(Healthy) Lebanese Meal
I keep hearing how healthy Lebanese food is...well, yes, depending on how you COOK it! :-) Anyway, enough said about that.
Now, A & I love trying all types of cuisine but we are also aware that some people may find what we think is normal a little TOO exotic. So when we had D & L over for dinner last week, we wanted to make them something that they wouldn't normally have at home but not too out-of-the-ordinary to enjoy. We finally settled on Lebanese food as being different but still providing a certain sense of familiarity. I went down to Sydney Road and picked up some Lahme B'Ajine - Tripoli-style - and baklava. We served the Lahme B'Ajine with some delicious home-made hommus and vine leaves as entree. This was followed by Djaj a Riz, rice cooked with minced lamb topped with poached chicken and toasted pine nuts, Bazella, green peas and onion in a spicy tomato sauce, and Fattoush, a green salad made extra crunchy by the addition of toasted arabic bread. I followed the recipes from Abla Amad's book but was quite disappointed with the Djaj a Riz. I expected it to be a lot more tasty than it, unfortunately, turned out to be. I guess that's always the risk you run by going with a recipe that you haven't tested it before... Regardless, it turned out to be a lovely night, and I will leave you with the very easy recipe for the Bazella. We don't make this often but I enjoy it very much when I do get around to cooking it:
1 large onion - finely chopped, 1 clove of garlic - sliced, 1 tbs olive oil, 3 large tomatoes - chopped, 2 tbs tomato paste, 3 cups water, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp allspice, 4 cups peas
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over med heat until lightly browned, then add remaining ingredients, cover and cook for 40 minutes. Like a good curry, it actually tastes better the next day.