the chickpeas, breadcrumbs and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas break down into small pieces the size of breadcrumbs. Do not overprocess to a puree.
Remove the chickpea mixture to a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except for the oil and mix together well. The mixture should have a fairly dry, crumbly texture. Add a little water if it is too dry to form balls with your hand. Adjust seasoning to taste. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls or ovals and then flatten slightly.
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F, or heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Drop patties a few at a time into the hot oil and brown well on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the browned from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties.
Falafel can be served on its own with tahini sauce. Or stuff it in pita bread halves with tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and eat it like a sandwich.

Labneh balls, Soft Cheese Delight of Palestine 12/01/2011

Posted by vegetariancooking in Side Dish, Snacks, Uncategorized.
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First to make Labneh :

Ingredients :

32 oz plain whole milk yogurt 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
Cheesecloth or handkerchief

Method :
1 In a bowl, mix the plain whole milk yogurt and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

2 Pour the yogurt into a cheesecloth or handkerchief (or old clean pillowcase) and tie it over a wooden spoon. Hang the cheese cloth over a pitcher and allow to strain in a refrigerator for 24 hours.

3 After 24 hours, several cups of whey should strain from the yogurt. That’s it! Transfer the labneh to a container or use immediately. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To make balls : 
1-Bring a plate and cover it with a clean piece of muslin (coffee filter strainers are a perfect substitute) . Take the labneh and shape into balls. Place the balls over the muslin (which is over the plate) and when all the balls are formed, cover (without pressing!) with another piece of muslin. Every morning/evening check to see how much humidity is being absorbed by the muslin, and make sure to change the muslin regularly. You’ll know the balls are ready when the muslin stops absorbing humidity.

2-Now your Labneh balls are ready. You can either enjoy them plain, or roll them in mint, za’atar, sesame seeds, hot pepper, etc… To preserve them, place the balls delicately (they can break easily!) in a wide jar, and at the end fill up with olive oil. Take note that you do not need to place the jar in the fridge (not good for the olive oil).

Palestine: Lupini Beans 12/01/2011

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Palestine: Green beans with olive oil ( Loubya bi Zayt) لوبيا بالزيت 12/01/2011

Posted by vegetariancooking in Side Dish.
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1/2kg of fresh green beans, trimmed
400g ripe tomatoes, diced or 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
3 brown onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice
salt & pepper


Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until very soft, around 10 minutes
Add the garlic, beans, salt and pepper and any dried herbs and saute for on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or till the beans started to wilt.
Add the tomatoes and lemon juice, then bring to a boil.
Cover and cook over a very low heat until the tomatoes form a thick sauce – around 45 minutes.
Season with fresh herbs or salt & pepper here if using them, but delicious as is.

Corn, Palestine, Al-Ramla 12/01/2011

Posted by vegetariancooking in Side Dish, Snacks.
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Garnishing Palestinian Food 12/01/2011

Posted by vegetariancooking in Side Dish.
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