Saturday, July 16, 2016


Mum's Basbousa (Egyptian Syrup Semolina Cake)

2/3 cup ghee (not melted)
1 cup sugar
1 cup yogurt
1/3 cup milk

2 cups semolina (fine or coarse)
1 tsp baking powder

Almonds for decor

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
(orange blossom water if desired - 1 tsp)

Prep syrup by adding the water to a pot then the sugar into the middle of the water in the pot, DO NOT MIX. Bring it to a boil and it will bubble and sugar will dissolve ...continue cooking on medium high then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from burner and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

BATTER: Mix sugar, yogurt and milk, and ghee in one bowl. Mix semolina, baking powder in another bowl. Cream all together

Grease a pan 7x13 with ghee or butter. Pour batter mixture into pan..garnish with almonds and bake 40 to 45 minutes on highest rack.

After the 40-45 minutes set oven to Broil (2 minutes on low broiler) STAY IN THE KITCHEN AND KEEP CHECKING THAT IT DOESN'T BURN. ALMONDS CAN BURN EASILY.

Remove from oven and turn oven/broiler off.

Pour syrup over the basbousa cake using a spoon or ladel to evenly distribute. Place basbousa back into the warm oven (turned off!!) for 10 mins. This will help the syrup absorb.

Let cool then serve, perfect to make the day ahead. Cover and seal cooled basbousa using foil until the next day, plastic wrap unfortunately clings to the top and may remove a layer or some of the almonds.

Double the recipe for large pan
For baklava recipe refer to previous post here 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Anatolia Fest 2016 Toronto

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ma'moul for Eid

Ma'moul by Najat (From her Youtube video, typed out by me)

3 cup fine samolina (farina or cream of wheat)
1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/8 tbsp salt

2 Sticks of butter, 1/2 pound of butter at room temp. (leave out 4 hours)

Mix soft butter with those ingredients until it's mealy and absorbed between your palms for 5 mins

cover and wrap for 6 hours on the counter, or in the fridge if you're in a hot country, take out an hour before use to become room tempt.

Date filling:

1/4 kilo date paste  (1 packaged block)
 2 tbsp softened butter
1 tbsp ground fennel
1 tbsp groudn anise

1/2 tsp ground mahlab (toasted and ground)

some oil for oiling hands while rolling.

Toast all seeds, cool and grind before use.

Mix all together with hands until it's a dough like consistancy, roll into small balls.

*Optional flavourings to use are cinnamon, cloves, cardimon, or nutmeg.

Pistachio filling:

1 1/2 cup finely ground pistachio
3/4 cup powdered sugar

1-1 1/2-2 cups orange blossom or rose water.. start with 1 tbsp and see how much is needed for it to come together as a dough.

Make little balls like with date paste.

Back to the dough:

After 6 hours leaving the samolina mixture,

Mix 1/2 tsp instant yeast over 3/4 cup warm water and 1/2 tsp sugar and let it sit until it proofs.

Add to samolina mixture:

2 tbsp powdered milk
2 tsp ground mahleb
1/2 tsp ground mystic (mestika)

Blend together well into mixture, slowly pour the yeast mixture into the grainy mixture until it comes together, never over knead the dough.   Once it comes together and you can make a little patty then cover and let it rest for 15 minutes covered with plastic wrap.

Divide the dough into small balls (as many as the fillings you have)

Heat oven to 400 F

Keep everything covered with cling wrap while working.

Fill the dough balls with the filling and shape into desired shapes.

Seperate date and pistachio on seperate trays as pistachio cooks longer.

Bake as soon as they're ready, divide oven in 3rds using oven trays and put the first tray on the bottom rack for 7-8 mins.
Once it takes a golden color remove and put on top rack another 5 mins to finish while adding new tray to bottom.

Remove and cool tray, as soon as cookies are able to be moved move them to cooling rack and once they're cold store away in a tupperware.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Easy Lamb Shanks

Until recently I've always felt that lamb shanks were a very intimidating piece to cook but then one day I picked up a pack at the local supermarket, both the new zealand spring lamb and PC have halal symbols on them and usually come frozen.
This is probably the easiest recipe you'll ever make, seriously!

Lamb Shanks

- 1 pack of shanks, 3 are included inside
- 5 big cloves garlic
- Salt and Pepper
- A drop of oil (grapeseed, or avocado oil or something that you would normally use to fry at high temperatures, not olive oil!)

Thaw your shanks in the fridge for a couple of days and then remove from package and pat dry. Heat a bit of oil in a pot and add the shanks turning from side to side so they brown evenly on the outside. All 3 fit perfectly in a large pot. Don't forget to turn on the fan and get yourself a splash guard ready, and I also lay a piece of paper towel over the splash guard so that it collects any splatters. Lamb has a lot of fat and splatters, plus the smell lingers so open the windows too if you can.

Transfer your shanks to a pressure cooker, mine is electric. Add the salt and pepper, and raw garlic cloves. Cover and set to 50 minutes. At this point I can just walk away because it's been set to high pressure, so once pressurized it will cook and then cool down and set itself to warm until I return.

Easy BBQ naan recipe here, we covered it earlier on the blog

The lovely dish of rice that you see crowned with golden almonds, raisins and jewelled carrots is Kabuli Pilau and made to order from Mama's Kitchen, as well as the Spinach and braised veal dish, both absolutely delectable!