New cookbook buys

Today after waiting two VERY long excited/anxious weeks I finally received my new cookbook. Palestine on a plate.

We used to live next door to a couple from Palestine and she used to make such delicious foods. I have missed her food so buying this book was a MUST. And now, them delicious recipes are all in my bookshelf =D

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This book is a very generous 240 page volume of some of her favourite meals. SADLY there is no mansaf inside this book which I am completely heartbroken about but there’s another Palestinian book I want to buy which I hope will contain the elusive recipe that’s missing from this one. Mansaf is known as the official dish of Jordan so I am actually quite surprised that it was not included in this book. Oh well – this book is incredible without it and i’m sure i’ll be cooking many of the recipes over and over again.

You can buy this book from many places online but I purchased it at The Book Depository. It’s where I generally go for books. Reliable service and i’ve never been disappointed in their delivery or their packaging. You’ll enjoy shopping there also.

This week I plan to purchase another cookbook to add to my very large collection. This book is a Lebanese cookbook called Taste of Beirut.

9780757317705

I love Lebanese food as much as I love most other Arabian foods. There is so much to love about Arabic cuisines that it makes buying cookbooks such an exciting pursuit. I’m looking forward to this Lebanese cookbook very much and I’m hoping that it will have a particular lamb mince, fragranced rice inside of it that we get when we buy Lebanese food in restaurants. I’ll cry if it’s not in there hahaha

Do you have a favourite cook book? please share with me what it is. I have so many wonderful cookbooks and i’m always looking to add to my collection.

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Makhluba – Upside down rice cake

This can be cooked in many different ways. I am putting this recipe here so that I can try it tonight. This is from Marwa in the cooking group i’m in.

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Ingredients:

Chicken – 1 Whole (1.5kgs)
Potatoes – 3-4 medium size
Egg plant – one large
Onion – 1 big I used 3
Butter – 1 tblspn
Olive oil – 2-4 tblspns
Vegetable oil for frying
Basmati rice – 3 cups

Spices for the chicken:
Cinnamon ground – 1/2 tspn
Cardamom ground- 1/4 tspn
Coriander ground – 1 tspn
All spice ground – 1 tspn
Seven spices ground – 1 tspn
Cumin – 1 tspn
Turmeric – 1 tspn
Spices for the rice: Salt and pepper- 1/2 tspn each; All spice – 1/2 tspn; turmeric – 1 tspn.

Method:
1. De-skin the chicken, cut into 12 pieces at the joints, clean, wash, drain and keep aside.
2. Heat a tblspn of butter in a big pot and add the diced onion to it.
3. When the onions sweat a little add the chicken to the pan followed by the spices and mix well. Keep turning over and brown the chicken in the pan.
3. Add 3 – 4 cups of water and let it cook for sometime till the chicken is done.
4.Slice the egg plants and potatoes separately. Rub a little salt and keep them aside for sometime. The egg plants sweat a little on rubbing salt. Press them gently to drain the water and wipe with paper towels. This way they don’t absorb oil when frying.
5. Deep fry them separately. Drain on paper towels.
6. Boil water in another pot. Add the basmati rice. When the rice is 80% cooked, drain well, then add the spices to the rice, mix well and set aside.
7. Take a small round roaster and grease it with some butter (1tspn) on the inside. Then sprinkle a little of the spiced rice at the bottom.
8. Now spread a layer of the chicken pieces (reserve the broth) on top of the sprinkled rice.
9. Then spread a layer of baked/fried egg plant on top of the chicken. Then a layer of potatoes on top of the egg plant or you can layer both together – one eggplant and one potato slice, all stacked together.
10. Finally add the spiced rice on top. Press the rice with a lid and then pour the reserved broth on top of the rice. Close the roaster lid and put it in the pre-heated oven (at 350 degrees fahrenheit) for 15 mins till you see the steam gushing out as soon as you open the lid. You have to be careful when you are opening the lid and avoid keeping your face close to the roaster.
11. Keep a round serving platter ready. Remove roaster lid and close it with the serving platter.
12. Put your oven gloves on (thick insulated ones) and holding the roaster bottom with one hand and the top of the closed serving platter with the other, overturn the roaster carefully on to the serving platter and slowly rest the serving platter on the counter top. Remember it is very hot so you have to do it very carefully and tactfully balancing it really well. Otherwise ask someone to help you.
13. Let this rest for 2 mins. Take a serving spoon and tap the roaster on the top and all the sides slowly to release the makhlooba from sticking to the roaster.
14. Uncover the roaster slowly. Lo and behold! You have the whole makhlooba with the chicken on the top like a cake. It looks beautiful, smells great and tastes heavenly. Hmm, so yummy! Enjoy.