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Tahini Rice Krispie Treats

Tahini Rice Krispie Treats

Happy Valentine’s Day! Ok, well, yes. You can make rice krispie treats adapt to really any holiday, but we loved our Valentine’s Day twist on this classic sweet. If you love halva, you’re going to love our tahini upgrade. Grab some sprinkles and melt some 

Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

Your vegan friend is coming over, but you don’t have enough tahini and chickpeas to make a true batch of Nana’s hummus. Go for the beets! This is an interesting but exciting one. It has the savory and creamy components of our traditional hummus. Then, 

Kubba Haleb

Kubba Haleb

Kubba Haleb makes the best after school snack, no? At least my 10 year old (and current) self would think so. Crispy fried rice on the outside, fluffy rice on the inside, and a lightly spiced meat within – that is Kubba Haleb in a nutshell (or rice shell!). It’s the Iraqi version of Arancini.

Nana’s house was a common stop after school. Man, did I hit the jackpot if this was the snack in store for us that day. I remember just standing by the stove waiting for Nana to hand me a fresh kubba. Just heavenly. LOL, as my cousin Michael recently said…Nana was “the reason I was such a chubby kid.” They are just too good to say no to.

The Deets

The spiced ground meat filling is a common filling we use in Iraqi cooking. You may have seen it before in our potato chop or borek recipes. It is very quick to make and can be used interchangeably in those recipes. So if you are really in the mood, you can make all three! Maybe eat some, save some in the freezer – your future self will thank you.

The rice used here is basmati, which adds an additional flavor to the kubba. Turmeric is used in this recipe, which gives the rice a beautiful golden color.

Once the rice is cooked, it’s put through a meat grinder or potato ricer to break it down a little, but still maintain some texture. The meat filling is then enclosed in the rice and then fried to crispy perfection. Just imagine taking a bite out of one.

Kubba, Kibbeh…Potato, Potahto

There are so many different types of kubba or as some say kibbeh. It is the Middle Eastern form of dumplings and has so many varieties and fillings, just like in many other cultures. We hope to feature some more (including some plant-based options) on Three Teas Kitchen soon, stay tuned. But here is Kubba Haleb for now, to wet your palate!

Bosas,

Tina

Let’s Engage

If you make Kubba Haleb, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! And of course, tag us on Instagram at ThreeTeasKitchen! We love seeing what you’re cooking up!

Kubba Haleb

Crispy fried rice on the outside, fluffy rice on the inside, and a lightly spiced meat within – that is Kubba Haleb in a nutshell (or rice shell!).
Course Appetizer, Mezze, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 35 pieces

Ingredients
  

Meat Filling

  • 2 lbs (or 4 cups) ground meat (80% meat, 20% fat)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp bahar *
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Rice Shell

  • 4 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • water

For Frying

  • vegetable oil

Instructions
 

Rice Shell

  • Soak rice in room temperature water for about 30 minutes.
  • After rice has soaked, you will notice that the water is cloudy. This is excess starch. Drain off that water. Rinse the rice a few times in a colander until the water is no longer cloudy and now runs clear.
  • Place rice, salt and turmeric in a pot and cover with water until just above the rice. Briefly stir to mix all the ingredients.
  • Cover pot with a lid and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice for about 25 minutes until rice is cooked and water is fully absorbed.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and allow rice to cool.

Meat Filling

  • While the rice cools, make the meat filling.
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent. 
  • Add meat, bahar/all spice, and salt to skillet. Cook meat until browned.
  • Once meat is cooked place in a bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then mix in the parsley.  

Assembly

  • Place rice through a meat grinder or potato ricer.
  • With wet hands (best to have a small bowl of water by you to dip your hand in when forming each kubba, as to prevent rice from sticking to your hands) take about a golf ball size of rice and flatten to a disk that is about the size of your palm. **
  • Make a well shape in the middle of the disk (the dough should now resemble a shallow bowl) and place about 2 tsp of the meat mixture in the center.
  • While shaping like a football (or like a torpedo), bring edges of rice mixture over the meat filling to enclose.

Frying

  • Fill a pot with vegetable oil, enough to fully cover the kubba when frying. Heat oil until thermometer reads about 325-350F. Another way to check if the oil is hot enough is place a small piece of the rice dough and drop it in the pan it should sizzle immediately and float to the top. Place 2 -3 kubbas in the oil and fry for about 2.5 minuets until golden brown.***
  • Enjoy shortly after frying or re-heating in the oven!****

Notes

 Three Teas Tips:
*Bahar is a spice mixture, the recipe is linked here. It is used often in Middle Eastern cooking, so I recommend blending up some on your own. But, if in a pinch you can use allspice or check out your local Middle Eastern grocer, they may have their own bahar available to buy. 
**For video tutorial on how to shape check out our Instagram highlights at @ThreeTeasKitchen
***Fry just one at first to ensure proper temperature of oil.
****We recommend storing the fried kubba haleb in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for future use. It is best stored with parchment paper between rows or in an airtight container. To reheat, cook in 350F oven for about 10-15 minuets.
 
Keyword baharat, basmati rice, ground meat, kubba, parsley, rice, turmeric
Dolma (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Dolma (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

It’s finally here – the Mother of Middle-Eastern Mains – Dolma. This post was originally intended to be published right before Thanksgiving as Dolma is always present right along side our Turkey. However, as we mentioned in our last post, we were grieving the loss 

Nana Badriya

Nana Badriya

As we say goodbye to 2020, we want to take a moment to recognize and say goodbye to our dear Nana Badriya who we have recently lost. Nana was the main reason we started Three Teas Kitchen and she inspires us each and every day 

Pumpkin Baklawa Cups

Pumpkin Baklawa Cups

In honor of National Baklava day (*ahem* I think they mean Baklawa Day!), we are posting a Pumpkin Baklawa Cup recipe. What is a Thanksgiving series without a little dessert? These Pumpkin Baklawa Cups are a nice Middle Eastern twist to your classic pumpkin pie dessert. As a bonus, they are individual pieces. They’re perfect to accommodate a socially-distanced Thanksgiving!

If you are interested in the whole pie, check out our gluten-free vegan pumpkin pie recipe we posted last fall! Still in the mood for pumpkin, but maybe not pie? Try our pumpkin scones! They are super yummy and we have a vegan option as well!

Pumpkin Pie Baklawa

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern, thanksgiving
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1 lb packages of phyllo dough*, sheets size 18"x14" (each box typically has 18 sheets)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted

Pumpkin Filling

  • 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Pistachio Topping

  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachio
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole cardamom seeds
  • honey

Instructions
 

  • Follow instructions on phyllo dough pack and make sure it is ready for use
  • Heat oven to 375 F
  • Melt butter

Build Baklawa Cups

  • Use a cupcake tin and prep by coating with about a tablespoon of melted butter
  • Cut phyllo sheets into 5" x 5" squares (if end of sheet does not come to exactly 5×5, that's ok, you can still use this to build your baklawa cups)
  • Add two layers of phyllo dough to each cup. Brush butter all over second layer of phyllo dough. Grab another 2 sheets of phyllo dough and butter the entire second layer. Repeat this process for a total of 9 times, so there should be about 18 layers of phyllo dough for each cup
  • Add all pumpkin filling ingredients to a blender and blend until combined
  • Add pumpkin filling to each prepped (raw) phyllo cup. Fill the cups leaving only a little room at the top of each
  • Bake for about 40 minutes until phyllo dough browns
  • Using a spice grinder, grind cardamom seeds
  • Pulse pistachio and cardamom in a food processor until pistachio is thickly chopped
  • Top each baked pumpkin pie cup with pistachio cardamom mixture
  • Coat the top of each cup with honey
Keyword baklava, pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving
Sumac Orange Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash

Sumac Orange Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash

It’s time to begin our November series of Thanksgiving recipes! We have all had to adapt our normal holiday plans and schedules in 2020, but we hope that this roast chicken will help provide a tasty alternative to your smaller gathering. This simple and elegant 

Za’atar Bloody Mary

Za’atar Bloody Mary

Halloween is near! So it is only natural that the ‘T’ who shares their date of birth with this holiday posts a cocktail to celebrate. It’s true, Halloween is not only a sweet celebration because of the candy, but it is also the day that 

Authentic Masala Chai

Authentic Masala Chai

Around this time of year, without fail, there is a craving for all the fall spices. Hence, this authentic masala chai recipe is making its way to you. No less from my close friend, Annie and her mama, who are the true pros of this delicious cozy tea. Annie and I are med school pals (and fellow pediatricians!), and always gravitate to having convos about food, which is the best types of chats, no?

Anyways, in true Three TEAS fashion, chai is a frequent point of discussion amongst us. First let’s start off by saying that in both Indian and Iraqi culture we refer to tea as chai – how cool is that? See this Iraqi Chai recipe for proof! And in India, Masala means spice. So there you have it, masala chai = spiced tea.

Chai Spices

As Annie explained, there are a number of common spices that may be in masala chai, but every family gravitates to their own spice variation and method of preparation.

First let’s go through the common spices:

  • Green Cardamom Pods
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Whole Cloves
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Star Anise
  • Fennel Seeds

It’s important to note that the spices are typically whole, rather than ground. In her family, they usually use cardamom and ginger to spice their tea. But by all means, you can add all the above, or any variation.

How to make Masala Chai

Just like the spices, the ratio of ingredients and timing of adding each may vary between families and to taste. Lets quickly go through the typical tea ingredients:

  • Water (optional)
  • Milk or milk alternative
  • Spices – see above
  • Loose black tea or black tea bags – Assam or Darjeeling are common black tea types because they are grown in India, but any black tea variety would work. Annie’s family recommends the brand Tata Tea.
  • Sweetener – white sugar, maple syrup, honey or any other sugar alternative

In this recipe, we start with our chosen spices and equal parts water and milk in a pot. If you are looking for a richer taste, you can skip the water all together. Next, bring it all to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, quickly remove from the heat and add the tea and sweeter and allow to steep for 5 minutes. That’s all it takes!

This method creates for such a balanced cup of tea. Neither the spices nor tea are overpowering, and with the milk and sugar it is just so smooth and tasty. Like I said, all these fall spices – cinnamon, clove, ginger – make this the perfect cup for this time of year. I’d drink THREE cups of TEA to that (YOLO @threeteaskitchen)! Thank you Annie for making my fall dreams come true.

Once again, HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!!

Authentic Masala Chai

This delicious tea is brewed with the warm spices of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and clove. Kissed with milk and sugar to your liking, it really is the perfect cup of tea.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Tea Time
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp loose leaf black tea, Assam or Darjeeling are common, but any black tea variety would work
  • 4 cardamom pods*
  • ¼ inch fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk or milk alternative**, we used 2% milk
  • 2.5 tsp white sugar or sugar alternative, such as maple syrup or honey, adjust to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place spices, water and milk in a small saucepan on stove. Turn stove on to high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Once it starts to boil (the liquid will start to raise in the saucepan) take the saucepan off the heat.
  • Now add the tea and sugar and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  • Time to enjoy! To serve, place in a tea kettle with a self strainer (like in the pictures above) or strain tea with a sieve and then pour into cups. Makes one large cup or two smaller cups of chai.

Notes

Three Teas Tips:
* As mentioned previously, you can use any of the following spices in any quantity you prefer, it is all to taste. 
  • Green Cardamom Pods
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Whole Cloves
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Star Anise
  • Fennel Seeds
The spices we chose in the recipe above is based on our taste, maybe yours too!
** For a richer tasting tea, you can replace the water with just milk. But we find it is a nice balance to have equal parts water to milk. 
Keyword cardamom, Chai, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, tea, tea time
Fennel and Black Seed Savory Scones

Fennel and Black Seed Savory Scones

It’s FALL! Now’s the time to nest and get your hygge on! These savory scones are the perfect treat to pair with your butternut squash soup, Fall Salad, or of course with a nice cup of tea. We partnered with Spicely Organics to make this