Saturday, 29 January 2011

Recipes from Afaf

Recipes from Afaf!
Makhloutah (Mixed Pulses Soup)
The name of the soup derives from the
verb khalata which means, mix things together.
In this instance, it refers to the mixing of
different pulses or beans together to produce
an earthy nourishing soup, great for vegans.
The amount given in this recipe is a suggestion,
you can vary it according to your liking, you can
even omit one of them if you don’t like it and
increase the amount of the one you like or substitute it with lentils. Before mixing the
beans, I tend to boil them separately because each type takes a different time to
soften, especially haricot beans. Alternatively, you can speed up this recipe by using
tinned beans, they work well.
The dried broad beans I use here are the Lebanese ones which I believe have more
flavour than others. They have a brownish colour and tend to be plumper but smaller
in size than the ones that are usually available in general supermarkets. Tinned broad
beans (or Foul Medammas) are also available in Lebanese grocers.
Serves: 4 - 6
 75 g / 3oz chickpeas soaked overnight in water which is three times their volume,
stir into that ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
 75 g / 3 oz haricot beans soaked overnight in water with ¼ tsp bicarbonate of
 75 g / 3 oz dried broad beans soaked overnight in water with ¼ tsp bicarbonate of
 2.25 litres / 4 pints stock made up from the juices of the beans and added water.
 75 g / 3 oz green or brown lentils (optional)
 20 g / ¾ oz rice
 1 large or 2 medium onions thinly sliced
 85 ml / 3 fl oz good brand olive oil
 Salt to taste and freshly milled black pepper
 1tbsp ground cumin
 1 tsp allspice
 30 g / 1oz fresh coriander chopped, you could also substitute it with parsley,
chives or freshly chopped spring onions
 Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle (optional)
1. Rinse chickpeas, haricot beans and broad beans then place in separate saucepans
with three times their volume of water, add 1 tsp salt and bring to boil. Remove
the scum, then cover and let them simmer until they begin to feel tender.
2. When they are ready, drain them but reserve the liquid in a measuring jug, you
may need to top it up with water to make up the quantity required.
3. Heat up the oil in a deep saucepan (preferably non-stick), wide enough to mix all
the ingredients, fry the onions for about three minutes, then add the three
beans, sauté for a couple of minutes to give them a good coating, season. If you
want lentils, you could add them to the mixture at this stage, do likewise if using
tinned beans. Pour in the stock (or water if using tinned beans) and bring to the
boil then reduce the heat, cover and let the whole mixture simmer for 45
minutes, stirring occasionally, the beans should be really soft, otherwise cook for
4. Next, stir in the rice, check again whether you need topping up with hot water.
Give the whole thing a good stir, simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice
is cooked, taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. Serve hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, scatter generously with chopped
coriander or parsley or any herbs of your choice. Delicious with freshly baked
crusty bread!
Yakhnet Bazella maa Jazar (Fresh Peas and Carrot stew)
This is one of my favourite dishes for the
sweetness of fresh peas and carrots mixed with
the juices from the meat and flavoured with
orange peel, gives this wintery dish a
distinguished taste. If you can’t find fresh peas,
substitute with frozen ones. The other good
thing is that this dish works well for vegetarians
and vegans, simply, omit the meat and for more
flavour add garlic. This dish is usually served with
plain rice, another tip is that it shouldn’t come out too ‘saucy’, the amount of water I
recommend is fine, however, if using tinned tomatoes which tend to be more watery,
reduce the amount.
Serves: 4
 1tbsp vegetable oil
 1 large onion finely chopped
 300g / 11oz lean lamb meat cut into small cubes
 300g / 11oz carrots peeled and diced into small cubes
 4 cloves of garlic peeled and smashed (optional)
 Peel of 1 small orange
 150ml / 5fl oz water (or vegetable stock if omitting meat)
 450g / 1lb fresh ripe tomatoes skinned or the equivalent of tinned chopped
 Seasoning: salt to taste, freshly milled black pepper plus ½ tsp ground allspice
 500g / 1lb 2oz fresh or frozen peas
1. To skin the fresh tomatoes, simply drop them in boiling water, leave them for
one minute for the large ones, and 30 seconds for the smaller ones, then
remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate, to cool slightly. Slip off the skin and
2. Heat up the oil in a deep medium sized pan. Stir fry the chopped onion for 1
minute then add meat, season with and cook until it is lightly browned. Mix in
the carrots, garlic if using, orange peel and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring
occasionally. After that, add chopped tomatoes followed by the water or
vegetable stock (if omitting the meat), and bring to the boil, cover and simmer
for about 15 minutes, after which you mix in the peas. If you are cooking
frozen peas, you may need to increase the heat to boiling point before
dropping them in. Simmer for another 15 minutes or until the peas are cooked.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
3. Discard orange peel and serve hot with plain rice.
Falafel (Bean Patties)
Falafel is eaten throughout the Middle East usually
wrapped in bread as a sandwich. It makes an ideal
meal for vegetarians and vegans, it can also be
served as a starter. The main ingredients are dried
broad beans and chickpeas, the rest can be varied to
suit your taste, for instance, if you don’t like
coriander, you could substitute it with parsley or if
you like your Falafel spicier you could add chillies. One more thing, it is important
that the ingredients are dried thoroughly, otherwise the mixture will be too wet and
mushy. In the end, we will be looking for a tasty mixture that binds firmly when you
shape it.
A great advantage is that once cooked, it freezes well. Once defrosted, it and can be
reheated in a hot oven or microwave.
Makes about 20
 200g/ 7oz skinless dried split broad beans soaked overnight in water with ½ tsp
of bicarbonate of soda
 75g/ 3oz chickpeas, preferably split chickpeas, soaked overnight in water with
¼ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
 1 medium sized leek washed, drained from excess water trimmed and chopped
 5 fat cloves of garlic peeled and smashed to a paste
 1 sweet red pepper washed and chopped
 about 5 spring onions washed and finely chopped
 50g / 2oz coriander, rough stalks discarded, washed dried and chopped.
 1 or 2 chillies (optional)
 1 slice of bread (optional)
 About 4 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
 Bicarbonate of soda
 Salt & freshly milled black pepper
 2 rounded tsp cumin
 1 tsp allspice
To serve
 Lebanese bread, allow 1 bread per person
 Mixture of sliced radishes, chopped parsley, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickled
 Tahini sauce or Taratoor (See recipe in Sauces)
1. Soak broad beans and chickpeas separately in water, adding bicarbonate soda
to each, leave them for several hours, ideally overnight.
2. When you are ready to cook, rinse the broad beans, drain then and spread
them on a tea towel to dry. Next, rinse the chickpeas, for the split ones, add
fresh water and using your fingers rub the skins off and discard, rinse again the
skinless chickpeas, drain and dry thoroughly. If you have whole ones, rinse and
drain them then take whatever you can fit on a large chopping board, cover
with a tea towel then bash them gently with a rolling pin. You will see that the
skins come off, discard the skins, pick up the skinless ones and keep them to
one side, it does not matter if they are broken because we need to grind them
later. Repeat the process with the rest of the chickpeas, then rinse drain and
3. Now, put broad beans, chick peas, along with the rest of the ingredients adding
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda in a food processor. Process until you reach a
mixture that binds together firmly. If it is too moist, shred the bread, add it to
the mixture and process again. Taste and adjust taste if necessary, then cover
and leave it to rest for an hour.
4. Take a piece of the mixture the size of a golf ball, shape it into a patty about 4-
5 cm/ 1½ -2 inches diameter and place it on a plate, continue likewise with the
rest until the mixture is finished. Let the patties rest for 20 minutes.
5. Heat the oil to about 190°C/ 375°F, dust each patty in the sesame seeds (this is
optional) before dropping it into the hot oil, do likewise with the rest. Deep fry
for about 3 minutes turning them once or twice until they reach a deep golden
brown colour. Drain on a kitchen paper and keep warm until you finish deep
6. To serve: Open up the bread, leaving the other half attached, put the patties
creating one row in the middle, top it with the salad of your choice then drizzle
with the tahini sauce, flip the other half of the bread to cover, roll it up, wrap
the bottom side with greaseproof or kitchen paper (to catch the excess juice)
and eat. Alternatively, serve the falafel on a plate with a little salad, bread and
sauce on the side.