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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Spices, Ingredients, Techniques...NA*ME Cooking!
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    Spices, Ingredients, Techniques...NA*ME Cooking!

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    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:45 pm
    Forum Host
    Welcome everybody to the North African/Middle East Forum!
    I wanted to assemble a tutorial of ingredients, spices, techniques used in regional cooking. Some items here are common to many; some are new to me! My goal is to 'demystify' the foods of this area so more people will feel comfortable searching out ingredients & trying more recipes.

    The recipes noted were found by searching the item then sifting North African and Middle Eastern. I then sorted by pictures so I could use them if available. I then sorted by rating & most of the recipes I chose are unrated. There are soooo many fabulous recipes at Recipezaar...I chose to highlight the ones yet to be found as much as possible.

    Most of the information provided was googled as were many of the pictures.

    I must give a huge THANK YOU to Um Safia for supplying several 'articles' and offering ideas & support. She was an enormous help.

    Another huge THANK YOU also to Toni Gifford for sending along some photos from her trip to Morocco this past spring and for making me a banner!!!

    Thank you, also, to Susie D for giving me this opportunity. icon_biggrin.gif

    I've sorted the blurbs into categories, sort of:

    Spices++ from A - Z: advieh, chermoula, cumin, cinnamon, coriander (seeds & fresh aka cilantro), parsley, baharat, dukkah, harissa, la kama, zhoug, ras el hanout, sumac, za'atar.

    fruits, etc: khorchef, mazhar, preserved lemons, dried fruit, pomegranates.

    grains: lentils, couscous, garanzos, bulgur, fava beans.

    special dishes/techniques: tagines, kebabs, koresht, polow, tah dig.

    I hope you all enjoy & learn a little something then come back & cook up a NA*ME feast!

    Happy cooking! [/img]

    **originally developed for 9/07 TOTM**


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Fri May 31, 2013 7:16 pm, edited 3 times in total
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:46 pm
    Forum Host
    Advieh ~ Advieh or adwiya (Persian) is a spice mixture used in Iranian cuisine. It is used in rice dishes, as well as in chicken and bean dishes. Although its specific composition varies from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea, common ingredients include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, rose petals or rose buds, cumin, and ginger. It may also include ground angelica, saffron, nutmeg, black pepper, mace, coriander, or sesame.

    There are two basic varieties of advieh:

    Advieh-e polo - used in rice dishes (usually sprinkled over rice after the rice has been cooked)
    Advieh-e khoresh - used in stews or as a rub for grilled or roasted meats
    Advieh used for stews often contains saffron, sesame, cinnamon, rose buds, coriander, cardamom, and other spices.

    Advieh

    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:47 pm
    Forum Host
    Cumin, Cinnamon, Coriander - fresh and seeds, & Parsley are some of the more 'common' seasonings in North African/Middle Eastern cooking.

    Cumin:
    Cumin is native to the Levant and Upper Egypt. It now grows in most hot countries, especially India, North Africa, China and the Americas. Cumin is used mainly where highly spiced foods are preferred. It features in Indian, Eastern, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cookery. It is an ingredient of most curry powders and many savoury spice mixtures, and is used in stews, grills - especially lamb - and chicken dishes. It gives bite to plain rice, and to beans and cakes. Small amounts can be usefully used in aubergine and kidney bean dishes. In the Middle East, it is a familiar spice for fish dishes, grills and stews and flavours couscous - semolina steamed over meat and vegetables, the national dish of Morocco. The bouquet is strong, heavy and warm. A spicy-sweet aroma. The flavour is pungent, powerful, sharp and slightly bitter.

    Lentils With Spinach and Yoghurt
    Fava Bean Soup
    Middle Eastern Slow-Cooked Stew With Lamb, Chickpeas, and Figs
    Arabic Seven Spice (Bokharat)
    Moroccan Carrot Salad


    Cinnamon:
    In ancient Egypt cinnamon was used medicinally and as a flavouing for beverages, It was also used in embalming, where body cavities were filled with spiced preservatives. In the ancient world cinnamon was more precious than gold. Cinnamon's bouquet is sweet and fragrant and it's flavour is warm and aromatic. It is commonly used in cakes and other baked goods, milk and rice puddings, chocolate dishes and fruit desserts, particularly apples and pears. It is common in many Middle Eastern and North African dishes, in flavouring lamb tagines or stuffed aubergines.

    Esther’s Moroccan Chicken Tagine
    Persian Noodle Soup With Meatballs (Ashe Reshte)
    Sanbusa Turnovers

    Coriander - seeds:
    The use of the word coriander in food preparation always refers to these seeds (as a spice), rather than to the plant itself. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed.

    Moroccan Lentil Salad (Healthy)
    Fooll Mudammes (Fava Bean Egyptian Breakfast)

    Coriander - fresh:
    All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most commonly used in cooking. Coriander is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, South Asian, Latin American, Chinese, African and Southeast Asian cuisine. The leaves are referred to as coriander leaves, cilantro (in the United States, from the Spanish name for the plant), dhania (in the Indian subcontinent, and increasingly in Britain). The leaves, and especially the stems, have a very different taste from the seeds. As heat diminishes their flavour quickly, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish right before serving. (Though in some Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in huge amounts and cooked till they dissolve into sauce and their flavour mellows.
    Couscous with Currants and Cumin
    Bulgur, Red Pepper, Cucumber and Cheese Salad

    Parsley & cilantro(fresh coriander) look similar but have very different flavors/aromas.
    parsley leaves coriander leaves


    parsley: It's not just a garnish!!
    The delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of parsley are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Highly nutritious, parsley can be found year round in your local supermarket.

    Parsley is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (parsley is a relative to celery). It is a biennial plant that will return to the garden year after year once it is established.

    Parsley is a bright green, biennial herb, also used as spice. It is very common in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor. Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian, or flat leaf.

    No-Grain Tabbouli
    Parsley and Onion Salad
    Parsley and Sumac Salad
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:48 pm
    Forum Host
    Baharat -

    Baharat means "spice" in Arabic, derived from the word bahar, which means pepper, so it is a mixed spice with black pepper. It is an all-purpose spice mix used in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine and found in many prepared savory dishes.

    Baharat can be bought at Middle Eastern groceries and markets but it is also quite easy to make fresh for yourself and keep it stored in a spice jar. There are many different variations, all based on the basic ingredients of black pepper and allspice. Some mixes might include paprika, coriander seeds, cassia bark, sumac, nutmeg, cumin seed, or cardamon seed.

    Baharat Spice Blend

    Machbous - Spiced Lamb With Rice
    Kofta Bi Tahini (kofta With Tahini)
    Fassuliyyeh Baidah (white Bean Soup)

    Dukkah -


    Dukka, also spelled dukkah or duqqah, is an efficient, spicy blend from Egypt which combines nuts with pepper, cumin and thyme. The mixture may either be used as a seasoning for mutton stews or, mixed with olive oil, as a spread for Egyptian white bread.

    Dukka Dip
    Hummus With Dukka

    Harissa -
    .......

    Harissa is an Algerian, Libyan and Tunisian hot red sauce or paste made from chili peppers (often smoked) and garlic, often with coriander, cumin, and/or olive oil. It may also contain tomatoes. It somewhat resembles sambal and chili sauce. Harissa is used both as a condiment and as an ingredient.

    Harissa Paste
    Harissa Chicken
    Moroccan Pumpkin and Harissa Stew

    La Kama - La Kama is a Moroccan spice mixture. It is altogether simpler than the complex ras el hanout and features a modest five spices. Use it to flavour soups and stews or as a rub with chicken or lamb.
    .....................

    Zhoug (or zhug) ~ The well-known spice paste and relish from Yemen is prepared from both coriander leaves and fruits; furthermore, it contains fresh green chiles, garlic, cardamom, black pepper and olive oil.


    Zhoug
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:50 pm
    Forum Host
    ras el hanout : Literally "top of the shop," ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that can contain more than 30 ingredients. For the Moroccan souks (spice merchants) it is a point of honour to have the most sought after version of this blend.
    A good ras el hanout is one of the finest examples of how well a diverse variety of spices can meld to create an ingredient that is greater than its individual components. Ras el hanout is somewhat curry-like with a spicy kick, a floral fragrance and subtle nuances within an overall robust flavor.
    ............................................
    It is extremely versatile, adding a golden colour and an aromatic and enticing flavor to chicken and vegetable tagines. Add a half teaspoon to a cup of rice or cous cous while cooking to transend the ordinary. Ras El Hanout #1 is one example of several ras el hanout recipes at Recipezaar and there are many recipes using this delicious spice blend.
    ......


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:51 pm
    Forum Host
    sumac: Used in Middle Eastern cuisine as a spice with a sour taste, particularly with salads such as Palestinian Fattoush. It is a very popular condiment in Turkey and Iran, where the ground fruits are liberally sprinkled over rice. Mixed with freshly cut onions, it is frequently eaten as an appetizer: Onion Salad - Salatat Baqduness Wa Bassal or Parsley and Onion Salad. The well-known Turkish fast food specialty döner kebap is sometimes flavoured with sumac powder.


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:52 pm
    Forum Host


    Palestinians consider za'atar as one of their staple foods. In Israel, za'atar is frequently sprinkled on hummus (Very Yummus Hummus or Mazza's Hummus, for example). Za'atar can also be spread on a dough base for the Middle-Eastern equivalent of a miniature pizza, also known as the manakish: ........
    It can be sprinkled on Yogurt Cheese (Labneh) (yogurt that has been drained until it becomes a tangy, creamy cheese): .......


    Last edited by Elmotoo on Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:53 pm
    Forum Host
    Khorchef: AKA cardon/cardoon, Wild Artichoke or spanish Artichoke. A vegetable used in North African cooking. Khorchef is mostly grown in North Africa although it is also found in many Mediteranian countries. Although Khorchef looks similar to Celery once trimmed, it's stalks are longer and thicker. Khorchef has a very strong and distictive taste which is quite bitter. It also has a failry pungent smell and is mainly used is Margas (sauce/stew) for Cous Cous. Before cooking the tougher stalks of Khorchef, it must be prepared by stripping the layer of tough stringy fibres on each stalk and then boiling a couple of times for at least 10 minutes each time. Khorchef has many health benefits; it is very rich in minerals, potassium, calcium and dietary fibre it also has just 13 calories per 100g!
    .......................................... .........

    Lamb and Cardoon Tagine With Preserved Lemons (Fatna Kotni)
    L'ham Bil Khorchef - Lamb and Wild Artichoke (North African)

    Mazhar: AKA Orange (flower) blossom water. Mazhar is used in many North African and Middle Eastern recipes - both sweet and savoury. It is a very strong flavoured, slightly bitter liquid and is used in similar wasy to rose water (aka 'Ma al Ward' or Ma Ward') - a little goes a long way! Mazhar is used in 90% of Algerian 'helouwa' (pastries, cakes etc) including the famous Baklawa. It is also used in savoury dishes such as L'ham Lahlou (sweet meat). To turn a regular fruit salad into something a little special just add a few drops of Mazhar. Many Arabs also like to have a drop in their black coffee in the afternoon!

    Algerian Harrissa - Not a Chilli Sauce but a Sweet! ..
    L'ham Lahlou - Algerian / North African Sweet Lamb Dish.

    Chermoula: This is a traditional marinade/rub/sauce found in North African cuisine - mainly Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian. Chermoula consists of 4 'magic' ingredients: garlic, cumin seeds, olive oil and salt. Other ingredients are added depending on what the chermoula is to be used for. Chermoula is most commonly used with fish but is very nice with other meats. In Algeria a chermoula dish made with liver (Kebda M'chermoula) is very popular. There are literally hundreds of variations of the chermoula recipe but here's a basic one:

    1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
    1 tbsp fresh coriander
    3 cloves garlic
    3 tsps fresh ground cumin seeds
    2 tsp paprika
    1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt

    Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until it forms a paste.

    Moroccan Chermoula
    Roasted Leg of Lamb with Chermoula
    North African (Algerian) Kebda M'chermoula - Liver!
    ........... ..... ..... .....

    Preserved Lemons: Typically Moroccan but used in other North African and Middle Eastern recipes. Preserved lemons are quite simple to prepare and add an authentic taste to many dishes, especially Moroccan. There are various methods for preserving lemons but they are all based on 3 key ingredients: fresh unwaxed lemons, rock salt/coarse sea salt/kosher salt, lemon juice. You can also add peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and coriander seeds. Some recipes call for the lemons to remain whole but cut partially - others to be chopped up - the result is basically the same. To use, rinse well under fresh running water and finely chop (usually at least half the flesh if not all, is discarded). You can make these lemons at home easily or buy from a specialist store - they also make great gifts!

    Preserved Fresh Lemons .... .... Quick Preserved Lemons

    This segment specially prepared by Um Safia
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:54 pm
    Forum Host
    dried fruit:
    photo courtesy of justcallmetoni taken on her recent trip to Morocco ~ thank you, Toni!

    The history of dried fruit is as old as civilization, with reference found even in ancient Egyptian writing. Spurred by the need to preserve the harvest and to provide fruit throughout the year, the practice spread to all the ancient empires, through medieval times and to the western hemisphere via the Spanish Missions. Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. It is believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and has been cultivated in ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 6000 BC. There is archeological evidence of cultivation in eastern Arabia in 4,000 BC.

    Fruity Beef Tagine for the Tagine!
    Middle Eastern Slow-Cooked Stew With Lamb, Chickpeas, and Figs
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:54 pm
    Forum Host
    pomegranates ~ The pomegranate is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India. It is widely cultivated throughout India and the drier parts of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa.

    Though the ancients used pomegranate skin and bark for medicinal purposes, only the seeds are edible.Fresh pomegranate is available from September until January. When refrigerated in a plastic bag, pomegranates will keep for up to 2 months. The seeds are a brilliantly colorful addition when tossed on a salad.

    A syrup made from the pomegranate is widely used in the Middle East. Variously named pomegranate molasses, concentrated pomegranate juice, or pomegranate essence, the syrupy extract of pomegranate is tart and piquant, brightening many dishes. It is available in Middle Eastern markets, gourmet food stores, and some health-food stores.

    After opening the pomegranate by scoring it with a knife and breaking it open, the arils (seed casings) are separated from the skin (peel) and internal white supporting structures (pith and carpellary membrane). Separating the red arils can be simplified by performing this task in a bowl of water, whereby the arils will sink and the white structures will float to the top. The entire seed is consumed raw, though the fleshy outer portion of the seed is the part that is desired. The taste differs depending on the variety of pomegranate and its state of ripeness. It can be very sweet or it can be very sour or tangy, but most fruits lie somewhere in between, which is the characteristic taste, laced with notes of its tannin.
    ............ .........

    Pomegranate juice is a popular drink in the Middle East, and is also used in Iranian and Indian cuisine; it began to be widely marketed in the United States in 2002 [13]. Pomegranate concentrate is used in Syrian cuisine. Grenadine syrup is thickened and sweetened pomegranate juice; it is used in cocktail mixing. Before the tomato arrived in the Middle East, grenadine was widely used in many Persian foods; it can still be found in traditional recipes such as fesenjan (a thick sauce made from pomegranate juice and ground walnuts, usually spooned over duck or other poultry and rice) and ash-e anar (pomegranate soup) [14].

    Wild pomegranate seeds are sometimes used as a spice, known as anardana (which literally means pomegranate (anar) seeds (dana) in Persian), most notably in Indian and Pakistani cuisine but also as a replacement for pomegranate syrup in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisine. As a result of this, the dried whole seeds can often be obtained in ethnic markets. The seeds may also be ground in order to avoid seeds becoming stuck in the teeth when eating dishes prepared with them.

    Roasted Pomegranate Chicken
    Buttered Couscous With Pomegranate and Almonds
    Jewelled Persian Rice
    rack of lamb with pomegranate sauce
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:55 pm
    Forum Host
    lentils: With 26% protein, lentil is the vegetable with the highest level of protein other than soybeans, and because of this it is a very important part of the diet in many parts of the world.

    A variety of lentils exist with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black.


    Lentils have a short cooking time (especially for small varieties with the husk removed, such as the common red lentil) and a distinctive earthy flavor. Lentils are used to prepare inexpensive and nutritious soups such as Moroccan Lentil & Vegetable Soup & Shurit Ads (Lentil & Garlic Soup), They are frequently combined with rice: Megadarra, Esau's Dish, or Lentils With Rice.
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:57 pm
    Forum Host
    couscous: Couscous refers to both the grain and the resulting dish. It is a food from Maghreb of Berber origin. Couscous consists of spherical granules which are made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat and then coating them with finely ground wheat flour. The finished grains are about 1 mm in diameter (after cooking). Traditional couscous requires considerable preparation time and is usually steamed: in a special pot (a couscous steamer/cousousier), usually earthen, which has two components: a bottom-perforated deep pan, which contains the grain, and a globular pot over which stands the pan which contains water or a boiling stew whose steam cooks the granules.
    ...................................................
    Couscous is moistened with water and oil before cooking and then it is placed in the pan. Every ten or fifteen minutes the couscous is taken out of the pan to add oil or butter and to work it by hand to avoid the formation of curds. Couscous is ready when the granules are cooked, separated, soft, and moist.
    In many places, a more processed quick-cook couscous is available and is particularly valued for its short preparation time.
    .......................................................
    Couscous is traditionally served under a meat or vegetable stew. It is used in many dishes in much the same way as if it was rice. It can also be eaten alone flavoured or plain, warm or cold, as a dessert or a side dish.

    There are hundred of recipes here at Zaar using couscous. Here are just a few...

    Couscous for Breakfast!
    Chicken and Couscous Soup
    Herbed Couscous
    Couscous Summer Salad
    Vegetable Tagine With Couscous.
    Moroccan Vegetable Couscous With Lamb Shanks
    Kenza's Chicken Couscous from Marakech
    Olive Oil and Couscous Cake With Cream and Date Syup
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:58 pm
    Forum Host
    garbanzos ~


    Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas) have a delicious nutlike taste and buttery texture. They provide a good source of protein that can be enjoyed year-round and are available either dried or canned.

    A very versatile legume, they are a noted ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes such as hummus, falafels and curries. While many people think of garbanzos as being beige in color, there are varieties that feature black, green, red and brown beans.

    Falafel, Marinated Chickpea and Artichoke Salad with Feta
    Carol's Hummous
    Quick Chickpea Tagine
    Chick Pea Salad in Vinaigrette
    Spicy Moroccan Chicken
    North African Chickpeas


    bulgur : Confusion reigns in the western world about bulghur (bulgar), often mislabeled as cracked wheat. Even reputable suppliers, cookbooks and web sources interchange the two terms. A trip to a Middle Eastern food shop will educate you about the differences. Both are wheat. But what is the difference?
    Also known as burghul, bulger, bulgar, wheat groats (Arabic, Armenian, Turkish, British) bulghur is known by other iterations such as bourgouri or balgour. Kernels of whole wheat are steamed, dried and then crushed to make bulghur. The process involved to make bulghur is what gives it a fine, nutty flavour. It requires no or little cooking. Though modern processes involve oven drying or roasting some villages still sun dry bulghur on their rooftops.
    Bulghur resists mold and insects giving it an exceptionally long storage life. Unfortunately, both cracked wheat and burghul are often called the same. A trip to a Middle Eastern food shop will educate you as to the differences. (Note: you may find fireek, which is the green kernel often found in Egyptian cooking and requires a long cooking time.)

    In general, fine grade bulghur is used in recipes requiring a short soaking time in broth or water such as salads and tabooli. Medium grade is used with such dishes as the Lebanese Kibbeh and baked or cooked meat dishes, though some cooks prefer the course grade. The course grade tolerates a longer cooking time without turning soggy and so is ideal for baked casseroles.

    Both bulghur and cracked wheat are excellent sources of fibre, minerals and vitamins for your diet.

    What is the difference between bulghur and cracked wheat? It is a matter of splitting hairs, or rather the wheat berry in one or the partially hulled wheat grain in the other and whether the cracking took place in a raw stage (cracked wheat) or after cooking then drying (bulghur).

    Tabbouleh
    Turkey Kibbeh
    Lamb Meatballs - Persian Style
    Bulgur, Red Pepper, Cucumber and Cheese Salad

    ....... ........ .......... .......

    fava beans ~ Favas — also known as Windsor beans, English beans, horse beans and pigeon beans — have long been diet staples in Asia, the Middle East, South America, North Africa and Europe.

    Preparing them is a labor-intensive process. First, you string and shuck the beans, then parboil them before removing from a waxy coating.

    Unshelled, fresh favas look like giant, bumpy string beans. They are 5 to 7 inches long and lined with padding that looks like cotton batting. You don't want the beans to be bulging out of the pod — which means they are probably old.

    The beans have a buttery texture, slight bitterness and lovely, nutty flavor. And after a long, dark winter, their fresh green color pushes you right into spring.

    Fava beans can be served simply boiled, mashed and spread on crostini, or added to spring stews and soups. They are often paired with artichokes or other spring vegetables such as peas and morels. I once made a fabulous osso buco with fresh fava beans.

    And, favas are nutrition superheroes. They are high in fiber and iron, and low in sodium and fat. They have no cholesterol but so much protein, they are called the meat of the poor.

    Fava Bean Soup
    Ful Medames - Egyptian Fava Beans
    Falafel
    Stewed Fava Beans a Family Recipe
    Egyptian Falafel - Pita Pocket Filler

    ............................. .......................
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:58 pm
    Forum Host


    Tagine:

    " Tagines are the clay cooking pots found in North Africa - particularly Morroco and are of Berber origin. Tagine is the name of the pot and also the meal that you cook in one. Tagines can be used on the stove top or in the oven. A tagine is made from clay and comprises of 2 parts - a fairly shallow dish (also used for serving) and a conical or dome shaped lid which sids inside the lip of the bottom dish. A tagine can be plain, glazed or intricately decorated. It is traditional to oil your new tagine very well after soaking in water. Olive oil is usually used though a special kind of fat is also used in Algeria.

    The key to a good tagine is; low heat, long cooking time. This is why many tagine recipes are also suitable for the slow cooker or even the casserole!

    The way is tagine works is simple - the steam formed during cooking helps tenderise the meat and the steam then condensates and trickes down the inside of the lid back into the dish to keep the food moist. This process allows the flavours of all the ingredients to merge in a way unlike any other cooking method. The result is a meal which is succulent and bursting with flavour.

    Ingredients typically found in tagines; lamb, beef, chicken, pigeon, goat, dates, prunes, apricots, lemon, tomato, chick peas, carrot, olives etc and of course the spices, ras el hanout, cumin, cinnamon, garlic and ginger.

    Due to handmade nature of tagines, sometimes the lids do not fit flush with the bases - try making a simple thick flour paste (flour and water) and seal the edges to keep in the moisture!

    The difference between Morrocan and Algerian tagines?... Algerian tagines are almost all dome shaped as opposed to the Morrocan standard conical shape. Algerians tend to be more decorative - not used too much for cooking except withing Berber families where they're used on open fires - regular families use them in the oven mostly like a casserole. However, with the two countries sharing a border there are a lot of Algerians using the more Morrocan tagines in the more traditional manner!

    Preserved Lemon Chicken Tagine for the Tagine!

    This article provided courtesy of Um Safia - thank you!!


    photos courtesy of justcallmetoni taken on her recent trip to Morocco ~ thank you!!
    Elmotoo
    Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:59 pm
    Forum Host
    Kebab - Also known as kebap, kabob etc. Known throughout the world but hailing from the Middle East and Turkey, kebabs come in many forms. Kebab is a word of Arabic or Persian origin and traditionally refereed to 'fried meat'! These days we are all familiar with Shish Kebabs, Doner Kebabs and Kefta Kebabs - all of shich have actually been around for hundreds of years.

    Kebab in it's true form is ground meat mixed with herbs and spices which is then cooked on a skewer over a grill. The herbs and spices differ slightly from country to country but the basic recipe is the same:

    1Lb lean meat - lamb or beef, ground
    3 green onions, minced
    1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
    salt and black pepper to taste.

    Mix all ingredients together and pass through mincer a few times or pulse in food processor until you have a smooth 'paste'. With WET hands, roll the paste until it is size and shape of an egg. Pass a flat metal skewer through the centre and carfully flatten the mixture to resemble a long fat cigar shape. Cook over a grill or BBQ, turning well.

    To the basic recipe you can add fresh chillies and other ingredients...

    Turkey - 1/3 cup cooked rice, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and allspice.

    Kuwait- 1 beaten egg, 2 cloves minced garlic & 1/2 tsp thyme.

    Palestine - 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and allspice, pinch of dried sage.

    Syria - 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and allspice, pinch of sumac.

    Egypt - 2 tbsp rice flour, 1 tsp cumin.

    North African countries - 1+ tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried mint (optional fresh chillies minced).

    Shish Kebabs are cubes of meat skewered with vegetables or fruit in between, cooked over a grill or BBQ.

    This segment specially prepared by Um Safia

    ..... ..... ..... ..... ......... ....... ...... .......

    Moroccan Lamb Kebabs
    Iranian Shish Kebabs
    Spicy Minced Beef Kebabs With Hot Chickpea Puree
    Moroccan Kefta Kebabs
    Turkish Lamb, Fig, and Mint Kebabs
    Persian Kebabs
    Lamb and Pistachio Kebabs With Garlic and Olive Sauce
    Moroccan Tuna Kebabs With Couscous
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