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The creamy Middle Eastern eggplant dip called baba ghanouj is traditionally served with warm pita and an assortment of fresh Al Jazira salads. Here, we top the pita with the dip and a mixture of romaine, tomato, and cucumber for an extraordinarily tasty meal.


2   large eggplants (about 2 pounds each), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3  tablespoon(s) olive oil
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
8   pitas
1/4 cup(s) lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1/3 cup(s) tahini
3/4 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
2   cloves garlic, peeled
1   small head romaine lettuce (about 3/4 pound), cut crosswise into 1-inch strips (about 5 cups)
1   plum tomato, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin strips
1   cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon(s) wine vinegar


  Heat the oven to 450°F. Put the eggplant cubes on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Arrange the cubes in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  Reduce the heat to 350°F. Wrap the pitas in aluminum foil, making two packets of four, and warm in the oven for 10 minutes.
  Meanwhile, put the roasted eggplant, the lemon juice, tahini, cumin, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a blender or food processor puree until smooth.
  In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Add the vinegar and the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread some of the baba ghanouj on each pita and then top with the salad.

Lentils With Dough

This is one of the very delicious Syrian appetizers; the recipe is for 5 people and requires 2h between preparation and cooking.

Ingredients :

¤ 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
¤ 8 cups water
¤ 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
¤ 2 large onions, chopped (1/2 cup)
¤ 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
¤ 1/2 cup lemon juice
¤ 1 cup olive oil
¤ 2 tablespoon pomegranate thickened juice
¤ 1 head garlic, crushed with a dash of salt
¤ 1/2 cup vegetable oil
¤ 1/2 teaspoon of salt

¤ a dash of ground allspice

Steps :

1 - Dough: Put flour with 1/2 cup of water and some salt in a bowl. Knead dough and leave for 2 hours then sprinkle flour over it.
2 - Roll out the dough on a floured surface, till it becomes as thin as possible and round shaped. Fold about 7 cm at one end. Sprinkle flour and fold another 7 cm, same side. Repeat until dough is all layers.
3 - Cut dough into small squares then open them. Put half the quantity in a flat dish. Fry the other half in 1/4 cup of hot vegetable oil until golden. Use to garnish at the end.
4 - Lentil mixture:
5 - Pick small stones or dirt from lentils then wash lentils well, and place in a heavy pan with water. Bring to a boil. Cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Add lemon juice, pomegranate juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
6 - Fry sliced onions with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil until golden. Add half the quantity of onions to lentils.
7 - Fry in vegetable oil crushed garlic, coriander and add half the quantity to the lentils.
8 - Add unfried dough squares to lentil mixture. Keep stirring till dough is cooked (about 20 minutes).
9 - Serve hot or cold, garnished with fried onions, coriander and fried dough pieces.

Biryani Rice
Biryani Rice is one of the classic and popular rice dishes, perfect for lunches, buffets, and suppers alike. The recipe is for 5 persons, and requires about 1h30 between preparation and cooking.
Use Al Jazira’s own premium quality India Star Basmati rice and taste the difference.

Ingredients :

¤ 1/2 kg (16 oz) shoulder meat, cubed
¤ 2 cups long grain India Star rice (Basmati),washed
¤ 3/4 cup chopped onion
¤ 2 tablespoon shortening or butter
¤ 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup of water
¤ 1 teaspoon ground dried coriander
¤ 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¤ 1 teaspoon ground ginger
¤ 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
¤ 4 cups chicken stock
¤ salt (as desired)
¤ 2 bay leaves
¤ 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¤ 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander
¤ 2 tablespoon butter
¤ 1/2 cup fried onion rings, for garnish
¤ 60 g (2 oz) roasted cashew nuts
¤ 1/2 cup seeded raisins


Steps :

1 - Heat shortening in a pot over low heat. Stir in onions until golden.
2 - Stir in meat. Add coriander (dried and fresh), bay leaves, and spices (except saffron). Stir until meat becomes golden.
3 - Remove bay leaves. Add salt, saffron, chicken stock, and rice to the same pot (stock level should be 5 cm higher than rice level). Add butter. Cover pot. Cook over low heat until tender (and water evaporates).
4 - Mix mixture with a spoon. To serve, line a large serving platter with rice-meat mixture, sprinkle fried onion rings, cashew nuts and sultanas. Serve hot.

Mansaf, Official meal in Jordan

I'm sure that you'll love it.

Ingredients :

1 kilo lamb, cubed (available from your Al Jazira Fresh Meat counter)
1/4 cup semne
1 teaspoon mixed Arabic spices
2 onions, chopped

Sauce Ingredients :

3 tablespoons cornstarch.
1/3 cup water.
3 cups yoghurt.
very thin Arabic bread(sajj).
1/4 cup parsley, chopped.
5 cups cooked plain rice.


browned pine nuts.

Steps :

Sauté the lamb in the semne, sprinkle some salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon spices.
When the lamb cubes are little bit browned, remove them from the pan and cook the onions until softened in the same semne.
Return the meat to the pan, sprinkle with the remaining spices, and cover with water.
Keep them until they boil, then cover and keep until the meat gets well-done(about 2 hours).
Remove the foam and drain off all but 1/2 cup of broth.
Stabilize the yoghurt by dissolving the cornstarch in the water then adding it to the yoghurt, slowly bring it to the boil, stirring in one direction only, reduce the flame and keep it uncovered for 3 minutes.
Pour it slowly into the pot of meat.
Add the parsley and keep it over very low heat for a few minutes to blend the spices.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper if you want, and add a bit more broth if desired.
Toast the bread by putting it into a hot oven for 2 minutes.
Arrange the bread on a large platter and cover with the rice.
Put the lamb pieces over the rice and pour the yoghurt sauce over all.
Garnish with lots of pine nuts.

Remark: The original yoghurt for the Mansaf recipe is called (Jameed) but if you could not find it you can use the yoghurt recipe mentioned above instead.

Spinach Soup

A nutritious soup rich with minerals. Also for Ramadan many prefer to have a soup with the dinner. The recipe is for 4 persons and requires about 1h for preparation and cooking.

Ingredients :

¤ 250 g (8oz) finely chopped trimmed spinach, washed and drained
¤ 6 cups water
¤ 10 kibbi balls baked for 10 minutes in a moderate heat oven
¤ 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
¤ 1 teaspoon salt
¤ a dash of ground allspice
¤ 2 tablespoon shortening or butter
¤ 1 medium onion, finely chopped
¤ 3 cloves garlic, crushed with a dash of salt
¤ 1 tablespoon rice

Steps :

1 - Fry onion with shortening until soft. Stir in spinach.
2 - Place water in a pot. Add spinach mixture and spices.
3 - Stir mixture occasionally until it boils. Add rice. Cook for 15 minutes.
4 - Fry garlic and parsley with shortening for 5 minutes. Add to soup.
5 - Add kibbi balls to soup. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Serve hot.
Kabsah Or the Saudi Arabian Rice and Meat

Don't forget to try the traditional Kabsa,
the main meal in the country of Saudi Arabia. There is many variant of Kabsa such Mandi, Madhbi, Madfouna, Madhghoot most of them differ from the way to prepare the chicken or meat and the rice is different for each meal ... but this recipe is maybe the most common kabsa.

Ingredients :

¤ 2 1/2 kg (80 oz) lamb leg or shoulder meat, large cubes
¤ 4 cups long grain rice
¤ 1/2 kg (16 oz) carrots, peeled and finely chopped
¤ 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
¤ 1/2 kg (16 oz) green peas
¤ 1 kg (32 oz) red tomatoes, peeled and chopped
¤ 1 kg (32 oz) finely chopped onion
¤ 1 medium sized garlic head, peeled and crushed
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground saffron
¤ 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¤ 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
¤ 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
¤ 1 tablespoon salt
¤ shortening for frying
¤ Fried almonds and pine nuts for garnishing

¤ Sauce:
¤ 2 cups meat stock
¤ 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
¤ 2 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
¤ 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
¤ 1 tablespoon tomato paste
¤ 1/4 cup chopped celery
¤ 1 teaspoon salt (as desired)
¤ 2 tablespoons shortening

Steps :

1 - Fry meat pieces till brown from both sides. Cover with water, bring to a boil then cook gently over medium heat for 2 hours or till tender. Reserve stock.
2 - Soak rice for 15 minutes. Drain, wash well, then drain again.
3 - Add shortening to a pot, fry on medium heat all ingredients except rice and meat. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
4 - Add rice to vegetables in pot, stir fry for 4 minutes on medium heat. Add stock meat until stock covers rice. Cover pot. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes or until tender.
5 - Serve rice in a large platter. Garnish with meat, almonds, and pine nuts.
6 - Sauce:
7 - Fry onion, garlic and tomato in shortening. Add tomato paste, salt, cinnamon and meat stock.
8 - Cook mixture on medium heat. When it thickens, add celery.
9 - Serve the sauce beside the Kapse platter.

Arab Stuffed Green Peppers

This has to be the EASIEST meal to prepare and with the tastiest results. These peppers are often a side dish to meat or chicken but eat enough of them and they will be meal of their own
4 servings
• 800 g green peppers
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup rice
• 5 onions
• 2 tomatoes
• 2 cups olive oil
• 2 Tablespoon pine nuts
• 1 Teaspoon each Sugar ,Salt & white pepper
• 1 cup water
- Put rice in hot water until its cools. Drain rice and wash several times.

- Put 3/4 cup olive oil, chopped onions and salt in a pan and sauté .

- Add rice and sauté for 10 more minutes. Add water, chopped tomatoes, pine nuts, pepper & sugar and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

- Cut off the tops of peppers to form lids and remove all seeds. Stuff the peppers, replace the lids and line in a pan, the lids facing up. Add water, olive oil and salt and cook for about 50 minutes.

Arab Lamb with Yogurt

With Ramadan and Eid coming up this is a meal that is a winner with huge family dinners, If you are sure that their will be guests for dinner and you need something to fill their stomachs after a day of fasting, this is food that will satisfy any hungry man , woman or child

4 servings
• 700 g lamb meat
• minced red pepper
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tabs chopped parsley
• 250 g Pinar yogurt
• 1 tablespoon butter
• oil
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon chopped coriander
• 2 cups meat broth
- Wash meat under cold water and drain. Cut to pieces.

- Add salt, black pepper, red pepper to yogurt and mix for a minute. Add sauce to meat and leave for 2 hours in room temperature.

- Melt butter in a pan. Add meat, turmeric and yogurt sauce. Stir until boiled. Add slowly meat broth and cook for 40-50 minutes on low heat. Sprinkle cinnamon and coriander and add more oil before end of cooking.