Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Oat Pecan Crust

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Oat Pecan Crust

Our Nana always hosted wonderful Thanksgiving parties at her house. I remember her always running around the kitchen, making traditional Thanksgiving dishes, and, of course, I couldn’t wait to dive into her homemade apple pie. She is one of the greats at party hosting. Our […]

Vegan Pumpkin Scones

Vegan Pumpkin Scones

Thanksgiving is coming up, and pumpkin season is at its peak! I hope you had a chance to try our original pumpkin scone recipe, but for those who have seen The Game Changers or are seeking a plant-based diet, this is a great alternative! Check […]

Apple Spiced Oat Cake with a Tahini Maple Crumble

Apple Spiced Oat Cake with a Tahini Maple Crumble

This cake is all the fall things. Granny Smith apple is shredded and folded into both ground oats and flour creating a delicious and tender apple cake. Not to mention, the nutty tahini and rich sweetness of the maple in the crumble is a perfect addition and gives this cake a little something extra.

All the fall spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves – are nestled within the cake and pair well against the sweetness from the brown sugar and the tartness from the apple. I really wanted to make a cake that tasted just like this, and luckily, the mission was accomplished. This is the fall cake of my dreams, enough said.

What are you dreaming of this fall?

Apple Spiced Oat Cake with a Tahini Maple Crumble

A dreamy tender apple cake, with all the fall spices and a tahini maple crumble for a little something extra. It is what fall dreams are made of.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

Apple Spiced Oat Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (0.5 cups),  at room temperature
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats, ground (use a food processor or blender)
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk, 1%, 2% or whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples (~2 cups), shredded
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Tahini Maple Crumble

  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, any variety works
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • pinch of nutmeg (~half of 1/8 tsp)
  • pinch of cloves (~half of 1/8 tsp)

Instructions
 

Apple Spiced Oat Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F°
  • Line the base of a 10 inch springform cake tin with parchment paper and grease the sides with some butter
  • With the "S" blade attachment on your food processor or in your blender grind up the oats.
  • Peal, cut and core the apples. With the shredding attachment in place on your food processor, put apples through to shred. If you do not have a food processor you can also shred apple with a cheese grater, however this will take a little longer.
  • In one bowl mix ground oats, flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
  • In a separate bowl cream brown sugar and butter until fluffy. Then whisk in eggs, one at a time until combined. Next whisk in milk and vanilla.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Then gently fold in shredded apples until evenly combined.

Tahini Maple Crumble

  • Mix oats, flour, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, tahini, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg in a bowl. The consistency will mimic the texture of an oatmeal cookie.
  • Grab about marble sized pieces of batter (no need to smooth into balls) and place scattered on top of cake. Different sizes are fine as it will add texture to the top of the cake.
  • Sprinkle a large pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the cake.
  • Bake until the crumble is lightly golden and a fork inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool slightly before serving.
Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil and Parsley

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil and Parsley

This pasta with garlic, olive oil and parsley is one that is near and dear to my heart. Despite using minimal ingredients and taking only 20 minutes to make, it’s simple and elegant flavor profile will have you reaching for bowl after bowl. I know […]

Sumac and Grilled Onion Focaccia

Sumac and Grilled Onion Focaccia

There is nothing like biting into soft, crunchy focaccia bread fresh from the oven. I love this homestyle bread, and it’s not a difficult one to make. We even added a muskhan twist to this Italian classic by topping with grilled onions and sumac. The […]

Mujadara

Mujadara

Mujadara is definitely a comfort food. Who would have thought the words comfort food and vegan could enter the same sentence, but mujadara achieves this mighty feat. Lentils and rice are simmered together, and then and have bits of caramelized onions throughout…and a lil’ garnish of crispy onions on top. Let’s just say its a happy marriage of flavors, and is hearty and nutritious to boot.

Making this dish is not difficult. It just helps to get the timing down. You start by cooking the lentils first, then adding the rice to the pot shortly after. In a separate pan you caramelize some onions and add it to the lentils and rice. Last, but not least, you light fry up some onions for garnish. It kinda perfection, no? You got a beautiful dish sitting before you, with just some pantry ingredients. I’m here for it.

That’s why when I wanted to confirm with my mom some of the proportions she uses in this recipe at 7am in the morning, I found her suddenly with the ingredients in her hands, pot on the stove and making it. Soon enough, the dish was made, recipe was verified, and I got to eat mujadara for breakfast. Although a tad nontraditional, I’d call that a win.

Want More Rice Dishes??

Check these out!

Let’s Engage!

If you make Mujadara, 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! 

Mujadara

Lentils and rice are cooked together, and studded with caramelized onions throughout. It's delicious and nutritious. Both meat and plant based eaters will be fans of this dish!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 cups water or unsalted broth*
  • 2 medium sized yellow, onions diced
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, cut into a thin half moon shape
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp pepper (optional)

Instructions
 

  • To a medium/large sized pot, add water, salt, lentils and 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Put heat on high and bring to a boil.
  • Once the pot comes to a boil, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After the lentil pot has cooked for 15 minutes add rice and cover. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan pan, on medium heat, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add 2 medium chopped onions, and cook until golden in color (slightly caramelized).
  • Mix cooked onion and pepper (if using into rice and cook on low for another 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in the saucepan, on medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook onion strips until slightly browned and a little crisped. Garnish on top of rice and enjoy!

Notes

Three Teas Tips
*You can use salted broth, but will likely need to adjust the salt down to taste
Keyword lentils, olive oil, onions, rice, vegan, vegetarian
Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Friends – Pumpkin Spice Latte’s may be back, but it is still HOTT out there!   Soak up these last days of summer with a nice picnic, and add some of our healthy chicken salad to your basket while you’re at it.    Now, I’ll admit, I’m […]

Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup (Meggyleves)

Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup (Meggyleves)

Sour cherry soup is a Hungarian summer time favorite. Over the years, I have heard about this famous soup from my boyfriend and his family. They recount summers spent around Lake Balaton and the surplus of sour cherries in the area. Sour cherries can be […]

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad

Hello! It’s been a sec here at Three Teas Kitchen since we have last posted – but that does not mean we haven’t been eating well, this Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad included!

This salad is a lovely medley of fresh summer produce and warm Moroccan spices. Bulgur and slivered almonds round it out, making it a great entree or side dish. And best thing is that it travels and stores well, aka barbecue and picnic perfect. Maybe enjoy alongside some kabob or even top with some eggs for brunch, as my mom did with leftovers!

So you may have been wondering where we’ve been? I know, I know, the paparazzi didn’t even find us, go figure! Well, we (Tamara, Tina and Tara) have all been living in separate states for the past year, and over the past few weeks we finally reunited. There is nothing like time spent together in person, laughing and giving those brutally honest sister comments. All I got to say is THREE TEAS KITCHEN is back, and BACKSTREET IS BACK ALLLRIGHT!

I’m excited. Enjoy this salad.

THREE TEAS KITCHEN is back!!
Caption – Sister and mama love! In typical fashion, one of us has something in our teeth, probably tabouleh. I guess that’s what you get when almost every Middle Eastern dish has parsley in it. Cant stop, won’t stop.

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad

This salad is a lovely medley of fresh summer produce and warm Moroccan spices. Bulgur and slivered almonds round it out, making it a great entree or side dish.

Ingredients
  

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad

  • 3 cups spinach
  • ¾ cup bulgur
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • cups water
  • 3 multicolored peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 eggplant, partially peeled in a stripped fashion, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ large red onion, or 1 small red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup almond slivers
  • salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling on vegetables

Dressing

  • ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste or optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Line 2 large baking sheets with foil. Scatter chopped cauliflower on one sheet and chopped onions and peppers on another. Lightly drizzle olive oil and salt on both sheets and toss with your hands. Roast vegetables for about 25-30 minutes, mixing half way, until cauliflower is slightly charred on all sides and peppers and onion have wilted down.
  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is fully heated, add eggplant to pan and continue to cook on high until lightly browned on all sides, about 3-5 minutes. Once browned add a generous pinch of salt and ¼ cup olive oil. Reduced heat to medium-low and cook for 7-10 min, until tender.
  • For bulgur: In a small saucepan boil water with ¼ tsp salt. Once boiling, add bulgur and butter. Allow to cook for 5 min uncovered. Turn off heat, cover saucepan with lid and allow to steam for 10-15 minutes. Once done, remove lid and fluff with a fork.
  • Add all the ingredients for the dressing together and whisk.
  • Place spinach in a bowl. Once vegetables have completed cooking, remove from oven and mix with spinach to allow the spinach to wilt a bit.
  • Mix in bulgur, dressing and almonds. Garnish with fresh mint.
  • Allow to salad to sit in fridge for about an hour or more prior to serving. Serve cold or at room temperature. Stores well in fridge for up to 3 days.
Za’atar Roasted Potatoes

Za’atar Roasted Potatoes

These Za’atar Roasted Potatoes are the perfect side dish to any summer gathering. They have a delicious, crisp exterior with a luscious, smooth interior. And, may I add, it’s impossible to stop eating them. What takes these potatoes really over the top is, you guessed […]

Vegan Pistachio Orange Tahini Cookies

Vegan Pistachio Orange Tahini Cookies

Pistachio, orange, tahini: that’s a nice amount of flavor in one cookie! On top of that, it’s vegan! But there’s a secret ingredient that makes this cookie extra creamy and flavored: halva, a flaky tahini dessert. I’m a sucker for any sesame confection. I love […]

Lemon Rosewater Loaf Cake

Lemon Rosewater Loaf Cake

This lemon rosewater loaf cake is inspired by both my grandmas. It has a bright lemony flavor, and is laced with a hint of rosewater. The texture is delicate and velvety. And, per usual, it is perfect with a cup (or two, or three…YOLO, this is THREE TEAS Kitchen after-all) tea.

So let me explain why this cake is dedicated to some of the most lovely ladies in my life, my Nana and Tata. Besides being so sweet and loving (like cake!), they both had recipes that I drew inspiration from. My mom’s mom, Nana, would always have homemade lemon cake at her house. Anytime we were over, it was a given that if we had tea (which was every time), we would also be offered a piece of lemon cake. It is such a delicious cake, and I am happy to say the recipe will be coming to the blog soon.

Tata, my dad’s mom, always had the most refreshing homemade rosewater lemonade in her fridge. It is so good! So naturally, I knew lemon and rosewater were a match made in heaven.

How to Develop a Recipe

So with these flavors in mind, that is where the recipe testing began. Here is how I develop a pastry recipe. There is a slight science behind it!

  • This cake is considered a “quick bread/cake.” A quick bread has the ratio of 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part butter. One of my favorite books I use to develop recipes is called Ratio by Michael Ruhlman, explains this beautifully.
    • In baking, most recipes are developed this way and are measured in weight. So for example, in the ratio mentioned above you may use 8 oz of flour, 8 oz of milk, 4 oz egg (2 large eggs), 4 oz butter (1 stick or 1/2 a cup of butter). Sugar is typically in the amount of butter used.
  • Quick breads need a leavening agent, such as baking powder. Generally, 1 tsp baking powder should be used for 4 ounces of flour.
  • I used these ratios as a general guide, but made modifications along the way.
    • Adjustment #1 – I used buttermilk instead of milk for its thicker and tangy quality.
    • Adjustment #2 – I reduced the amount of buttermilk to 6 oz, to accommodate for 2 oz of lemon juice.
    • Adjustment #3 – I increased the amount of sugar, as this should be a sweet cake, just like Tata’s Rosewater Lemonade.
    • Adjustment #4 – I added lemon juice, zest and rosewater to create this flavor profile to a neutral cake base
  • Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to fit the taste and texture profile you’d like. Have fun with it!

Other Helpful Baking Tips

  • If you are not weighing measurements, spoon flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping it up with your measuring cup. The scooping method can often pack too much flour in your measuring cup, which may lead to a tough and dry cake.
  • Sift your flour through a sieve before putting in your bowl. This will help aerate the flour, and will lead to a fluffier cake.
  • Creaming the butter and sugar together until “light and fluffy” helps to aerate the cake too.
  • Mix dry ingredients together to evenly disperse flour, raising agents, salt, and spices.
  • Mixing the dry ingredients into the wet (as opposed to the wet into the dry) helps to prevent over-mixing, which can lead to a dense cake.
  • Rosewater gives a natural sweetness and mellows out the tart flavor of lemon. A little goes a long way, so make sure to measure this ingredient, or else the cake will taste overly floral. Check out this rosewater pistachio ice cream recipe for another delicious summer treat!
  • Lemon/citrus zest is a great way to concentrate the lemon flavor without adding too much extra liquid to the cake.

This cake will just put a smile on your face. It’s the perfect summer loaf. I think my grandmothers would agree.

Let’s Engage!

If you make this lemon rosewater loaf cake, 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!

Lemon Rosewater Loaf Cake

This cake has a bright lemony flavor, and is laced with a hint of rosewater. The texture is delicate and velvety. It's the perfect treat with tea!
Recipe adapted from the book Ratio by Micheal Ruhlman
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
  

Lemon Rosewater Loaf Cake

  • 1⅔ cup flour (8 ounces), plus ~½tbsp for greasing pan
  • ¾ cup buttermilk at room temperature (6 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (4 ounces or 1 stick)at room temperature, plus ~½tbsp for greasing pan
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Rosewater Glaze

  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • 2 tbsp milk or milk alternative
  • 1.5 cup powder sugar

Instructions
 

Lemon Rosewater Loaf Cake

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  • Line baking loaf pan with about ½ tbsp butter, covering all edges. Evenly sprinkle in ½ tbsp flour. Shake flour around the pan to evenly coat butter lining. Shake out excess flour from pan and discard.
  • Into a medium sized bowl sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
  • In a separate large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add lemon zest and cream again.
  • Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time, mix until fully combined.
  • In a separate glass or bowl, add buttermilk, lemon juice and rosewater.
  • To the butter/egg mix, alternate mixing in flour mixture, then buttermilk mixture, repeating a few times until all are combined. To keep cake light in texture, avoid over-mixing .
  • Pour cake batter into butter lined loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes. The cake is done once middle is cooked through and edges have a slight golden brown color.
  • Allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan. Place on a cooling rack.

Rosewater Glaze

  • To make the glaze, mix powder sugar, milk and rosewater in a bowl.
  • Once cake is fully cooled, spoon rosewater glaze over cake, allow to drip down sides.
  • Enjoy!*

Notes

Three Teas Tips
*This cake can be stored at room temperature for a couple days, or in fridge for a week.
Freezing ahead: You can also make the cake ahead of time, cool and wrap in aluminum foil and store in freezer for up to 3 months. I would wait on making the glaze until just before serving. When your ready to eat, defrost overnight in the fridge. When ready to glaze, allow to come to room temperature and then spread glaze on top.
Keyword cake, lemon, rosewater
Beet and Orange Goat Cheese Tart with Tarragon Crust

Beet and Orange Goat Cheese Tart with Tarragon Crust

When I was a kid, goat cheese was my go-to ingredient for making new recipes… I mean I was 12, so the extend was goat cheese, walnut salsa or goat cheese grilled cheese with pear and balsamic. I was infatuated with it’s creaminess and tangy […]