Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

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Gerbeaud / Zserbo

Gerbeaud / Zserbo

Chocolate-covered, layered, and full of apricot jam and walnut filling, gerbeaud was the first Hungarian dessert I was introduced to. The bite-sized pieces trick you into eating many slices of this indulgent Christmas-time treat. Edina (my boyfriend Soma’s mom) and their family always make gerbeaud […]

Black Seed Biscuits

Black Seed Biscuits

These delicious flaky biscuits are inspired by my favorite cookie, Kakat’ Mahlab. Black seeds, butter and mahlab spice are the mainstays of both these biscuits and the cookies. And, as Nana would say, “it has just a finger of butter,” which is Nana language for […]

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Take this winter classic drink to the next level! Here, at Three Teas Kitchen, we love traditions and classic recipes. When we would go on our afternoon tea tradition at The Ritz-Carlton, I would order their hot chocolate set. It was such a nice holiday look that reminded me of the scene in The Santa Claus with Tim Allen when the elf Judy brought him hot cocoa… Anyways, we always thought the Ritz-Carlton’s hot chocolate was truly magical because it tasted amazing and indulgent. One day we asked how they made it so good. Maybe they added the perfect combo of cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, and sugar? But no! Their secret ingredient was only Swiss Miss!

From this memory, we decided to create our own truly magical creation of hot chocolate, Middle Eastern style. I love making this with Califia’s oat milk, but you can also replace with milk. This lovely hot chocolate is complemented with the buttery taste of saffron and a bit of cardamom to add an extra kick. Hope this recipe brings you and your families a hot chocolate treat just like we experienced in our childhood!

Hot Chocolate

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
  • 3 strands saffron
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 15 grams 70% dark chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

Instructions

  • Heat oat milk in a small sauce pan on medium heat with cardamom and saffron for about 2-3 mins then lower heat to medium/low for 5 minutes. I like to use whole cardamom seeds that I have crushed myself using a mortar and pestle.
  • In your desired mug, place 15 grams of finely chopped chocolate. I'm using grams here as chopping chocolate can produce different results if you use a tablespoon or cups. I found that 15 grams was the best amount of chocolate to my taste, but you can add more or less depending on your taste!
  • Once oat milk is heated, strain out cardamom and saffron and pour on melted chocolate.
  • Whisk chocolate and oat milk in your much until chocolate is thoroughly melted
  • Whisk in vanilla, pinch of salt, and sugar
  • Optionally, you can make whipped topping using either whipping cream or coconut cream.
Shekkar Lemma (Sugar Cookie)

Shekkar Lemma (Sugar Cookie)

There is no better cookie to kick-off the holiday cookie baking season than Shekkar Lemma. Its simple and minimal ingredients make it an easy cookie to make, but its not your average sugar cookie. Its ratios of butter, sugar and flour, produce the most heavenly, […]

Middle Eastern Eggs Benedict

Middle Eastern Eggs Benedict

I love brunch. Not only because it’s a time to get boozy with friends and family during the day, but mainly because there are so many fun food options! You can have sweet and savory items all part of the feast in the same course, […]

Rustic Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Rustic Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

This cake is a perfect addition to the holiday season. It has such a luscious texture, and has delicious pockets of tart cranberries scattered throughout. What really takes it over the top, though, is the caramelization of sugar, butter, cinnamon, cardamom and clove lining the bottom of the cake. It is definitely a cake with some character.

It tastes even better the day after baking, a welcomed quality given the often limited oven space during the holidays. It is absolutely delicious for breakfast the morning after, or really anytime.

Per usual, enjoy it with some Iraqi Tea or Turkish Coffee for some cozy vibes. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Rustic Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

A rustic cornmeal sponge cake with scattered bursts of cranberries, cardamom, clove and cinnamon. It has a luscious texture and is perfect for the holidays.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, cornmeal, cranberries, Thanksgiving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour, (5 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup fine or medium grain cornmeal, (3 ounces)
  • 2 sticks melted and cooled unsalted butter, (8 ounces)
  • 2 tbsp room temperature unsalted butter
  • 4 large room temperature eggs
  • cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • tsp clove
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Prepare a 9 or 10" springform cake pan. With the 2 tbsp of softened butter, place a thin layer on the bottom of the pan. Then secure a sheet of parchment paper on top of that layer of butter. (I usually lay the parchment paper evenly on the bottom of the springform pan, then fasten the pan. You will be left the parchment lining on the bottom of the pan and the edges of the parchment outside of the pan. Feel free to also rip off some of the access paper outside of the pan. The parchment ensures the cake does not stick to the bottom of the pan.)
  • With the remaining 2 tbsp of softened butter thickly layer the bottom and sides of the pan with butter. Next add the 2 cups of cranberries. Sprinkle ½ cup of the sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves on top of the cranberries.*
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal and baking powder.
  • In another bowl, with an electric mixer, whip eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla together until triple in volume, about 5 minutes.
  • Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined. Then fold in butter until just combined.
  • Place cake mixture on top of cranberries in the springform pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.
  • Allow to cool, then remove from cake pan and parchment paper and enjoy!
  • Stores for up to 3-5 days on your counter or fridge.

Notes

*I prefer arranging the cranberries this way rather than mixing throughout the batter. Some will migrate to to the top of the cake and some will linger back. It contributes to the rustic quality of the cake, and also allows for the cranberries to have a little coating of sugar and spice. 

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 […]

Samak Masgouf (Grilled Fish)

Samak Masgouf (Grilled Fish)

Friends, Thanksgiving is near. In honor of this American feast, we are posting what we consider the “Turkey” of an Iraqi Feast, Samak Masgouf, or grilled fish. Some say that Samak Masgouf is the national dish of Iraq. For us, it has always been the […]

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 out our Pumpkin Scone story to get a feel for our family traditions and why scones are a nice tea time tradition we like to keep alive!

Vegan Pumpkin Scones

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold vegan butter*
  • 1 egg substitute**
  • 1/4 cup vegan creamer ***
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Optional Icing

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Califia pumpkin spice creamer

Instructions

Scones

  • Preheat oven to 375F and prepare parchment paper over a baking sheet
  • Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl: flour, sugar, salt, pumpkin spice, and cardamom. I like using whole cardamom seeds and then grinding them using a mortar and pestle. This allows the cardamom not to completely take over the flavor of the scone
  • Sift in baking powder and whisk ingredients together
  • Cut the vegan butter into 1 inch cubes. Add to dry flour mixture.
  • Using a pastry cutter or a fork, combine butter with dry mixture until it forms a meal-like texture. Set aside
  • All wet ingredeints should be cold. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: egg substitute, vegan creamer, cashew butter and pumpkin puree. Whisk until combined
  • Add wet ingredents to dry. Mix until just combined.
  • Scoop scone mounds onto the parchment paper and baking sheet (about 6-8 scones)
  • Brush vegan creamer on top of scones and sprinkle turbinado sugar if desired. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes. Scones are done when the tops start to brown.

Icing

  • Sift powdered sugar and add creamer. Whisk to combine

Notes

*We used Earth Balance vegan butter
**We used Bob’s Red Mill egg substitute, but you can also use a flax seed and water mixture to help replace egg
***We used Califia Farms Unsweetened Creamer
Fall Hummus Bowl

Fall Hummus Bowl

Guys, this is GOOD. I suggest you make it soon. Caramelized roasted acorn squash is layered onto hummus and topped off with a cilantro cream sauce and roasted crispy red onions. Slather it on some toast, and you’ll forget avocado toast even existed. Ya, I […]