Saturday, February 21, 2015


Green Beans
1lb fresh green beans

4 cups water salted 

3 tbsp peanut oil

1 clove garlic mashed 

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tbsp slivered almonds

1. Simmer in lightly salted water until just tender, about 30-45 minutes.
2. Drain and put in serving dish.
3. Put remaining ingredients (except almonds) in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add the almonds and stir briefly to until coated with oil.

4. Pour the oil mixture over the green beans and toss gently until beans are thoroughly coated. Serve warm.

Carrot Salad
1 lb Carrots

3 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 pinch Salt

1 pinch Sugar

Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. Cumin

Parsley, chopped

Scrape the carrots and quarter lengthwise. Cook in a little water with garlic and a pinch of salt and sugar, for 15 minutes. Drain and chill. Just before serving, cover with lemon juice, about 1/4 teaspoon salt, cayenne and cumin. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. 

Meatballs in Garlic Sauce
1 head garlic
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 liter stock
2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 Tbsp tomato puree
4 Tbsp long grained rice, rinsed
18 oz cooked chickpeas
2 squeezes of lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 lb minced beef or lamb
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper

1.            Break the garlic up into cloves and peel them then process the whole lot roughly.
2.            Melt the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until tender.
3.            Add 2/3 of the garlic and cinnamon stick and stir for a few minutes.
4.            Now add the herbs meat stock chopped tomatoes carrot and salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
5.            Simmer for 40 minutes.
6.            Meanwhile make the meatballs.
7.            Mix the remaining garlic with the minced meat coriander onion cinnamon salt and pepper and enough beaten egg to bind.
8.            Roll into walnut sized balls.
9.            Once the broth has been simmering for 40 minutes add the meatballs tomato puree and rice. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the chickpeas and simmer for three or four minutes.
10.        Stir in lemon juice and adjust seasoning.
11.        Serve immediately or reheat thoroughly when needed.
12.        For chickpeas if you have time soak and cook your own rather than use tinned ones.

Chicken Lentil Soup
1/8 pound of chicken breast, cubed
1/4 of a carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 of a small potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 of a zucchini squash, chopped
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
1/2 of an Italian green pepper (chop 1/2 of it very finely and leave the other half as a whole)
One small celery branch (from the inside of the celery)
One small bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
about 1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper
1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
One 6oz. can of tomato paste
1/2 cup of orange lentils
1/4 cup of tomato sauce
a sprig of mint
1/4 cup of thin vermicelli

Wash the chicken and add it to the pot. Add the carrot, squash, potato, onions, pepper, and celery. Add 1/2 of the bunch of cilantro, the other half will be added later. Add spices, salt, oil, and saute everything together on low heat for about 5 minutes. Then, add the tomato paste and cover everything with water (The water level should be up to at least half of the saucepan). Turn the stove up to medium/high heat and let the soup come to a boil. When it boils, add the lentils. Stir everything around and then cover the pot and let it cook on low heat.

You have to constantly stir the soup, like about every 10 minutes or so, so that the vegetables and lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot. After 20 minutes, add 1 cup of water. Lentils absorb a lot of water so you have to keep adding water. After another 30 minutes, add the tomato sauce, throw in the other half of the green pepper, add the rest of the chopped cilantro, and chop in the sprig of mint (leaves only). Add 2 and 1/2 cups of water and turn the heat up high so the soup can come to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot and turn down the heat again.

After 20 minutes, add another 2 and 1/2 cups of water and turn up the heat so the soup can come to a boil again. When the soup boils, add the vermicelli. Don't cover the pot when you throw in the vermicelli because it will stick to the bottom of the pot. Stir occasionally for about 5 more minutes and then you are done!

Algerian Pan Bread
3 1/2 cups fine semolina
1 1/4 cups strong white bread flour
2 cups water, room temp. plus extra
4 fluid ounces sunflower oil (or vegetable, canola etc.)
7 g fast action yeast
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large egg yolks, beaten
2 -3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (optional)


1 Heat oven to 350.  Grease a large round metal pan (12” x 1.5") or sheet pan

2 Place the semolina, flour, yeast, sugar & salt in a very large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre & add the beaten egg & the oil along with 1 cup of water. Mix well, adding more water when necessary.

3 Keep mixing until you have a soft dough. Knead the dough for around 30 minutes until it is soft, smooth & elastic. You will need to add a little water from time to time as the semolina absorbs it.  If you are having problems with a very sticky dough, don't worry - if you've used the correct amounts of ingredients, everything will be OK - just keep kneading & add dribbles of water to bring the dough back together again.

4 After 30 minutes, mix in the nigella seeds if using, then with wet hands make a ball

5 Place the dough in the greased pan & with wet hands, gently push the dough until it completely covers the base of the pan.  Sprinkle a little semolina over the top, cover with a kitchen towel & leave to rise until doubled in size.

6 Brush the top of the dough with the egg yolks & sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Using a skewer, make 6 pricks -going all the way through the dough - 5 evenly spaced holes 1" from the edge & 1 hole in the centre (This will make sure that the bread cooks evenly).

7 Place in the upper 1/3 of the oven & cook for approx 35 minutes or until a deep golden colour & sounding hollow when tapped.

8 Remove from the oven & allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a kitchen towel. Wrap the bread in the towel & allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Helouwa (Sesame or Lemon Cookies)
1 kg plain flour
6 eggs
250 g granulated sugar 
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 liter vegetable oil
Lemon Version: zest of 4 lemons
Sesame Version:
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sesame seed, lightly toasted


1 In a large bowl, beat the eggs & the oil.

2 Add the baking powder (& lemon zest if using), & slowly add the flour, mixing the ingredients with your hands until a dough forms. You will probably not need all of the flour.

3 Once you have a firm dough, you can shape your helouwa.

4 To shape, you have 2 choices: you can roll out to 5mm thickness & cut out with your favourite cookie cutters OR you can roll into a 1cm thick 'sausage' & make rings & straight lengths them decorate with a 'Nakkach' or fork if you don't have one.

5 If making the sesame version, once you have cut out all your cookies, brush a little beaten egg over the top of the cookies & sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

6 Place on a tray lined with aluminium foil (shiny side up) & bake for 25-28 minutes. The cookies should be pale but hard when tapped. (Unless you want them soft on the inside, in which case you should take them out after 20 minutes).

7 Allow to cool then store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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