Xigbar (hyperform) wrote in vegancooking,
Xigbar
hyperform
vegancooking

So I've been on a bit of a middle eastern kick for the past couple days, and I figured I'd share some new recipes I've learned. I've been collecting recipes for a while to add to a cookbook I've been working on, and these are some of the new ones for the middle eastern food section I've gotten from some Lebanese friends.


Fool
What you need:
Can of fava beans
garlic
salt
olive oil
lemon juice
fresh parsley
onion

Fool, also spelled Foul, is a bean dish. Specifically, fool mudammas, or fava beans. Essentially, all you need to do is dump a can of fava beans, liquid and all, into a pan, bring it up to a boil, then drain off half the liquid. Add to it a clove of garlic crushed in a teaspoon of salt. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, just put them both in a bowl and use the back of a spoon. You want it pretty pasty. I suppose you could use a garlic press, too, if you have one of those things and just mix it in with the salt. If you've got a fresh lemon, squeeze a half of a lemon into it. Otherwise use maybe a tablespoon of juice? Mix that all up and put it in the bowl. If you mangle some of the beans, that's good, it'll make it thicker. Add chopped up onions, chopped fresh parsley, and olive oil as garnish, and eat it by picking up chunks with pita bread. There are other ways to do this; some people sautee the onions and garlic in the oil and then add the beans to that and let them cook a while until the water has boiled off rather than been poured off. Either way, it's delicious. Be warned, though: if you haven't had fava beans before, just know that they've got a very strong flavor that some people find objectionable. Sometimes I make it without the onions, it's just another flavor that melds well.

Koussa
What you need:
Tomato juice (not paste, not crushed; the homogenized stuff that comes in cans like V8)
Yellow squash ("summer squash")
Rice
Parsley
Cilantro
Dill

This is so easy, but it looks so impressive and it tastes so good. The hardest part about the whole thing is coring the squash. There's actually a special tool you can buy called a nakret al koussa which is used solely for coring summer squash. "Koussa" just means summer squash, so technically it's "stuffed" koussa, koussa mihshi. You can do it with a regular table knife. Just use a sharp knife to slice the top off the squash and also cut a very thin slice to remove the butt end of the squash. Then use a table knife and sort of make an x in the top, sticking it down as far as it'll go without piercing the bottom. The goal is to hollow the thing out without making any holes. Then make a square around the X in the top, and you should be able to remove the stuff in the neck. Then it's just a matter of scraping the knife around in a circle and removing all the pulp from the inside. Use your judgement on this, and do it very slowly and carefully, and you should end up with your squash in tact. Cook rice in the usual manner of cooking rice, and add in equal amounts of parsley and cilantro. You want quite a bit in there... Not as much green as there is white, but a pretty good amount of it. I think I ended up using a half cup of dry rice and about 2 tablespoons each of chopped parsley and cilantro. Then throw in about half as much dill as either parsley or cilantro. What you do next is stuff the rice into the emptied out koussa; pack them pretty tightly. Put them in a pan and if you can arrange them close together in one layer, all the better. Cover them in tomato juice. They'll float, so hold them down when you're pouring just so you know how much to put in. Cover it tightly and once it starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer on the lowest heat you've got for about 45 minutes. Serve them partially submerged in the tomato juice; I find that two makes a meal for me. I just cut cross sectional slices and swirl them around in the tomato juice to eat it, and then use pita bread to soak up whatever's left over. There's also a kind of koussa made with yogurt, surprisingly called "koussa bil laban" (koussa with yogurt), but I don't make that (for obvious reasons).

As soon as I figure out how to publish stuff in pdf, I should start getting pieces of the completed cookbook available for download. Sorry I can't provide any pictures, but I haven't gotten USB to work yet on this computer. Over the next few weeks i'm going to see if I can start veganizing other middle eastern things: i've got some ideas for a meatless kibbeh, and my friend also gave me her mom's recipe for mjadrah, which I just haven't tried out yet. I've got my falafel, hummous, and baba ghanouj down pretty good.
Tags: ethnic food-middle eastern
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