Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

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Fasoolia Kuthra (Green Bean Stew)

Fasoolia Kuthra (Green Bean Stew)

There is nothing better on an early spring day than coming home to a dinner of Fasoolia Kuthra. Consisting mostly of green beans and tomato broth, it is a light, yet warm and comforting stew perfect for an evening when the sun is setting around […]

Fried Dough

Fried Dough

There are few things in life as tasty as FRIED DOUGH. It’s basically the quick fix for a doughnut. And as quick it is to make, it will be equally as quickly gone. My love for fried dough runs deep, like all the way to […]

Fasoolia Baytha (White Bean Stew)

Fasoolia Baytha (White Bean Stew)

White beans braised in a tomato based sauce is Fasoolia Baytha. Fasoolia means “bean” and baytha means “white” in Arabic. Thus, this is a white bean stew.

This dish could not get any simpler. You can use canned or dried beans for this recipe, whichever you have on hand. For purposes of this recipe, we used canned to keep it speedy for an easy weeknight meal.

Every time I think of this dish, it brings me back to my grade school days. My dad was my soccer coach. Often, we would go from school to practice. And often, it was a little chilly outside. Poor Chicago – it tries its best. By the time practice was over we were starving and just a touch cold. I remember this dish often greeting us when we got home. Quick, easy, and so satisfying. I specifically remember my mom asking me once how was dinner, and all I could give her was a 👌🏽(an A-OKKK sign) between bites. It just hits the spot every time. BTW – we won 5 championships. Was this our Wheaties? I think so.

So here it is for you now. A very easy, straight forward, and most importantly delish and nutritious weeknight meal.

Fasoolia Baytha (White Bean Stew)

White beans are braised in a tomato based sauce and served over rice. Delicious!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 ,15 ounce cans of white beans (cannellini or great northern beans)
  • 1 ,15 ounce can tomato sauce (love Tuttorosso brand)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot.
  • Once the oil starts to glisten, add onions and cook until onions become almost translucent, ~5 minutes.
  • Add white beans, tomato sauce, and water.
  • Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for ~25 minutes. The sauce will thicken a little in this time.
  • Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Enjoy with rice!

Have you caught our other recipes in the “Medley of Marakah” series? Check them out!

Basalia

Basalia

Bamia

bamia

Akil Majnoon

Arabic Curry

Arabic Curry

Ras Asfour

Ras Asfour
Baked Chicken Wings with Spicy Tahini Dipping Sauce

Baked Chicken Wings with Spicy Tahini Dipping Sauce

We are taking a break from the “Timin and Marakah” series in honor of Super Bowl snacking. This is a super easy recipe to pop in the oven while you work on other Super Bowl snacks or just want to spend more time watching the […]

Akil Majnoon (Braised Vegetable Stew)

Akil Majnoon (Braised Vegetable Stew)

Cauliflower, eggplant and cabbage braised in a tomato based sauce is the basis of Akil Majnoon. The warm spices of bahar, make this such a cozy winter meal. Naturally vegan, it is just as much considered comfort food like Basalia and Bamia and is recipe […]

Bamia (Okra Stew)

Bamia (Okra Stew)

Number 2 of our Timin and Marakah series (remember that means rice and tomato-based stew from our Basalia post)! Bamia (aka okra) is a beautifully tart and savory okra stew. It would always be a treat when our mom would make this dish for us, and I love how the okra leaves this tomato based stew with a lovely creamy texture. The key here is to have the perfect balance of tamarind, garlic, and tomato sauce. But good news is that the exact ratio is really up to you! When cooking this dish, you can always modify the ratios of ingredients as you cook. So, if you like the tang, add more tamarind. Like the tart? Go for a little more tomato paste.

This is a great meal to make for your family with some basmati rice. You can always double the recipe and make more bamia for a larger group (or just yourself hehe).

Bamia (Okra Stew)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb stewing meat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lb frozen okra

Instructions

  • Cut stew meat into 1 inch cubes
  • In a medium pot with lid (I like to use my Dutch oven), mix olive oil and salt. Place over medium heat
  • Once pot is heated, add cut meat and mix in tamarind paste and garlic cloves. You only want to cook the outside of the meat here, so don't try to cook meat through
  • Once steak is browned on all sides (about 5 mins), mix in tomato paste and let cook wiht the steak for 1-2 mins
  • Add water to pot, cover, and let simmer for 30 mins
  • Add frozen okra and let simmer for 20 mins. Your bamia is done!
Rice with Hikaka

Rice with Hikaka

Rice with hikaka is a staple in our house. But, what is hikaka (pronounced hick-ka-ka in Arabic) you may ask? Hikaka is the delicious, crispy rice that forms at the bottom of a pot of cooked rice. When ready to serve the pot is flipped […]

Basalia (Pea Stew)

Basalia (Pea Stew)

Welcome to the first of a series of posts entitled “Medley of Marakah.” Marakah (accent on the first syllable) is an Arabic word for a tomato-based stew/sauce and there many different kinds of Marakah. Arguably the most popular Marakah in our family is Basalia and […]

Pomegranate Molasses and Blood Orange Glazed Halibut with Olives and Herbs

Pomegranate Molasses and Blood Orange Glazed Halibut with Olives and Herbs

This dish has flakey, light halibut glazed with a rich and smoky pomegranate molasses and blood orange sauce. It is then garnished with briny green olives and bright herbs. Best part though – it all comes together in 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES.

Lets take a moment to chat about pomegranate molasses. Man, is that stuff good. It is a staple in any Middle Eastern pantry, and really should be a universal pantry (or fridge) staple. You can pair it with any kind of protein -fish (…ahem halibut), poultry, lamb, meat– or vegetables. I love using it in vinaigrettes when making a salad. Pomegranate molasses is made by reducing pomegranate and lemon juice down, with or without sugar. What your left with is a rich and tart syrup that is not overly sweet. I usually buy it at Middle Eastern stores or the international food aisle of grocery stores. You can also buy it on Amazon, but I find it is more expensive there.

Feel free to roast up some vegetables on the same sheet pan as your halibut. I made broccoli florets, which I tossed in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and they cooked in the same amount of time as the halibut. Pair it all with some rice or any grain of choice and it’s a perfect meal.

Pomegranate Molasses and Blood Orange Glazed Halibut with Olives and Herbs

This dish has flakey, light halibut glazed with a rich and smokey pomegranate molasses and blood orange sauce. It is then garnished with briny green olives and bright herbs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: blood orange, citrus, fish, halibut, mint, olives, parsley, Pomegranate Molasses
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Pomegranate Molasses and Blood Orange Glaze

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp juice of a blood orange (~juice of 1 blood orange)
  • ½ zest of blood orange, reserve other half
  • 2 garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted or salted, (if using salted, decrease amount of salt below)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • tsp soy sauce
  • ½ juice of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1.5 lbs halibut, ~4 pieces

Olives and Herbs

  • ½ cup green olives, pitted, smashed and coarsely chopped. (Castelvetrano is a great option)
  • cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, stems included
  • 5-6 mint leaves, stems removed, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ zest of blood orange
  • pinch of flakey salt or table salt to garnish at end

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425F
  • Remove halibut from fridge and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle flesh with salt and allow to sit on counter.

Pomegranate Molasses and Blood Orange Glaze

  • To make the glaze, start by melting butter over medium heat on your stove top.
  • Once melted, add olive oil and garlic and cook for ~1min., avoid browning the garlic. Now add blood orange, pomegranate molasses, soy sauce, smoked paprika, lemon juice, salt and honey and mix until combined. Allow to cook on medium heat all together for ~2 minutes to reduce slightly.
  • Reserve ¼ of the glaze and set aside. With remaining glaze brush on tops and sides of halibut.
  • Bake halibut for ~10 minutes. Turn oven to high broil and bake for another ~2-3 minutes until a slightly caramelized color develops on the top of the halibut.
  • Remove halibut from oven. Brush remaining glaze on halibut.

Olives and Herbs

  • While halibut is cooking mix olives, parsley, mint, olive oil and blood orange zest in a bowl.
  • Garnish fish with olives and herbs. Sprinkle with a small pinch of flaky salt or table salt. Enjoy with roasted vegetables and/or and grain of choice!
Citrus Tahini Kale Salad

Citrus Tahini Kale Salad

With the holidays being over I am craving a kale salad in a major way. I mean we went from summer, to 2 seconds of fall, to a baked goods manifesto over the holidays, and now here we are. This salad is currently giving me […]