Meena’s Famous Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad

Meena puts an Indian twist on a Middle Eastern salad. For a fresh and delicious treat, try this one out.

Dice one green bell pepper, one yellow bell pepper, one red bell pepper, and one orange bell pepper. Chop one large carrot into small pieces, dice one onion, dice one jalapeño pepper, and dice one tomato. Chop one bunch of parsley. Combine them into a large bowl, and add 2 cans of drained garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Mix together.

Tip: To avoid excess water in the salad, wash the vegetables the night before and keep them in the refrigerator overnight.

Add one tsp of ground cumin seeds, one tsp of garlic powder, and about one tsp of salt (to taste). Add half a cup of olive oil and 3/4 cup of lemon juice. Mix together, and serve.

It’s tempting to finish the bowl – save a little for your friends! :)

Senegalese Poulet Yassa

Poulet Yassa

Anna shares a family recipe for Poulet Yassa – a Senegalese favorite! Poulet Yassa is a tasty and easy dish to prepare. The flavorful mix of onions, garlic and lemon in this dish will tantalize anyone’s tastebuds. After trying this recipe with chicken – give it a go with fish. Enjoy!


In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of cooking oil, red and black pepper to taste, and salt to taste. Whisk together.


Into a bigger bowl, add 2-3 lbs of chicken pieces (whole or half) and 4 to 5 large chopped onions. Crush 3-4 cloves of garlic, and add into the bowl. Add the marinade mixture. Mix together. Marinate overnight. Grill in barbecue or cook in oven. Caramelize the onions while the chicken cooks. Serve over white rice.

Tunisian Camounia (Meat and Bean Stew)


Marilyn shares a tasty family recipe for Camounia – a hearty and flavorful stew made from meat, beans and Harissa sauce that is commonly eaten on Shabbat by Jewish families from Tunisia. Absolutely delicious, this dish is sure to be enjoyed by all… so let’s get cooking! :)

Add 1/3 cup of oil into a pot on the stove. Add two cans of tomato sauce, one teaspoon of paprika, three teaspoons of cumin, three teaspoons of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of Harissa (hot chili sauce), and one teaspoon of salt. Mix together and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add 2-2.5 pounds of meat, and mix together. After 15 minutes, stir, and add 2.5 cups of water. Let cook at medium-low for an hour to one hour and 15 minutes. Stir and cook for 30 more minutes. Add two cans (15 oz each) of pinto beans and let cook for 15 more minutes. Stir, and add a ground glove of garlic. Add one teaspoon of cumin. Stir. Ready to serve.

Serve over a bowl of couscous.

Couscous: To one lb of couscous, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix together. Pour boiling hot water, enough to cover the couscous. Mix together. Cover the bowl, and let the heat cook itself. Leave for 5-7 minutes.

Molokhia (Egyptian Jute Leaf Soup)


Fatma shares a family recipe for an Egyptian classic – molokhia or molokheya. Molokhia is a soup prepared from jute leaves. When paired with fried bell peppers and red sauce, this traditional favorite comes to life as a refreshing and tasty dish to share with family and friends.

Molokhia soup:

First, prepare the chicken broth. Fill a 1/3 of a pot with water. Add a whole, peeled onion. Add 4-5 seeds of cardamom. Place onto stove. Once boiling, place in a whole chicken and boil for 45-60 minutes. Strain the chicken broth before use. In an empty pot, add 2.5 cups of the chicken broth. Add one bag of frozen, minced Molokhia (jute leaves). Put onto stove, low heat, and cover it with a lid. Once a green soup, take it off the stove and place it to the side. Next, prepare the spices. Mash two cloves garlic and one tablespoon of ground coriander. Place these onto s small frying pan. Add olive oil, and fry until it is smooth. Add this to the pot of boiled Molokhia. Mix together. Leave it to the side, uncovered.

Side dish, Fried bell peppers:

Cut one large green bell pepper into pieces. Remove the seeds. Mash together one clove of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. On a frying pan, with vegetable oil for frying, place onto stove and fry the bell peppers. Place onto a paper towel to absorb extra oil. Put into a bowl, and add the garlic vinegar mix to it.

Red sauce:

Ground two small cloves of garlic. Add into a small pot, and add 3/4 tablespoon of oil for frying. While frying, add two tablespoons of tomato paste. Add salt to taste, and leave to boil for two minutes.

Be happy. Be healthy. Eat molokhia! :)

Bamiyeh (Okra Stew)



Nora shares a traditional and tasty family recipe for okra stew, known in Syria as “Bamiyeh”.

First, cook the beef. Add some olive oil into a pot, and then add 1.5 lbs of beef cubes. Add one tablespoon of salt. Add 1 teaspoon of allspice. Cover with enough water to cover the meat with two inches. Put on stove, and let cook for 45 minutes (30 minutes with pressure cooker).

Roughly chop three tomatoes, rough chop one cup of fresh cilantro, and mash six large garlic cloves. Place these in separate bowls and set to the side.

Add a little olive oil into a new pan, and heat it up. Add two 14 oz bags of small okra. Add one 6 oz can of tomato paste. Add the chopped tomatoes. Add one tablespoon of salt. Add two teaspoons of allspice. Mix together, and then add the cooked beef, and add enough stock to cover the top. Simmer for 20 minutes, without the cover on. In the last five minutes of simmering, add the chopped cilantro and mashed garlic. Mix together.

Pulla (Finnish Sweet Bread) with Emilie

Pulla (Sweet Bread)

Emilie shares a recipe for traditional Finnish Pulla – a sweet bread filled with sugar and spice and everything nice!

Pour one cup of lukewarm milk into an empty bowl. Add 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk together. Add one packet of yeast. Whisk together. Add one teaspoon of salt, one egg, and two teaspoons of the crushed cardamom. Whisk together well. Add two cups of flour and whisk together again. Add 1/2 stick of melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add two more cups of flour, and mix together with a wooden spoon. Add one more cup of flour and mix with your hands. Cover the bowl of dough with a cloth, and leave it to rise for about an hour in a warm place. Place the risen dough onto a baking sheet. Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. With scissors, cut strips along the two outer sides. The slits should line up evenly but not meet in the middle. Put to the side and allow it to rise more.

To create the filling, mix together 2-3 tablespoons of softened butter, one teaspoon of crushed cardamom, one teaspoon of cinnamon, one teaspoon of brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves. Mix into a paste. Spread the paste evenly into the middle section of the dough, and “braid” the dough by folding alternating sides into the middle. This will seal the filling while the dough bakes. Crack an egg and lightly beat it. Use this as a light egg wash on the top section of the dough.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and let bake for 25 minutes.

Paired with a hot cup of coffee, fresh baked Pulla makes for a delicious breakfast treat. A shout out to the fine citizens of Oulu, Finland – Olipa hyvaa! :)

Kabli Pulao (Afghanistan)

Kabli Pulao

Kabli Pulao

Hatifa shares a recipe for Kabli Pulao handed down to her by her mother. This dish is a complete meal in and of itself – tender beef piled between layers of sugar sweetened rice and topped with a fragrant mixture of carrots and raisins. A dinner party pleaser – this well-known Afghan staple will dress up any table!


One pound of beef with bone. Add one small sliced onion fried in oil. Add 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder. Cook for about two minutes. Add two to three cloves of chopped garlic and cook for an additional two minutes. Add one tsp. of coriander, four cups of water, and cook in a pressure cooker for about 30 minutes.


Pre-soak the rice for 2-3 hours before cooking. Boil water and add salt to taste. Add four cups of white basmati rice (long grain) to halfway-cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Turn off the heat and drain the water.

Carrots with Raisins:

Cook two cups of sliced carrots in a pan with one cup of vegetable oil on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of red raisins for about two minutes and add 1/4 tsp. of cardamom. Remove from pan and place onto paper towel to remove excess oil, then place in an aluminum foil wrap to close it up.

Sugar for flavoring:

Add one cup of vegetable oil to a pan on medium-high and 3/4 cup of sugar. This process burns the sugar, takes about 5-8 minutes.


Pour the cooked sugar onto the cooked rice. Mix and shape the rice into a little dome at the bottom. Add ground cumin, sprinkle on top. Add 1/2 cup of water. Place the foil-wrapped raisins and carrots to the side, inside the pot with rice. Place lid onto pot so that steam stays inside the pot. Keep on high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to medium for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, place onto platter. Add the cooked meat in the center of the rice. Cover the meat with the rest of the rice. Add the steamed raisin and carrot mixture to the top.

Dahi Barre (Fritters in Yogurt Sauce)

Dahi Barre

Niveen shares a recipe for Fauzia’s Famous Dahi Barre – a dish taught to her by her mother and passed down from her grandmother who was born in Hyderabad, India. Deep fried fritters with chopped onions and spices are submerged in a flavorful and tantalizing yogurt sauce, topped with traditional tamarind chutney. A must try!

Dough for Dahi Barre:

Add two Tbsp. of urad daal (lentil) flour and one Tbsp. of gram flour into a small bowl. Mix with a fork. Add one Tbsp. of lemon juice, chopped parsley, chopped mint, and one small chopped onion. Add water, enough so that when mixed it will be a little thinner than cake batter. Add one tsp. of baking soda into the mixture to make it fluffy. Let soak overnight.

Imli (tamarind) Chutney:

Mix one tamarind block into a small bowl of warm water. Strain into a sauce pan. Add one tsp. of vinegar, 1/2 tsp. of red chili powder, a bit of salt (Pink himalayan) to taste, 1/2 tsp. of cumin powder, and one tsp. sugar. Stir together, and boil on the stove. Let cool.

Yogurt Sauce:

Add two cups of plain yogurt into an empty bowl. Add one cup of heated milk with two Tbsp. of sugar already mixed into the milk. Whisk together until smooth. Add chopped parsley and chopped mint. Add salt to taste.


Heat oil in a pan before frying the fritters. Add batter to the pan one tablespoon at a time. You can fry a few of them at the same time, just make sure they are separated enough to not stick together. Turn them over pretty quickly when a golden brown so they don’t burn. Poke with fork so they cook evenly inside. Prepare a plate with paper towels, this will soak up the excess oil when the fritters are placed onto the plate. Add fried fritters into the yogurt sauce, submerging them gently. Add Chutney as a garnish. Garnish with a pinch of red chili powder and a little bit of cumin powder.

Amira’s Lebanese Chocolate Salami

Chocolate Salami

Chocolate Salami

Amira shows us how to make a delicious dessert, known throughout the Middle East as “Sukseh”. This rich treat is both moist and crumbly at the same time. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser – chocolate lovers beware!

Crush three packages of tea biscuits into bite-sized pieces. Add them into a bowl, along with 8 oz of unsweetened cocoa powder, one can of sweetened condensed milk, and 1 and 1/2 cups of melted butter. Mix until a moist dough.

Place a piece of wax paper onto a flat surface. Put half of the dough into the center of this paper, and shape it into a log. Roll the wax paper onto the log and twist both ends of the paper to seal it. Wrap this in a piece of aluminum foil. Place in a refrigerator overnight or for a few hours, and then it will be ready to serve.

After refrigerated, cut into slices. Serves well with one Tbsp. of ground pistachios, one Tbsp. of powdered sugar, and fruit on the side.

Ita’s Honey Cake

Arianna shares a family recipe for honey cake, handed down by her grandmother. Her family has made a tradition of eating Ita’s Honey Cake every year for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year.

Honey Cake for Rosh HaShanah

Separate five eggs, whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Add the yolks into a bigger mixing bowl, and mix together with a couple tablespoons of sugar until a fluffy yellow mixture. Add a cup of honey while mixing. After it becomes a cream mixture, add three TB of vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, stir together 19 oz of all purpose flour, half tsp of baking soda, and half tsp of baking powder. Prepare 1 and 1/4 cups of cooled black tea. Keep the mixing bowl at a low speed, and alternate between adding the tea and adding the flour mixture. Avoid over-mixing to prevent a tough dough.

Next, prepare the meringue, the second part of the cake. In an empty mixing bowl, mix together the egg whites, a little bit of cream of tartar or some drops of lemon, and a pinch of salt. After the mixture starts fluffing, slowly add a cup of sugar. Mix until fluffy and not runny.

With a rubber spatula, add half of the meringue into the bowl with the dough. Fold slowly. Add the rest of the meringue and fold slowly. Prepare a cake mold by spraying it with non-stick oil and lightly covering the bottom and sides with flour. Pour the batter into the mold, only filling it 3/4 to allow room for the cake to rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until golden brown.

After the cake has baked and cooled, sift a layer of powdered sugar onto the top.

Have a sweet new year! Shanah Tovah!