Ramadan is a particularly significant month for Muslims، where many take part in fasting from sunrise to sunset. This is one of the five pillars of Islam and is meant to bring you closer to Allah.
While not everyone fasts (pregnant women، children، the elderly and the sick are among those exempt)، most Muslims don’t let food or drink pass their lips during daylight hours.
“Sada el Balad” news website offers you your meal guide during the holy month of Ramadan over the coming 30 days:
Ingredients 2 Tbs dry، uncooked rice. 1 C water. 14 C sugar- more or less depending on your liking. 14 C powdered milk. 2 C coconut milk. 12 tsp vanilla powder.
Directions Start by grinding the rice to fine powder. In a bowl combine water and rice powder، let it set for at least 6 hours in the fridge. In you blender، add the rice water and the rest of the ingredients together. Blend very well - might take you 3-4minutes until well combined. Strain with cheese cloth، coffee filter or tea strainer. Chill and serve.
Dolmeh (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Ingredients 12 lb (226g) Grape Leaves 12 Cup Rice 1 Lb (453g) Ground Beef 12 bunch: Leek Chives، Cilantro، Dill، Parsley 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1 Small Onion 3 garlic Cloves Salt، Turmeric، Ground Chili Pepper، Persian spice mix (Advieh)، Black Pepper 2 Tbsp Lemon Powder
Directions Grate the onion and the garlic cloves. Mince the herbs. Rinse the rice. Wash and microwave the grape leaves for 30 sec. Boil 4 cups of water. Mix up the herbs and the grated onions and garlic in a big bowl. Add the rice and the ground beef to the mixture. Add salt، ground chili pepper، turmeric، persian spice mix (Advieh)، black pepper powder as needed. Add 2 tsp dried lemon powder to the bowl and mix them thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil to the mixture and mix up. Take one (or more) big grape leaf and cover the bottom of a pot، it will keep the meat wraps (dolmehs) from direct heat. Take one grape leaf، trim its petiole، put approximately one tbsp of the mixture on the leaf and wrap the leaf around the mixture tightly and put them in the pot. Secure the meat wraps (dolmehs) by stack them up agains each other in the pot. Add boiling water to the pot until it covers the dolmehs. Cover the pot with the lid and cook the dolmens over low heat for 120 to 150 minutes.
Rice and herbs stuffed veggies (Mahshi)
Ingredients 1 cup short grain rice 1 large onion، chopped 1 large onion sliced in thick slices ½ cup tomato sauce Half a bunch of the following: parsley، coriander and dill ½ ts cinnamon ¼ ts allspice 1 ½ tbsp sunflower oil Salt and pepper to taste One serving of any of the following vegetables (use more than one if you like but adjust quantities to match the rice): 8 pieces of zucchini- Choose pieces that are slightly fat and short or 8 pieces of eggplant or 20 cabbage leaves (blanched and middle rib removed)or 20 vine leaves (blanched).
Directions Sauté chopped onions in 1 tbsp oil for 3 minutes or until wilted and yellow. Add the tomato sauce، salt، pepper and spices. Simmer for 3 minutes. Rinse the rice thoroughly and drain. Finely chop the herbs. Add the prepared tomato sauce and herbs to the rice and mix well. Core the vegetables using what we call in Egypt “Mai-warr” or literally “corer”. Try to remove most of the core leaving only a thin outer shell، taking care not to break or pierce the vegetables. If you are using eggplant، put each piece in a bowl of water as you core them one by one to avoid the eggplant darkening in color. If you are using leafy vegetables blanch and cool the leaves. Using a teaspoon، stuff each vegetable with the rice mixture pushing down the rice as you add more with handle of the spoon. Leave ½ inch unstuffed to allow the rice to expand when cooked. Add ½ tbsp. oil to the bottom of a non stick pot. Arrange the onion slices to cover the bottom. This is to avoid the bottoms of the vegetables being charred if the water dries out and it also gives a nice flavor to the meal. Arrange the stuffed vegetables on top of the onions in a slightly standing position to avoid the rice spilling out. Add ½ cup broth or water. Bring to a boil، then simmer on very low heat till rice is cooked، about 15-20 minutes. When it cools down slightly، arrange the vegetables in a serving dish and discard the onion slices.
If using leafy vegetbles like cabbage، spread the leaf، add 1 tbsp rice mixture and roll like a wrap without tucking the ends. If using vine leaves you need to tuck the ends while you roll.
Mahshi kousa (Stuffed zucchini)
Ingredients 10 small Lebanese zucchini، approximately 10 cm long salt 2 heaped tbsp tomato paste natural yoghurt، to serve Stuffing 1 cup (200 g) long-grain rice، washed 250 g lean minced beef 1 medium tomato، finely diced ½ onion، finely diced ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley ⅓ cup chopped mint ⅓ cup chopped coriander ¼ tsp chilli powder 1 tsp baharat or allspice 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp salt 20 g butter، softened 2 tbsp olive oil
Directions Thoroughly combine the stuffing ingredients. Cut off the zucchini stalks، then slice off the dried tips at the opposite ends without removing too much flesh. Carefully hollow out the zucchini from the stalk end by pushing and turning a manakra into the flesh. The tool will remove thin fingers of flesh at a time; keep hollowing until you have a generous cavity. (Reserve the zucchini flesh for another purpose، such as an omelette.) Fill a bowl with water and add 1 tsp salt. Wash the zucchini in the salted water (this helps to keep them firm when cooking)، then drain. Fill each zucchini with the stuffing، leaving 1 cm free at the top to allow the filling to expand. It’s easiest to fill the zucchini by hand، tapping them on the bench every now and then to settle the stuffing down. If you have any leftover stuffing، shape it into meatballs. Fill a large saucepan with water and add 2 tbsp salt and the tomato paste. Add the stuffed zucchini and any meatballs and bring to the boil. Simmer over low heat for about 1 hour، allowing the sauce to reduce. Serve the stuffed zucchini with a little of the sauce and a dollop of yogurt.
Cook's notes Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection)، reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled، unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g، unless specified.
Mahshi cromb (stuffed Cabbage Leaves)
Ingredients 1 large green cabbage 2 cups short-grain white rice 1 onion، grated to almost liquid 1 large onion، chopped 1 bunch fresh parsley (finely chopped، including some of the stems) 1 bunch fresh cilantro (finely chopped، including some of the stems) 1 bunch fresh dill weed (finely chopped، including some of the stems) 2 fresh tomatoes، pureed 1 tomatoes، sliced thin 3 tablespoons tomato paste canola oil 1 garlic clove (crushed) 2 chicken bouillon cubes 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon Arabic spices (see my recipe for Arabic Seven Spice in my recipes) 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 tablespoons dried mint 1⁄2 lemon، juice of
Directions Rice stuffing mixture: On top of stove، put a good amount oil or butter; add chopped onion and pureed onion sauté. Add garlic when onions almost finished not to burn. Add a spoon of tomato paste and stir around until all coated. Add pureed tomato، a few drops of water and cook until liquid is almost gone. It should be a little thick، not too watery. You can add some salt to taste to this too. Set aside. Put washed rice in mixing bowl. Add the above tomato mixture. Add raw، chopped greens- parsley، dill and cilantro. Its okay to chop some of their stems، gives the mixture more flavor. Add a little canola oil. Add all spices and dry mint. Take 1 chicken bouillon cube and crush it، add to rice. Mix all ingredients until well blended set aside. Try to taste، will be raw I know، but you can taste and not swallow rice. Adjust seasonings. Salt is most important، if too salty، don’t worry، once cooked it will lessen. Cooking Cabbage: This is the trickiest part. I have not yet found the perfect way، but my way has been working alright…here it goes. Wash the head of cabbage well. With a paring knife، gently cut around core، loosening it a bit. Try to cup deep، but try not to cut leaves، or separate at this point. Using a large pot، fill with water، and a few dashes of cumin. Once boiling، add the head of cabbage، with core facing up. As the cabbage starts to cook، with a knife، gently pull away leaves from core and cook until a bit soft، but not translucent. So you will have the large head of cabbage in pot and you will be cutting leaves and letting them boil alone aside the head. (Hope this makes sense.). When the leaves are a bit soft، tender not translucent، remove to a large tray. Continue this until all cabbage is cooked. You will have the very small leaves towards inside core، you will be able to use some of these، but some maybe too small. I usually make a cabbage salad with these. Once the leaves are cool، you will begin to stuff. Rollingstuffing the cabbage: Prepare a large pot، put some oil in bottom of pot to coat. Slice 1 large tomato thinly and place on bottom of pot. You will arrange cabbage in this pot as you roll. Take a cabbage leaf and cut from the bottom، where core starts. Cut away the hard core and reserve the two sides from leaf making a pile. Save a few of the cores stems as well. Tricky but you are trying to get a pliable leaf for rolling. You want to make the leaf small، cutting a half of the leaf in half. The end result should be size of small cigar. Don't worry about how they look، they will not be real tight and they may seem like the rice will come out، just close as best you can، they will be fine. So with leaf laying flat، spoon a small amount of rice onto leaf، fold up bottom and roll like a cigar. Don't worry the ends will be open، but cook ok. Some rice may boil out but not much trust me. Roll all until leaves are finished. Once all rolled and arranged in pot، add a crushed chicken bouillon cube. As you are arranging in pot، you can put a few of the core stems in between layers to help stay in place. Take approximately 3 cups water and mix with tomato paste، pour over cabbage. Water should reach just above cabbage. If not enough، add more water. Take an old plate، invert it over cabbage to keep from moving too much. Put on high، bring to a boil، cook for about 10 minutes، then turn to a lower simmer and cover. Should cook for approximately an hour or so، you can check it periodically by tasting to see if rice is cooked inside. Once cooked let sit for a little to cool a bit before removing from pot. When ready to remove، take a large serving platter، put over top of pot، then flip pot to empty onto platter. Be careful and do over sink if you are unsure. Its easy but take s a little practice. Remove core stems، fix tomatoes that are on top، to look presentable. *** LEFTOVER TIP: THE NEXT DAY PREPARE THE LEFTOVERS THIS WAY -- PUT SOME BUTTER INTO A PAN، FRY THE STUFFED CABBAGE LEAVES UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN ON ALL SIDES. SUPER TASTY، ENJOY! ***.
Ingredients 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 lemon، juice of 1 small onion (grated into liquid) salt & pepper 1 cup fine breadcrumbs (you may use more or less) oil (for frying)
Directions Take and slice your chicken breasts into thinner slices. (Using a sharp knife، and holding one hand on top of breast، slice across horizontaly giving you a thinner sliced breast. So one breast should yield about 3 thinner pieces or so.). Put slices into glass mixing bowl or dish. Squeeze the juice of lemon onto chicken slices. Add the onion liquid (you can achieve liquid by blending onion in a blender or food processor). Add salt & pepper and cover with plastic wrap، put in refrigerator for at least an hour. When ready to fry، take a slice and dip into bowl filled with bread crumbs. Do this until all chicken is breaded، setting each slice on a plate. (I sometimes bread ahead of time، putting breaded slices into refrigerator until ready to fry، seems the coating stays alittle better this way.). Add oil in a large frying pan، not too much، just enough to cover bottom of each slice. Fry until golden brown on each side.
Torshi (Pickled Vegetable)
5 Small Eggplants 14 Cabbage 1 to 2 Cups White Vinegar 5 Celery Sticks 2 Carrots 14 Cauliflower 14 Bunch: Mint، Parsley، Dill، Tarragon and Celery leaves 2 Garlic Cloves (for each 1 liter jar) 8 to 10 total 12 Small Onions (Charlotte) Chili Peppers (As preferred) 1 Tbsp Salt
Directions Slice the eggplants، celery sticks، carrots. Cut the cauliflower and cabbage in smaller pieces. Place the sliced eggplants in a pot. Add half a cup of white vinegar and cover with water. Cover the pot with a lid and heat for 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the cooked eggplants using a strainer. Take a small container، place handful of the herbs (Mint، Parsley، Dill، Tarragon and Celery leaves) in the container. Place cabbage، cauliflower، carrots، small onions، celery، 2 to 3 garlic cloves and eggplants on top in layers. Take few chili pepper (depending on the size of the contains)، poke few holescrack the chili pepper's skin، and place them in the container. Top off the ingredients with more herbs (Mint، Parsley، Dill، Tarragon and Celery leaves). Combine 1 tbsp salt، 12 cup of white vinegar and 1 and 12 cup water، stir until well mixed. Fill up the container with the vinegar mixture until it spills off. Seal the jarcontainer tight with a lid so no air can enter. Keep the jar at room temperature for 15 to 20 days. (don't open the jar within that period). Keep in refrigerator afterwards.
Note: For the best result، use multiple (4) small jarcontainer as appose to one large one. Depending on your containers size، the salt، vinegar and water measurement needs to change but the ratio should stay the same.
Roz Bel Laban (Rice Pudding)
Ingredients 1 cup white rice 2 cups water 3 cups milk 1 cup sugar (adjust to desired sweetness) 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon، and or 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg، according to taste 1⁄2 cup raisins (optional) 1 teaspoon rose water (optional) or 1 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
Directions Rinse rice and place in a saucepan with water. Cover and simmer over medium fire for 15-20 minutes. Add milk، stirring constantly. When it begins to thick، add sugar and orange blossom water. Continue stirring constantly until rice is soft or well done. Remove from fire and pour into platter spreading it thinly or in individual bowls. Cool and serveor cool and serve.
Ingredients 42 oz. Fava Beans 15.5oz Chick Peas 5 Clove of Garlic 1 Lemon 2 tb. Tahini Paste 1 tsp. Ground Cumin 1 tsp. Salt .5 bunch Parsley 1 Tomato for serving Olive Oil
Directions Add the fava beans with their liquid to a large pot. Drain and rinse the chickpeas، then add to the pot of fava beans. Warm on medium heat for 10 minutes. Crush the garlic with a half teaspoon of salt. Juice the lemon. Add the warmed fava bean and chickpea mixture to a serving bowl. Using the mortar you crushed the garlic with، mash the fava beans and chickpeas until about ½ to ¾ of the mixture is mashed. (based on your personal preference.) Add the crushed garlic، lemon juice، cumin، tahini paste، and salt. Mix to combine. Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or any hot pepper for a kick. (Optional) Finely chop the parsley leaves and the tomato and set aside for serving. Serve the foul with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and tomatoes، and drizzle with olive oil. For a basic omelette، crack the eggs into a mixing bowl with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Beat well with a fork. Heat a small knob of butter in a small frying pan on a low heat، and once melted and bubbling، add the eggs and move the pan around to spread them out evenly. When the omelette begins to cook and firm up، but still has a little raw egg on top، sprinkle over the cheese (if using). I sometimes grate mine directly on to the omelette. Using a spatula، ease around the edges of the omelette، then fold it over in half. When it starts to turn golden brown underneath، remove the pan from the heat and slide the omelette on to a plate.
Creamy Whipped Greek Yogurt
Ingredients 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt، any percentage will do (about 1 cup; 225g)، see note 6 ounces heavy cream (about 34 cup; 170g) 2 ounces golden syrup، sorghum، honey، or maple (about 3 tablespoons; 55g) 14 teaspoon rose water، or vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean، split and scraped Pinch of salt
Directions Combine Greek yogurt، cream، sweetener، vanilla، and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix at low speed to start، then increase to high and whip until the mixture is thick and stiff، about 5 minutes. Use immediately as a soft، whipped cream–like topping، or، to serve as a parfait، divide into serving dishes and refrigerate until thickened (roughly 45°F).