Tabbouleh ~ Middle Eastern Parsley Salad

  This month, being Ramadan, for the MENA Cooking Challenge, we were given a free reign. We were asked to choose any recipe that is normally cooked during this holy month in the MENA region. The first thing that came into my mind was salad – and of course, what better than Tabbouleh!   One good thing about this region is the incorporation of a routine of soup and salad into their daily eating habits. You will see that before every meal, even in restaurants, a small serving of soup and salad is always provided. It is a mandatory part of their eating habit, unlike our Indian style of mostly having only onions as salad and never any soup! I have tried hard this Ramadan to introduce a soup and salad routine, but barring from a day or two, I wasn’t really successful, thanks to the heat in the kitchen… 

Read More »



Yum

Samak Koufta ~ Emirati Fish Cakes

  It is always nice to come back to my 3-back-to-back series. It has always received a lovely response from all of you, and it keeps me motivated to choose the themes based on the ongoing season as well, Alhamdulillah… 🙂 After all, the major motivation for us bloggers is definitely our enthusiastic readers who come to check out and keep track of what we post, and even trying them out and forwarding us pictures. 🙂 Since it is the holy month of Ramadan and I am taking advantage of it in a beautiful country called UAE, I decided to keep the theme as “Ramadan Specials of the UAE”.   Those who have observed their sawm (fasts) in UAE very well know how the feeling is. The whole country gets a spiritual lift during this blessed month. You can see tents sprouting up everywhere that provide Iftar meals to each… 

Read More »



Yum

Be My Guest – Lahm Ajeen

Coming back to this segment after four months… 🙂 I am more relaxed now. There is no pressure on me to feature a blogger every month and ever since I have done this, I feel that it is the best thing I have done. It is not that there aren’t any bloggers who fall in my favorite category. There are many in fact, who I would like to come over and grace my space, but I thought I should give time for myself and have them around slowly, InShaAllah…   With Ramadan coming, I thought it is apt to feature a Muslimah blogger in this space. And all I could think of this time was Shanaz, who blogs at “Love to Cook“. I got hooked onto her blog quite recently, maybe a year or so. She has some amazing recipes, and is now more into making crisp videos that are… 

Read More »



Yum

Molokhia/ Mlukia ~ Chicken Jute Leave Stew

  After a few months of hiatus, the MENA Cooking Club is back with a bang! I am so glad that the challenge is back into its feet and hoping that it continues without any hitches in the future, InShaAllah… You can refer to my previous MENACC posts here…   This month, we were asked to explore Jordan. Originally known as “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”, this beautiful country shares its borders with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Palestine and is blessed with the two seas – the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. The country is a haven for people who love to learn history. The changes in the kingdoms over the centuries has made the country rich in the historical sense. Jordan is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world and has a thriving tourism industry, which unfortunately due to the unrest of its neighbors… 

Read More »



Yum

Salata Hara ~ Arabic Spicy Tomato Dip

  Many of us are fond of pickles, in some way or the other. I am not a pickle fan, though I have a little while eating biriyani. Hehe… If you buy rice from the Arab restaurants here, it comes with a runny and spicy tomato relish along with it. Since the rice is normally bland without much spices, this sauce gives it a nice kick. I never knew what it was called and thankfully, blogging has taught me its name.   “Salata Hara” literally means “hot salad”. But actually speaking from Indian tongue perspective, it isn’t really hot. It is mildly spiced but so flavorful that it can give a plain dish a much given boost. What more, it is no-cook! All you need to do is to blend all ingredients and store it up for the flavors to mingle. The main base of this relish is tomatoes, though… 

Read More »



Yum

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,… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum

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… 

Read More »



Yum