Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Zaatar Manakeesh – A popular bread from Middle East.

Manakeesh/ Manoosheh is a popular Middle Eastern bread which is originally from Labanon.It is a version of arabic pita bread topped with the very delicious and flavourful spice blend -Zaatar. Zaatar is a blend of different spices like -thyme, oregano, sumac,coriander,toasted sesame seeds,Marjoram,cumin and salt. This zaatar mix is mixed with generous amount of olive oil and applied on the zaatar mankeesh before baking.You can have this zaatar manakeesh any time of the day.It is a very popular any time breakfast and snack item of Middle east like the  Falafel sandwich.

Zaatar Manakeesh can also be served as a wrap filled with fresh tomato and cucumber slices,fresh mint leaves ,pickled jalepenos and olives or can be as experimental as you can,You can serve this with Muhamara ,tzatziki, with plain yogurt or with just a cup of tea or coffee.

You can make zaatar manakeesh either by applying zaatar mix on top or can top the zaatar with Halloumi cheese, akkawi cheese,kashkaval cheese,Feta cheese,or a mix of halloumi and mozzrella. Can make the topping with any of your favourite cheese mix . It taste almost like a cheese pizza and taste so awesome.


Servings 11 Manakeesh
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes


3 cup Refined Flour / Maida
2.25 tsp Active dry yeast
3 tbsp Olive Oil / Zeitoun Ka Tel
1/2 tsp Sugar / Chini
1 tsp Salt / Namak
Zaatar Topping
3/4 cup Zaatar spice Mix
1 cup Olive Oil / Zeitoun Ka Tel


  1. In a bowl add 1 cup of luke warm water and mix sugar and yeast.
  2. Stir to mix and cover the bowl and keep aside for about 5 minutes or till it froth well.
  3. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and mix ,now add the olive oil and mix well with your finger tips.
  4. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and mix it well.
  5. Add some more water if needed to make a soft dough.
  6. knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes till it turn smooth.
  7. Keep the dough ball in a greased bowl and let it rest for about an hour or till it become double in size.
  8. Preheat the oven at 200 degree C .
  9. Make 11 equal size balls from the dough or depends on how big or small you want to make.
  10. Let the balls rest for about 15 minutes till they become double in size.
  11. In a bowl mix olive oil and zaatar mix for the topping.
  12. Dust the dough balls with dry flour and roll to make a flat bread ,like a thin crust pizza.
  13. Press it all over with your finger tips to make slight indentations to absorb the topping.
  14. Spread zaatar mix all over it ,just leave the edges slightly.
  15. Arrange in a baking tray and bake for about 7-10 minutes ,depending on the size and tempearture of your oven or remove as soon as the sides start turning golden.
  16. Serve hot with your favourite dip or just with a cup of tea or coffee.
Recipe Notes


It can be served as it is and can also be served as a wrap filled with fresh tomato slices, cucumber, fresh mint, pickled jalepenos and olives

Source: maayeka



Pita bread or khubz is flatbread made with all purpose flour or with wheat flour.This is the most common staple food in the Arab world

I tried making these filling and easy cheesy pita pockets /triangles with three types of pita bread available ,thin like a chapati,medium and thick like a pizza base ,all turn out good ,but  personally I like the thicker version best for making these pockets or triangles.

Try and enjoy these delicious pita pockets/triangles


Servings Prep Time
5 people 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


Pita bread-5
Corn kernals-3/4 cup
Capsicum-2 medium
Chopped jalapeno -1 tbsp
Cottage cheese or tofu-1 cup
Sliced  black olives-1/2 cup
Grated mozzarella cheese-1 cup
Oregano-1 tsp
Salt-1 tsp
Chili flakes-1tsp


  1. Cut and open pita bread from one side and make a pocket.
  2. Pressure cook corn kernals for 2 whistles.drain and keep aside.
  3. Make small cubes of cottage cheese / tofu or crumble it.chop capsicum into small pieces.
  4. Mix every thing for stuffing in a bowl
  5. Stuff this mixture in the pita pocket  and apply some butter or olive oil over  the pita bread.
  6. Grill it till golden and crisp
  7. Slice into 4 triangles and serve hot.
Serving tips: serve with tomato ketchup or salsa dip

Source: maayeka


Zaatar Roasted Potatoes – Crispy stir-fried potatoes with Zaatar spice mix

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice mix which has very delicate tangy flavours. It is mainly used as a topping for different types of Middle Eastern bread. The most popular is Zaatar Manakeesh, the generous sprinkle of olive oil mixed zaatar takes this manakeesh to a different level.

Yesterday when I was planning for my lunch I didn’t have many vegetables in the refrigerator. I love the flavour of Zaatar spice so much but there are not many recipes to use the spice blend. I did have a few boiled potatoes, so I tried making stir fried potatoes with zaatar and it turned out so awesome. Everybody loves it so much that nobody waited till lunch and the potatoes are finished as a snack with labneh. Such an easy,quick and delicious recipe with just two ingredients!!

Zaatar spice mix is very easily available in the gulf region and in metro cities of India, if you want you can easily make this spice mix .

Crispy potatoes stir fried with zaatar spice mix

Servings 3 people

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


4 medium Potatoes / Aloo boiled
3 tbsp Zaatar spice Mix
To taste Salt / Namak
4 tbsp Olive Oil / Zeitoun Ka Tel

  1. Peel the boiled potatoes and chop into medium size cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom frying pan.
  3. Add the potato cubes and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat till they get a nice golden colour (you can also deep fry the potatoes )
  4. Now add salt and zaatar spice mix and stir for a minute on low heat.
  5. Serve hot as a starter with labneh or your choice of tangy sauce.
Recipe Notes
Serving suggestion- serve as a starter or side dish .

Source: Maayeka

How To Make Zaatar Spice Mix

Zaatar Spice Mix

Zaatar – a popular and flavorful spice blend from the Middle East

Zaatar (or Za’atar) is a blend of different herbs commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Adding a small amount of Zaatar adds a unique dimension to dishes, and can turn a very simple dish to an interesting one. It is believed that Zaatar helps improve immunity and enhances mental function, making it a popular choice in households with children. Many parents make sure that kids consume zaatar before leaving for exams in the morning, to help them remain extra alert during the examination. It is also known for it’s anti-oxidant properties.

Zaatar is made with sumac, dried thyme, marjoram, roasted sesame seeds, oregano and salt. The ratio may differ from country to country, and household to household, depending on availability of quality ingredients, taste preferences, and prices. Popular zaatar blends available in the UAE are Palestinian and Syrian. You may be find blends from other countries too – and the only way to really find out what works for you is to buy a little bit of each and try them out. And remember it the next time you go shopping!

The main ingredient in zaatar is sumac which gives a tartness in the blend. Some varieties also have cumin, coriander, and fennel. In India – sumac is available in bigger metropolitan cities, and can also be ordered via Amazon. There is no good substitute for sumac but if you don’t have it then you may try using dried lemon zest.

If you are making your own spice mix then try to choose the freshest ingredients and then mix it in small quantities as fresh zaatar tastes significantly better. As a rule – do not buy this spice blend in bulk packaging. If you are making the blend at home – remember that the blend is coarse in texture and the sesame seeds are just pounded and added afterwards. Do not grind it in a fine powder.

Prep Time 5 minutes


1/4 cup Sumac
2 tbsp Thyme
1.5 tbsp sesame seeds /til
2 tbsp marjoram
2 tbsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt / Namak

Servings: 4


  1. Slightly roast the sesame seeds.
  2. Mix everything and coarsely crush in the mixer or just pound in a mortar and pestle. Using a mortar and pestle is preferred.
  3. Store in a glass jar and close it tightly and keep it in a cool place.
Source: Maayeka



Bake these Turkish spiced lamb and tomato flatbreads on a heated pizza stone in the oven so that the crust and topping cook evenly.



1 tsp. sugar
1 (1⁄4-oz.) package active dry yeast
2 cups flour, plus more
1 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp. sweet paprika
1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 oz. ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 plum tomato, grated
1 small onion, grated
1⁄2 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced


Combine sugar, yeast, and 3⁄4 cup water heated to 115˚ in a small bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and stir to form a dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, divide into 4 portions, and roll each portion into a ball. Transfer dough balls to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a large bowl, combine oil, tomato paste, parsley, cayenne, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and stir vigorously with a fork. Stir in lamb, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and chiles and season with salt; set topping aside.

Put a pizza stone in bottom third of oven and heat oven to 475°. Working with one dough ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 10" disk. Brush off excess flour and transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spoon 3–4 tbsp. topping onto dough and using your fingers, spread topping evenly to edges. Season with salt. Holding parchment paper by its edges, transfer to baking stone. Bake until dough is golden brown and topping is cooked, 6–8 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and topping; serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Middle Eastern kibbeh is a finely ground paste of bulgur, onions, and lamb or beef, which is formed into patties or balls, filled with coarsely ground, sweetly spiced meat, onions, and pine nuts, and deep-fried.



For the Filling

1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more to garnish
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
8 oz. ground beef sirloin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄4 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp. ground sumac, plus more to garnish

For the Shell

1 1⁄2 cups fine bulgur
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 1⁄2 lb. lamb shoulder, trimmed of all fat and sinew
Canola oil, for frying
Plain yogurt, for serving
Mint leaves, to garnish


For the filling: Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add beef, and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Add salt, allspice, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, until meat begins to brown, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl, stir in nuts and sumac, and let cool.

For the shell: Rinse bulgur, squeeze out excess water, and place in a large bowl. Add salt, allspice, cinnamon, pepper, and onion, and set aside. Grind lamb twice in a meat grinder, and add to bulgur mixture; knead mixture in bowl into a pliable paste, about 5 minutes. Cover bowl with a clean dish towel.

Shape about 1⁄4 cup of the bulgur-meat paste into a ball, moistening your hands with water as you work. Hold ball in one hand and insert index finger of other hand into center to form a hole. Shape ball into a thin-walled (about 1⁄4"-thick) oval with an opening at one end by molding ball around finger, gradually tapering closed end. Mend any cracks in shell with a moistened finger. Fill hole with 1 1⁄2 tbsp. of the filling. Moisten edges of opening, then gather edges together to seal. Gently form kibbeh into the shape of an egg, and keep moist under a clean dish towel. Repeat shaping with remaining filling and bulgur-meat paste to make 16 egg-shaped balls in all.

Pour oil to a depth of 2" into a 6-qt. Dutch oven, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Working in batches, fry kibbeh until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a serving platter, and spoon some yogurt on the platter alongside the kibbeh. Drizzle oil over yogurt, and sprinkle with more sumac. Serve with mint leaves on the side.

Source: Saveur



Mayonnaise ensures a creamy, smooth texture in this Midwestern riff on the classic Mediterranean dip by cookbook author Amy Thielen. Chopped cumin seeds add spice and a little crunch to the smoky eggplant.



2 medium eggplants (1 3⁄4 lbs.)
1⁄2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish
1 bunch radishes, trimmed
1 large kohlrabi, trimmed
3 tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably homemade
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
1⁄4 cup oil-cured niçoise olives, pitted and roughly chopped
Aleppo pepper, to garnish


Heat the broiler to high. Place the eggplants on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over and very soft, 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the eggplant cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the cumin seeds on a cutting board and drizzle with two drops of olive oil. Chop the seeds repeatedly until coarsely ground. Using a mandoline or knife, thinly slice the radishes and kohlrabi and then place in a large bowl of ice water. Let sit until the slices begin to curl, about 10 minutes. Drain and spread the slices out on a towel to dry.

Peel and discard the charred eggplant skin and place the flesh on a cutting board. Finely chop the flesh and then scrape into a bowl. Stir in the chopped cumin along with the 1⁄4 cup of olive oil, the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and garlic. Transfer the baba ghannouj to a serving bowl and drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with the olives and Aleppo and serve with the radish and kohlrabi slices.

Source: Saveur


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