How to make a Middle Eastern Okra Stew

Cooking Middle Eastern food, can get confusing. Every home makes Middle Eastern food differently. There is not like a one recipe used by everyone. But instead, the same dish everyone knows is made differently from one household to another.

Today, I am sharing the dish that I have made for the very first time yesterday. It is a very popular dish amongst the Arabs, the Arabs from the Levant; Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. Bamieh. I would love to hear feedback from your side if you do make Bamieh. Where are you from? How different do you make your Bamieh from the recipe I will be sharing below?

Bamieh is the Arabic word for Okra, and once we say Okra, we all know what dish we are talking about. Cooked with beef mostly, some tend to prefer it vegetarian like myself. But the recipe I am sharing with you is by my mother.

bamieh, okra, tomato, stew

My mother is an amazing cook. Honestly, not because she is my mother, but she is so good. The only difficulty I face with her when I collect her recipes, is how bad she is in sharing ingredients, because like most Arab mothers, they only work with sight  and sense. They do not follow specific steps, they rather cook their dishes naturally.

The Bamieh I made yesterday, I must admit, turned out a little dull. Tasteless in comparison to how my mother makes it. And it is because I did not follow her steps. I wanted to cook it vegetarian, so I did not have any stock, and when I was advised to used ready cubes, I hesitated and used half a cube.  So I turned out having an Okra stew that required a lot of salt and pepper.

Okraintomatoes

However, in this recipe shared today, I will be adding beef stock, and if you prefer to go vegetarian like me, then I do recommend you do add fresh tomatoes, and cube stoke.  Some people garnish their dish with coriander cooked in garlic, others use basil like my mother.

Some people saute onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes withe Okra before adding boiled water. This can also be a better option for those who prefer their Okra vegetarian, and here is a quick how to do it:

In a sauce pan, add olive oil, onions and saute, then add garlic and Okra and saute some more, add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and spices (salt, pepper, mixed pepper, dried coriander) and saute, then add your beef stock, chicken stock or veggies stock, and leave to boil).

However, if you do follow the steps below, your Bamieh should turn out delicious. Remember, it is all about your tomato sauce that you need creativity it. Okra tastes fantastic if you love it, since many people I know hate it. I feel like with Okra, it is a love hate relationship, and nothing in between. I personally love how it melts in my mouth when I do have it. So all you need is the right steps for a good tomato sauce.

Bamieh

Here is my Mother’s own classic recipe:

via Bamieh – طبيخ بامية

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Ramadan’s Favorite Sambosek Recipe

So if you do fast Ramadan, Sambosek is essential on the Iftar table for some reason.

The Middle Eastern or Levantine version of the Sambosek is a little different than the Asian one.

We usually have two types:

Minced Beef or Cheese

Sambosek-Ramadan2018

Now to each home a unique recipe is put together to form the Sambosek to individual taste.

In my house, with my family we never actually made Sambosek, my mother was not a big fan of frying. However, today, many people are substituting frying with oven baking, and this is how I cooked my Sambosek which can be both fried and oven baked.

So this year, I decided to take the recipe from those who make it, my mother in law, and my uncle’s wife.

The minced beef is usually mixed with onions and roasted pine nuts, whereas the cheese can be used as desired, some people use one kind of cheese, and anything really should work, I on the other hand, got my hands on an amazing recipe, which I will be sharing below.

Sambosek-Side-Dish

So, there you go, I will now share the recipes to both Sambosek, and please let us know how they turn out.

Tip: Always have your Sambosak dough covered in ziplock or fabric while preparing, to keep it from drying, which will make it easily break after.

For full recipe click Sambosek

Cinnamon Roll Cake Recipe

Honestly, this is probably the easiest and fastest cake I have ever baked.

Now the trick is, they do use a ready cake mix, which I kind of dislike, as I usually prefer making my cakes from scratch, but sometimes, you are just in a hurry and want to get just not any cake, but home baked cake. This can be it.

However, I do plan to try it out again by substituting the cake mix with the ingredients of the cake mix and see the turn out, I sure will update you all on that.

Meanwhile, and since this cake was very popular on my instagram and I received the most ever messages in my inbox with people asking me for the recipe, I no longer wanted to delay sharing it anymore. And since Ramadan is tomorrow, this actually can be (for people who fast) the best quick fix if you really get the sugar cravings after iftar.

I first tried this cake at my cousins house, and I loved it, asked her for her recipe, and she gave me the recipe of Cookies and Cups with her amendments which I have used and included below. I must assure you, this cake will become your next obsession.

So what my cousin changed in the recipe, is she substituted the icing to hot milk instead. And to be frank, the cake without the icing (that contains 2 more cups of sugar) is already very sweet, and the substation of the milk instead, gave the cake a moist to die for.

So here goes the recipe,

Please let me know once you do try it, I always love to hear comments.

Original recipe found on Cookies and Cups 

The following has my cousin’s adjustments and some of my substituted options to some ingredients

Ingredients

1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix (I could not find Yellow cake mix in my neighborhood shop, so I used the Vanilla which was fine)

4 Eggs

3/4 Vegetable Oil (you can use coconut oil instead, I tried both and they worked fine)

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 cup of Sour Cream

1 cup of Brown sugar (I used half a cup the second time, as 1 cup was too sweet)

1 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon

For the Icing: 

1 Cup of Milk (you can use low or full fat and you can also use up 2 cups)

3 Spoons of powdered sugar (feel free to use less or even none)

For the full Recipe click Cinnamon Roll Cake

New Recipe on my Blog – Kofta Bil Wara’

I can not believe I am back in here, I mean on my food blog.

I have been away for too long now, few years. Got caught up with life.

But and nonetheless, we can never get caught up from food.

So I have been stacking up, big chunks.

And this recipe, I have only tried to do a few days ago, and I did not do a proper photo shoot but instead just used my iphone casually, but I do plan to update my blog post with new proper photos soon.

However, I did promise myself, and friends of mine to start posting as soon and as quick as possible, even if my photographs are not top notch.

Ramadan is also around the corner from today, so we need those recipes coming to help us cook easy and good food for ourselves, family and friends.

I found this recipe on instagram @whenapricotsbloom, she has a step by step video posted on her profile. Loved it, did the very same on my instagram story, since I have always been wanting to try it but could not get my hands on a recipe and my mother never makes it at home. I am also a fan of Sarah’s feed (from when apricots bloom) which is focused on Levantine food, with a great easy to follow methods. I sure plan to try more recipes from her feed and website.

Vine Leaves

This dish comes from Jerusalem, Al-Quds (the arabic word for Jerusalem). It is made of mainly Wara’ which stands for Vine Leaves or Grape Leaves, and is filled with Kofta. It is easy to make and is very delicious.

I followed Sarah’s steps as found on her profile @whenapricotsbloom, however, I did look up other recipes and did minor changes which I will point out below.

Some people add a dressing to the cooking dish before cooking the kofta bil waraa, which consists of olive oil and pomegranate molasses. I plan to try the dressing next time I cook it and keep you guys posted. My turn out without the dressing was great, only my Kofta was a little dry, and so I suppose it is the kind of meat I probably used, which is minced beef, while some use minced lamb for more fat. Online I read some people mix both, which could give the Kofta more juice. My mother (who most of the recipes on my blog belong to) suggested I add oats, or olive oil to the Kofta before stuffing into the leaves.

Kofta

I personally, want to make sure to make my beef parries thinner next time, and maybe add an extra vine leaf, since I am a fan of the taste, specially after it has been roasted.

My Kofta unlike the recipe on Sarah’s blog was ready bought with onions, parsley, salt and pepper. But of course it is up to you if you would like to prepare your Kofta at home, or if your local butcher can give it to you ready.

Either way, this recipe is fantastic, and is sure worth trying.

Kofta bil Wara’ – كفتة بورق العنب

Recipe used by When Apricots Bloom – Fil Mish Mish with minor changes

My following Ingredients makes enough for 3 people (total of 14 to 16 patties)

Middle-Eastern-Food, Kofta-bil-waraa, Levant-Food, Arab-Food

Ingredients

1/2 Kilo Kofta (your choice of beef or lamb, I used beef)

Vine Leaves

1 teaspoon mixed spice

6 – 8 Tomatoes

1 green chili (optional)

Salt

 

Full Recipe found via Kofta bil Wara’ – كفتة بورق العنب

 

A Moghli Feast

In the Middle East (or as far as I know) in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria; also known as Meghli or Karawia, is a dessert dish served warm or cold after giving birth. The house would be smelling like Moghli all month-long after the baby is born, people who come to congratulate the birth of the baby, come to meet the new-born, are served with Moghli.

This dessert is high in flavor, it is rice pudding made spiced with Caraway (for Karawia) cinnamon and garnished with your preference from pistachio, walnuts, raisins, pine nuts, coconut, or/and almonds.

It is interesting to have a specific dish associated to an occasion, as you relate a taste to it automatically, people in the Arab region (or at least in the countries I have mentioned above) expect to be served with a Moghli dish as they visit to see the baby. This is why it is always cooked in big quantity, and is sometimes even served at the hospital right after delivery.

So how do you serve your Moghli? Or how do you like it garnished? I personally love it served cold, with walnuts, coconut and with a little bit of pistachio on top.

Daily Prompt: Feast

Fest, Moghli, Birth, Party

For the Foodies

Because I love food, and more than food I love the setting of food, I love coming up with new themes, trying new recipes, I love inviting people over, see their faces when they try new flavors. I love browsing the internet for new food styling, new recipes, new cafe’s and new photographs. I love how different each ingredient can look with different backgrounds and settings. It is beautiful what one person can do with one item, and the more items you have the bigger your art piece can appear to be. I love how one ingredient can serve several dishes, and one decoration can change the whole setting, I love how food speaks culture, how we can learn about people from the spices they use, from the taste of our mouth, I love how endless recipes have come to be available today, I love trying new things all the time. Below are food photography that I have enjoyed finding on my instagram account.

Top With CinnamonFood 52KraautkopfTrotterMarmaladeThe Artful Desperdo, Duygu Elis NtagkalaTara o’BrandyTara o’BrandyAthena ColdroneGather JournalAthena ColdroneBashar AlaeddinDavid FrenkielFood 52A Guy Named PatrickCaroline AdoboEgg ShopOur Food StoriesDiala CaneloFood 52Tara O’BradymThe Cakery

coffee, book, break, foodieeggs, easter eggs, chocolate eggs, foodie,cake, slice. foodiecoffee, cafe, foodieBlack cheesecake, cheesecake, foodiepeace, cooking, baking, foodiebaby, food, fruit, foodie, cherriesred current, cherries, foodiestrawberries, leaves, green, foodiefoodie, setup, kitchenlettuce, rocca, foodiefish, lavender, foodie, cookingMusakhan, Arabian, Foodiesmoothie recipe, blueberries, foodiedonuts, doughnuts, dessert, sugar, foodiedonuts, doughnuts, dessert, sugar, foodiepasta, cream, dessert, foodieeggs, sunny side up, foodie, breakfasteggs, foodie, breakfastsandwich, foodie, yummybiscuits, foodie, baking, butterchocolates, chocolate lovers, foodiebaking, cake, foodie

 

Art Found in Kuwait 

Delicious Packaging; find those exquisette homemade doughnuts at InspiredEdibles (Coffee with Cocoa Nibs & Pretzels, Vanilla Custard with Freeze dried Strawberry powder, Cereal & Rasberries) Photograph by Nour AlMejadi – Find them both on Instagram