Turkish Biber Dolması

Turkish Biber Dolması

 

Turkish Biber Dolması

Turkish Biber Dolması

Aromatic stuffed vegetables are a Turkish specialty. For Biber Dolması, small green bell peppers with thin skin are simmered in a light tomato sauce. The typical filling is a meat and rice mixture seasoned with mint, parsley, and regional dried peppers. This blend features mild and fruity pepper from Aleppo. For a vegetarian version combine raisin and pine nuts with rice. Green bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, just right during the winter season.
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz ground beef
  • 4-5 medium green bell peppers
  • 1 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1.5 cups rice rinsed
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 3-5 cups broth e.g. vegetable or beef
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Biber Dolması Culinary Spice Kit

  • Paprika, Aleppo pepper, mint, cumin, black pepper

Instructions
 

Prepare the bell peppers

  • Cut off the top and clean out the seeds of each bell pepper.
  • In a BOWL, mix onions, Biber Dolması spices, parsley, meat, rice, 2 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Fill the mixture into the bell peppers.

Cook Biber Dolması

  • In a POT, that is wide enough to fit just all bell peppers, place filled bell peppers top-up.
  • Fill tomato puree and broth around them up to about 2/3 of the height of the bell peppers. Cover the POT.
  • Bring broth to boil, turn heat to medium-low, and cook for about 30 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Short grain rice works best.
  • If you can find small thin bell peppers, double the number of bell peppers and use a wider pot.
  • Substitute beef with lamb, pork, or poultry.
  • Substitute meat with 1 cup of raisins and pine nuts.
  • Substitute green bell peppers with other colored bell peppers or with zucchini, or mix.
Keyword Aleppo pepper, mint, paprika
Bahraini Machboos

Bahraini Machboos

 

Bahraini Machboos

Bahraini Machboos

Machboos or Majboos is claimed to be the national dish of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is full of Arabian flavors. Different from other baharat spice blends, Omani baharat includes dried limes and roses. Dried limes, also called Loomi, Omani limes, or black limes, are an important ingredient in the cuisine around the Persian Gulf. No other lemon has this heavenly sweet-tangy citrus flavor.
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bahraini
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb chicken drumsticks
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 8 oz carrots shredded
  • 2 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 2-3 lemon for juice
  • butter & oil
  • salt & pepper

Machboos Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Omani limes, roses, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, cloves, coriander, nutmeg
  • Pouch [2] Cardamom

Optional

  • 1 green chile finely chopped
  • lemon wedges
  • dates
  • red onions sliced

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • Rinse rice and cover with cold water.
  • Add 1.5 tbsp lemon juice.
  • Let soak 1/2 - 24 hours in the fridge.
  • Drain. Set aside.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Cook

  • In a large POT, fry onions in 2 tbsp butter over medium heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic, ginger, chili (optional), and Machboos [1] spices.
  • Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken, tomatoes, and broth.
  • Cover. Cook 20 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Take chicken out and set aside.
  • Add rice and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Cover. Bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat to low. Cook about 15 minutes until rice is cooked. Don’t stir!
  • Turn off. Mix in herbs.

Fry

  • In a PAN, heat 1 tbsp oil. Fry chicken over high heat until browned on all sides.

Salad

  • Mix carrots with Machboos [2] spices, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and 1 tbsp oil.

Serve

  • Serve chicken on top of rice and with the carrot salad. Add lemon juice to taste.
  • Optionally, serve with lemon wedges, dates, and sliced red onions.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

▪ Substitute chicken with 1 lb fish filet or paneer.  Don’t cook it. Only fry it.
 
Keyword cardamom, omani limes, rosebud
Lebanese Pumpkin Kibbeh

Lebanese Pumpkin Kibbeh

 

Lebanese Pumpkin Kibbeh

Lebanese Pumpkin Kibbeh

Kibbeh is a very popular dish in most Middle Eastern countries that has often the form of a small football. Baked Kibbeh is a kind of pie. For the crust mix bulgur (cracked wheat) with pumpkin. The filling combines meat, spinach, and optional nuts with a baharat spice blend. Or substitute garbanzo beans for meat.
 
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 10 oz baby spinach washed
  • 1 cup bulgur number 1 fine
  • 1/2 lb pumpkin peeled, deseeded, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup yogurt plain
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • butter
  • salt

Optional

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • salad of your choice

Kibbeh Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Chili, black pepper, cumin, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
  • Pouch [2] Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, fenugreek, allspice, ginger

Instructions
 

Filling

  • In a PAN, heat 1 tbsp butter over medium heat.
  • Cook onion slices for 5 minutes.
  • Add meat, Kibbeh [1] spices, salt to taste, and nuts (optional).
  • Cook until meat is cooked through. Stir frequently to break the meat up.
  • Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Kibbeh

  • Cook pumpkin in salted water until soft. Take it out.
  • Use the cooking water to prepare bulgur according to package instructions.
  • Mash pumpkin and mix with chopped onions.
  • Gradually stir in bulgur to receive a moist mixture.
  • Add Kibbeh [2] spices and salt to taste.

Bake

  • Preheat OVEN to 375°F.
  • Grease a 2 qt. BAKING DISH.
  • Add 3 layers:
  • half of the Kibbeh, the filling, then the rest of the Kibbeh.
  • Press and flatten the surface.
  • Create a nice pattern with a fork.
  • Spread 1 tbsp melted butter on top.
  • Bake in the OVEN 30 – 45 minutes until the surface begins to brown.

Serve

  • Serve with yogurt mixed with lemon juice to taste as dressing and salad as a side (optional).
  • Enjoy!

Notes

▪ Substitute beef with lamb, chicken, or 1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz).
▪ Substitute pumpkin with zucchini or potatoes.
Keyword cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg
Turkish Urfa Kebab

Turkish Urfa Kebab

 

Turkish Urfa Kebab

Turkish Urfa Kebab

Urfa Kebab has a chocolate aroma with mild heat from Urfa pepper. Both can be widely found in Southern Turkey. The irregular shaped flakes of Urfa biber, also known as Isot pepper, are a versatile condiment that can be sprinkled on cheese, salad, or vegetables of any kind for a new distinct flavor. They might become a favorite condiment in your kitchen.
 
Hands-on time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground meat e.g. lamb or beef
  • 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
  • 2 cups yogurt plain
  • skewers*
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • oil
  • salt

Urfa Kebab Culinary Spice Kit

  • Urfa biber flakes

Suggested Sides

  • lettuce of your choice shredded
  • flatbread e.g. pita or lavash or cooked rice

Instructions
 

Yogurt Sauce

  • Mix yogurt with 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp oil, and a pinch of salt.

Prepare Kebab

  • In a large BOWL, add bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, garlic, Urfa Kebab spices, and salt to taste (1 tsp recommended).
  • It’s best when all ingredients are very finely chopped.
  • However, don’t use a food processor to avoid making a paste.
  • Mix well. Add meat.
  • Knead thoroughly for 5-10 minutes.
  • Wrap 2 tbsp of meat tightly around each skewer.

Fry Kebab

  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.
  • Fry kebab until crisp and cooked through.

Serve

  • Serve kebab in bread or with rice and topped with lettuce and yogurt sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*If using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes.
Vegetarian:
  • Substitute meat with 2 additional tomatoes.
  • Spread mixture on prepared pizza dough and bake according to package instructions.
  • Serve pizza with yogurt sauce.
Keyword urfa pepper
Kabob Koobideh

Persian Kabob Koobideh

 

Kabob Koobideh

Persian Kabob Koobideh

Kabob Koobideh is the most popular grilled ground meat in Iran and around the Persian Gulf. The meat is prepared differently to a burger. It's important to knead the meat well to receive a texture that sticks to the skewers and turns out light when served. The kabob is traditionally grilled on wide flat metal skewers "hanging" over the fire so that the meat doesn't get in contact with the grill. This recipe is an easier weekday version.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb ground lamb beef, or chicken
  • 1 red cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 large onion grated
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • oil
  • salt & pepper
  • !Suggested Sides & Toppings
  • Lavash or pita bread
  • cooked Basmati rice
  • onion & radish slices
  • grilled vegetables
  • Sabzi Khordan*)
  • sumac
  • !Culinary Spice Kit
  • Sumac turmeric, black pepper, parsley

Instructions
 

  • !Cabbage
  • In a BOWL, mix 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste, and 1 tbsp oil.
  • Stir in the cabbage. Cover and let rest for 2 hours.
  • !Prepare
  • In a BOWL, squeeze grated onions and discard all liquid.
  • Add garlic, salt to taste (recommended 2 tsp), egg, and Kabob Koobideh spices. Mix well.
  • Add meat. Knead well for 5 - 10 minutes.
  • !Fry
  • Wet your hands with water.
  • Form 2 tbsp of meat into long, flat shaped meat patties.
  • In a PAN, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
  • Fry the kabobs for some minutes on each side until they are cooked and slightly browned.
  • !Serve
  • Serve the kabob in bread and/or with rice and with cabbage.
  • Optionally, sprinkle the kabob with sumac and top it with onion & radish slices.
  • Add grilled vegetables or Sabzi Khordan*).
  • Enjoy!

Notes

▪ Substitute red cabbage with green cabbage, and/ or add some shredded carrots or apples.
*) See the recipe for
grilled Kabob Koobideh
Sabzi Khordan.
Keyword sumac, turmeric

Israeli Za’atar

 

Zaatar Spice Blend

Israeli Za'atar

Za'atar is a very popular Middle Eastern spice blend, in restaurants served as a tabletop condiment or as a dip mixed with olive oil. There are plenty of variations, all based on sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme or a similar herb. The combination of nutty, sour, and savory makes the taste so versatile and irresistible. Try it for roasted chicken, vegetables, on pizza, hummus, or as a dip.
Cuisine Israeli
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Shopping List

  • 1.5 lb chicken breast or thighs cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 lb couscous Israeli
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2-3 lemons or limes for juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt

Culinary Spice Kit

  • Sesame seeds, coriander, sumac, thyme, cumin, black pepper

Instructions
 

Marinade

  • Rub chicken with salt to taste.
  • In a CONTAINER, mix lemon juice, Za'atar spices, garlic, and oil.
  • Add chicken. Mix well. Cover and let marinate in the fridge overnight.

Bake

  • Preheat OVEN to 400ºF.
  • Grease a large BAKING DISH.
  • Place the chicken in the BAKING DISH.
  • Bake the chicken for about 40 minutes until tender inside and crisp on the outside. Turn the chicken halfway.

Serve

  • Serve chicken with couscous and a fresh salad.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

▪ Substitute chicken with cauliflower, (sweet) potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, or root vegetables.
▪ Substitute couscous with rice or potatoes.
▪ Sprinkle Za’atar spices on pizza dough, yogurt, cream cheese, or hummus.
▪ Mix Za’atar spices with olive oil as a dipping sauce for bread or vegetables.
Keyword sesame seeds, sumac, thyme