Lebanon is a foodies’ paradise- I
am told food of every variety, spicy, hot and warm , comforting is available in
this Country. Having influences from Mediterrranean as well as East African and
Middle Eastern Cuisine, Lebanon is a melting pot of world cuisine.
Today there is a full Lebanese
meal comprising of home made Pita bread, baked Falafel and Roasted Veggies. Tzatziki is also served usually with this, although I made a spicy yogurt dip. My
family enjoyed it along with a Baked potato and chickpea soup. I have
requests to make this again and again at home, and its a very nice feeling, dont you think :-))
Till then enjoy the spread. I have
followed my co-blogger Usha’s recipe for
the Baked Falafels (except that I have retained it as a roundel instead of
flattening it out) – Thanks Usha for the recipe. The recipe for Baked Pita Bread came from
The Fresh Loaf .
Although my Pita didn’t swell up like a phulka, tastewise it was very yummy. I
also used whole wheat flour and APF in the proportion 80:20, so that may be one
reason it didn’t puff up.
Lets get started on a few quick
facts about Lebanon before proceeding to today’s recipe:
country in Western Asia, it is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south. Lebanon’s location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean
Basin and the Arabian hinterland has dictated its
rich history and shaped a
cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity
- The name Lebanon originates from the Semitic root lbn (لبن),
meaning “white”, likely a reference to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon
cuisine (Arabic: المطبخاللبناني, “Levantine kitchen”) includes an abundance of
starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly.
Poultry is eaten more often than red meat.
cuisine is an ancient one and part of the Levantine cuisine, which include the
Egyptian cuisine, Palestinian cuisine, Syrian cuisine,etc.
- A typical mezze will consist of an elaborate variety
of thirty hot and cold dishes and may include:
Stuffed grape leaves
So, it’s a Lebanese meal today for
Alphabet L with Pita Bread, Baked Falafels & Roasted Summer Vegetables,
Spicy Yoghurt dip & Baked Chickpeas Soup (not in pic) for the World Blogging Marathon.
Total Prep time : 1 hour
Cooking / Baking time : 45 mins
Type : Lebanese Meal
1) Course : Baked Pita Bread
Type : Bread
Recipe followed verbatim from here. Only changes I
made is I used wholewheat flour & APf in 80:20 ratio. Also topped the bread
with nigella seeds before baking.
2) Course : Baked Falafels.
Type : Snack / Vegetable
Followed Usha’s recipe.
3) Course: Roasted Vegetables:
Mixed vegetables : 3 colours of
peppers, Zucchini, cucumbers, onions, lettuce, spinach
Olive oil : 3 TBSP
Mixed herbs : 1 TBSP
Sea salt – ½ tsp
Preheat oven to 170 Deg C. Chop
all vegetables according to the shape and size you need (just ensure they are
all more or less the same size). In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, mixed
herbs and salt,. Toss the veggies in this spice mixture and stand for 5-10 mins
Line a baking tray with foil and
grease with cooking spray. Place the
veggies on the foil.
Bake for 12-15 mins till they are
almost done but still stay crunchy
Serve with pita bread and falafel. Top with roasted sesame seeeds
4) Course : Spicy yoghurt Dip
Hung Curd – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Fresh Cream (I used Amul) – 3 tsp
Lemon juice – ½ tsp
Paprika, red chilli flakes and
oregano – 1 tsp
Whisk all ingredients together.
Season with spices. Chill before serving
5) Course : Baked Potato &
Recipe from my blog : Here
time : 20 mins.Cook time : 20 mins
Serves : 4
Chickpeas – 1/4 cup
– 2 large
– 1 large
– 1 or 2 – minced fine (opt.)
oil – 2 TBSP
herbs : Oregano/thyme/basil – suit your palate (I used a generous pinch of
chilli flakes – 1/4 tsp
– 1/4 tsp (opt.)
– chopped fine – a handful – optional
– a teeny weeny dash
– 1/2 TBSP – for garnish
pepper – 1/2 TBSP – for topping
– to taste
Method:1) In a large soup pot (I used a pressure pan),
heat olive oil. Add onions,garlic.Fry well till the raw smell disappears.
2) Meanwhile,wash,clean and bake potatoes in a
microwave for 8 mins or wrap in foil and bake in the oven with a little butter
& soft till soft. I added a pinch of red chilli flakes & pepper to
bring out the aroma.
2) In the pressure cooker, after the onions are
sauteed, add the cooked chickpeas, squash, salt and 5 cups of water and bring
to a boil.
3) Pressure cook for 3 whistles and cool (If
using a soup pot, cook covered for 20 – 25 mins till cooked well)
4) Drain and reserve the stock.
5) Puree the mixture along with the baked
potatoes and tip in the reserved stock.
6) Bring this puree to a low simmer. Add the
nutmeg, dried herbs, chilli flakes and adjust salt and other spices.
7) Transfer to serving bowls and finish with
cream and black pepper.
Now, that was a very satisfying meal. Lets check out what the other marathoners are upto today…