Ramadan offers a whole new challenge to cooking Egyptian food. The breaking of the fast, Iftar, is the main menu of the day and consists of an array of dishes. Traditionally the meal starts with juice, to prepare the stomach for the feast that is to come, and a savoury soup. Appetisers are up next, followed by a main course and a sweet dessert completes the meal.
Iftars are meant to be shared and inviting your close friends and family for a home-cooked dinner-cum-breakfast can be daunting. But not to worry; during the month we will be giving you suggestions for full menus for light meals because of the warm days, accompanied with a complete recipe for one of the dishes.
Drink: Kiwi and apple juice
Soup: Corn soup
Salad: Chickpea salad
Appetiser: Chicken kofta with potatoes
Main course: Spaghetti with meat balls
Shorbet dora – Corn soup
- 3 cans of corn – dor-a
- 2 green peppers, diced – fel-fel akh-dar
- 1 red pepper, diced – fel-fel ah-mar
- 1 onion, chopped – ba-sal
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed – tom
- 5 cups chicken broth – shor-bet fe-rakh
- 1 1/2 cup cream for cooking – kre-met tabkh
- 2 tbsp oil – zeit
- salt and pepper – malh and fel-fel
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a deep non-stick pan. Add the onion and stir for 1 minute until golden.Add 2 of the garlic cloves and 2 ¼ can corn and stir for another 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepan, add the remaining oil and green pepper and stir for 2 minutes.Add the remaining corn and stir for another 2 minutes.
- Pour the soup in a blender and blend on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Return to the pan and bring to a boil.Reduce the heat, add the cream,green pepper and corn mix and stir well. Leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Fry the other 2 cloves of garlic in a sauce pan with the red pepper and the rest of the corn. Stir well until the pepper is a little soft.
- Pour the soup in bowls and garnish with the red pepper mixture. Serve hot.
*If preferred, you can use only red peppers in this recipe
* If preferred, you can omit the blending and serve the soup as is
- 2 cups coconut, grated – goz hend
- 1 1/2 cup semolina – se-mo-lee-na
- 1 cup flour – de-‘ee’
- 1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted – zeb-da or sam-na
- 1 cup yogurt – za-ba-di
- 1 tbsp baking powder – ba-king pow-dar
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar – sok-kar va-nil-ya
- 1 cup sugar – sok-kar
- 1 cup sugar syrup (¾ cup of sugar + 1 cup of water + juice of 1 lemon) – sok-kar, may-ya, la-moon
Preparing sugar syrup
- Melt ¾ cup of sugar in 1 cup of water while stirring vigorously.
- Pour the mixture in a small pan and add the lemon juice.
- Heat and boil for 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the syrup cool.
- Heat the oven to 200-210 C.
- Mix the melted butter or ghee, yogurt, sugar well in a small bowl.
- Mix the semolina, flour,grated coconut,baking powder and vanilla sugar in a medium bowl. Add the liquid mixture and mix well with hands until dough is formed.
- Butter a round metal baking pan and spread the dough evenly on the bottom. Press well to make sure the layer is firm
- Place the baking pan in the oven for 30 minutes. When the edges turn golden brown, light the grill and broil until the top is golden brown.
- Pour the cooled syrup over the baseemaimmediately after it comes out of the oven and leave to cool. Garnish with some grated coconut or any nuts to taste.
- Servewhen cool.
If you prefer the dough to be a little softer add some milk or use 1 cup of milk instead of the yogurt.