Tabouleh, vine leaves, baklava and more dishes to make in your own home
Time Out Bahrain staff
This fresh, tangy salad is a healthy iftar option. Use the lettuce leaves in place of spoons to scoop the tabbouleh from the bowl.
Ingredients • 3 bunches of flat leaf parsley • 75g mint leaves • 4 spring onions • 1 buffalo tomato • 3/4 cup bulgar wheat • 2 lemons, juiced • 1/3 cup olive oil • 1/2 tsp cumin • Romaine lettuce leaves • Salt and pepper to season
Method • Soak the bulgar in cold water for around 90 minutes, then squeeze out all excess water and set aside.
• Wash the parsley, remove the stalks and chop finely.
• Remove stalks from the mint leaves, then chop finely.
• Put the tomato in a jug of boiling water for a few minutes, then peel off the skin, which should come away easily. Chop into small chunks and discard the seeds.
• Wash and dice spring onions.
• Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the cumin, the juice of the lemons and salt and pepper to taste.
• Line a serving bowl with large romaine lettuce leaves that overhang the edge slightly, then spoon the tabbouleh on top.
• Stick a few extra lettuce leaves into the middle of the mixture if there’s not enough for each diner around the sides of the bowl.
This soup originates from Morocco but is now popular world-over, especially during Ramadan, when it’s often used as a light way to end the daily fast.
Ingredients • 450g meat (lamb, beef or chicken work well), chopped. • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1 lemon, juiced • 2 onions, chopped roughly • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely • 1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped ﬁnely • 2 tsp garlic paste • 400g chickpeas • 1 small carrot, chopped • 1 1/4 cup red lentils • 1 teaspoon turmeric • 1 tsp cumin • 1 tsp cinnamon • 1 tsp tomato puree • 1 tin chopped tomatoes • 1.5l chicken stock • Coriander, to garnish
Method • Brown the meat over a medium heat on each side for a few minutes, then remove and set aside.
• Heat oil in a large pan, then add chopped onion, garlic, chillis and carrot, stirring constantly for about five minutes to soften the vegetables.
• Stir in turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and garlic, and cook for another minute. Stir in tomato puree, chicken stock, tomatoes and lentils. Bring to the boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
• Add the chickpeas and the browned meat and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
• Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper, then garnish each bowl with a sprig of coriander.
Warrah vine leaves
These particular vine leaves are stuffed with rice and vegetables but you can also add shredded meat or bulgar wheat.
Ingredients • 2 bunches flat leaf parsley, chopped ﬁnely • 5 tomatoes, diced • 3 onions, chopped roughly • 4 garlic cloves, crushed • 2 cups long grain rice, washed • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1/2 cup lemon juice • 1/2 tsp cinnamon • Salt and pepper to taste • 450g fresh vine leaves, washed • 1 cup tomato sauce • 2 cups water
Method • Gently wash the vine leaves and trim the stalks.
• Soak in boiling salted water for about a minute. Rinse and squeeze off excess water, then set aside.
• Mix the tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, cinnamon and lemon juice in a bowl.
• Add the rice and season with salt and pepper.
• Take one vine leaf and put a small amount of the filling towards the bottom of it, in a horizontal line.
• Fold the left corner of the leaf up to cover the filling, then do the same with the right corner. Firmly roll the rest of the leaf around the filling, leaving enough space for the rice to expand.
• Layer the warrah in a pot big enough to fit all the vine leaves without leaving too much space between the lid and the top layer.
• Combine the tomato sauce and water and pour over the warrah.
• Cover and cook on a medium heat for around 25 minutes. Middle Eastern roast lamb with orange and pistachio couscous Recipe by Gabby Atkinson.
Marinade • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped • 3 cloves garlic, crushed • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds • 1 teaspoon dried basil • 1 teaspoon dried thyme • ½ cup pomegranate molasses • ¼ cup water • ½ teaspoon sea salt • ½ teaspoon white pepper • 1.5kg leg of lamb, boned and butterﬂied
Pistachio couscous • 1½ cups fresh orange juice • ½ cup water • 2 cups couscous • 1 tablespoon orange rind, ﬁnely grated • 3 tablespoons olive oil • ½ cup roasted pistachios • ¼ cup fresh chopped mint • ¼ cup fresh chopped coriander
Method • Mix all marinade ingredients together in a food processor.
• Place lamb in a large dish, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
• Preheat oven to 200 ̊C.
• Shake excess marinade off lamb, place in a roasting dish and roast for one hour 20 minutes, or until cooked. (Alternatively, the lamb can be cooked on a barbecue).
• Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
• To prepare the couscous, place orange juice, water and grated rind in a large saucepan.
• Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and add couscous.
• Once liquid is absorbed, add remaining ingredients and serve with lamb.
This filo pastry dessert is rich and sweet. It’s traditionally baked on huge trays, then cut into diamond slices and served cool. It’s believed that it was commonly served to soldiers of the Ottoman Empire during Ramadan.
Ingredients • 1 cup butter (unsalted) • 450g filo dough • 2 cups pecans (chopped) • 1 1/2 tbsp cloves • 1 1/2 cups water • 1/3 cup sugar • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 cup honey
Method • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
• Melt butter over a low heat.
• Spoon two tbsp of melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
• Line the pan with three sheets of filo dough, trimming off the excess.
• Sprinkle two tbsp of pecans over the dough.
• Layer three more sheets of dough, brush liberally with the melted butter and top again with pecans.
• Continue this process until the pan is three-quarters full.
• Using a knife, score dough to form diamond shapes. Press a clove into the centre of each diamond. Pour remaining melted butter over dough and bake for 45-50 minutes.
• Mix sugar, water and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes, stirring constantly.
• Add the honey and simmer for two minutes longer.
• Remove from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the mixture over the hot baklava.
• Leave to cool on wire racks.
Chef Silvena Rowe of Omnia Gourmet, Dubai (Jumeirah Fish Harbour 1, +971 4343 7181) shares her favourite recipe for kunafeh.
‘I have had kunafeh in Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria and in the UAE, and there are slight differences in the way each is prepared and, primarily, what type of cheese is used. This is a home-made version, using easy-to-obtain shop-bought cheese (Gruyère and feta) but some people swear by using mozzarella. Combine Gruyère and feta together in a bowl. I love za’atar and herbs added to the mix, but feel free to leave out if you prefer. Brush flat tart dishes generously with melted butter. Cover with kadaifi pastry, pushing it in with the back of a spoon. Spoon the cheese mixture over the top, and cover with the remaining kadaifi pastry. The trick with kunafeh is to press the kadaifi down hard; try using another tray with something heavy on top to weigh it down and keep everything in place. Brush with melted butter, then beat the eggs together with milk and pour over the pies. Bake the pies in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes at 180°C, until golden and crispy. Serve drizzled with honey.’