1 (16 oz.) can chickpeas
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 lg. cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. ground meat
1/2 onion, diced
Pour olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper into blender; blend 1 minute. Slowly add chickpeas. Blend until pureed. Cook meat and diced onions.
Serve hummus, sprinkled with paprika and topped with meat and onion. Serve warm pita bread and a tray of raw vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, celery, etc. Dip and eat. A complete meal. Serves 2.
SYRIAN BREAD SALAD (Fattoush)
1 loaf Syrian bread, lg.
1 sm. clove garlic
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, peeled & diced
2 green scallions
1 c. parsley, chopped
4 med. tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tsp. dried mint, crushed
1/2 c. olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & allspice to taste
1 tbsp. Zahtar, optional
Crush garlic with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a salad bowl. Break dried or lightly toasted Syrian bread into small pieces over garlic. Cut vegetables into bite-size pieces over the bread, add mint leaves, oil, lemon and toss well. Add salt when you are ready to serve since salt will wilt vegetables. Add pomegranate for decoration if desired. Serves 4-6.
Shakriya With Rice
2 (32 ounce) containers of arabic-style yogurt
32 ounces meat, cubed
8 ounces milk, halved
2 tablespoons cornstarch, halved
1 beef stock cube, depending on meat used
Arabic rice (optional)
32 ounces medium grain rice
8 ounces vermicelli, uncooked
5 tablespoons butter
Boil meat in a stockpot until fork tender in broth or whatever seasings you usually use. Boiling time will vary depending on type of meat used and cut of meat chosen. Obviously, chicken will not take as long as beef or lamb. This step may take up to 3 hours.
Get an 8 QT non-stick pot ready. In a blender, blend one container of yogurt, one tablespoon of corn starch, 1/2 cup of milk and one egg until well blended. Pour into waiting pot.
Repeat with second container of yogurt.
Place 8 QT pot on medium heat and stir continually until thickened. DO NOT LET IT BOIL! During this time, add the buillon cube, but crush it first to make sure it dissolves faster. You will know it is done when it is really starting to stick to the sides of the pan and coats a spoon. This step should be about 15 minutes.
Salt the yogurt sauce to taste, but be careful not to cover its natural sourness. That is the heart of the dish. If you feel it may be a tad too thick, add some water, 1/4 cup at a time. This also helps if you have added too much salt. Add the meat to the yogurt sauce at this time.
In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat it just enough to melt the butter. Add the vermicelli and stir. Turn up heat so the vermicelli begins to "fry" and turn a golden-brown color. Remove from heat if it burns or gets too dark brown. This step should be about 5 minutes.
Drain the white rice thoroughly and add it to the browned vermicelli, mixing them together well. Follow the cooking directions on the bag of rice from this point out. Salt to taste. This step should be about 30 minutes.
To serve, place a generous helping of rice to one side of a shallow bowl and fill the other half of the bowl with the yogurt sauce and meat.
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