Herbs and spices galore: Fadi Kattan’s recipes for Palestinian-style vegetables | Middle Eastern food and drink

Uwhen I close my eyes and try to think of a dish that says home, the mujadara is usually the one that comes to mind. Mind you, the same probably goes for most Palestinians: this humble but immensely satisfying dish was easily the most requested recipe of my radio show, Ramblings of a Chefwhich I started during the pandemic. Mafgusameanwhile, is a refreshing side dish for grilled meats or to be served on its own with bread as a light meal – the word means “crushed” in Arabic, and the name of the dish comes because the vegetables involved are pureed during or after cooking and served as cold salad.

Mafghusa (pictured above)

There are many different versions of the the mafgusa: some are made with tomatoes and laban jamid (salted and dried yogurt) and others are made with olive oil, as here. I often make mafghoussa when I core the courgettes to stuff them, but you can also use sliced ​​courgettes – the taste is a bit different though. Mafghoussa is always served cold or at room temperature.

preparation 10 min
cook 40 min
Serves 6

Extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
peeled and crushed
1 fresh red chili pepper
thinly sliced
500 g of zucchini flesh
or sliced ​​whole zucchini
1 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
30 gr
Pine nuts
30 gr
mint leaves and parsleycoarsely chopped
Warm bread
to serve

Put three tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the chilli and fry for another two to three minutes, until softened and slightly coloured. Stir in zucchini, reduce heat to medium, and sauté, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through; the fleshy part of the zucchini will slowly fall apart as you stir. Mix the salt and lemon juice, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, toast the pine nuts in a little olive oil over a medium heat for about a minute, until lightly colored and fragrant, then set aside.

Once the mafgusa has cooled, sprinkle the mint, parsley and pine nuts on top, drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and serve with warm bread for scooping.


Fadi Kattan’s Mujadara.

There are probably just as many variations of the mujadara as there are Palestinians.

preparation 10 min
Soak 30 min
cook 1 hour
Serves 4

280 gr dried green lentils
½ teaspoon of salt
125 ml
extra virgin olive oil
4 heads of red onion
peeled, halved and finely chopped
tsp sugar
tsp ground cumin
tsp ground coriander
tsp ground cinnamon
350 gr
medium grain rice

For the dressing
2 fresh onionstrimmed and sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
tsp ground sumac
tsp extra virgin olive oil

Soak the lentils in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain.

Combine the drained lentils, salt and 750ml water in a saucepan, then cook over a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the lentils are al dente. Drain, rinse under cold water to stop the lentils from cooking, then allow to drain completely.

Place 60ml of the oil in a medium-high frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover and cook over low heat for three to four minutes until translucent. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and cook for another six to eight minutes, until the onions are caramelized. Drain half the onion on a plate lined with paper towels and leave the rest in the oil in the pan.

Put the remaining 65ml of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and half a teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, for about two minutes, until the spices are fragrant. Add the rice, toss to coat with the spices, then pour in 600ml of hot water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for four to five minutes. Stir in the drained lentils and cook for about 12 minutes, until the lentils and rice are almost done but still have a slight crunch.

Stir in the onion and oil from the pan, then leave on a low heat until the liquid is reduced. Turn off heat, cover and rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine the scallions, lemon juice, sumac, and oil in a small bowl. Transfer the rice and lentils to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork. Drizzle the dressing over the top, garnish with the reserved drained caramelized onions and serve.

Tahini baked eggplants

Fadi Kattan’s Roasted Eggplants with Tahini.

Palestinians use eggplant in all kinds of dishes. This works as a starter or as part of a spread.

preparation 10 min
cook 50 min
Serves 4

4 large eggplants
Olive oil
95 gr
tahini (aka tahini)
4 cloves of garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
2 hot peppers
finely chopped
½ teaspoon of fine salt

1 bunch of dill
torn and coarsely chopped
1 bunch flat parsley
torn and coarsely chopped
tsp nigella seeds
tsp coriander seeds
pp. pomegranate seeds
tablespoon toasted pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/Gas 6. Brush the aubergines all over with olive oil, place in a tray and roast for around 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes so they cook evenly.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the tahini, two and a half tablespoons of olive oil, two cloves of garlic, the lemon juice, chilies, and salt in a food processor, then pulse. With the motor running, slowly add six tablespoons of cold water, stirring until the sauce is smooth.

Place the roasted aubergines on a serving plate and press down so that the skins split and crack. Drizzle over the tahini sauce, then sprinkle the dill, parsley, nigella seeds and coriander seeds on top. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts.

Finely chop the remaining two cloves of garlic. Put a little oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the garlic for about two minutes until golden. Brush the aubergines with the oil and garlic and serve.

  • These recipes are edited extracts from Bethlehem: A Feast of Palestinian Food, by Fadi Kattan, published May 15 by Hardy Grant at £28. To order a copy for £24.64 go to guardianbookshop.com

  • Discover these recipes and over 1,000 more from your favorite chefs the new Guardian Feast appwith smart features that make everyday cooking easier and more fun

نوشته های مشابه

دکمه بازگشت به بالا