It’s been almost a year since I posted a recipe on this blog, during which I got engaged, then married – much sooner than was initially planned! -, and moved to Turkey to pursue a masters degree in Turkish Studies. It’s been a hectic but rewarding chapter of my life, and I’ve really missed posting new recipes throughout.
I finally decided to make the commitment to try and update the blog regularly again, even if the interval between posts is longer than I would like. I’ve received comments and feedback from family, friends, and readers, who have both asked for more recipes, and have given me useful suggestions on how to improve my posts!
To start off, I’m sharing a very simple recipe for mtabbal (sometimes spelled mutabbal), a creamy roasted eggplant dip that makes a great appetizer or a side to grilled meat dishes. A lot of non-Arabic speakers might be familiar with the term Baba ghannouj, which is basically very similar. I hope you enjoy it!
Poke a few holes with a fork into two whole eggplants and roast in oven until the skins start to blacken. Peel them, discard skins, then mash up the insides in a bowl.
Add a spoonful of crushed garlic, some chopped parsley, three spoonfuls of tahini paste, the juice of two lemons, a bit of cold water, olive oil, and salt to taste. Mix well until all incorporated. Mix in some diced tomatoes if desired.
(If you don’t want to turn on your oven, you can roast the eggplants over a gas stove by placing the eggplant directly on the burner, and turning it every few minutes until cooked through.)
A new post is long overdue. After the very labor-intensive stuffing recipes, I think it would be appropriate to add some quick and easy recipes that you can make any time of the day, in less than half an hour.
Shakshooka is a very simple and hearty egg dish that is made in different variations all over the Middle East. It is usually eaten as a breakfast food, but people make it for lunch and dinner too! The following recipe is the way my Taita makes Shakshooka. You should definitely try it out for a super quick and very satisfying meal.
3 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
1/2 a large onion, finely chopped
1/2 a chili pepper, chopped
1 large green pepper, diced
3-4 large tomatoes, diced
Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan. Add the onions and chopped chili peppers, and sautee until soft.
Add the tomatoes and green peppers, and sautee for a couple of minutes.
Cover and let cook on medium heat until the vegetables soften to desired texture.
When softened, dig out little holes in the vegetables with your spatula, then crack each egg into a hole. Add salt&pepper to taste, then cover again until the eggs cook.
When the eggs are cooked how you like them, you’re done!
Serve hot with fresh pita bread or toast, or fried potatoes. Perfect for a late lunch on a cold winter evening.