Hareesa Recipe or Basbousa

Dessert, Recipe

Hareesa or Basbousa is a sweet cake that is made of semolina or farina that is soaked in a delicious tasty syrup. In the Levant countries of the Middle East, it is referred to as Hareesa, and in Egypt it is called Basbousa. It is also known as Revani in Turkish and Ravani (southern Greece) or Revani (northern Greece) in Greek. In some cultures, this treat is served during special celebrations, funerals or even as a religious offering.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups farina (cream of wheat or semolina)
  • 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks) butter
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain yogurt for mixture
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  • oil for greasing pan and toasting almonds
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt for smoothing
  • 3 cups of syrup (recipe Below)

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Fresh Okra Lamb Stew Recipe “Bamia”

Lamb, Recipe, Stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okra is a low-carb vegetable that is commonly eaten in the Mediterranean Diet. It is high in vitamins C and K. One cup of okra has ~30 calories, no fat or cholesterol and 2g of fiber. It is slimy in nature, so to reduce it is usually cooked with tomatoes or something else acidic such as vinegar. The recipe below is for a traditional dish called Bamia.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh okra, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lamb meat, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped or 16 ounces tomato sauce

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Mediterranean Tomato Pine-Nut Kefta Recipe

Beef, Lamb, Recipe

Kefta is made by grinding meat and mixing it with an assortment of spices. It can be shaped into meatballs or cylinders of meat or even a meatloaf and can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. Beef and lamb are the most two common choices of meat for kefta, but I also use turkey as well for a healthy alternative. Lean meat is preferred in this meal so that it does not become too oily. Kefta can be grilled, roasted, baked, fried, steamed, poached, or broiled.  Kefta can be served with a yogurt dip, tomato or tahini sauce. There are many other options as well. Bread and vegetables can also be used to make a sandwich or you can cook kefta on a skewer. Other names of kefta is kofta, kufta, kafteh, keftes and kyuftah. It can be found all over the Mediterranean region and in other places such as India and Romania.

Below is a recipe for Homemade Tomato Pine-Nut Kefta. I baked this version and used half turkey and half ground beef for a healthier version :-)

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground – beef, lamb or turkey
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 c water

How to:
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Spicy Yogurt Dip “Labneh with walnuts and more”

Dip, Recipe, Vegetarian

Labneh is a type of yogurt that is thick and concentrated. All of the excess liquid is strained to obtain this texture. Traditionally it is eaten plain, but there are many variations of labneh. The one below has a spicy and nutty feel. Labneh can be substituted for Greek yogurt. It is usually served with pita bread or pita chips.

Serves: 8-12

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 16 ounces of labneh
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • olive oil, olives, tomatoes for garnish

How To:

 1. Finely chop the parsley, green onions, walnuts. I used a mixure and added them all and pressed “chop”. It works great just make sure they do not get too fine.


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