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APPETIZERS

 

 

Abu Shanab's Falafel

 

Ingredients:

3 kilograms Chick Peas

1/4 kilogram Garlic

1/2 kilogram Onion

1/4 kilogram Parsley

4 tablespoons Falafel Spice: (Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander, and Cayenne)

2 tablespoons Carboneh (baking soda)

Salt to taste.

 

Sok the chick Peas in water for at least 8 hours. Grind the Chick Peas, Garlic, Onion and Parsely together, with a small amount of water, adding the falafel spices, carboneh, and salt. Leave set for at least one hour, then deep-fry in hot oil for about three-minutes, or until brown (note: the quantities listed are for restaurant quantities, adjust the ingredients accordingly).

 


Shakshoukeh (Fried tomatoes)

 

Ingredients:

4 red tomatoes

1 sweet green pepper

3 garlic cloves

Olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Steps:
1. Cut the green pepper in long stripes.
2. Cut the garlic cloves int hick slices.
3. Fry the green pepper and garlic in olive oil for 1 minute.
4 Cut the tomatoes in small pieces and add to the pepper and garlic.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6 Fry the mixture on medium heat until it is semi dry. You can cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes and then allow it to dry.
7. Serve with green olives and warm Palestinian.

 

Variations:
You can add two eggs over the mixture and stir with ingredients.


If you like spicy food you can replace the sweet pepper with hot green pepper.


You can also add onions to the pepper and garlic mixture.


Preparations time: 15 minutes.

 

Mafghoussa

 

This recipe is from the southern areas of Palestine. It is ideal for a barbecue but can be done on any other occasion.


Ingredients:

3 red tomatoes

2 Zucchini

1 Onion

1 hot green pepper

3 garlic cloves

Olive oil

Salt to taste

 

Preparation: Cut the Zucchini, hot green pepper, and onion into two pieces each. Place all the vegetables under the Grill (or on the barbecue) until fully grilled. Remove the skin of the tomatoes and mash all the ingredients including the garlic cloves. Add olive oil and salt to taste.

 

Optional: You can add sour yogurt or "Jameed" if you like yogurt based foods. This recipe can also be done using tomatoes only with hot green pepper and garlic.



 

Mutabbal (Eggplant salad)

 

There are a variety of eggplant salads in Palestinian cuisine, but this is one which you will find in every restaurant as part of the traditional "Meza".

 

Ingredients:

2 Large eggplants

2 garlic cloves

2 table spoons of "Tehina"

4 table spoons of lemon juice

1/2 green chili pepper

salt and olive oil to taste

 

Remove the head of the eggplants, and make two horizontal incisions with the knife on each side of the eggplant. Place the eggplants under the grill for 30 minutes, until the skin is almost burnt. In the meantime, mix the two tablespoons of Tehina with the lemon juice until it becomes a smooth light beige uniform paste. Remove the eggplants, and place them on a plate. Bring a deep dish and open up the eggplants. Start removing the inside of the eggplants and placing it in the deep dish. Make sure you don't take any of the skin. The insides of the eggplant will be slightly watery, so mix it with a fork which would at the same time cut it into smaller pieces, almost a paste though not uniform in any way. Add the Tehina paste and mix well with the fork. Crush the garlic cloves with the chili pepper and add to the mixture. Mix well. Add salt and olive oil to taste.

 

Bakdoonsiyyeh (Parsley Salad)

 

Ingredients:

Half a cup of Tahina

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 bunch parsley

water

salt and olive oil to taste

 

Before using the Tahina, shake the jar well. Pour half a cup of Tahina into a small soup bowl and add the lemon juice. Mix well until you get a smooth homogeneous mixture. Add one-two tablespoons of water to the mixture and mix well until it is of a soft texture. Chop the parsley finely (after cleaning it thoroughly and removing the stalks) and add it to the Tahina mixture. Add salt and olive oil to taste. This salad is ideal with fish and meat dishes, but is also tasty on its own with pita bread.

 



 

Pickled Green Olives


October and November are the olive harvest months, and fresh green olives can be found everywhere in Palestine. If you want a taste of the original pickled green olives, follow the following steps:


Ingredients:

Crushed green olives (ready for pickling). If you can- not find crushed olives, buy freshly picked ones and make three parallel vertical slits in each olive (a time- consuming process but worthwhile at the end).

Water

Salt

Lemon and hot green chili peppers to taste

 

1. Soak the green olives in tap water for three days, changing the water every morning. 2. Prepare the pickling solution: one glass water with two tablespoons of salt. 3. On the fourth day, place the olives in the pickling solution and then in a firmly closed jar. 4. After two-three weeks when they are ready for eating, take out a small amount and place it in a plate and add pieces of lemon and hot green chili pepper. Ready to serve.

 


Artichoke Hearts with Coriander

 

Just the thing for spring, this vegetarian dish adds a note of sophistication to a Lenten dinner. The artichoke season in Palestine is short, and coriander, typically a spring herb, has become more readily available throughout the year as a result of recent cultivation under glass.

 

Ingredients:

700 grams of artichoke bottoms

3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tsp salt

tsp fresh ground black pepper

cup fresh coriander leaves, washed and

chopped

3-5 garlic cloves, crushed

cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

The preparation of the artichokes:


Peel off the leaves by going around the bottom with a sharp knife; cut off the upper part and core the center clean. Keep a basin of water laced with lemon juice to immediately soak the artichoke bottoms in so that they keep a fresh color.


Saute the artichoke bottoms in a shallow pan in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the salt and pepper, cover the pan and leave to simmer for ten minutes over a small fire. Add a little bit of water if necessary.


In a separate pan, saute the crushed garlic and finely chopped coriander in two tablespoons of water. Add to the artichokes and cook for another ten minutes or until the artichokes are cooked to your liking. Remove from the stove and add the lemon juice. Serve lukewarm with pita bread.

 

 

Salads

 

The Green leaves of spring in Palestine In February, March, and April you begin to spot on the sidewalks, in small gardens, in the mountains, a variety of green plants popping naturally from the ground. Even though they might look like grass, Palestinians have used them as an integral part of their diet. They are mostly to be found in the Jericho area, and they are free for the picking. You can also buy them at the local grocer's. The most well known plants are Khubbeizeh, Hindbeh, and Hweirneh. Each one is prepared in a different way, but they are all easy to make. Khubbeizeh: Remove half the stalks and cut in small pieces (not too small). Place I table spoon vegetable oil in a small sized pot (according to the amount of Khubbeizeh), and fry one finely chopped onion. As the onion turns golden, place the Khubbeizeh inside the pot and stir with the onion on medium heat. Add salt and cover the pot. Stir occasionally. Leave to fry 10 minutes. Serve with tomatoes and red-hot chili. Hindbeh salad: Remove half the stalks and cut in very small pieces. Cover in water and leave aside for 2 - 4 hours (this process ensures that any bitterness is removed from the leaves). Drain the water. Cut one onion in small pieces and add to the Hindbeh. Add salt, lemon, and olive oil to taste. Hindbeh can also be fried in vegetable oil for 5 minutes and served with golden fried onions. Hwerneh salad: Remove the stalks and cut the leaves finely. Add 250 grams of yogurt (or according to taste). Add salt to taste. Refrigerate. This salad tastes better with time, so it should have an improved taste the second or third day.

 

 

Fattoush

 

A popular Palestinian salad prepared a lot during the fasting month, Ramadan. It is a very fresh spring salad that combines many nutritious ingredients.

 

Ingredients (for 4 persons):

2 tomatoes

2 cucumbers

2 spring onions

Lettuce

1 Radish

Parsley

Green mint

1 loaf of pita bread

Dressing: Lemon, salt, and olive oil

 

Preparation:


Cut the vegetables into small - medium size pieces. The lettuce, parsley and green mint should be cut in small pieces. Cut the pita bread into squares of 1 square cm each and either fry them until golden brown or roast them under the grill. Add the bread to the vegetable mixture. Add lemon, salt, and olive oil to taste.

 


"Mish" salad (A yogurt based salad)


A salad only known in Palestinian rural areas, it is a very refreshing (though a little bit hot) salad. It can add excellent taste to almost any meal from barbecued meat to rice dishes. It can also be eaten on its own for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Its name means "sour" in rural colloquial, and it is a good way of making use of soured yogurt.


Ingredients:

500 gms. Of yogurt

(preferably sour regular Palestinian yogurt)

One hot green pepper

One lemon

One Tomatoe

Salt and olive

oil to taste

 

Preparation:

 

Cut the hot green pepper, tomatoes, and the lemon into small-medium size pieces and add them to the yogurt. Add salt and olive oil to taste. The salad tastes better if left overnight in the fridge. The longer you leave it, the better the taste. You can always add more pepper, lemon, or tomatoes, or all three when you've eaten them all and a quantity of yogurt still remains. P.s. In time, you will develop a more accurate measure of the amount of ingredients which suit your taste buds.

 

Arabic or "Fallahi" salad


A regular salad made to a special recipe used in the villages. This is why it is called "Fallahi" salad (or peasant's salad). It is sometimes called Arabic salad in comparison with "Ifranji" or foreign salad. The main difference is in the size of the vegetable pieces.


Ingredients:

2 red tomatoes 2 spring onions green hot chili pepper salt, lemon and olive oil mint (fresh or dried) for garnish

 

Cut the tomatoes, spring onions and hot chili pepper in very small pieces (as minuscule as you can get). Add salt, lemon, and olive oil to taste. This salad should have a very strong flavor, so generally one would add more lemon and olive oil than the usual salad. A regular small onion can replace the spring onions if they are not in season. Garnish with green or dried mint.

 


Jarjeer Salad

 

Jarjeer is one of the most popular greens in Palestine, abundant in the winter time. It has a strong taste and can be used with any salad. However, the best way to savor its taste is through the following recipe.

 

Ingredients:

Jarjeer (a bunch)

Onion (spring or regular onions)

Salt

lemon juice

And olive oil to taste

 

Clean the Jarjeer thoroughly under running water. Cut it in large pieces (each stalk can be cut in three). Cut the onion into rings. Place the onion rings on top of the Jarjeer. Add salt, lemon, and olive oil to taste.


Garnish with pieces of lemon.