A Middle Eastern Feast
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Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has been livelihood, status symbol, entertainment - and passion. In the GREAT FOOD series, Penguin brings you the finest food writing from the last 400 years, and opens the door to the wonders of every kitchen.
as well as with a cold fish. 300 ml (½ pint) tahina 150 ml (¼ pint) lemon juice, or more 50–90 ml (2–3 fl oz) water Salt 2 cloves garlic, crushed Beat the lemon juice and then the water into the tahina. It will stiffen at first and then become smooth. Add only enough water for a light cream. Season to taste with salt and beat in the garlic. Serve in a separate bowl. SAMAK TARATOR Fish with Tarator Sauce This is a great gala dish, particularly popular in Egypt, Syria and the
were used by the ancient Persians and the Arabs of the Abbassid period. Al-Baghdadi’s recipes recommend mashing the fruits to a pulp, but Moroccans leave them whole or sliced, and add them towards the end of cooking, to prevent them disintegrating. Fasis (inhabitants of Fez) stew their ingredients, as al-Baghdadi did, without preliminary frying, as they consider that frying would add heaviness to otherwise delicate dishes. Every Moroccan family prizes its own very special touajen which
upon him with a Turkish coffee. Besides spontaneous calls, there are special occasions when visiting is obligatory. A new arrival in town, a return home from a trip, a sickness, a death, a birth, a circumcision, a wedding, and the innumerable Muslim festivals, the mûlids, all set the cake- and pastry-making and eating rituals in motion. Certain occasions call for a particular sweet. Pastries, jams and preserves, sweet-scented creams and delicately fragrant dried-fruit salads are made days in
into English weights and measures, it is: DOUGH 120 ml (4 fl oz) oil 120 g (4 oz) butter, melted 120 ml (4 fl oz) warm water 1 teaspoon salt 500 g (1 lb) plain flour, sifted 1 egg, beaten Sesame seeds (optional) Clarified butter for shallow-frying or oil for deep-frying CHEESE FILLING 500 g (1 lb) crumbled feta cheese 2 lightly beaten eggs 3–4 tablespoons chopped mint leaves To make the dough: put the oil and butter together in a small heatproof bowl, and heat over boiling
vegetables, meat, pulses, cereals and rice, they are sometimes indistinguishable from stews, except for the fact that they have very much more liquid. They are often cooked for so long that you can no longer distinguish what is in the pot. Some of the richer soups play a part in the rituals of religious festivals, and are called ‘festive’ or ‘wedding’ soups. A few are Ramadan specials. Calf’s feet or sheep’s feet are added for their gelatinous quality. Pulses – lentils, chick peas, yellow split