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Mlokhiya, A prisoners first food after 9 years in Isolation 05/18/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Soups, Uncategorized.
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On twitter today we hear about political prisoner Abdullah Barghouti, and that for the first time in 9 years, the Israeli prison authority let him call his family.  Imagine the emotion of that moment!  He tells his family he is back in human contact, and that prisoners cooked mlokhiya for him.  So, as a tribute to ALL prisoners in isolation, who are still awaiting that call & that welcoming meal of Mlokhiya, I urge you to try it if you have not.  Just look for the bags of frozen mlokhiya (almost always prepared from fresh leaves in Palestine) at your local Arab grocers.  This is the vegan version:

Ingredients (5-6)

  • 2 packets of frozen or fresh finely chopped mlokhiya (molokhia leaves) (Frozen molokhia is almost always sold finely chopped, but double check the package to make sure)
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth, canned or freshly made
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in fourths
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of organic grass-fed ghee or pastured butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground organic coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 bay leaves, broken into pieces
  • 4-5 cardamom pods, crushed to release flavor
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • First bring stock to boil, and then add the frozen leaves in small pieces to the broth. Boil for 10 minutes. Chop onion and garlic very fine and saute in a pan with the olive oil and the spices. Add this mixture to the boiling soup and stir. Cook for 10 more minutes until it becomes thick. Serve warm with hot cooked rice.  Swirl lemon juice over top.

Soup Over Bethlehem: How Apartheid Wall Affects Palestine’s famed Mloukhieh 05/02/2012

Posted by vegetariancooking in Soups, Uncategorized.
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Soup Over Bethlehem (2006) depicts an ordinary Palestinian family, Sansour’s own, around a dinner table on a rooftop overlooking the West Bank city of Bethlehem. What starts as a culinary discussion about the national dish mloukhieh being served from a soup bowl soon evolves into a personal and engaging conversation about politics — thereby emphasizing the symbiosis of food and politics so indicative of the Palestinian experience.

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.

Soups of Palestine: Khoubaizeh 12/01/2011

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Khobbeizeh, or Malva Parviflora, is a wild green leafy plant that grows in Palestine . In Palestinian culture, Khobbeizeh is a food for the common – a green that you can make a cheap, filling, and very healthy meal out of.


4-5 cups of Khobbeizeh leaves, washed, de-stemmed, and very finely chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

2-3 cups of water or stock

1 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 cup of coriander, finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

5-6 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil

1 cup of coarse bulgur OR roasted green wheat (freekeh) OR regular or wholewheat flour

salt& pepper to taste .


In a large pot, heat 2-3 tbsp of oil, then add half of the chopped onion. Sautee the onion until tender, then add the chopped Khobbeizeh leaves. Sautee until they wilt and cook down.
Add the water or stock, and stir, letting it come to a boil. Don’t use too much liquid; you want to add just enough to get a very thick, stew-like texture. Add the chopped parsley and coriander.

If using bulgur OR smoked wheat: wash the grains then drain. Soak in hot water for ten minutes, then drain, and add them to the pot of Khobbeizeh.

If using flour: put the flour in a small bowl and gradually sprinkle a couple tablespoons of cold water all over it. Mix it gently with a fork until the flour forms little balls of dough. Sprinkle on more water if needed. Then, add the dough balls to the pot of Khobbeizeh.

Leave the Khobbeizeh to simmer on low heat for a few minutes while you prepare the ‘ad7ah. Remember, ‘ad7ah is basically adding sauteed garlic to whatever you’re cooking to give it an extra layer of flavor. So, in a small frying pan or saucepan, heat the rest of your oil, then add the rest of the chopped onion and the crushed garlic. Fry until golden brown, then pour the whole thing into the pot of Khobbeizeh. Watch out; it can really splatter!

Give the pot of Khobbeizeh a stir, add salt&pepper to taste, and serve with fresh bread, sliced lemons, and green onions on the side. Enjoy!

Molukhia: Essential Vegetarian Soup of Palestine 12/01/2011

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4 -5 cups chicken broth
4 pieces chicken
2 (14 ounce) packages frozen molukhia (minced or chopped, not whole leaves)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 maggi chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 tablespoon allspice (optional)
1/4 cup corn oil
4 -5 garlic cloves


1 Season chicken and boil chicken and onions(onions will give it flavor and help tame any gamey flavor the chicken may have) in water, until done, make sure you skim the scum off the top of the water as chicken boils.
2 Make sure you have the above chicken broth, if your running low after chicken has boiled add a bit of water.
3 Open and add the frozen mlokhia to the boiling broth.
4 Add maggi cubes.
5 Add allspice.
6 Let boil until molukhia has defrosted into the broth, then let cook additional 5 minutes.
7 Smash garlic up with a mortar and pestle, until its almost like a paste, you may add a bit of salt in the mortar and pestle to help smash.
8 In a small saucepan, add oil and let oil get hot, place garlic in oil and keep an eye on it stirring frequently.
9 Once garlic has reached a deep golden brown, but definitely NOT BURNT.
10 Pour oil and garlic into the molukhia.
11 Stir let set, serve next to bowl of rice.
12 Taking a spoonful at a time, place of rice and eat together.
13 If desired squeeze lemon over the bowl of mlokhia before eating to add an extra kick.

Lentil Soup شوربة عدس 12/01/2011

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1 cup yellow lentils
2 tbs butter
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, grated
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
3-4 cups chicken stock
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
coriander or parsley to garnish

Rinse and soak lentils in water overnight. Drain the water out the next In a pan, heat butter until it melts. Add onions and cook over medium heat until it JUST starts to caramelize. Add the lentils, tomato, cumin powder, chili flakes and stock. Boil for around half an hour or until the lentils are cooked. You can adjust the stock amount depending on how thick you want the soup to be. When cooked, run the soup in a blender until soup. season with salt, pepper and lemon. Garnish with coriander and serve with Arabic bread gently warmed in the oven.