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… 

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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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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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Kashata ~ Coconut Peanut Sugar Candy

  Time for the MENA Cooking Challenge! This month, it was Djibouti, as unheard as the Comoros Islands, which was our October assignment. Djibouti is a tiny country located in the Horn of Africa, covering an area of a little over 23,200 cubic km, sharing its borders with Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, with one side facing the Red Sea. The inhabitants are primarily Muslims and Arabic and French are the major languages spoken, apart from Afroasiatic languages. Due to its strategic location, it is a buzzing commercial hub and is site for various military bases. Djibouti cuisine is highly influenced by foods of Somalia, Yemen, Afar and French cuisine. Meat and fish are a staple part of the food.   We were given three choices to make – Wat: a gravy made of meat and vegetables, Sabayaad: a layered flat bread which looks so close to our parathas and Kashata: a… 

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Mkatra Foutra ~ Yeasted Bread from Comoros Islands

  While reading the title, if you went “which islands?”, you are not alone. I gawked the same way when this month’s assignment from MENA Cooking Club came along. After Algeria and Bahrain, the third country is Comoros Islands – a tiny country of three islands situated in the Indian Ocean. If you go through Google searches, it is said that the country was under France rule during the age of colonialism, before it finally got freedom in 1975. Since then, it has been affected by unstable governance and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Since we are talking about food, let’s move into that then…   Due to the long years of colonialism, the cuisine of Comoros Islands has influences of European, Arab and Indian food. Their main staple is rice and meat. The island is quite known for its exports of vanilla, in fact the… 

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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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Khailat Al-Nahl ~ Sweetened Honeycomb Bread

  After doing UAE last month, this month, for #menacookingclub challenge, our country assigned is Yemen.   As much as Syria is disturbing, the state of Yemen is no different. If you go through some pictures on the history of Yemen, you will realize how green and serene the whole place looks, with a lot of history resting in this country. They have been in a civil war status since last year and it is still going on without much respite. I hate to watch the news these day… With so much bloodshed, pain and fear in the already weak economy, things are looking bleak. All we can do is to make dua for our brethren there for peace soon, InShaAllah… Since we are dealing about their food today, it is said that they have more of Ottoman and Mughlai influences in their cooking, when compared to their neighboring countries. As… 

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Dejaaj Murragg/ Saloona ~ Emirati Chicken Stew

    Ever since the last challenge, I haven’t been a part of the MENACC from the beginning of the year. In January, the group decided a deviation from the normal route and asked us to bake cookies that had some memories associated with them. Even though I wanted to, since my parents came down, I was strapped of time and decided to give it a miss. Then for February, it was Tunisia. Even though I did try the soup called Lablabi, I was really not satisfied with the way it turned out to be and I had made it at the last minute, so I didn’t even have time to cook an alternate recipe, so had to give it a miss too. But this month, I had decided not to skip it at all, since it involves a country that I am looking at every chance to collect recipes… 

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Syrian Oven Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

  Time for the MENA Cooking Club Challenge of the month! This month, the country is Syria. While typing the name of the country, my fingers tremble. What a beautiful country it was… due to reasons best unknown, the country is in tatters. Their citizens are migrating away from their own little space and hoping for a better life. The 3-year-old who washed ashore Turkey fails to go away from my eyes despite having happened more than three months ago. All we can do is make dua and have sincere hope that the Almighty’s Help comes very soon, InShaAllah…   I guess I don’t write much… I am lost for words, seriously… but go ahead straight to the challenge. This month, our host is Jumana from Taste of Beirut and we were given three choices – Sharab Tamr Hendi, Aqras Helweh and this one that I decided to choose to… 

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Masoub ~ Saudi Banana Bread Mash

I have been missing the MENA Cooking Club challenges for the past two months. After hosting Oman in July, I decided to give Palestine and Qatar a miss due to my busy travel schedules. This month, the country is Saudi Arabia and having missed the last two months, I was keen to get back on this one. Our host for the month is Noor, who blogs at Ya Salam Cooking, which happens to be one of the first and few Saudi based food blogs.   I had visited Saudi last year in February, for Umrah. We went to Madinah first and then to Makkah. Alhamdulillah, I would not like to mince my words, but would say that those were the best 10 days of my life. The long bus trip, though tiring was an experience in itself. We reached Madinah around 9 pm the next day and as soon as… 

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Omani Mutton Kabouli

I am so glad to say that I am hosting the MENA Cooking Challenge this month, and the country for the month is Oman. I have gone to Oman only two times in my life – one to Salalah when Rasha was just a year and a half and the other in 2013 to Muscat to see my BFF after 15 years! Both the trips, unfortunately were too much in a hurry and I am waiting for a chance when HD will have at least a week to spare to go visit both the places separately – so in fact I should be getting two weeks of his time. Still waiting for my appointment… hehe…   The Sultanate of Oman is a monarchy, sharing its borders with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. I must say that this big nation is blessed by nature – surrounded with a lot of… 

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Chorba Lsan Tair ~ Moroccan Orzo Meat Soup

For this month’s MENA Cooking Challenge, we travel to Morocoo. Last month, it was Malta which I decided to give askip, even though it was not my intention. I so badly wanted to participate but my time management did not work in favor of me, so I had to give up. But this month, I wanted to make it up, so here I am!   Morocco is a beautiful country, I have heard. A must visit destination after Egypt, as far as the top portion of Africa is concerned. Travelling is a dream for me, InShaAllah, I am looking forward to the time when HD may get converted to this interest! Hehe… The food of Morocco is interesting, where they cook their meat and vegetables along with rice or couscous in a interesting pot called Tagine. I wish to get my hand on it someday and try cooking in it,… 

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Sharba Libiya Bil Dajaj Walzaatar ~ Libyan Chicken Thyme Soup

Each time the MENA Cooking Club challenge is declared, my eyes first go on to the soup before any other recipe! Somehow, if you go through the challenges I have participated so far, I have been doing majority soups, and here is one more to add to it!   This month, the country that was chosen was Libya. Just like all countries in the Gulf, Libya is rich in its own way as far as history and culture are concerned. However, for the past few years, we have been seeing some disturbing trends as far as the liberation of this beautiful country is concerned. You can read some of the news here. It is testing times in all ways… Innalillahi wainna Ilaihi raajioon (We are from Allah and unto Him we return), we pray that this country unites and finds peace in the best way possible.   From the recipes… 

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Rishta – Lebanese Lentil and Pasta Soup

Ever since I have been hooked onto home made soups, I jump at any given opportunity to make them at home. HD is now becoming a huge fan of my soups! *Blush blush* Hehe… Having said that, the kids really don’t favor that but hopefully, with passage of time, they will be “forced” to accept the situation and eat whatever is kept on the table! Buhaha…   This month, for the MENA Cooking Club, we had Lebanon as the country for the recipe trial. Lebanon is a country that everybody would be familiar with, especially the picturesque pine trees and the snow fall! InShaAllah, would love to visit the lovely country some day… hopefully when HD gets converted to a travel loving person… As usual, we had three choices of starter, stew and dessert. Though I would have loved to go for dessert, I didn’t, just like what I had… 

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Gers Ogaily ~ Kuwaiti Sponge Cake

I have been very excitedly participating in the Middle East North Africa Cooking Club ever since I started off. You can find all my related posts here. This month, the country provided was Kuwait. I have a few family friends staying in that country, and they describe it as a nice and calm place. Our blogger friend Sona is an expatriate in this place. A few weeks back, we were chatting regarding the weather and when I complained it was too cold in the early mornings, she said that the temperature there was 3 degrees! OK, that means we are in much better conditions here!   As usual, we had an awesome list of recipes to try. The Kuwaiti Chicken Biriyani and Fish Stew definitely fought vying for my attention, alas this simple cake called Gers Ogaily won the battle! First of all it is a very easy cake to… 

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