Mutton Kabsa and Memories
I love the recipes with a good sprinkling of nostalgia associated with them. This Mutton Kabsa for instance… It’s aroma, its unique flavor, it always takes me back to my beautiful life in Saudi Arabia. My birthplace. Kabsa is a Saudi staple and is made with Mutton, Chicken or even Prawns. The simple and humble dish is prepared quite easily, with all the Saudi homes having their own trademark spice-blend to enhance that irresistible, comforting aroma and flavor. Here, I am sharing an authentic preparation of Mutton Kabsa. Prime Indian Mutton (Goat meat) is best for Kabsa.
My mom made this Kabsa so perfectly!! I would be so thrilled when I walked in the door after school and got that distinct whiff of Kabsa Spice!!
Muhallabia is a Middle Eastern Milk Pudding that is extremely light and extremely simple to make. My mom has made Muhallabia and many variation of it for years, and we always enjoy its super light feeling. You don’t feel overwhelmed by this sweet dessert at all, and it is therefore perfect after heavy meals and very popular for the same reason, during Ramadan. I have had this post in the making for so many months. I was waiting for Ramadan 2017, to post it. Here, I show you how to make it with just milk, cornflour, cream and sugar. I do make it sometimes by adding a little ground rice that has been soaked in water overnight overnight, when I feel like slightly more thickened pudding, but usually this ‘super light’ texture is what I opt for. There are two important flavorings to the Muhallabia as well. Rose water and Orange Blossom water are used in precise measurements for that Middle Eastern touch, quite whimsical indeed! I have seen many spellings of the dessert Mahalabia, Mouhalabieh,M’halabe and even more. Oh well مهليبة, it is in Arabic!
…Check out the video for Muhallabia below!
Simple Kabsa | Saudi Arabian Fragrant Rice
Kabsa, the National dish of Saudi Arabia, is quite the humble dish. Each home making it their own, with various methods.. but the most common, daily dish is a very simple one-pot dish. Check out my other popular Kabsa recipe, which has more steps involved and used for more special occasions. For your daily meal, however, I am sharing this favorite family method.
Charmoula | Coriander Parsley Dressing/Marinade
Charmoula ( شرمولة) is a North African Herbal Marinade, an all purpose dressing used a lot in Tunisia and Morocco. It is often used for seafood but works with meats as well as vegetables. When you are looking for a different kind of marinade, something less Masala-ish and more Herby… it is a good choice. It is also great when you have lots of herbs, wanting to be used up 🙂 . We like this marinade with baked chicken wings and grilled shrimp a lot!
Brik | Delicious Tunisian Pastry
No No, we are not into eating brick! Brik (بريك) is a famous Tunisian deep fried pastry. This is absolutely scrumptious, if you’ve never tried it before. This version (one of the more popular ones), has a filling of whole egg , seasoned tuna, onion, parsley and capers. Some versions add Harissa to spice things up, but here I use the Tunisian spice mix ‘Tabil’. You might compare it with a samosa, but the filling is entirely different … imagine cutting into the pastry and getting delicious oozilicious egg!! My kids are bonkers for oozy egg yolk, so they adore Brik!
Brik pastry is known as Malsouka ملسوقة or Warka.Brik pastry is a very thin pastry that comes wrapped in cellophane. The thin, round sheets are made by slapping a sticky dough onto a hot non-stick surface in overlapping circles and cooked for a short amount of time.
The tuna filling may be substituted with chicken, or minced meat. I will also be adding the recipe for ‘Swebaa Brik’ – Brik Fingers, soon which is finger sized spring roll shaped pastry with minced meat, egg and cheese filling. Thanks again to my friend Nadege for helping me with My Tunisian recipes.
Enjoy the Video.
Tabil , is a Tunisian Spice Mix, that is often used in North African Cooking, in grilled meats or salads. It lends a deep and earthy flavor with some spicy kick, but it’s the undeniably enticing aroma that I just love so much! A tsp of Tabil mixed with some hung yoghurt and salt makes a great side with grilled meats. You can use it in the Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad or in the Brik Pastry.. I will be adding more Tunisian recipes here. I sprinkle it towards the end of cooking several grilled dishes and it really wakes things up. If you love to change things up in the flavor department and always have an element of surprise in home cooked food, exotic spice blends come in real handy! Off the shelf, they can be quite expensive but made at home, you can decide how much to stock up on.
Slata Mechouia | Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad
Slata Mechouia | Tunisian Grilled Pepper Salad is one of the most popular and traditional foods served in Tunisia. If you love dips and are always looking for something different, this is excellent. The combination of peppers, once grilled gives a unique and delicious flavor as well as enticing aroma. Slata Mechouia, pronounced ( S-lata Meshweeya) means ‘Grilled Salad’ in Arabic, but it is more of a grilled salsa than a salad.
Serve with traditional Arabic, or North African breads or toasted pita. According to the variety of peppers used, it can range from mild to spicy, however, the milder ones are more common and preferred. It is customary to top the salad with flaked tuna, olives and boiled egg.. I was skeptical at the addition of tuna but it actually works with the spicy, grilled sweetness of the peppers. Serve with traditional Arabic, or North African breads or toasted pita.
An extremely popular appetizer in Tunisian homes and restaurants.. this is one of my posts honoring all the people I have met from across the world and their wonderful cuisines. Thanks to my high school friend Nadege, for some lovely Tunisian Recipes.
Harissa | North African Spice Paste
Harissa is a North African spice paste, a condiment found everywhere in Morocco and Tunisia. It is also widely used in the Middle East. Popularly used in dips and marinades and can add a spicy kick to just about anything! In mayonnaise, hummus, burgers… the list goes on.
Although there are variations to Harissa, according to region, it is basically a red chilli paste. Fresh chillies or peppers may be roasted and used as well. The type I prefer however, uses only dried, rehydrated chillies. Since not all varieties of dried chillies are available everywhere, I recommend using your favorite. New Mexico and guaijillo chilies are good options. I love these long and mild dried chillies, that I use in most of my cooking. It’s the slightly crinkled type as opposed to those deep red shiny dried chillies. Harissa, made with these smells great too!
Arabian Grilled Chicken Recipe | Djaj Mashwi | Al-Faham Djaj
This Arabian Grilled Chicken الدجاج المشوي is my favorite way to do Chicken on the Grill. SO SO EASY. All you need is chicken breasts, some powdered spices, dried herbs and you can make this delicious and appetizing grilled chicken right at home on your grill pan! I serve it with Simple Arabian Pilaf, Soup and Garlic Sauce. Quick and Tasty Meal, I assure you!
Sure sometimes, eating at a fancy restaurant is fun and offers great ambience. But don’t we all have our favorite snappy street foods, that we crave for much more often? Those who know me well, know that I absolutely love Shawarma! These lebanese wraps just make me deliriously happy and I can not explain why! My favorite of course, is the Chicken Shawarma but when I am in the mood for a heavier wrap, I will always opt for the Beef Shawarma. Ofcourse, you can’t beat the taste of the huge meat skewers that get shaved off as the outside gets grilled to perfection. However, did you know you can replicate this taste at home using a skillet or thick bottomed non stick pan? I follow my Home made Beef Shawarma Recipe and it comes out delicious every time! I also have recipes for Khubz(with Video) and Arabic Pickle(Mukhalal) , if you’s like to make everything from scratch.