Majboos Dejaaj ~ Emirati Chicken Rice

  Did you miss the book review last month? Or you haven’t? If it’s the second case, then you haven’t been reading the blog properly. 😛 Jokes apart, last month, I gave this segment a miss since the Blogging Marathon post collided with the last Saturday. Since I had to choose BM over the book review, I let it go for the month. Here I am this month, making sure that I don’t miss it. 🙂   I am pretty much excited about the post I am doing today. As you know, I am on a mission to collect as much as local cuisine as possible. Having resided in the UAE my whole life, I feel ashamed that I haven’t been accustomed to local cuisine as much as I would have wanted to. But those who have come here would agree to me that local food is not readily available,… 

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Halawat Timman ~ Iraqi Roasted Rice Flour Sweet

  It is the 15th of the month, and time for the MENA Cooking Challenge! This month, we are going to Iraq. If you remember, I started participating in this challenge with Iraq, so now it has literally taken a full circle. I must say I have enjoyed my journey for this challenge and wish to continue as much as I can…   For this month, we were given three options – Pardah Pellau: a rice dish, preferably a biriyani topped with a pie crust, Lisan El Kathi: a baked dish with eggplants with meat mince, and Halawat Timman, a roasted rice flour dessert.. The suggestions were provided by Noor’s friend’s grandmother and were heritage recipes. No wonder I had a tough time trying to trace out the recipes, I don’t know how it was for all of them. Finally after searching a lot with various names on Google, I… 

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Chicken Shawarma

  At times, my mind gets stuck in the past, even though I don’t like it. However good our present may be, sometimes we allow our mind to loiter in those forgotten lanes of memory. The memories may be good and cherished, but those that you wish to keep aside so that your peace of mind is not disturbed is usually the ones that always end up coming to the forefront. Such times, it becomes imperative to remind ourselves that the best weapon during those moments in the remembrance of Allah. Life is definitely not intended to be a catwalk and we have to equip ourselves continuously with what is required to keep ourselves protected from the whispers of the cursed and to keep our faith. Here is an article I found during my casual browsing that will ease up a lot of matters at heart, InShaAllah…   I have been… 

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Adeni Chai ~ Yemeni Milk Tea

  Tea is my favorite beverage, if made properly. An improper tea peeves me off. I guess it runs in the family. It’s with my parents, it’s with HD as well. We prefer having tea from street side restaurants rather than homes most of the time, since many just can’t make a proper cup of tea. 🙁 I feel really bad to say this, but it is from experience. There are very rare times when I have really liked the tea from somebody’s house. I feel people make coffee better, since it is more easier to do so I always ask for it. Hehe…   Like tea? Then here are some that are already on the blog – not the sulamani types! 😉 My way of making chai Burma Chai – for people who love tea with just milk! Kashmiri Chai Teh Terik – Malaysian Milk Tea Yuan Yang – Coffee… 

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Macarona Bel Bechamel ~ Egyptian Macaroni with Bechamel

  After taking a month off last month, we are back with a bang with the MENA Cooking Club challenge! This month, we are cooking from Egypt.   Egypt needs no introduction. The land of the Nile and the Pharoahs, that’s how everybody knows it to be. It is a country that everybody would want to visit at least once in their lifetime, and that includes myself as well. For this month’s challenge, we were given three options: Macarona bin Bechamel – a macaroni dish, with beef and with bechamel sauce;  Touly – also called the Egyptian ratatouille and Fateer, which is a delicious layered Egyptian bread.   Fateer is something that we buy from Union Co-op at times and eat it just like that. The bread is really greasy but you can’t stop it at one bite. I wanted to try it but looking at the amount of butter/ghee… 

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Sweet Potato Moutabbel ~ Sweet Potato Dip

  Moutabbel is a Levantine style dip, made with roasted aubergines, and mixed with some tahini (sesame paste), yogurt and a bit of spices to make a creamy dip. Moutabbel is always mixed up with Baba Ganoush, which is also a dip made with aubergines, but without the tahini. It has a dash of pomegranate molasses, some parsley and some chopped onions and tomatoes folded into it. You can say, it is basically a vegan dip. 🙂 I was browsing through Google and I could see many recipes actually using both the names interchangeably. Even I was under the same impression till I read about the difference!   I have not been successful with the original moutabbel. The aubergines always give up on me! 🙁 It either doesn’t get cooked or it gets too charred, so on and so forth. But when I spotted this recipe in a recipe cut… 

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Ma’amoul ~ Middle Eastern Date Filled Cookies

  We have a small group of enthusiastic bloggers called the Muslim Food Bloggers. Last month, we decided that we would go ahead and do a challenge every month. We will be doing various challenges over the month to avoid the monotony. I am really excited to be starting this event and hosting the event. Sincerely hoping that we will be able to make the event a regular and long running event, InShaAllah… 🙂 We will be working on a theme every month, that will be posted on the 10th of every month and will be linked in for everybody to see all the participating posts. This is just a humble beginning. May Allah bless us in this little activity and strengthen our bonding, Aameen… 🙂   To start with, the first challenge is to try a recipe from the blog of a very famous blogger, who is so well… 

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Basseema/ Bassima ~ Egyptian Coconut Cake

  I have been wanting to post this and I am so excited that it is finally making its way to this space of mine! The season now is such that we do a lot of barbecuing. HD is least interested but his cousin love to arrange everything and most of the time, we only need to be present and eat what they make! 😉 Freshly barbecued chicken with some hummus and khubboos is definitely our favorite winter time foods for dinner over weekend. The men will be doing everything while we women huddle at a corner to chit chat and the kids play their energies out. It is always a time we all look forward to, and definitely I am looking forward to the start during this season too, InShaAllah… 🙂 Everytime we go for it, all the men expect me to make something sweet and take as the… 

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Be My Guest – Moroccan Rghaif | Msemen and Meloui | Moroccan Pancakes

It feels like ages since I have done a guest post on the blog. And yes, it has been ages! The last one that appeared on the blog was during Eid in June. I have been going slow about it, not asking bloggers to contribute nor was wanting anybody to contribute! I am being very honest – I have loved the experience of hosting bloggers on this space, in fact I started it and I continued it till now, and would continue to definitely host more bloggers here in the future, InShaAllah… but sometimes the whole thing is so overwhelming, that it needs a breathing space. And that is exactly what I did after taking this break. But InShaAllah, I am all charged up to welcome in some more of my favorite bloggers and hopefully you will start seeing posts on a regular basis rather than with long breaks! Not… 

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Vegan Chocolate Muhallabiah

  Muhallabiah is a family favorite dessert. It is a breeze to make. A milk based dessert, thickened with corn starch and subtly flavored with two essences that are such a huge part of Arab dessert – rose water and orange blossom water. Normally, I would always have only with rose water, but commercial version available is mostly flavored with orange blossom water. Now I use both in my desserts and love their combined taste. I first enjoy the aroma and then the taste. 😉 I already have the traditional version on the blog. I would prefer to call this dessert “the Arab Pannacotta”! 😉   Normally during Ramadan, you find boxes of Muhallabiah mixes at good prices, but I always wonder why we need to use them when all that goes into making it are very basic ingredients!  B gets tempted to buy the offer pack and every time… 

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Pomegranate Couscous Salad

  You don’t always buy new ingredients, expecting the folks at your home to accept it wholeheartedly. One such ingredient was couscous. Couscous is a grain like substance made with durum wheat, and is so close to semolina, except that it is in a more rolled form. Many Arab and North African countries use this as a staple in their cooking, instead of rice or wheat. Couscous available now in the market is more of the no-cook variety – all you need to do is to soak it up in hot liquid for sometime and it swells up. It is that easy! I personally feel it is more of an acquired taste.   I bought a small box of couscous out of curiosity and used up the whole thing to make this delicious and easy salad. All that had to be done was to soak up the couscous in hot… 

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Thareed Alkhadaar ~ Middle Eastern Vegetable Stew

  MENA Cooking Club is back! In fact, it returned back last month with a bang with Algeria, but I couldn’t participate since I was leaving on vacation and there wasn’t enough time to cook for it. From now on, there is a slight twist in the mechanism. We are still given the country and three dishes to select what we want to try, but this time, we are given a secret ingredients which needs to be a part of the dish cooked. Now isn’t that interesting? In case you are interested in joining us in the fun of cooking up some delicious Middle Eastern food, then do check out the link at the beginning and let’s get it started from there!   This month, the country in question is Bahrain. Bahrain is a tiny island in the Persian Gulf, sharing proximity with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It happens to… 

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Aish el Saraya ~ Lebanese Bread Pudding

  Time for the Shh Cooking Secret Challenge for this month! I am paired with Priyaakka, who runs two blogs, her ever-popular one and another evolving one – I don’t need to say how excited I am to have her as my partner. Despite being such a seasoned blogger, she is a down-to-earth humble soul, who is always willing to help. In fact, she was one of my inspirations to start blogging. Of late, since she is looking out for her career, her blogging is a little slow, still she blogs at least four times a week. Prior to this, I would suggest to just take a look at the amount of recipes, especially her breads, she has on her blog – simply mind-blowing! I wish I would have the same zest to continue cooking and blogging just like her, InShaAllah… 🙂 The theme for this month was “Monsoon Treats”… 

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DIY: Labneh | Cucumber Labneh Sandwich

  Coming to the second post after the Almond Milk… Yes, Labneh is not vegan, and I am not using it at the moment, but I do make it for the kids at times when I am in a mood for making shawarmas. 😀 OK, please don’t search for that recipe, it is not yet on the blog, but hopefully it should appear soon – how soon, I don’t know. 🙂   Labneh is a staple in Arab cooking. You will see a lot of recipes using this ingredient in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and a big part of of Arab and North African countries. What is labneh? Labneh is nothing but strained yogurt. Once yogurt is strained off its whey, it attains a cheesy texture. The use of salt gives it a cheese feeling and keeps it staying fresh in the fridge for at least a week. You can… 

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Qamardeen ~ Dried Apricot Leather Drink

  “(Musa AS) said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” (Surah Ash-Shura:62) This is the statement that our dear prophet made when he was a crossroad – literally. As he ran with his followers to escape from the clutches of the Phoaroah and reach the sea, which is obviously the dead end, everybody panics and he assures everybody of the help of Allah. How many of us have such stern faith, that His help will come irrespective of whatever is happening in our life? It is not easy, yet not difficult too. Even though we may never reach the level of resolute His prophets had, we are given the choice of always keeping them as our role models to turn our lives towards complete “Tawakkul”. I myself struggle a lot, in every sense. Frustration, irritation, helplessness always seeps in – that is the way we… 

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