Recipes to delight family and friends during the Eid
CAIRO: If you think the continuous cooking that is the trademark of Ramadan is about to end, think again. The Eid is also about invitations and exchanging visits between families. While a dish of khak and other traditional Egyptian cookies might work for some visitors, others won t be satisfied with anything less than a meal. So unless you are traveling during the Eid, and won t be inviting anyone to your house, keep your sleeves rolled up because there is more cooking to do.
Brown LentilsIngredients: 2 cups of brown lentils; 1 large onion; salt; oil and lime or butter (for serving).Recipe:1. Put the lentils in a pan and cover with water. Cut the onion in half and add to the lentils.2. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat and leave to simmer. Cook gently for about one hour, until the lentils are soft.3. Add about half a tablespoon of salt. Don’t add the salt before the hour elapses or the lentils will take much longer to cook.4. Serve hot in a bowl mixed with about 1 tablespoon (per helping) of vegetable or olive oil, some lime or lemon juice and hot flat bread.5. You can also serve the lentils with butter. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter (per helping) in a small pan, add the lentils and heat thoroughly. You may also add a small knob of butter on top of the lentils.
Roast PotatoesRoast potatoes are a favorite. These are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve while still hot.Ingredients: 4-6 large potatoes for 4 persons; 2 tablespoons of corn oil; salt and pepper.Ingredients:1. According to preference you can either peel the potatoes or leave them unpeeled. Cut each one into three or four largish pieces.2. Put the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water, just enough to cover the potatoes. Leave the potatoes to cook until they re half done. This should take around 10 minutes of boiling. The potatoes should be slightly soft when pricked with a fork.3. Light the oven and adjust to a medium/high temperature.4. Once the potatoes are ready, drain in a colander and leave to cool.5. Return to pan. Cover the pan and shake the potatoes. This crumbles the edges slightly and makes the potatoes crispy on the outside.6. Put the oil in a wide shallow oven pan or a baking sheet and place it in the hot oven without the potatoes. Heat the oil for 5 minutes.7. Take the pan out of the oven and immediately place the potatoes gently in the hot oil (they should sizzle), turn to coat with oil.8. Return to oven and leave to cook for about 50-60 minutes, depending on how brown and crispy you like them. Turn them once or twice while they re cooking so that they brown on at least two sides.
Grilled Kebab and KoftaKebab and kofta are usually served with tehina salad and soft Egyptian bread.Ingredients: For the kebab: 1 kg. (2 lbs.) lean beef, lamb or veal, cut in cubes; 3 large onions; 3 large tomatoes; 3 green peppers; 2 tablespoons of mustard; ½ cup of oil; 4-6 skewers; salt and pepper.For the kofta: 1 kg. (2 lbs.) minced beef or lamb or a mixture of both, (the meat shouldn t be too lean); 2 medium-sized onions; 4 tablespoons of fresh parsley; 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs; 4-6 skewers; salt and pepper.Recipe:1. For kebab: You will need to prepare the meat one or two hours before grilling. Remove any fat from the meat and put in a large bowl. Finely grate one of the onions, and add. Cover with oil and mustard. Season and mix well. Cover and keep in the fridge till ready to grill.2. Now prepare the kofta mix. Finely grate the onions, chop the parsley and add to the minced meat in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, season and mix well.3. Take a lump of the meat the size of a golf ball and gently wrap around the skewer while turning it until the meat takes the shape of a cigar. When done, put the skewers on a flat plate and keep in the fridge with the kebab until ready to grill.4. Cut the two remaining onions, the tomatoes and the peppers into equal size pieces.When ready to grill, thread the kebab pieces alternatively with a wedge of onion, green pepper and tomato. Do not discard the meat marinade as you will brush the meat with it during grilling.5. When the grill is very hot, start by placing the kebab skewers on it, followed by the kofta skewers. Leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes making sure they’re nicely cooked before turning them over. They are ready to turn if they don’t stick to the grill. Keep brushing with the marinade in the bowl, and cook until brown all over.6. You can alternatively cook the kebab and kofta under the oven grill. Place the skewers on an oven tray and under a medium high grill. When brown and cooked on one side, turn over.
BasbousaServe either hot or cold with cream or whipped cream.Ingredients: 2 cups of corn or semolina flour; 1 cup of granulated sugar; 1½ cups of milk or water or a mixture of both; 8 tablespoons of butter; 2 cups of yogurt; 1½ teaspoons of baking powder; ¼-½ cup almonds or mixed nuts.For the syrup: 1? cups of sugar; 2 cups of water; a few drops of lime/lemon juice.Recipe:1. Blanch the almonds or mixed nuts: put them in boiling water for a few minutes, drain in a sieve, and then after cooling slightly, squeeze each nut out of its skin. It should come off easily. Leave nuts whole or halve them and put them on kitchen paper to absorb the moisture.2. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan and leave to cool. In a larger bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder. Make a hole in the middle, and pour in half of the melted butter. Work the dough with your hands until it is mixed well.3. In a small bowl, put the yogurt and 1 cup of sugar and stir well until the sugar dissolves.4. Add the milk or water to the flour alternatively with the sweet yogurt mixture, stirring well after each addition. You should have smooth, not too stiff dough.5. Grease a round oven tray with 1-2 tablespoons of the melted butter.6. Spread and flatten the dough on the bottom of the greased pan. It should come up the sides to around a 1 cm. level. With a sharp knife, shape the surface into wedges, triangles or squares and half-insert the whole or half nuts into each partition. Alternatively, cover the dough with a mixture of nuts.7. Cover and put in the fridge for half an hour before you place in the hot oven.8. Heat oven to a moderately high temperature. Bake the basbousa for around 1 hour until the top is golden brown.9. While the basbousa is cooking you can make the syrup, as it needs to be cool before pouring it over the basbousa.10. Put the sugar and water into a small but heavy saucepan on a medium flame. Leave to heat then boil without stirring. After around 10 minutes, add a few drops of lemon juice and allow it to boil until it starts to turn slightly caramel color. This will take around 20 minutes.11. Once it’s done, remove from heat, mix the last of the melted butter (1½ to 2 tablespoons) with the syrup and set aside to cool.12. As soon as you take the basbousa out of the oven, pour the cooled syrup and butter over the whole surface.13. Return the pan to the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the basbousa to absorb the syrup.