Omani recipes collection

Discussion in 'Desi Recipes' started by RAHEN, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    BREAKFAST MENU

    Enjoy these favorite recipes from Omani kitchen:​


    BREAKFAST TEA - In most homes here, a cup of this tea is an essential breakfast item. It may also be served after the afternoon siesta or in the evening, especially if one has guests.
    Ingredients:
    3 cups of water
    3 Tablespoons sugar
    2 tea bags or 2 tsp. of loose tea
    1 Tablespoon fresh or ground ginger (or a tsp. ground cardamom)
    a 170g can of unsweetened evaporated milk

    Put the water, sugar and tea into a teapot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2–3 minutes. Add the canned milk, and if using ground cardamom, add that too. Bring again to a boil. Then immediately remove from the heat (before it rises and comes out of the teapot). Strain into a thermos. If using ginger, add that to the thermos first. Enjoy piping hot. ​

    SWAYWEIH - sweet vermicelli, a popular breakfast/brunch item
    Ingredients:
    2 cups of dry, uncooked swayweih noodles (1/2 inch vermicelli pieces)
    4 Tablespoons of margarine or butter
    1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
    1/3 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
    1/3 cup of sugar
    3 eggs
    1 Tablespoon of ground cardamom
    1 large pinch of saffron powder
    Saute the chopped onion in 2 Tablespoons of butter until lightly browned. Remove the onions from the saute pan and place in a bowl on the side. Scramble the eggs in the saute pan by frying them while constantly stirring them (so that the eggs are cooked in small pieces). In a separate sauce pan, bring water to boil and add the vermicelli. Cook until the vermicelli is just tender. You want the vermicelli to be firm (yet cooked). You do not want it to be soft and smashed together. This thin vermicelli goes from the "just cooked" phase to the "soft and smashed" phase quickly so you will have to be diligent in watching it and removing it from the heat as soon as it is cooked. Drain. In the sauce pan put the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, the cardamom, saffron, sugar, cooked onions and eggs, and coconut. On top of all this, add the cooked vermicelli. Return to the heat (med-low heat) and cook while stirring for one minute. Serve warm.
    Variations: (1) when the onions are nearly translucent add 1/4 cup of mixed nuts (cashews and pistachio nuts are best) and sultanas (i.e. yellow raisins) and brown them with them onions. (2) brown the vermicelli before cooking (roast it over the stove in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often until a light brown color.) (3) Instead of adding eggs to the vermicelli, whisk the eggs, fry in one omelette and lay the omelette on top of the vermicelli when serving. ​

    SOUPY OATMEAL - excellent for the winter months
    Ingredients:
    3/4 cup of oatmeal
    4 1/2 cups of (prepared) milk
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 Tablespoon ground cardamom

    Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Stir about once a minute while it is cooking. Serve hot in individual bowls. ​

    KHABEESA - also known as farina, sameed, or "Cream of Wheat"
    Ingredients:
    3/4 cup of khabeesa (farina or "Cream of Wheat")
    5 cups of milk
    1/3 cup sugar (more or less to your tastes)
    1 Tablespoon ground cardamom
    2 Tablespoons of butter
    2 Tablespoons of rose water (optional)
    1/2 teaspoon of saffron powder or one big pinch of saffron threads
    Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest level and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm in individual bowls or on small desert plates. Drizzle with butter, if desired. ​

    SHAKSHOUKA - eggs and tomatoes, served with pita bread
    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
    2 Tablespoons of margarine or butter
    4 cups of peeled and chopped ripe tomato
    1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (red pepper powder)
    3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or coriander
    7 medium eggs
    salt, to taste

    Saute the chopped onion in 2 Tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan until translucent. Add the tomatoes, cayenne pepper and chopped parsley. Heat. Then simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender. Add eggs and salt. Stir. Cook over low heat for another five minutes stirring occasionally. Serve hot on a plate with pita bread on the side. ​

    POTATO AND ONION OMELET
    Ingredients:
    5 eggs, beaten
    1 large potato
    1 small-to-medium onion
    4 Tablespoons of oil

    Peel the potato and cut into pieces (approximately 2cm x 2cm x .5cm or smaller in size). In a skillet, fry the potatoes in the oil until tender, stirring occasionally and covering with the lid in between stirrings. Uncover and add the onions. Stir and fry until the onions and potatoes are slightly browned. Drain away excess oil. You will need only about 1 Tablespoon in which to cook the eggs. Spread the potatoes and onions evenly on the bottom of the skillet. Pour the eggs over the potatoes and onions. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, to taste. As the bottom of the eggs get firm, slightly lift the eggs with a spatula. Tilt the skillet and allow the uncooked egg from the top to run to the bottom of the skillet. When all of the egg is relatively firm and the bottom is lightly browned, flip the whole omelet to brown the other side. Once both sides are lightly browned, remove from heat and serve. ​

    RAISED PANCAKES
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of white flour (in Oman, flour #1 or #2)
    1/2 cup of brown flour (in Oman, flour #2 or #3)
    2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 Tablespoons of sugar
    1 beaten egg
    1 1/4 cups of prepared milk
    2 Tablespoons of cooking oil
    butter and honey
    In a mixing bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. In another mixing bowl combine the milk, eggs and oil. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Stir just until blended. Do NOT over stir. It will still be slightly lumpy. ​
    Pour about 1/4 cup of batter on a hot and lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook until bubbly on the top and set at the edges (golden brown on the bottoms). Flip and cook until the other side is also a golden brown. Drizzle with a little butter. Serve with honey or syrup.

    FLAT PANCAKES - also made quickly to serve with coffee for guests
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of brown flour (in Oman, flour #2 or #3)
    2 cups of water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    butter and honey
    In a mixing bowl combine the flour, water, salt and ground cardamom. Beat well with a spoon. ​
    Pour about 1/8 cup of batter on a hot and lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook until the other side is also a golden brown. Drizzle with a little butter. Pour honey over it and serve.



  2. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Rice And Meat Entres

    RICE AND MEAT ENTRES


    BASMATI RICE - this recipe makes 4-5 servings of rice
    Ingredients:
    2 cups of uncooked Basmati rice
    2 teaspoons of salt
    2 Tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil
    Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. (Soaking the rice is essential since we want a rice that is not sticky.) In a pan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the soaked rice, salt, and butter. Cover, return to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat until the water level is at the top of the rice (i.e. not above it). Cover again, reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking until all of the water has been absorbed by the rice. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a spoon or fork. Serve.
    VARIATION 1: If you are planning to serve the rice under a watery stew, or you just like your rice softer, use 3 1/2 to 4 cups of water (instead of 3 cups).
    VARIATION 2: Grate two large carrots. Add the carrots to the boiling water and boil for 3-4 minutes before adding the rice.
    VARIATION 3: Brown 1/4 cup of sweyweih (1/2 inch vermicelli pieces) over medium heat in a dry skillet. In the rice pan, saute 1/2 a medium onion (finely chopped) in the 2 Tablespoons of butter. When the onions are golden, add the water and bring to a boil. Add the rice, browned sweyweih, and a Maggi chicken bouillon cube. Add more salt to taste. Cook rice as above.
    VARIATION 4: Measure the water and add an extra 1/2 cup of water. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and whole cardamom pieces to the water. Boil for 10 minutes before adding the rice.
    VARIATION 5: Add half a green pepper to the boiling water along with the rice.
    VARIATION 6: Soak a large pinch of saffron thread in 5 Tablespoons of hot water. When the rice is nearly cooked. Pour the saffron and its water over the rice and finish cooking.​

    RICE PILAF - great with baked chicken or fish (serves 4-6)
    Ingredients:
    450g/1 lb Basmati rice, well-rinsed and soaked half an hour
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 large clove of garlic, crushed
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
    Good pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 2 Tablespoons warm water
    2 ripe tomatoes, chopped (peeled if desired)
    2 Tablespoons fresh chopped coriander (or cilantro or parsley)
    1/4 teaspoon of each of these powdered spices: cardamom, cinnamon, red or black pepper
    1/3 cup of toasted vermicelli, broken in small pieces, if necessary (vermicelli can be toasted by roasting in a dry skillet (i.e. no oil) over medium heat while stirring constantly)
    Chicken broth (Measure out the rice with a cup. The appropriate amount of chicken broth is double the quantity of rice.)
    Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are golden. Add the tomatoes, chopped coriander, and spices. Fry for one minute. Add the rice, toasted vermicelli, and saffron threads soaked in water. Add the chicken broth. Cover and bring to a boil over med/high heat. When the liquid is absorbed into the rice so that the top of the rice is at the top of the liquid level, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat. Let the rice sit for a few minutes. Then, flake the rice with a fork. You may add a Tablespoon of butter at this time, if you wish. Serve and enjoy. ​

    BAMIA STEW - meat and okra stew
    Ingredients:
    2 pounds of stewing lamb or beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
    a few Tablespoons of butter or oil
    2 medium onions, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, smashed
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 cup of chopped tomatoes
    3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
    2 Tablespoon of fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
    1 1/2 pounds of fresh okra ("bamia")
    juice of 1 lemon
    salt and pepper (black or red), to taste
    1 cup of beef bouillon or beef stock
    1/2 cup of vinegar
    white rice
    Wash the okra. Cut off the tops. Soak for 30 minutes in water with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Drain and rinse the okra.
    In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm a few Tablespoons of butter or oil. Add the meat and fry, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a baking dish. Add the onions to the oil in the frying pan and saute until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, tomatoes, tomato paste, the 1 cup stock and cilantro. Stir well. Pour over the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and bake in the oven until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, saute the okra in a few Tablespoons of oil or butter for about 3 minutes, stirring gently. Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the okra on top in Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the surface. Cover the dish and return it to the oven. Bake for another 35 minutes. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry. Serve the bamia stew hot, over white rice.
    VARIATION: This tastes best when baked as above, but can also be made without baking in the oven. In the latter case, brown the meat, add the other ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer until nearly tender. Skip the frying of the okra and add directly to the stew pot on the stove. Add some water, if needed while cooking. Cover and cook on low heat until okra and meat are tender. ​

    SALOONAH LAHAM - meat stew
    Ingredients:
    meat for 4-5 people (lamb, mutton, beef or camel)
    5 cloves of garlic, smashed
    1 Tablespoon of turmeric powder
    1 large onion, chopped
    3 medium tomatoes, chopped
    3-4 cups of fresh vegetables chopped in big pieces (carrots, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, okra and/or bell pepper)
    3 Tablespoons of Omani mixed spices (or 1 Tablespoon ground coriander, 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and a couple of whole cloves)
    3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
    3 Tablespoons of fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
    fresh hot peppers or ground cayenne pepper, to taste
    salt or bouillon, to taste
    serve over white rice
    Leave some meat on the bones (if any) and cut the rest into 1 inch cubes. In a large pan, bring about 7 cups of water to boil. Add the meat. In a few minutes, skim off the foam that collects on the top of the water with a spoon. Add the smashed garlic and turmeric powder. Cover and boil for a few hours, until the meat starts to get tender.
    Add the chopped onion, tomato, vegetables, and the rest of the ingredients. Boil until the meat and all of the vegetables are very tender. Add water, if needed, to make it as dry or as soupy as you like it.
    Serve the "saloonah" over white rice.
    VARIATION: When served over bread (i.e. Omani fareed), the tomato paste is not usually added. ​

    LAMB AND DATE STEW
    Ingredients:
    1 to 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 pounds of boneless leg of lamb (or beef or camel meat) cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces (or four pounds of meat with bones)
    2 Tablespoon olive oil
    2 large onions, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 large cans of beef broth (14 1/2 ounces each; or beef bouillon with water)
    1 Tablespoon cornstarch
    2 Tablespoons cold water
    1 cup of pitted dates
    cooked white rice
    1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds (optional)
    In a mixing bowl combine the spices and salt. Coat the meat with the seasoning mixture. In a large, heavy skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, in the hot oil. Add onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Pour the broth over all.
    Bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer on the lowest heat for a couple of hours or till the meat is tender. Skim fat from the surface of the juices. Stir cornstarch into the cold water; add to meat in the pan and stir.
    Add the dates, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes or till mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly. (This recipe is also delicious when made in a crockery cooker.)
    Serve hot over white rice and garnish with toasted almonds. ​

    CHICKEN BIRYANI
    Ingredients:
    1 pound of Basmati rice
    3 pound chicken, skinned and jointed
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    oil, for frying
    9 ounces of plain, unsweetened yogurt
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    2 teaspoons cumin powder
    2 teaspoons coriander powder
    2–3 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed
    1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
    2 hot chilies, roughly chopped
    large pinch of saffron, dissolved in 1 cup of warm milk
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 cup of fresh chopped coriander leaves or parsley
    2 teaspoons garam masala powder (mixed spices) or curry powder
    2 pieces of cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, 6 cardamoms

    Wash and drain the chicken. In a bowl, mix together chicken, yogurt, salt, turmeric, cumin powder, garlic, and ginger paste and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
    Soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Deep fry onion until lightly browned and crisp. Remove onions from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
    Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add 3-4 teaspoons of salt to make the water very salty. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, and drained rice. Allow to simmer 3-4 minutes or until the rice is about half cooked. The rice will increase in size, but will still be hard in the center. Remove from heat and drain the rice thoroughly.
    Put the chicken into a large saucepan with the marinade. Sprinkle on half of the fried onions and half of the chopped coriander. Then add the rice and sprinkle on the remaining fried onions, the remaining chopped coriander, the chilies, lemon juice, garam masala, and saffron milk. Sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of oil.
    Make 5-6 holes in the mixture with a wooden spoon handle. Cover with a lid and place on medium heat until steam rises from the holes. Then, reduce temperature and cook on low heat for 45-50 minutes. Move saucepan in a clockwise direction a few times to ensure even cooking.
    To serve, fluff the rice a little with a fork, remove the saucepan lid, turn large plate up-side down and cover saucepan with it. Hold the pot and plate tightly together, turn both upside-down. Rice should come out on the plate, with the chicken on the top. ​

    CHICKEN TANDOORI - Our favorite chicken recipe!
    Ingredients:
    1 whole chicken
    1/2 cup of plain yogurt
    4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 teaspoon Omani mixed spice
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon cardamom
    1 finely chopped (small) hot pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
    4 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander or cilantro (or some oregano flakes)
    Skin the chicken. Wash it, cut it into 8 pieces, and drain it. In a bowl, mix the chicken with all of the other ingredients except for the fresh chopped coriander. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. ​
    Put a heavy sauce pan with a good lid on the stove. Add a few Tablespoons of oil to the pan and turn on the heat. Place the chicken in the pan with the bony side down. Sprinkle the fresh coriander over the chicken. Cover with the lid. Lower the heat to the minimum level and allow to cook for 50-60 minutes or until the chicken is tender. You may serve the chicken as it is, or brown it under a broiler for a few minutes before serving.
    VARIATIONS: Grill the chicken. Or bake it in the oven in a covered casserole until tender, then brown it under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.

    SALOONAH DAGAAG - chicken stew
    Ingredients:
    1 kilo of chicken, skinned and cut into pieces
    2 large onions, chopped
    2 Tablespoons of oil
    4 cloves of garlic, smashed
    2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    3 cups of fresh vegetables chopped in big pieces (carrots, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, okra and/or bell pepper)
    3 Tablespoons of Omani mixed spices (or 1 Tablespoon ground coriander, 1 Tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and a couple of whole cloves)
    1 Tablespoon of ground turmeric
    3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
    3 Tablespoons of fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
    1 dried Omani lemon (optional)
    fresh hot peppers or ground cayenne pepper, to taste
    salt or bouillon, to taste
    serve over white rice
    In a large pan, saute the onions in the oil, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and the tomatoes. Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken, the spices and the tomato paste. Stir over the heat for 1-2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water. When it comes to a boil, add the chopped vegetables. Cover and boil until the chicken is well-cooked and the vegetables are tender.
    Serve the "saloonah" over white rice.
    VARIATION 1: For Green Bean Stew, follow the above recipe, except instead of adding 3 cups of chopped mixed vegetables, add 3 cups of chopped fresh green beans.
    VARIATION 2: A modern lower-fat version of this recipe - Do not use any oil. Bring the water to boil and add all the ingredients. Cover and lightly boil until the chicken is tender. ​

    MEZROOTA - this is a traditional Omani summertime favorite, a light tuna with rice lunch, that needs heat and sun to turn out just right
    Ingredients:
    4 cups of thinly sliced onions
    3 rounded Tablespoons of salt
    1 can of tuna, drained
    2 Tablespoons of melted butter
    1/4 cup of lemon or lime juice
    1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper powder
    1 Tablespoons slightly crushed oregano leaves
    a big pinch of saffron (optional)
    cooked white rice

    In a bowl, salt the sliced onions. Mix well. Place the bowl outside in direct sunlight on a hot day and leave for at least an hour. Bring in the onions. Wash the onions in water, squeezing them gently. Drain. Wash again two or three times. Drain.
    Flake the tuna and add to the onions with the rest of the ingredients. Add 3/4 cup of hot water and salt to taste.
    Serve immediately over hot cooked white rice.
    VARIATION: Use "O-al" or dried Omani fish in place of the tuna. Soak the dried fish in water for one hour. Boil it in water with 2 Tablespoons of turmeric powder until the fish is very tender. Remove from heat and drain. Smash into small pieces and use in place of tuna. ​

    TUNA OVER RICE - a quick and easy dinner
    Ingredients:
    a few Tablespoons of butter
    1 large onion, chopped
    1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
    2 cloves of garlic, smashed
    2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    4 Tablespoon of fresh, chopped cilantro or parsley
    2 tins of tuna
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
    1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne (red) pepper
    salt to taste
    white rice
    In a large pan, saute the onion and green pepper in butter until lightly browned. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro and saute until the tomatoes are very tender. Open the cans of tuna and drain the tuna. Add the tuna to the pan with the lemon, spices and salt. Add four tablespoons of water and stir gently, leaving the tuna in chunks. Cook for 1 more minute. Prepare 2 cups of white rice (see recipe above). As soon as the rice is cooked spread it over the tuna mixture. Cover the pan and let sit for 10 minutes. Flip onto a serving tray (tuna mixture coming out on top) and serve hot with plain yogurt on the side and a fresh salad.
    VARIATION 1: Use "O-al" or dried Omani fish in place of the tuna. Soak the dried fish in water for one hour. Boil it in water with 2 Tablespoons of turmeric powder until the fish is very tender. Remove from heat and drain. Smash into small pieces and use in place of tuna.
    VARIATION 2: Add chopped, fried potatoes when you add the tuna, or other vegetables like green peas. ​

    SHRIMP AND COCONUT MILK CURRY
    Ingredients:
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 Tablespoons of oil
    1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, smashed
    1 jalapeno (small, hot) pepper, minced
    2 Tablespoons of curry powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 1/2 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
    1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
    1 1/2 pounds of cleaned shrimp
    1 cup of frozen green peas
    2 Tablespoons of lime juice
    1 Tablespoon of cornstarch
    1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
    salt and black pepper to taste
    In a large, deep skillet saute the onion and bell pepper for about five minutes. Add the garlic, hot pepper and spices and cook, stirring, for another two minutes. Add the broth and coconut milk. When heated add the shrimp and green peas. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for another five minutes. In a small bowl combine the lime juice and cornstarch. Add to the shrimp mixture along with the cilantro. Cook stirring constantly until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over plain white rice. ​
  3. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Main-course Entres

    MAIN-COURSE ENTRES


    CHICKEN FATAH - a thick stew with mini-dumplings
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 kilo of chicken (1 1/2 large chickens) skinned and cut in pieces
    1 large onion
    4 cloves of garlic
    1 small can of tomato paste
    1/2 teaspoon each black pepper, cumin powder
    a pinch of red pepper (or to taste)
    1 rounded Tablespoon crushed oregano leaves (or zatar)
    1 Tablespoon sugar
    chicken broth (or bouillon cubes with water)
    2–3 carrots, peeled and chopped
    1 zucchini, chopped (optional)
    2 large tomatoes, chopped
    a handful of freshly chopped parsley, cilantro or coriander
    2/3 cup white flour (in Oman, flour #1 or #2)
    2/3 cup brown flour (in Oman, flour #2 or #3)
    2 Tablespoons baking powder
    4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    1/2 cup prepared milk
    In a medium-large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in a small amount of oil, until the onions are slightly browned. Add the chicken, spices, sugar, and tomato paste and saute while stirring over heat for a minute or two. Add chicken broth to fill the saucepan up an inch or two over the chicken pieces. Add the chopped carrots, tomatoes, parsley and zucchini (optional). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked. Add salt to taste.
    Prepare dough for the dumplings: Mix the white and brown flours with the baking powder. Add the oil and milk. Stir with a fork just until mixed; do not over mix the dough. Handling a third of the dough at a time, roll on a lightly floured surface until thin. Cut in small squares, approximately 2cm by 2cm.
    When the chicken is fully cooked, "throw" the mini-dumplings in the pot. Stir gently, just a little, to cover the dumplings in the liquid. Add more chicken broth or salt, if needed. The final product should be a thick stew, neither dry nor watery. Simmer another 10 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked. Serve hot. ​

    MACARONI BECHAMEL - makes a 9" x 13" pan
    Ingredients:
    1 bag of macaroni (500 grams)cooked and drained
    Filling:
    1 1/2 pounds of ground meat
    one large onion, chopped
    2 cloves of garlic
    1 8–ounce can of tomato sauce (or tomato paste)
    3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    1 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed "zatar" leaves)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    a pinch of cayenne pepper
    Bechamel Sauce:
    3 cups of prepared milk
    5 Tablespoons butter
    5 Tablespoons flour
    1 "Maggi" chicken bullion cube
    black pepper, to taste
    In a large skillet cook the meat, onion and garlic until the meat is brown and the onion is tender. Drain fat. Stir in the tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and 1/3 cup of water. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
    For Bechamel Sauce, in a medium saucepan melt the margarine. Stir in the chicken bullion cube, black pepper, and flour. Add the prepared milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir one minute more.
    Set aside 1/3 of the sauce. Mix the rest of the sauce with the cooked macaroni. Spread half of the macaroni mixture into a 9" x 13" baking pan. Spread the meat mixture over it evenly. Spread the rest of the macaroni mixture over the meat. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with a little additional ground cinnamon.
    Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Let sit for five minutes. Then serve. ​
  4. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Bean And Lentil Dishes

    BEAN AND LENTIL DISHES


    FOUL - our best broad bean recipe
    Ingredients:
    1 regular can of cooked foul medamus (broad beans) or about 1 1/2 cups of fresh cooked beans
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1/3 of a green bell pepper – the mild kind, chopped (optional)
    1 clove of garlic, smashed
    1 large tomato, chopped
    4 Tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)
    1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
    1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon of red pepper powder (cayenne pepper)
    olive oil

    In a saucepan, saute HALF of the onion, all of the green pepper and garlic in a small amount of oil, until the onions are slightly browned. Add HALF of the tomatoes and all of the parsley and continue cooking until the tomatoes are very soft. Add the tomato paste, cumin and pepper. Open the can of beans and smash the beans a bit with a fork (especially if they are large beans). Add the beans to the pan along with 1/4 cup of water. Heat, then reduce heat and simmer for another 4-5 minutes.
    To serve, place the hot cooked beans in the serving platter. Sprinkle the remaining chopped onion and tomato on top. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve pita bread on the side. ​

    QUICK HUMMUS - garbanzo bean dip
    Ingredients:
    1 can of garbanzo (ceci) beans
    1 medium-sized clove of garlic (or 1/2 of a big clove)
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    3 Tablespoons sesame seed paste (tahina)
    3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
    a pinch of cayenne (red) pepper
    Strain the garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid. Put the garbanzo beans and all of the other ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for about 20 seconds. Turn off the blender and stir the mixture with a spoon. Add from the reserved liquid, 1 spoon at a time, just enough to get the mixture to run smoothly in the blender. (You will not need to add all of the liquid.) Run the blender for about 20 seconds after each addition of liquid. The final product should be thick, not runny.
    Spoon into a bowl or plate. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired.
    Serve with grilled meats or spread in sandwiches.
    For a light dinner, serve along-side a plate of finely chopped tossed salad. Eat with pita or other soft flat bread, using the bread to grab the hummus dip and salad (without the use of spoon or fork).
    VARIATION: For a lighter tasting and creamer Hummus, add 3 Tablespoons of plain yogurt to the recipe. ​

    RED LENTILS - these lentils are actually orange in color and this recipe has plenty of variations (below)
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of dried red lentils
    2 Tablespoons of clarified butter
    1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
    1/2 green pepper, finely diced
    1/2 hot jalapeno pepper, finely diced (more or less, depending on how hot you like it) or cayenne pepper, to taste
    1 medium tomato, diced
    1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
    Soak the lentils in 2 cups of water for at least 30 minutes.
    In a saucepan, saute the diced onion and pepper in the butter until starting to brown. Add the tomato and stir over the heat for a minute. Add the lentils (and the water they are soaked in) to the saucepan along with two more cups of water. Add the cumin powder and salt (or chicken bouillon) to taste. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender. Add more water while cooking, if necessary.
    In Oman, we serve lentils in a wide bowl and eat them by scooping them up with pita or cabatee (soft flat) bread. Drizzle with olive oil or freshly squeezed lime juice when serving, if desired.
    VARIATION: Add chopped fresh coriander or cilantro to the lentils while cooking.
    VARIATION: Add 2-3 Tablespoons of tomato paste, instead of the tomato, for a redder dish with more tomato taste.
    VARIATION: Add chopped cooked chicken or meat to the lentils while cooking.
    VARIATION: Add chopped carrots, zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, and/or potatoes to the lentils while cooking and cook until all is tender. ​
  5. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Soups

    SOUPS


    SHURBAH - the basic recipe
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of finely chopped onion
    1 cup of finely chopped tomato
    2 Tablespoons of butter
    1/2 cup of regular oatmeal
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 Tablespoon thyme leaves ("zatar" flakes or oregano leaves)
    2 Maggi bouillon cubes (chicken, beef or vegetable flavor)

    In a saucepan, saute the onions in the butter until they are translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, and saute until the tomatoes are tender. In a bowl on the side, mix the oatmeal with one cup of cool water. Add this mixture to the saucepan. Add another 4 cups of water and all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the oatmeal is well cooked and the onion is soft.
    VARIATION 1: add some finely chopped or grated vegetables (carrots, cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower, green pepper, etc.) or a handful of chopped mixed frozen vegetables.
    VARIATION 2: make egg drop soup. In a small bowl whisk one egg with a fork. When the oatmeal is cooked, slowly add the whisked egg to the soup while stirring constantly. Then allow to cook another two minutes.
    VARIATION 3: add a teaspoon of ground cumin.
    VARIATION 3: add pieces of cooked and chopped chicken or meat. ​

    SHURBAH - Blended Vegetable Soup
    Ingredients:
    2 Tablespoons of butter
    1 cup of chopped onion
    3/4 cup of chopped carrot
    3/4 cup of chopped potato
    3/4 cup of chopped cabbage
    1/2 cup of regular oatmeal
    2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon Omani mixed spice
    1 Tablespoon thyme leaves (or oregano leaves)
    1 1/2 Maggi bouillon cubes (chicken, beef or vegetable flavor)
    2 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander or cilantro (optional)
    1/2 of a green bell pepper (optional)
    lemon (optional)
    In a saucepan, saute the onions in the butter until they are translucent. Add the chopped carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (You can add a little ice or very cold water to speed up the process.) When cool enough not to damage the blender (or food processor), puree in the blender. Return the pureed vegetables and their liquid to the saucepan. ​
    In a bowl on the side, mix (stir) the oatmeal with 1 cup of water. Add the oatmeal to the saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and about 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add more salt and black pepper to taste. If the soup is to thick for your liking add more water while it is cooking.
    Serve in bowls with lemon wedges on the side.

    ZUCCHINI AND SPINACH SOUP - Delicious!
    Ingredients:
    1 pound zucchini
    1/2 pound spinach leaves
    6 cups of chicken broth
    1/2 cup of long-grain brown rice
    1 1/2 cups chopped onions
    3 Tablespoons butter
    Salt and black pepper, to taste
    1 teaspoon powdered cumin (sanoot)
    Wash, trim and grate the zucchini. Wash the spinach leaves and cut into thin strips. Bring the broth to a boil, stir in the rice, lower heat, cover and cook slowly until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. In a large saute pan, cook the onions in the butter until wilted and golden. Stir in the zucchini, and cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the spinach, and cook stirring until the spinach is barely wilted. Set aside. When the rice is cooked, stir in the zucchini mixture, heat through, and season with salt, black pepper and cumin. Thin with additional broth if you wish.
    VARIATION 1: use "hareese" in place of the brown rice.
    VARIATION 2: cook 1/4-1/2 of a chicken with the rice or hareese. Then remove chicken from the pot. Discard the bones. Chop the cooked chicken and return to the pot. ​

    SHURBAT HAREESE
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of hareese (or cracked wheat or barley)
    1/2 chicken
    2 onions, finely chopped
    2 carrots, grated
    2 tomatoes, chopped
    2 zucchinis, grated (optional)
    3/4 cup of cabbage, chopped (optional)
    1/4 cup of fresh parsley, cilantro, or coriander, chopped (optional)
    2 Maggi bouillon cubes (chicken or vegetable flavor)
    2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
    2 teaspoons of ground cumin
    1 Tablespoon of zatar flakes (or thyme or oregano flakes)
    salt and black pepper to taste
    Wash and skin the chicken. Cut it in half. In a large pan, boil the hareese and the chicken in plenty of water, until the hareese is beginning to get tender. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add all of the rest of the ingredients. Return to a boil. Remove the chicken meat from its bones and chop it. Add the chicken to the soup. Cover and continue boiling until the hareese is well cooked and the vegetables are tender. Add water as needed to make the soup the thickness that you like. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
    VARIATION: make with meat instead of chicken. ​
  6. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Appetizers

    APPETIZERS


    SAMBOOSA - triangular fried "eggroll"-like appetizers - a must for Ramadan
    Ingredients:
    approx. 1 pound (or 1/2 kg)of fresh ground meat
    2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 diced onion
    1 clove of garlic, smashed
    3/4 cup grated carrot
    1/2 cup frozen green peas
    1/4 cup chopped parsley, cilantro, or fresh coriander
    2 Tablespoons tomato paste
    1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon powder
    1/2 teaspoon each: turmeric, cumin, black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper powder or 1 chopped fresh hot pepper (or to taste)
    salt (or 1 bouillon cube) to taste
    Samboosa wrappers, eggroll wrappers, or filo pastry sheets
    vegetable oil for deep frying
    In the 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, brown the ground meat (breaking it into small pieces) with the onion and garlic. Add the carrots, parsley, tomato paste, spices and salt. Saute for two minutes. Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of the skillet and add enough water just to barely cover the mixture. Cover and simmer over low heat until the carrot is tender and the liquid is nearly all evaporated. Add the thawed frozen peas in the last few minutes of cooking. When cooking is complete, remove the skillet from the heat and allow the meat mixture to cool to room temperature.
    To roll: Lay out a samboosa wrapper (long and rectangular in shape) with a short edge of the rectangle directly in front of you. Place a rounded Tablespoon of meat mixture near this edge. Then folding away from you (towards the other short edge), enclose the meat mixture in the wrapper by folding the wrapper in a triangular shape. On the side, make a paste of flour and water (1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water). Moisten the final edge of the samboosa wrapper with the flour paste to cause it to stick and keep the individual samboosa in its triangular shape. Place wet ("pasted") side down on a lightly greased plate. Note: if using eggroll wrappers or filo dough, you must cut it into rectangles before stuffing with the meat mixture. For filo dough, use a thickness of two or three sheets. The rectangles can be cut 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches wide, depending on the desired size of the finished appetizer, and should be long enough to enable you to completely enclose the meat mixture when folding.
    When all of the samboosa have been rolled, fry a few at a time in a heavy skillet in one inch of vegetable oil until the wrapper is golden and crispy. Flip at least once while frying to brown both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.
    VARIATION 1: Use shredded cooked chicken or tuna instead of ground meat.
    VARIATION 2: Add up to two cups of diced vegetables (potatoes, zucchini, tomato, cabbage, green pepper, eggplant and/or cauliflower) with the carrots.
    VARIATION 3: Chop a potato very finely and boil in water on the side until tender. Add the potato in place of the carrots and peas. Do not add the water. Add a teaspoon of dill (optional) and gently stir for a minute over low heat. ​

    FATA'IR
    Ingredients:
    3 cups of white flour
    1 cup of prepared milk
    1/2 cup of oil
    1 Tablespoon of yeast
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 Tablespoon of sugar

    filling
    oil for deep frying

    In a bowl, mix the first six ingredients together. Cover and let sit for at least 1 1/2 hours.
    Prepare a filling like the meat, chicken, tuna or vegetable filling in the Your post count must be 1 in order to see this link. You currently have 0 post(s) above.
    Pinch off a walnut-sized ball of dough. Flatten to a small circle in your hands. Place a spoon of filling in the middle of the circle. Close up the circle, completely enclosing the filling. Pinch the edges together. Lay on a greased tray, and continue making "fata'ir" with the rest of the dough.
    Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm.
    VARIATION: Instead of frying, bake in the oven on lightly greased baking sheets until lightly browned on the bottoms. Brush the tops with prepared milk before baking, if desired. ​

    CHEESE SAMBOOSA - triangular fried "eggroll"-like appetizers with a tasty feta cheese filling
    Ingredients:
    1 (500 gram) box of feta cheese
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
    1 clove of garlic, smashed
    1 medium tomato, finely chopped
    1/2 Maggi chicken bouillon cube
    1 Tablespoon oregano flakes (or "zatar" flakes)
    Samboosa wrappers, eggroll wrappers, or filo pastry sheets
    vegetable oil for deep frying
    Cut up the feta cheese into small cubes. Cover with in cold water and soak for at least a half an hour (to remove excess salt). In a skillet saute the finely chopped onion in a few Tablespoons of olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the finely chopped tomato and smashed garlic. Cook stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of a Maggi chicken bouillon cube and the Tablespoon of oregano flakes. Stir until the bouillon cube is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Drain the feta cheese and add to the onion mixture. Mix (smash together) well.
    To roll: Lay out a samboosa wrapper (long and rectangular in shape) with a short edge of the rectangle directly in front of you. Place a rounded teaspoon of the feta cheese filling near this edge. Then folding away from you (towards the other short edge), enclose the cheese mixture in the wrapper by folding the wrapper in a triangular shape. On the side, make a paste of flour and water (1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water). Moisten the final edge of the samboosa wrapper with the flour paste to cause it to stick and keep the individual samboosa in its triangular shape. Place wet ("pasted") side down on a lightly greased plate. Note: if using eggroll wrappers or filo dough, you must cut it into rectangles before stuffing with the meat mixture. For filo dough, use a thickness of two or three sheets. The rectangles can be cut 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches wide, depending on the desired size of the finished appetizer, and should be long enough to enable you to completely enclose the cheese mixture when folding.
    When all of the samboosa have been rolled, fry a few at a time in a heavy skillet in one inch of vegetable oil until the outside is golden and crispy. Flip at least once while frying to brown both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

    KHALILAT-UN-NAHL - small round cheese rolls baked next to each in a honeycomb pattern
    Ingredients:
    about 3 cups of white flour
    2 Tbsp. yeast
    1 Tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 cup of oil
    1/4 cup of powdered milk and 3/4 cup of water (or 3/4 cup of prepared milk)
    cheese triangles
    1 beaten egg
    sesame seeds

    SYRUP:
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup water
    Mix the 1 cup of the flour with the yeast, baking powder, and powdered milk, water, and oil. Gradually add more flour, just until the dough stops being sticky. Cover and let sit for an hour to rise.
    Lightly oil a large baking sheet, or a very large round cake/casserole pan. Take a small amount of dough at a time and roll into a ball. Then flatten it in your hand and put about 1/4 of a cheese triangle in the middle. Close the dough around the cheese and pinch edges to seal. Dust your hands with flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Place the first dough ball, sealed edges down, in the middle of the baking sheet. Continue placing dough balls on the baking sheet, sealed edges down, around in a spiral off the first dough ball. The balls should lightly touch each other but not be smashed together. (Most ladies here are making the balls quite small.)
    When finished, brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Bake in a hot oven until cooked and lightly brown on bottom and top. (Broil the top for a minute to brown, it if needed.) While it is cooking, make a syrup. Bring the sugar and water to boil in a sauce pan. Then reduce to a light boil and boil another 5 minutes. Take off of heat and allow to cool. Immediately upon removing the rolls from the oven, evenly spoon the syrup over the hot rolls. When slightly cool, gently remove rolls onto a large round serving plate being careful not to break them apart from each other.
    VARIATION 1: In place of cheese triangles, use kiri cheese or Philadelphia style cheese mixed with a pinch of mixed zatar or crushed mint, or use small chunks of canned processed cheddar cheese.
    VARIATION 2: Make larger individual rolls in any shape you like. Add 2 Tablespoons of sugar to the dough recipe and do not make or use the syrup.

    BABA GHANOUSH - eggplant appetizer
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 pound of eggplant
    3 Tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    3 Tablespoons sesame paste (tahini)
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    2 Tablespoons olive oil

    Wash and prick the eggplant all over with a fork. Then, bake in a 400 degree F oven until the flesh is tender and soft, about 30-50 minutes depending on the sizes of the eggplant. (For even more flavor, broil the eggplants over charcoals or even over the flame of a gas stove.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
    Halve the eggplants and scoop out the flesh. You should have 2-2 1/4 cups of flesh. Beat in a mixer or food processor, with the lemon juice, until smooth. Mash the salt and garlic together, mix with the sesame paste and olive oil, and combine with the eggplant. Stir in the parsley, and drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. Best served and eaten with warm, fresh pita bread.
    For a variation: stir in 1 cup of peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chopped green onions. ​

    QUICK HUMMUS - garbanzo bean dip
    Ingredients:
    1 can of garbanzo (ceci) beans
    1 medium-sized clove of garlic (or 1/2 of a big clove)
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    3 Tablespoons sesame seed paste (tahina)
    3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
    a pinch of cayenne (red) pepper
    Strain the garbanzo beans, reserving the liquid. Put the garbanzo beans and all of the other ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for about 20 seconds. Turn off the blender and stir the mixture with a spoon. Add from the reserved liquid, 1 spoon at a time, just enough to get the mixture to run smoothly in the blender. (You will not need to add all of the liquid.) Run the blender for about 20 seconds after each addition of liquid. The final product should be thick, not runny.
    Spoon into a bowl or plate. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired.
    Serve with grilled meats or spread in sandwiches.
    For a light dinner, serve along-side a plate of finely chopped tossed salad. Eat with pita or other soft flat bread, using the bread to grab the hummus dip and salad (without the use of spoon or fork).
    VARIATION: For a lighter tasting and creamer Hummus, add 3 Tablespoons of plain yogurt to the recipe. ​
    BAQOURAH - gram flour fritters
    Ingredients:
    2 cups of gram flour (gram flour is garbanzo bean flour - ground to a powder)
    1 cup of water
    1 egg
    1 Tablespoon of baking powder
    1 teaspoon of baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
    2 cups of finely chopped green onions
    1 carrot, grated
    1 medium tomato, finely chopped
    2-4 hot peppers, finely chopped (use as much as you like, tastes best a bit spicy)
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    vegetable oil for deep frying
    Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
    Fry in one inch of oil. Drop by tablespoons to form small balls or small patties in the oil. Turn once, when browned on the bottoms. You do not want the oil too hot or they will brown on the outside before the fritters are cooked on the inside. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm.
    VARIATION: You can make these with cornmeal also, but you will need to grind the cornmeal a bit in the spices/coffee grinder first. ​

    MESHI - STUFFED VEGETABLES - with rice and ground beef stuffing
    Ingredients for the stuffing:
    1 1/2 cups of rice
    1/2 pound of ground beef
    2 Tablespoons of oil (if needed)
    1 onion, finely diced
    1 clove of garlic, smashed
    1 tomato, chopped
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, cilantro, or coriander, chopped
    1 Maggi bouillon cube (beef or vegetable)
    1 teaspoon each: ground turmeric, cumin, salt
    1/2 teaspoon each: cardamom, black pepper, cayenne (red) pepper
    2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
    Rinse the rice. Soak it in water for at least two hours. In a skillet, brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic in the 2 Tablespoons of oil (if needed), smashing the meat into small pieces with a spoon as it is cooking. Add the tomato and spices. Cook while stirring until the tomatoes are tender. Drain the rice. Mix the meat with the rice. Add the lemon juice.
    To make stuffed bell peppers: Wash and prepare the peppers. For small peppers, cut off the tops, and remove the seeds. For large peppers, slice in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Fill with the rice stuffing, but do not fill to the top as the rice will expand as it cooks. Place in a steamer or large metal strainer. Place over boiling water and cover with aluminum foil to steam. Let cook for about 40 minutes. They are finished when the rice is soft and cooked.
    To make stuffed onions: Remove the dry outer layers of onion. For small onions, cut the tops and with a spoon scoop out the inner layers of onion to make a shell 2 layers of onion thick. For larger onions, cut in half. With a spoon remove the inner layers to make each half into a shell 2 layers of onion thick. Fill with stuffing and steam as above.
    To make stuffed grape leaves roll: Lay out one grape leaf, vein side up. Place a Tablespoon of filling in the middle, near the bottom. Roll up the bottom, just to cover the rice filling. Then fold the sides to the middle to fully enclose the stuffing and finally finish by rolling up to the top of the leaf. It should come out in a finger-like shape. Steam as above and sprinkle with plenty of lemon juice before serving.
    To make stuffed zucchini: Wash the zucchini. For small zucchini, cut off the top stem end. With a corer (or very thin knife) remove the inner flesh to make shells. For large zucchini, cut in half. Remove the inner flesh from each half to make shells. Stuff with the rice stuffing. Place zucchini side by side in a cake pan or casserole dish. Mix 5 Tablespoons of tomato paste with a cup of water. Add salt and black pepper, to taste. Pour over the zucchini. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven until the rice is tender.
    To make stuffed eggplant: Wash the eggplant. For small eggplants, cut off the top stem end. With a corer, a spoon or a knife remove the inner flesh to make shells. For large eggplants, cut in half lengthwise. Remove the inner flesh from each half to make shells. Stuff with the rice stuffing. Place eggplants side by side in a cake pan or casserole dish, bake as instructed for stuffed zucchini, with the tomato sauce.
    To make stuffed cabbage rolls: Steam the whole head of cabbage until the outer leaves are bend-able (about 4-5 minutes). Allow to cool slightly. Remove a leaf at a time. With a paring knife, trim the ribs so that they are the same thickness as the rest of the leaf and can easily be bent. If the leaf is large cut in half, to make two rolls. Roll as instructed for grape leaves. The Omanis like these rolls small, about finger-size, so aim for that size and shape. Place side by side in a cake pan. Cover with the tomato sauce and bake, as above.
    To serve: Arrange stuffed vegetables on a plate and sprinkle with more lemon juice.
    Note on the rice: It is better to use long grain rice for this recipe. If basmati rice is all that you have available, I suggest the following: Rinse the rice. Pour the boiling water over it and let it soak in the boiling water until the water cools. Drain and use for the stuffing.
    Note: Reserve the inner flesh of the onions, zucchini and eggplant and add to your next batch of soup or use the zucchini to make zucchini bread (recipe on the breads post). ​
  7. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Beverages

    BEVERAGES


    BREAKFAST TEA - In most homes here, a cup of this tea is an essential breakfast item. It may also be served after the afternoon siesta or in the evening, especially if one has guests.
    Ingredients:
    3 cups of water
    3 Tablespoons sugar
    2 tea bags or 2 rounded teaspoons of loose tea
    1 Tablespoon grated fresh or ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom)
    a 170g can of unsweetened evaporated milk

    Put the water, sugar and tea into a teapot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2–3 minutes. Add the canned milk, and if using ground cardamom, add that too. Bring again to a boil. Then immediately remove from the heat (before it rises and comes out of the teapot). Strain into a thermos. If using ginger, add ginger to the thermos first. Enjoy piping hot. ​

    RED TEA - "red" tea, as opposed to the "white" breakfast tea, is often served after the dinner
    Ingredients:
    4 cups of water
    1/4 - 1/3 cup of sugar
    2 tea bags or 2 rounded teaspoons of loose tea

    RECIPE 1: Boil the water, sugar and a bunch of fresh mint (or a couple tablespoons of dried mint) in the teapot for about five minutes. Add the tea and turn off the heat (fire). Cover and leave to sit for five minutes. Strain into the tea thermos and serve.
    RECIPE 2: Boil the water, sugar and a couple Tablespoons of thyme leaves ("zatar" flakes) in the teapot for about five minutes. Add the tea and turn off the heat (fire). Cover and leave to sit for five minutes. Strain into the tea thermos and serve.
    RECIPE 3: Bring the water and sugar to a boil in the teapot. Add the tea and turn off the heat (fire). Cover and leave to sit for five minutes. Put a few small pieces of sage branches in the tea thermos. Strain the tea into the thermos. Let sit for ten minutes before serving. ​

    VARIATION: Add 3 Tablespoons of rose water to the tea thermos in any of the above recipes. ​
    OMANI COFFEE - served in "fanageen", little coffee cups, from a "midlah" or coffee thermos (like shown above)
    Ingredients:
    4 cups of water
    1/3 cup of freshly ground coffee
    4 rounded Tablespoons of ground cardamom
    4 whole cloves
    Preparing the Beans: We buy the coffee beans "green" or raw, usually choosing the best available beans from Yemen or Brazil. Then we roast the beans in a thick skillet or pan over medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until they are a dark brown all over.
    Making the coffee: To boiling water, add the cardamom and ground coffee. Bring to boil again and then reduce the heat. Continue boiling for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the stove and cover the pot. Allow to sit for another 3-4 minutes. Put the whole cloves in the coffee thermos. Strain the hot coffee into the coffee thermos. Allow to sit for ten minutes before serving. Avoid shaking the thermos, as some coffee grains and the cloves will settle to the bottom and you do not want to pour these grains into the coffee cups.
    VARIATION: Add 3 Tablespoons of rose water or a large pinch of saffron threads to the coffee thermos. ​
    ICED HIBISCUS TEA - a good source of vitamin C
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of loose dried hibiscus flowers
    3 whole cloves
    2 slices of fresh ginger
    juice of one lemon
    1 cup of sugar

    Put all of the ingredients and 7 cups of water into a tea kettle or pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain into a large pitcher and add another 4 cups of water. (If desired, add a little more sugar to taste.) Chill and serve over ice.
    VARIATION: In cold weather, serve as a hot tea. ​

    OMANI LEMON TEA - good anytime, but especially when you have a cold or the flu
    Ingredients:
    4 cups of water
    5-6 whole dried Omani lemons (available outside of Oman in Middle Eastern groceries)
    2 large Tablespoons of honey
    more sugar to taste, if desired

    Break the Omani lemons open and remove most of the interior, saving only the dried peels. Boil the lemon peels with the water and honey for about five minutes. Add a little sugar, to taste, if desired. Strain and serve piping hot. ​

    FRUIT SHAKE
    Ingredients:
    2 cups of chilled, chopped fresh fruit (mango, papaya, banana or oranges)
    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
    1/2 cup of cold milk
    sugar to taste, if desired

    Mix the fruit in the blender. Gradually add the cold milk. Add the vanilla and sugar. Serve immediately in tall glasses. ​

    LABAN - a buttermilk drink
    Ingredients:
    1/3 cup of plain yogurt
    2/3 - 3/4 cup of cold water
    1 teaspoon of salt
    a pinch of each of the following: ground cumin, ground red pepper, ground zatar (or oregano or thyme)
    lemon to taste, (a few drops to half a lemon or lime)

    First of all, if you have fresh buttermilk, forget the yogurt, water and salt, by all means enjoy, the fresh buttermilk, by adding the rest of the ingredients. Fresh buttermilk here in Oman is not the thick variety, but rather the thin variety (did you even know that there were two kinds of buttermilk?!) Families that have a cow, will make fresh buttermilk, once they have removed the butter from the milk, by adding a bit of starter from a previous batch of buttermilk. If fresh buttermilk is unavailable, you may substitute commercial buttermilk.
    Otherwise, put the yogurt in a tall glass and gradually add the water, stirring the whole time. Add the rest of the ingredients and enjoy.
    VARIATION: To make what we call "Yemeni-style" laban, mix all of these ingredients in the blender: 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, 1/4 cup finely chopped tomato, 3 Tablespoons of chopped cilantro, finely chopped hot pepper and a big pinch of cumin. Add lemon to taste, if you like. ​
  8. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Breads And Rolls

    BREADS AND ROLLS


    RAISED PANCAKES
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of white flour (in Oman, flour #1 or #2)
    1/2 cup of brown flour (in Oman, flour #2 or #3)
    2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 Tablespoons of sugar
    1 beaten egg
    1 1/4 cups of prepared milk
    2 Tablespoons of cooking oil
    butter and honey
    In a mixing bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. In another mixing bowl combine the milk, eggs and oil. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Stir just until blended. Do NOT over stir. It will still be slightly lumpy. ​
    Pour about 1/4 cup of batter on a hot and lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook until bubbly on the top and set at the edges (golden brown on the bottoms). Flip and cook until the other side is also a golden brown. Drizzle with a little butter. Serve with honey or syrup.

    FLAT PANCAKES - also made quickly to serve with coffee for guests
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of brown flour (in Oman, flour #2 or #3)
    2 cups of water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    butter and honey
    In a mixing bowl combine the flour, water, salt and ground cardamom. Beat well with a spoon. ​
    Pour about 1/8 cup of batter on a hot and lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottoms. Flip and cook until the other side is also a golden brown. Drizzle with a little butter. Pour honey over it and serve.

    CINNAMON ROLLS - a good morning-of-the-Eid or anytime treat
    Ingredients:
    4 cups of white flour
    2 rounded Tablespoons of yeast
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1 cup of milk
    1/2 cup of sugar
    1/3 cup of melted butter or margarine
    2 eggs
    3 Tablespoons of melted butter or margarine
    1/2 cup of sugar
    3 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon
    3/4 cup of raisins (optional)
    Combine 2 cups of flour, the yeast and the salt. Warm the milk and dissolve the 1/2 cup of sugar in it. Add the milk, 1/3 cup of melted butter and the eggs to the flour mixture. Beat with a spoon for about three minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 6-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Turn once. Cover. Let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
    Punch dough down. Divide into three equal portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll a portion of the dough into a 12" x 8" rectangle. Spread over it 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. In a bowl on the side, mix the 1/2 cup of sugar with the ground cinnamon. Sprinkle a third of the cinnamon sugar over the dough. Sprinkle on a third of the raisins (optional). Roll up the dough from one of the long sides. (It should now be a "log" shape.) Slice the dough into 10-12 pieces. Place the rolls, swirl side up, in a baking pan or on a baking sheet, right next to each other. Cover and let rise until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Repeat with the two other portions of dough. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked and lightly browned on the bottoms.
    VARIATION: Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread. Mix the dough and allow to rise. Then, pull off pieces of dough to make 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in cinnamon–sugar mixture. Loosely place in a buttered loaf pan or Bundt cake pan (donut shaped pan with hole in the middle). Fill only half of the pan. Drizzle a few Tablespoons of butter over top and sprinkle on any remaining cinnamon–sugar. Bake as above. Remove from oven. When slightly cool turn over onto a serving plate. Eat by pulling off a chunk with your fingers. ​


    RAISED POTATO DOUGHNUTS
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of powdered milk
    1/2 cup of melted butter
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cinnamon
    1 package of yeast (or 2 Tablespoons)
    3/4 cup of sugar
    1 cup of mashed potatoes
    3 eggs
    1 3/4 cup of (potato) water
    6 - 6 1/2 cups of white flour

    Peel, cut and boil 1 large or 2 medium sized potatoes in water, until the potatoes are very soft. Remove from heat. Drain, reserving the water. Smash the potatoes with a fork. Measure out one cup of mashed potatoes for the recipe. Measure out 1 3/4 cups of potato water (adding more water if necessary to make 1 3/4 cups).
    While the potatoes and the water are still warm, beat together all of the ingredients, except for the flour. Then, gradually stir in the flour. Stir in only as much flour as needed to make a workable dough. The dough should be very soft and a little sticky to the touch. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the dough is nearly double in size.
    Punch down the dough. On a floured cookie sheet or large tray, roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick and cut into donut shapes. Remove the dough around the doughnut shapes. Roll out the remaining dough on another cookie sheet, in the same way. Cover the cookie sheets and allow the doughnuts to rise for 20 minutes (skip this rising if you are using "instant" yeast).
    Fry in deep oil for 3-4 minutes, turning soon after dropping in the oil and then again after a minute or two.
    Glaze the doughnuts as soon as they are cooked, if you like, with this glaze:
    Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Dip one side of the doughnut in the glaze. Place, glazed side up, on a plate and sprinkle with coconut, if desired. Serve. ​

    ZUCCHINI BREAD - sweet, moist and wholesome
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups of white flour
    1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon of salt
    2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (optional)
    2 eggs
    1 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    1 cup of lightly packed grated zucchini
    1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
    1/2 cup of nuts (optional)
    Mix all of the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla, until well mixed. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in the zucchini, raisins and nuts. Spread in a greased 9 inch loaf pan or a greased 8 inch circular cake pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
    Remove from pan while still warm. Slice and serve. ​

    CROISSANT ROLLS - the lightest, fluffiest rolls we know how to make, delicious filled with cheese, but not for those on low-fat diets!
    Ingredients:
    4 cups of white flour
    3/4 cup of sugar
    1 cup of melted butter
    1 teaspoon of salt
    2 Tablespoons of instant yeast
    1 cup of vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cups of water

    cream cheese or cheese spread for filling
    melted butter
    milk

    Mix all but the last three ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
    Remove one fourth of the dough from the refrigerator at a time. On a well-floured surface, roll into a 10-11 inch circle. Spread a tablespoon of butter evenly around the circle. Roll up tightly from one side to the other. Then wrap around in a coil to make a (smaller) circle. Again, roll out into a 10-11 inch circle. Repeat, the process: buttering the circle, roll it up, and coiling it around. For the third time, roll again into a 10-11 inch circle. Cut into 6 equally sized wedges. Place a spoon of cheese near the wide side of each wedge. Roll the wedge in to the point. Tuck the point under the roll and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bend the sides a little to form a crescent shape. Continue cutting and rolling the other wedges. Brush each roll lightly with prepared milk, to give a nice browned color to the tops in the oven. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F, until lightly browned on the bottoms. If not yet browned on the tops, broil until browned on the tops. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. The rolls will be light and fluffy. Be careful not to smash them on the serving tray. Best enjoyed still warm from the oven.
    KHALILAT-UN-NAHL - small round cheese rolls baked next to each in a honeycomb pattern
    Ingredients:
    about 3 cups of white flour
    2 Tbsp. yeast
    1 Tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 cup of oil
    1/4 cup of powdered milk and 3/4 cup of water (or 3/4 cup of prepared milk)
    cheese triangles
    1 beaten egg
    sesame seeds

    SYRUP:
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup water
    Mix the 1 cup of the flour with the yeast, baking powder, and powdered milk, water, and oil. Gradually add more flour, just until the dough stops being sticky. Cover and let sit for an hour to rise.
    Lightly oil a large baking sheet, or a very large round cake/casserole pan. Take a small amount of dough at a time and roll into a ball. Then flatten it in your hand and put about 1/4 of a cheese triangle in the middle. Close the dough around the cheese and pinch edges to seal. Dust your hands with flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Place the first dough ball, sealed edges down, in the middle of the baking sheet. Continue placing dough balls on the baking sheet, sealed edges down, around in a spiral off the first dough ball. The balls should lightly touch each other but not be smashed together. (Most ladies here are making the balls quite small.)
    When finished, brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Bake in a hot oven until cooked and lightly brown on bottom and top. (Broil the top for a minute to brown, it if needed.) While it is cooking, make a syrup. Bring the sugar and water to boil in a sauce pan. Then reduce to a light boil and boil another 5 minutes. Take off of heat and allow to cool. Immediately upon removing the rolls from the oven, evenly spoon the syrup over the hot rolls. When slightly cool, gently remove rolls onto a large round serving plate being careful not to break them apart from each other.
    VARIATION 1: In place of cheese triangles, use kiri cheese or Philadelphia style cheese mixed with a pinch of mixed zatar or crushed mint, or use small chunks of canned processed cheddar cheese.
    VARIATION 2: Make larger individual rolls in any shape you like. Add 2 Tablespoons of sugar to the dough recipe and do not make or use the syrup.
  9. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Date Recipes

    DATE RECIPES


    LAMB AND DATE STEW
    Ingredients:
    1 to 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 pounds of boneless leg of lamb (or beef or camel meat) cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces (or four pounds of meat with bones)
    2 Tablespoon olive oil
    2 large onions, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    2 large cans of beef broth (14 1/2 ounces each; or beef bouillon with water)
    1 Tablespoon cornstarch
    2 Tablespoons cold water
    1 cup of pitted dates
    cooked white rice
    1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds (optional)
    In a mixing bowl combine the spices and salt. Coat the meat with the seasoning mixture. In a large, heavy skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, in the hot oil. Add onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Pour the broth over all.
    Bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer on the lowest heat for a couple of hours or till the meat is tender. Skim fat from the surface of the juices. Stir cornstarch into the cold water; add to meat in the pan and stir.
    Add the dates, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes or till mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly. (This recipe is also delicious when made in a crockery cooker.)
    Serve hot over white rice and garnish with toasted almonds. ​

    ORANGE-DATE CAKE
    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup margarine or butter (room temperature or melted)
    1 cup white flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar (or substitute white sugar)
    1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 egg
    2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
    1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
    powdered sugar (optional)

    In a mixing bowl beat the margarine with the sugar. Add about half of the flour, the orange peel, half of the orange juice, the egg and the baking powder. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in the remaining flour and orange juice. Then, stir in the nuts and dates.
    Pour batter in a lightly greased and floured 9" by 13" cake pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool the cake. Sift powdered sugar over the top, if desired. Then, cut and serve. ​

    DATE-FILLED COOKIES
    Ingredients:
    3 cups of all-purpose white flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup butter or margarine (at room temperature)
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Filling:
    8 ounces of pitted dates, cut up
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until it is all well combined. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
    Divide dough into four parts and refrigerate until ready to use. Meanwhile, make the Filling: In a small saucepan combine the dates and sugar with 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture has thickened - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and walnuts. Cool completely.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, 1/8 inch thick. With a floured 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter (or the bottom of a glass), cut out cookies. Re-roll trimmings and cut. Using a spatula, place half of the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Spread 1 teaspoon of filling over each cookie. Cover with another cookie. With a floured fork, seal the edges firmly. Also, prick the center of the cookie once with the fork.
    Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, cool and enjoy!
    VARIATION: use date paste ("medluke" or "mamroosa") mixed with chopped walnuts in place of the filling. ​
    OATMEAL DATE BARS - makes a 9" square pan
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of white flour
    1 cup of raw oatmeal
    2/3 cup of packed brown sugar (or 1/2 cup regular sugar plus 1/4 cup of date syrup)
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup of butter or margarine, softened
    1 cup of packed, chopped pitted dates, 1/2 cup of water, and juice of a lemon
    (or 1 cup of date paste and 3 Tablespoons of butter)
    1/3 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
    Make the filling by boiling the dates with the water for about 5 minutes or until bubbly and soft. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and nuts. (Alternatively, heat the date paste with the 3 Tablespoons of margarine and nuts.)
    In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Press 2/3 of the flour mixture in a 9" x 9" baking pan. Spread the filling over it. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture over the top. Very lightly press the top. (You want the top to be flaky, so press only to help the crumbs stick on once cooked.) Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden. Cut into squares and serve warm or cool. ​

    DATE-NUT COOKIES
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of sugar
    3/4 cup of butter (at room temperature)
    2 Tablespoons of (prepared) milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 beaten eggs
    2 1/4 cups of white flour
    1 teaspoon of baking soda
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    1 cup of chopped, pitted dates
    1 cup of chopped nuts (walnuts are great!)

    In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well mixed. Add the milk, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar-egg mixture. Lastly, stir in the chopped dates and nuts. ​
    Drop rounded teaspoons full of dough about 2 inches apart unto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven or until the cookies' edges are lightly browned. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Enjoy
  10. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Misc. Sweets

    MISC. SWEETS


    LUQAYMAAT - fried donut balls dipped in syrup or honey - the following in our family's favorite luqaymaat recipe
    Ingredients:
    2 cups of flour
    1/4 cup of powdered milk
    1/4 cup of sugar
    1/4 cup of soft or melted butter or margarine
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1 rounded Tablespoon of yeast (regular or "instant" yeast)
    1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
    2 cups of water
    Mix all of the ingredients together and beat it for a minute with a spoon. Cover and let sit for an hour.
    Stir the batter again just before frying. Keep a bowl of water to your side when it is time to fry. Dip your fingers into the water, scoop up a Tablespoon of batter with your four fingers together, scraping the side of the bowl to pick it up, and then use your thumb to slide the batter into the hot oil. The little bit of water on your fingers helps it slide off easily. Keep the fire low until the pan is full of little balls. Then turn up the heat to medium and stir constantly (and carefully!) until all the balls are lightly golden. Turn down the oil again to start putting in balls for the next batch. The oil is too hot if the balls are getting brown before you finish putting them all into the pan.
    Drizzle with honey before serving.​

    MAHLABIA CUSTARD
    Ingredients:
    1 cup Custard powder (contains corn flour, vanilla and yellow coloring)
    9 cups prepared milk (or 9 cups of water and 2 1/2 cups of powdered milk)
    sugar to taste (as sweet as you like it)
    1 teaspoon ground cardamom
    Mix the custard powder with 2 cups of the milk. Add to the rest of the ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and continue to boil for two minutes. Pour into individual serving bowls and enjoy warm, room temperature or chilled. May be garnished with flaked coconut or chopped nuts. Garnish immediately.
    VARIATION 1: To avoid the yellow coloring, use regular corn flour ("nishaa") in place of the Custard powder. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring as soon as you take it off of the stove. White custard is very pretty with ground pistachios sprinkled on top.
    VARIATION 2: Add 1/4 tsp of pineapple flavoring or use the syrup from canned pineapple or canned fruit in places of some of the water (if using powdered milk).
    TIP 1: If using powdered milk, mix two cups of water with the custard powder and powdered milk. Bring the other 7 cups of water to a boil in your pan. Add the custard mixture to the boiling water while stirring rapidly. Add sugar and cardamom, bring to another boil and cook for two more minutes, stirring the whole time.
    TIP 2: This recipe is very easily adjusted by changing the size of your "cup"! ​

    SAKO - a traditional caramelized tapioca sweet
    Ingredients:
    1 3/4 cups of sugar
    3/4 cup of sako (tapioca), soaked in 1 1/2 cups of water for 1 hour
    1 Tablespoon Saffron, soaked with the tapioca
    1/2 cup of butter
    1/8 – 1/4 cup of rose water, depending on its strength and your tastes
    1 Tablespoon of ground cardamom
    1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    chopped nuts, such as pistachio nuts or walnuts, optional
    Put the sugar in a heavy sauce pan and brown over medium heat. Do not stir it, but rather gently shake the pan about every minute, until the sugar is a golden brown. Be careful not to over do it and burn the sugar.
    Add the sako (tapioca) with its water and the rest of the ingredients along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, while stirring. The sugar will clump at the bottom of the pan at first, but will then gradually dissolve in the liquid.
    Once it is boiling reduce heat to the lowest level. Continue cooking, lightly boiling, until the sako (tapioca) is cooked (i.e. clear and soft). The time required for this will depend on the size of the sako (tapioca), with smaller tapioca cooking faster than the larger beads. Add more water, if need. The final texture should be thick and jelly-like, yet still thin enough to pour into the serving dish.
    Take off of the fire and spread in a glass/ceramic casserole dish/plate (or smaller individual-serving bowls). Top with chopped nuts (optional). Best eaten at room temperature or slightly warm.
    KANAFA - made with Kanafa or "string" pastry
    Ingredients:
    450-500 grams of Kanafa pastry
    1/2 cup of butter
    2 cans of thickened cream (kushtah)
    1 cup of chopped nuts
    1 Tablespoon of ground cardamom

    For the Syrup:
    1 cup of water
    1 1/2 cups of sugar
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1 cinnamon stick
    5 whole cloves

    Pull the Kanafa pastry apart and break into two inch pieces. Spread half of the Kanafa in a 9" x 13" pan. Sprinkle on half of the butter. Press into the pan. Spread the two cans of cream over the kanafa. Mix the nuts with the ground cardamom and sprinkle evenly over the cream. Top with the rest of the kanafa pastry. Sprinkle on the remaining butter. Gently press the kanafa into the pan, as much as you are able to. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Meanwhile, make the syrup. Bring all of the ingredients to boil in a sauce pan, then reduce to a light boil and boil another 5-10 minutes. When you take the kanafa out of the oven, remove the cinnamon and cloves from the syrup. Pour the syrup evenly over the hot kanafa. Leave in the pan for one hour to cool and soak up the syrup. Cut with a sharp knife into squares and serve. ​

    CREAMY TAPIOCA PUDDING
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of tapioca (sako)
    1 1/3 cups of powdered milk
    3/4 – 1 cup of sugar
    1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
    1/2 teaspoon of saffron powder
    3 eggs, beaten
    2 teaspoons of vanilla
    1 1/2 Tablespoons of butter
    On low heat, cook the tapioca in 4-6 cups of water. Start with 4 cups of water and add more water if needed. The cooked tapioca should be thick and bubbly, but not too thick. Some tapiocas will cook more quickly than others. At minimum, it should take at least 20 minutes. In a bowl on the side, mix the powdered milk with 1 cup of water. Add to the tapioca on the stove. Also add the cardamom, saffron and sugar. (I prefer the pudding to be sweet, so I use 1 full cup of sugar. If you prefer a pudding that is less sweet us only 3/4 cup.) Heat.
    Put the eggs in a bowl. Gradually add to it 1 cup of the hot tapioca mixture. Return all of the egg mixture to the cooking pot. Cook until nearly bubbly, but DO NOT BOIL. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.
    Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the tapioca pudding into a bowl. Cover the SURFACE with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming. (The plastic wrap should actually touch the surface of the pudding.) Put in the refrigerator until well chilled. Serve. Delicious! ​

    FRUIT CRISP - this is actually an American recipe, but I have found that it is well-liked by my Omani family and guests, too. (A double recipe nicely fits a 9" x 13" baking dish)
    Ingredients:
    5 cups sliced, peeled apples or pears
    1/3 cup raisins
    4 Tablespoons sugar
    1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup regular rolled oats (shurbah)
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar (white sugar can be substituted)
    1/4 cup all-purpose white flour
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup margarine or butter
    1/4 cup chopped nuts or coconut (optional)
    vanilla ice cream (optional)

    Place the fruit in an 8 inch round baking dish. Stir in the raisins, sugar and 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon.
    For the topping, in a mixing bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cut in softened (room temperature) margarine or butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts or the coconut (optional). Sprinkle topping over the fruit mixture.
    Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden. Serve warm , topped with a spoon of vanilla ice cream. Easy and delicious! ​

    GAMATTE NIDO - soft round sweets made from NIDO (powdered milk)
    Ingredients:
    2 cups of full cream powdered milk
    1 Tablespoon of baking powder
    2 eggs, beaten
    about 6 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
    1 cup of sugar
    1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
    saffron thread or powder

    Mix the powdered milk with baking powder. Then add the eggs and 4 Tablespoons of oil. Mix well and form into 1/2 inch balls, by rolling in your hands. If the mix becomes too dry to roll, add a little more beaten egg.
    In a pan combine the sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water, the cardamom, and the saffron. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warm (but no longer hot).
    In a frying pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add half of the balls. Cook until the balls are a light brown on all sides. Do this by constantly tilted and turning the pan, so the balls continually roll around from one side to another. Place the balls in the warm syrup. Allow to remain in the syrup for about five minutes or until you have finished frying the second half of the balls. Remove from the syrup and drain on kleenex tissue or kitchen paper. Cover with another piece of tissue or kitchen paper and allow to sit for at least three hours before serving. Enjoy! It is hard to keep your hands off these ones!​

    HALAWEEYAT AHMAD - bite-sized candies
    Ingredients:
    2 bags of Ahmad sweyweih (toasted, very thin vermicelli)
    1/3 cup of butter, melted
    1 (400 gram) can of sweetened condensed milk (or see substitution below)
    1/2 cup of finely ground nuts
    1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
    1/2 cup of powdered sugar

    Melt the butter in a large skillet. Break the vermicelli into very small pieces and add to the butter. Stir over medium-low heat for two minutes, until the butter is well mixed in the vermicelli. Remove to a bowl. Add the nuts, coconut and sweetened condensed milk. Stir with a spoon until well mixed.
    Press into small molds: (We use the 10ml cups that come with children's medicine or the scoop from a can of baby formula.) First, dip the mold in the powdered sugar, making sure to coat all of the inside of the mold. Then, shake off the powdered sugar. Firmly press the mixture into the mold. Turn the mold upside down and tap the top of it with a spoon, until the "halaweeyat" fall out of the mold in a nice shape. Carefully place on a plate. Repeat with remaining mixture. Cover the "halaweeyat" and allow to sit for 2 hours (so the vermicelli will absorb the sweetened condensed milk.) This recipe is fun for the kids to make.
    [If sweetened condensed milk is unavailable you can use this substitute: mix 1 cup of powdered milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, and 1/3 cup of water in the blender.] ​
    BAKED CREME CARAMEL (Custard Flan) - simple ingredients, delicious result
    Ingredients:
    2/3 cup of sugar (for caramel sauce)
    6 beaten eggs
    1 cup of full-creme milk powder
    2/3 cup of sugar
    1 cup of fresh unsweetened orange juice
    2 teaspoons of vanilla

    In a heavy saucepan cook the 2/3 cup of sugar for the caramel sauce over medium-high heat until the sugar begins to melt. Do not stir, but shake the saucepan occasionally. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook until the sugar is golden brown, stirring frequently. Divide the sugar among 8 custard cups (small glass pyrex bowls) or a glass 9" x 13" baking dish. Tilt to coat the bottoms of the dishes. Let stand for 10 minutes.
    In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, powdered milk, sugar, orange juice, vanilla and 2 cups of water. Beat until well combined, but not foamy. Pour this mixture into the large baking dish or divide it between the small custard cups (whichever you are using). Place your dish or dishes into an even larger baking dish. Pour boiling water into the larger baking dish, around the custard dish/es to a depth of 1 inch.
    Carefully place your large dish in a pre-heated oven and bake at about 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. It may be eaten warm, but it is best chilled. Remove from custard cups to serve by turning each custard upside down on a plate or serve from the larger dish drizzling the caramel sauce over each serving. ​
    BAQALAWA (Baklava)
    Ingredients:
    1 package of filo (baqalawa) dough papers, thawed to room temperature
    3 cups of ground almonds or pistachio nuts
    1 cup of finely chopped almonds or pistachio nuts
    1 cup of powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
    3/4 cup of melted butter

    FOR SYRUP:
    2 cups of sugar
    1 cup of honey
    2 cups of water
    juice of one lemon

    In a saucepan, bring the syrup ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes. (Be careful not to boil over the syrup.) Remove from heat and put aside for later.
    In a mixing bowl combine the nuts, powdered sugar, and cardamom. Open the filo dough, but keep it covered with a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out. Lay out one sheet of filo dough. Brush melted butter over it. Lay another sheet of filo dough on top of the first one. Again, brush with melted butter. Lay a third sheet of filo dough on top, and again brush with butter. Across the middle of the top sheet, make a line of nut mixture, about four rounded Tablespoons of nut mixture. Fold the filo dough in half over the nut mixture so that the nut mixture is right inside the fold. Then roll up the filo dough as tight as you can, with the nut mixture being in the very middle. Carefully move this "log" of filo dough to a baking sheet. On the baking sheet, diagonally cut into 3/4 inch pieces with a shape knife. Repeat the process again until you have used all of the filo dough.
    Drizzle any remaining butter over the baqalawa pieces on the baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Take five or six pieces of baqalawa at a time and dip them into the syrup allowing them to soak up syrup for about 15 seconds. Remove them from the syrup and place them in a strainer or on a rack where the excess syrup can drip off. ​
    They are very pretty when each piece is served in a mini paper cup (like the decorated paper cups used for mini-cupcakes)
  11. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Cakes

    CAKES


    BANANA CAKE - Bananas are one of Oman's favorite fruits. There are a number of varieties that grow here as well as many imported varieties, but bananas go ripe very quickly in the summer heat. Here's one of our favorite recipes for using those very ripe bananas.
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of softened (or melted) butter or margarine
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/2 cups smashed very ripe bananas
    1 1/2 cups of white flour
    1 rounded Tablespoon baking powder
    1 rounded teaspoon baking soda

    In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. When it is well mixed, add the mashed bananas.
    In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, beating a little after each addition.
    Pour into a lightly greased and floured 9" x 13" cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
    VARIATION 1: Add 3/4 cup chopped walnuts.
    VARIATION 2: For a chocolate swirled cake – divide the batter in half. To one half add 1/4 cup baking cocoa. Spread the plain half of the batter into the baking pan. Spoon on the cocoa batter and swirl with a knife. Bake as per instructions.
    VARIATION 3: For a chocolate banana cake – add 1/2 cup of baking cocoa to the batter with the flour. Bake as per instructions. ​

    ORANGE-DATE CAKE
    Ingredients:
    1/4 cup margarine or butter (room temperature or melted)
    1 cup white flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar (or substitute white sugar)
    1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1 egg
    2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
    1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
    powdered sugar (optional)

    In a mixing bowl beat the margarine with the sugar. Add about half of the flour, the orange peel, half of the orange juice, the egg and the baking powder. Beat until thoroughly combined. Beat in the remaining flour and orange juice. Then, stir in the nuts and dates.
    Pour batter in a lightly greased and floured 9" by 13" cake pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool the cake. Sift powdered sugar over the top, if desired. Then, cut and serve. ​

    ORANGE-VANILLA CAKE
    Ingredients:
    1 1/3 cup of white flour
    2 Tablespoons of baking powder
    1/3 cup of powdered milk
    3 eggs
    1 cup of sugar
    2/3 cup of orange juice
    2/3 cup of vegetable oil or melted butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and powdered milk. In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar, until well mixed. Add the orange juice and mix well. Add the oil and vanilla and beat again. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, beating between each addition. Beat for another minute or two minutes. Pour into a 9" x 13" greased and lightly floured cake pan and bake at about 350 degrees F until a toothpick or knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
    VARIATION: Sprinkle sesame seeds on top before cooking. Or reserve 1/3 of the batter and mix it with 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Swirl the chocolate batter over the vanilla batter and bake as instructed. ​

    JUZ AL-HIND CAKE - "coconut cake"
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup of white flour
    1/2 cup of farina ("khabeesa" or "Cream of Wheat")
    1/3 cup of sugar
    1 1/2 Tablespoons of baking powder
    1 cup of desiccated coconut
    2 eggs
    1 cup of prepared milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla or pineapple flavoring
    FOR THE SYRUP: 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water
    Make the Syrup: Mix the 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    In a bowl mix the flour, farina, sugar, baking powder, and coconut. In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir until well mixed. Pour into a 8" x 11" lightly greased cake pan and bake at about 350 degrees F until a toothpick or knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If the top is not already a golden brown, then broil the top for a minute or two to achieve this color.
    Remove from the oven. Over the hot cake, pour the cooled syrup. Leave to cool, then serve. ​

    APPLE-FILLED CAKE
    Ingredients:
    3 cups of chopped, peeled apples
    2 cups of sugar
    4 Tablespoons of cornstarch
    3 cups of white flour
    1 Tablespoon of baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
    1/3 cup of butter or margarine, soft but not melted
    2 beaten eggs
    1 cup of buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup of white flour
    In a saucepan combine the apples and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes until the apples are tender. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and the cornstarch. Stir into the fruit mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook two more minutes. Set aside.
    In a mixing bowl stir together 1 cup of the sugar, the 3 cups of flour, the baking powder, and baking soda. Reserve 4 Tablespoons of the butter. Add the rest of the butter to the flour mixture and "cut in" until it resembles fine crumbs. Combine the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spread half of the batter into an 9" x 13" cake pan. Spread the fruit mixture over the batter. Drop the remaining batter by rounded Tablespoons over the top of the apple filling. Do not spread it. Leave it in mounds (evenly spaced) on top of the filling.
    On the side, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and the 1/2 cup of flour. Cut in the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle over the cake. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. ​
  12. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Cookies Or "biscuits"

    COOKIES OR "BISCUITS"



    DATE-FILLED COOKIES
    Ingredients:
    3 cups of all–purpose white flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup butter or margarine (at room temperature)
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Filling:
    8 ounces of pitted dates, cut up
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until it is all well combined. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
    Divide dough into four parts and refrigerate until ready to use. Meanwhile, make the Filling: In a small saucepan combine the dates and sugar with 1/2 cup of water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the mixture has thickened – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and walnuts. Cool completely.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, 1/8 inch thick. With a floured 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter (or the bottom of a glass), cut out cookies. Re–roll trimmings and cut. Using a spatula, place half of the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Spread 1 teaspoon of filling over each cookie. Cover with another cookie. With a floured fork, seal the edges firmly. Also, prick the center of the cookie once with the fork.
    Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, cool and enjoy!
    VARIATION: use date paste ("medluke" or "mamroosa") mixed with chopped walnuts in place of the filling. ​

    COOKIE PRESS COOKIES - Cookie press cookie-makers are on sale here in most of the shops selling kitchen goods. My family likes these cookies. So I make them pretty often, and I get more requests from friends and guests for this recipe than any other. So here it is for all to see:
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups of margarine or butter (at room temperature, but not melted)
    3 1/2 cups of white flour
    1 cup of sugar
    1 egg
    1 Tablespoon of baking powder
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon of almond extract or pineapple extract

    In a large bowl, stir the margarine or butter until soft and light, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the flour and all of the other ingredients and beat until well combined. Then stir in the remaining flour.
    Put some dough in the cookie press. Force the dough through the cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet (a large, flat, metal pan used for baking cookies). Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 8 or 9 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are firm but not yet brown. Remove from the oven and carefully place cookie on a wire rack to cool. (The kids will love to help you make different shapes with the cookie press!) ​

    DATE-NUT COOKIES
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of sugar
    3/4 cup of butter (at room temperature)
    2 Tablespoons of (prepared) milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 beaten eggs
    2 1/4 cups of white flour
    1 teaspoon of baking soda
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    1 cup of chopped, pitted dates
    1 cup of chopped nuts (walnuts are great!)

    In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well mixed. Add the milk, vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar-egg mixture. Lastly, stir in the chopped dates and nuts. ​
    Drop rounded teaspoons full of dough about 2 inches apart unto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven or until the cookies' edges are lightly browned. Cool the cookies on a wire rack. Enjoy
  13. RAHEN

    RAHEN Team leader

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    Cake/cookie-like Bars

    CAKE/COOKIE-LIKE BARS



    BASBOOSA - syrupy-sweet cake-like bars (makes a 9" x 13" pan)
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups semolina, farina or Cream of Wheat
    1/2 cup desiccated coconut
    2 Tbsp. baking powder
    1/2 cup liquid butter or margarine
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup plain yogurt (or canned thickened cream)
    1 tsp. pineapple flavoring or vanilla flavoring (optional)
    almonds, pistachios or cashew nuts (optional)
    In a large bowl mix the semolina, coconut and baking powder. Knead in the liquid butter until it is well blended. In a blender (or with a mixer or hand beater) blend the eggs, sugar, yogurt and flavoring. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir with a spoon until combined and pour immediately into a 9" by 13" ungreased cake pan. If desired, decorate the top of the batter with the nuts so that there will be one nut in the middle of each piece (which is cut when removed from the oven) or sprinkle a little coconut on top instead. Bake in a 350 degree oven until done and nicely browned. Over the hot cake pour cool syrup (recipe follows). Allow to sit to absorb the syrup (a half an hour is good). Cut, eat and enjoy!
    Syrup- In a small saucepan combine and boil for about 5 minutes: 1/2 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar and (optional) the juice of half a lemon. ​

    LEMON BARS - makes a 9" x 13" pan
    Ingredients for the crust:
    1 cup soft butter
    1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar (if unavailable locally, make by grinding sugar in the coffee grinder)
    2 cups of white flour
    dash of salt

    Ingredients for the filling:
    1/4 cup of white flour
    2 cups of sugar
    4 large eggs (5 Omani store size eggs), beaten
    6 Tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
    To make the crust, combine all of the ingredients well. Press into a 9" x 13" cake pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 14 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
    To make the filling, mix all of the ingredients until well combined. Poor over the cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set and the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool. Sprinkle the top with more powdered sugar or drizzle on glaze. Cut into bars and serve.
    GLAZE: Stir together 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of (prepared) milk.​

    CHOCOLATE BROWNIES - makes a 8" square pan
    Ingredients:
    3/4 cup of melted butter or margarine
    1 1/2 cup of sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
    3 eggs
    3/4 cup of white flour
    1/2 cup of cocoa (chocolate cocoa powder)
    1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    Blend melted margarine, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the egg mixture. Mix until well blended. Spread in a greased 8-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from edges of the pan. Cool and cut into squares. Enjoy! ​

    OATMEAL DATE BARS - makes a 9" square pan
    Ingredients:
    1 cup of white flour
    1 cup of raw oatmeal
    2/3 cup of packed brown sugar (or 1/2 cup regular sugar plus 1/4 cup of date syrup)
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup of butter or margarine, softened
    1 cup of packed, chopped pitted dates, 1/2 cup of water, and juice of a lemon
    (or 1 cup of date paste and 3 Tablespoons of butter)
    1/3 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
    Make the filling by boiling the dates with the water for about 5 minutes or until bubbly and soft. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and nuts. (Alternatively, heat the date paste with the 3 Tablespoons of margarine and nuts.)
    In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Press 2/3 of the flour mixture in a 9" x 9" baking pan. Spread the filling over it. Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture over the top. Very lightly press the top. (You want the top to be flaky, so press only to help the crumbs stick on once cooked.) Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden. Cut into squares and serve warm or cool. ​

    OMANI WEDDING SQUARES - so named since they are now a common sweet at weddings
    Ingredients:
    2 cups white flour
    2 cups full cream powdered milk (or NIDO)
    1 cup of powdered sugar (or sugar ground in a spice or coffee grinder)
    2 cups of vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour into an ungreased 9 inch by 13 inch cake pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven until very lightly browned. Cut immediately into small squares upon removing the pan from the oven.
    VARIATION 1: Top with nuts (whole almonds, cashews, or pistachios, or half walnuts) placed about 1 cm apart, and then cut squares so that each piece has a nut in the middle.
    VARIATION 2: Add 1/2 tsp of Almond flavoring with the vanilla. ​
    VARIATION 3: Mix half of the batter with 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder. Spread the regular half of the batter in the cake pan. Top with chocolate batter. Bake
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