Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Hummus bi Tahina حمص بالطحينة Hommus dip

Book 2 in the Egyptian Cooking series is now available from Lulu.  Click the Book shop tab at the top to link straight through.  The book is only $1.95 and I would love your feedback as always.

Well, the series of cooking classes came to an end last night.  I had a great time cooking and getting to know the ladies of the class.  The classes were interactive and fun with the ladies getting involved which was great. I hope that future classes will run as well and I look forward to even more Egyptian dishes becoming widely known.  I think that dips are fairly well known with a large number of dips being available in supermarkets and delicatessens.  Most of them are very easy to prepare at home and can be adjusted to suit your own tastes.

The dip Hummus bi Tahina   حمص بالطحينة  (Hommus dip) is great because it uses chickpeas which are a great source of calcium and vitamins E and B.  Serve it with fresh bread or crackers, batons of fresh vegetables or even use it as a spread for sandwiches.  This is quick to make and healthy too, what's not to like about that!

I have updated the Egyptian cooking videos so now you can click through to more videos through the menu at the top of the page.  The Hummus bi Tahina   حمص بالطحينة  (Hommus dip) is there too.

Hummus bi Tahina   حمص بالطحينة  Hommus dip

Hummus bi Tahina   حمص بالطحينة  Hommus dip

150g / ¾ cup / 5 oz. dried chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt, to taste
½ teaspoon ground cumin
ground paprika, to garnish
30 ml / 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons/ 60 ml tahini paste (150 ml/ 2/3 cup/ ¼ pint tahini paste)

Put chickpeas in a bowl and cover with cold water and leave overnight.
Drain chickpeas, place in a saucepan and cover with fresh water.  Bring to the boil and cook on high heat for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until soft.  Drain.   Alternatively canned chickpeas can be used instead of dried.  Use 400 g and drain well.

Place chickpeas in a food processor and blend to a smooth consistency.  Add lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and tahini and blend until smooth. Taste and season as required.
Transfer to a bowl, garnish with paprika.

To watch the video click through below or jump onto Dyna's Egyptian cooking on YouTube.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Konafa كنافة Kataifi

It has been a busy few weeks with running the cooking classes but I definitely do enjoy the time cooking and talking over cups of Hibiscus tea (Red tea كركديه Karkadé).

This week we made sweets and it was the first time I had made Konafa in a long time.  It was a big hit and it was all about to go before someone kindly put some aside for me to take home for the boys.  Naturally they were in bed when I got home but they did get to taste it the following day and my oldest son (nearly 5 and very much looking forward to "turning another number") tells me he liked it very much and asked if he could eat it all please.

What better recipe to put up than one which is crunchy on top, soggy through the middle, with the texture of the nuts and drenched with sugar syrup.

Konafa كنافة Kataifi is one of the easy Egyptian sweets that is delicious and quick to prepare.  My mum made this fairly often usually with nuts but the combination of nuts varied depending on what we already had in the pantry.  Usually walnuts, almonds and pistachios are used but you could add hazelnuts or other nuts if you prefer them.  Make sure they are unsalted, but there is no need to roast them or peel the skins off.

It is traditionally served with tea and coffee (which really does help cut through the intensity of the sugar in the Konafa).

Konafa كنافة Kataifi

Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi

Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi

To make the syrup:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
half a lemon juiced
A few drops of vanilla extract, rose water or orange blossom water.

Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until it is thick enough to coat a spoon.  Leave to cool then add a few drops of vanilla essence or 1-2 teaspoons rose water or orange blossom water and stir.

Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi

375g / 1 packet shredded pastry or Konafa (Kataifi)
250g unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter), melted
Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi
2 cups / 225g unsalted shelled pistachio, walnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped (or a combination)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon sultanas or desiccated coconut, optional
2 tablespoons crushed pistachio, optional, to serve
One quantity of syrup.

Preheat oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas mark 4).  

Combine nuts, sugar and spices in a bowl.  

Pull apart the Konafa and separate the strands into a bowl.  

Pour melted butter over Konafa and mix thoroughly with your fingers to coat and separate the strands.  

Put half the pastry into a large, deep, round dish, and flatten with the palm of your hand.  Spread the nut mixture evenly over it and cover with the remaining pastry.  Flatten the top again.  

Bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until the Konafa is golden in colour.  Remove the Konafa from the oven and turn out onto a baking tray and then again onto a serving plate.  Pour the cool syrup over the hot Konafa.  

Serve with crushed pistachio nuts. 

Note : Do not store in the fridge or it will go soggy.

Konafa كنافة Kataifi
Konafa كنافة Kataifi