Wow! What a spread! Fifty one bloggers from around the world were cooking up Arabian food in their kitchens. Everywhere you went you were greeted with delectable dishes with aromas of spices, honey and herbs lingering in the air. It was as if we were all taken back into time, walking the streets of an old bazaar in Turkey, Morocco, Oman or Dubai.
I am so proud of you all. Many of you tried this type of cuisine for the first time, the rest of you were daring enough to go for something more challenging. Just fantastic.
As always though, before we get on with the roundup let me present you with the theme for the next Monthly Mingle. Ready?
As the weather gets warmer outside we all want to spend more time outdoors. Enjoying the warm weather, the blooming flowers and the happy feeling we get when the sun rays warm up our faces. It is also a lovely time for wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables. We say goodbye to the heavy stews and soups that kept us warm during winter and embrace the quick and lighter methods of cooking.
Your challenge this month is to go to your local grocer's or Farmer's Market and buy yourself a basket load of fresh Spring fruit and vegetables. Then get back home to your kitchens and create the ultimate Spring Dish. Asparagus, Spinach, Avocado, Summer Squash, Strawberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Apricots. The variety is exquisite and the ways to prepare them tantalizing.
Folks, "Spring Is In The Air" and I want you to feel it, hear it, smell it and taste it.
Here's how it works:
- Create a dish that fits this theme. Blog about it anytime from now till May 9th, 2007.
- Email me your entry with your name, the name of your blog and your permalink by May 9th, 2007.
- In your post please include a link to this post and/or the MM logo, so your readers get a chance to mingle with us.
- Please send only one entry per blog. If you do not have a blog, simply email your entry, with a picture (if you would like me to add a picture) to email@example.com.
- Although it's great to get entries from all over the world I have to insist that they be in English. If you have a Blog in another language I would kindly like to request you to post your entries in English as well.
Just one more thing. I'd like to toot my own horn if I may and I hope you bear with me.
WFLH has been nominated in two categories:
Best Food Blog
Best Photography Blog
and The Daily Tiffin has been nominated in the category:
Best Parenting Blog
I remember when I started the blogs last year I would look at the other blogs nominated back then and think "Wow! That must be a great feeling!" I can hardly believe today I am standing on the other side. So, I sincerely thank all my readers and also those who nominated me for this and I urge you all to vote for me here:
Blogger's Choice Awards
Now drum roll please - I present to you our very own Arabian Nights.
- Maiapapaya - Kofta Yogurtlu Kebab "Henning and I are both big fans of middle eastern food, and it rivals Indian food for ethnic-food-most-commonly-cooked-at-home."
- My Food Freak - Falafel
"While I’ve snacked on falafel numerous times in the past, this is the first time I have ever made them from scratch. It surprised me how easy they were to prepare and how much better they seemed to taste than the local pita shack."
- Hooked On Heat - Spiced Lamb Pilaf
"It’s funny how every fond memory I have of my childhood always has some connection to food. But what’s even more surprising is my craving for particular food at any given time."
- Neivedyam - Konafah
"Kataifa or Konafah is an Egyptian dessert dish for feasts and everyday during the fasting holy month of Ramadan."
- Live To Eat - Kibbeh
"Kibbeh, the national dish of Lebanon in its simplest form is oval shaped nuggets made with a mix of ground lamb and bulgur, and can be made grilled, boiled or fried. I love everything fried, and my book had the recipe for Fried Kibbeh balls,..."
- Un Tocco Di Zenzero - Morrocon Cuisine
Sandra talks about Moroccan cuisine and bakes a Moroccan specialty. In Italian!<
- Liberal Foodie - Harira
"...the other half of the beans were used to make my version of Harira, Moroccan stew, eaten after breaking fast on Ramadan. It is made on the stove in a watched pot but because it was harira, my way I changed the recipe and cooked it in the slow cooker."
- An Italian in the US - Lahmacun
"Apparently some people say pizza was invented by Turkish..."
- Aroma! - Umm Ali
"When I took my first warm bite with a scoop of cold Vanilla Ice Cream ,YUM! My daughter said "it tastes like Heaven mommy"
- Almost Chef - Baklava
"If you have never made Baklava, it seems like a complicated undertaking. You must be organized, work quickly, and protect the phyllo. Fortunately, the only required demanding physical labor is restraining yourself from eating the entire baklava when it is finished."
- Spice Corner - Falafel, Hummus and Pitas
"First time I had falafel was in Bangalore during some food festival. It was crispy deep fried balls of seasoned ground chickpea in a soft, chewy pita along with some fresh vegetables."
- Big Cook Tiny Kitchen - Chicken Bastilla
"I am no stranger to homemade hummus, tabouleh and curry, so this was a chance to try something new."
- A Foodie Froggy In Paris - Psal ou Manouch - Sauce for Barbecues
"To accompany the poor lonely grilled meat, I have my little secret that makes everyone ask for a refill even when they are "oh soooo full" : The Arabian barbecue sauce!"
- Eating Out Loud - Kibbeh
"The recipe I found is baked, but I don't know if it really saved me any calories. It turns out pretty dang rich in the end."
- Spices Of Kerala - Batata Harra
"Batata Harra is one of the most common Lebanese dishes. It makes a side dish or an appetizer."
- Mele Cotte - Spinach Turnovers/Fa’toy’yeh B’sbaanegh
"For this event, I went with a simple, healthy Lebanese recipe that features a medley of greens. I have eaten each member of the trio (spinach, parsley, & mint) individually, but never together. This intriqued me."
- Always Room For Dessert - Egyptian Lentil Stew
"I have never cooked with lentils before; it's just not in the Asian food repertoire. For a while now, I have been in the habit of buying interesting ingredients with the intention of learning how to cook them"
- My Chow Chow Bhath - Coconut Dates
"This is very simple dessert and one of the popular snacks with a hot cup of tea from Saudi Arabia."
- Saucy In The Kitchen - Mujadara
"Arabic food itself has dual virtues of simplicity and complexity. Many of the ingredients are simple, (like legumes and grains) combined in a way that add depth and complexity to the meal, and are a real treat to the Western palate."
- Homemades - Lahmacun with Lamb, Red Capsicum & Eggplant
"I did love reading tales when I was a kid. They often took me to a place of magic lamps, camels, gold coins, veils, urns, beautiful palaces, desert, dates, silks, flying carpets, and handsome princes with pretty princesses."
- Delectable Victuals - Moghrabiyah with Zaatar Chicken
"Zaatar, to me, in concept, is like Garam Masala: each family, each chef, has their own special proportion of spices so that, despite using the same ingredients, each batch can turn out different."
- 1 x Umruehren Bitte - Chick peas salad with Orange and Parsley
"Chick peas are low in fat, and are a significant source of calcium. It is often used as an alternative protein product with vegetarians and vegans and is one of the plants with the highest amount of protein. Oranges are a good source of vitamin C as well as parsley."
- 64 sq feet Kitchen - Chicken Bastilla
"Although the recipe calls to use meat, many versions are made throughout the world using only nuts with an egg filling and spices, or only nuts, honey and spices such as ginger, coriander and cinnamon."
- Confessions of a Cardamom Addict - An Easter Feast
"Apart from the "usual suspects" -- hummus, tabouli, baba ganouj--I've not really done a lot with Arabic-inspired foods. Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up with a hodgepodge of dishes from--or at least inspired from--various areas of the Mediterranean."
- Desert Candy - Djaj ala Freekia (Chicken with Roast Green Wheat)
"Soon, dishes were ferried to the table, and the feast began: steaming platters of saffron rice, stuffed vegetables, roast spicy chicken, salads, bulgur pilafs, stewed okra. The “laziza” truly lived up to its name. There was coffee and tea, then there were chocolate eggs with trinkets inside, and little cakes. By the time the date-filled biscuits were passed around, I was stuffed, but they were so good I found myself reaching for one after another anyway."
- Feed Your Vegetarian - Vegetarian Bastilla
"I can remember the first time I tried Bastilla. The combination of savory, sweet and cinnamon was unforgettable."
- Jugal Bandi - Falafel
"Our home is generally a no deep-fry zone. There are a few exceptions and falafel is one of them."
- Morsels & Musings - Khabeesa - Omani Delight
"At Meeta’s advice to people more familiar with this cuisine, I decided to
go for a country whose cuisine I knew nothing about and a dish I had never
- Porcini Chronicles -Lamb and Vegetable Tagine
"Our Moroccan grocers around the block are the only Halal butchers to carry
Merguez sausage (my favorite!), cracked Moroccan green olives and preserved lemons, so I go to
them a lot."
- Vegetarian Concoctions -Doodhi Kofta
"Originally Persian, Kofta, köfte, kafta, kufta or kafteh are quite a tradition throughout the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. I presume it travelled to India with the Mughals."
- La Mia Cucina - Baba Ghanoush
"...nothing was going to keep me from joining in on the fun! Not even having absolutely, positively no farkin' idea what to make. None. Nada. The big goose egg. Zilch. This gal doesn't venture much past the Italian, Mexican, Asian, Southern regions of cuisine very often and hoooo baby! did it ever become blatantly apparent when Meeta announced the theme!"
- Veggie Cuisine - Muhallebi - Milk Pudding
"This dessert is ready in 10 minutes flat."
- Paulchen's Foodblog - Chicken Tajine with honey, pears & cinnamon
"I love the taste of fruits with meat it’s sweet and savoury and unusual to an austrian tongue."
- Trembom - Balil Hummus with Crushed Chickpeas and pine nuts
"I picked this recipe because a) I love hummus and b) it was hummus with a twist."
- Feeding My Enthusiasms - Feta,Pita and Mint
"It is a wonderful combination with the salty feta, the wheaten pita and the zing of mint joining forces in your mouth."
- A Cook At Heart - Ruz Wa BanadouraI
"Ruz Wa Banadoura... if that has confused you, how does Rice with Tomato
sound? That's just what this is!!"
- Indian Food Rocks - Bedouin Mensaf Lebeneh and Sambusik Cookies
"Bedouin Mensaf Lebeneh is best when made with goat meat or mutton, as it is called in India. I made it with lamb, the more readily available meat in these parts of Colorado."
- A Mad Tea Party - Pita and Labneh
"Labneh is simplicity itself. I had never before tried olive oil with it. Simply superlative and hardly any work."
- Technicolor Kitchen - Donna Hay's Hummus
"It was my first time making hummus and the result was great."
- My Khazana of Recipes - Couscous "The very first time I ever heard about this wonderful grain, I was fascinated by the mearge sound of
- Akshayapaatram - Mediterranean Birthday Feast<
"This was for two of my dearest friends' birthday. Me and my roomies and the b'day boys' roomie got
together to prepare this superb spread for them"
- Swad - Tabbouleh "My Geography knowledge got a lift when I learned that Lebanon is the smallest country in the Middle East; it is about 30 miles wide and 135 miles long. Lebanon produces almost all of its food. The farmers cut flat fields out of the steep hillsides and mountain slopes."
- Columbus Foodie - Chicken Schwarma and Hummus
"The chicken schwarma is made with a thinly sliced chicken breast, the better part of a can of diced tomatoes, and a packet of SPYSI schwarma seasoning."
- Bounteous Bites - Peanut Halva<
"For me the definition of halva (or halvah, halava) has always been peanut halva. In Estonia these shiny packages with Ali Baba on them are known to everybody."
- Rachel's Bites - Chicken with Caramelized Shallots
"While the recipe calls for an entire chicken, I decided to use about 8 chicken thighs because those are my favorite part."
- Tartelette - Harissa from Oujda
"If you are familiar with the hot sauce ‘harissa’, do not ask me why this particular pastry is also called this way as there is nothing hot about it."
- Ahaar - Vegan Kalam Polow
"Whether it is falafel with hummus, tahini and baba ganouj dip, chicken sahwarma or kebabs, I enjoy all of them. But I was ready to experiment, so I set my foodie radar working. I looked around for one recipe which captures all the elements of Middle Eastern cooking. Then I came across Kalam Polow (or Polo) or we can say Persian biryani."
- Saffron Trail - Eggplant and Red Bean dip
"Sometimes, you just want something light to nibble for dinner. While I've labeled this recipe under Party Starters, you need not necessarily have a party to enjoy this kind of finger food. This is perfect stuff to share with your partner while watching your favourite movie on a Friday evening."
- Ô Délices - Pear Baklava
"I'm just back from Morocco myself. It's been 8 blissful days of eating and sightseeing. The first thing that comes to my mind to qualify this cooking are spices"
- Yambalaya - Peanut Butter Hummus
"Years ago, when I was still living in the Netherlands in a little town (well it was more of a large village but it had obtained town rights in the middle ages, so a town it is) we did not always had tahini (sesame paste) easily available. No problem, we would use peanut butter."
- Jumbo Emanadas - A Four Course Arabian Meal
"Why try one new recipe in an evening when I can try 4? That means I have 4 times the chance of messing something up. To throw another wrench into the machine, I’ve also ventured into the unknown territory of Arabian cuisine. Let me apologize upfront for the bastardization of any recipes that I try in my attempt to make new things. I mean well."
- What's For Lunch, Honey? - Spicy Arabian Chicken with Couscous
"...as we pureed hummus, rolled kibehs and roasted pine nuts for one of the many Arabic weddings, he would narrate many wonderful tales of the origin of Arabic cooking, in specific that of the Persian Gulf countries"
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