Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

Tag: parsley

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 […]

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 […]

Einjarada

Einjarada

Einjarada, meaning “the eye of the grasshopper” in Arabic, gets its name from the main ingredient that gives this salad its distinctive flavor – dill seed, which resembles (you guessed it) a grasshopper’s eye. But the question remains – who made this salad best? Was it Jido/Papa or Tata/Mama? The answer to this question varies depending on which of the five Tarazi boys you ask. Recently, my Baba (#3 of 5) and Uncle Ned (#2 of 5) joined me in my kitchen along with my Uncle Eddie (#5 of 5) via video chat to settle this epic battle.

Tata’s Einjarada. The picture above is Jido William’s Einjarada.

While both of my paternal grandparents have been gone from this life for some time now, attempting to recreate each of their versions of this flavorful salad with my Dad and uncles brought me back to the many times in my childhood when we would spend time in my grandparent’s home and kitchen. I can still vividly remember my Jido with a big smile on his face greeting us at the door each time we arrived and before we had a chance to even ring the doorbell. And then there was my Tata always cooking away in the kitchen pretending not to listen as my Dad and uncles told me, my sisters and cousins crazy stories of all the trouble they got into as children. It was a very energetic, loud and absolutely wonderful time that made me completely nostalgic and a little sad as we were recreating these dishes the other day. As time has gone on, The Tarazi clan has grown up and moved around the country making the moments we are all together few and far between. But I guess that’s the main reason we started this blog in the first place – to keep these memories alive for generations to come while creating some new ones of our own along the way.

So I want to especially thank my Dad, Uncle Ned and Uncle Eddie for helping me relive those treasured moments through cooking and food. It was a short time together, but one I will truly treasure and pass along.

And now back to the moment you all have been waiting for, the winner of the battle of best Einjarada goes to (drum roll please) …… BOTH Jido and Tata. We tasted each separately and then ended up combining elements of both for the very best! Recipe of this combo is below and variations between the two versions are in the notes.

It’s a salad with quite a punch and best enjoyed with some grilled pita. Happy eating and reliving of your own childhood memories.

Einjarada

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 8 tbsp Dill Seed (whole)
  • 2 Green bell peppers chopped
  • 6 green onion chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 6 persian cucumbers (or 3 pickle cucumbers)
  • 4 roma tomatoes medium
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup lemon juice (about 4 fresh squeezed lemons)
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whole parsley leaves for garnish
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • red pepper paste (optional to taste)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions
 

The Dressing:

  • With a mortar and pestle, grind 4 tbsp of dill seed until fully ground, add 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes and continue to grind until mixed. Add 7 cloves of fresh garlic, sea salt, chopped jalepeno pepper (remove seeds) and continue to grind until fully incorporated and ground to small bits.
  • In a separate bowl, emulsify olive oil and lemon juice (with immersion blender or speedy whisk), then whisk in the spice mixture from the mortar and pestle until fully mixed.

The Salad:

  • Chop green peppers, yellow onion, tomatoes, and cucumber to similar sizes. Finely chop green onion (discard 1/8 from top and 1/8 from bottom). Combine all chopped veggies in a bowl.
  • To the bowl of veggies, add garlic powder and 4 tbsp of whole dill seed. Mix.
  • Add the dressing to the salad and mix thoroughly.
  • Mix feta cheese in lightly.
  • Garnish with parsley before serving.

Notes

*If you would prefer a spicier enjarada, add some red pepper paste.
* For Jido’s version remove feta cheese and yellow onion.
*For Tata’s version remove cucumber.
Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

This salad comes together quickly and is so refreshing and flavorful.The freshness comes from the mix of parsley, mint, lemon, cucumber and tomato. This is a common side salad that greets many Middle Eastern tables and can pair with about any dish, such as kabob, […]

Tata’s Potato Salad

Tata’s Potato Salad

This is NOT your grandma’s mayo filled potato salad! This is our Tata’s refreshing and tangy potato salad. This potato salad is very light and crisp with its fresh ingredients of parsley, green onion, and lemon juice. It’s the perfect summer potato salad and will […]

Potato Chop

Potato Chop

It’s hard to eat just one potato chop. Once you bite into these spiced meat potato patties you will understand why.  In the first bite, you sink your teeth into the crispy exterior of the fried potato, then encounter the silky potato interior, and finally, the spiced meat mixture with a touch of parsley to provide a fresh kick. Delicious! It is the perfect appetizer or snack to accompany a cup of tea.

In learning how to make these, we knew we needed to contact the pros all the way from South Carolina – Auntie Layla, Ferial, Jena and Jalila. Luckily, they were in town recently, and we got to spend some time with them. What we learned is when you ask your Aunties how to make something, be prepared to write instructions down quickly. One said they add onion, the other said they don’t, one said they add pinch of breadcrumbs the other said “No, no add more!” But, this is the way cooking has always been when passing from generation to generation. Its always a pinch of that, a splash of this and somehow it always turns out perfectly. You learn to cook by color, by touch, and by taste. There is no sense of intimidation – these ladies (and men!) own it in the kitchen! Watching their hands move in creating these potato chops was like magic. The time it took us to create one, Auntie Layla had already formed three perfectly. This expertise comes from years of practice and time spent in the kitchen. All we can say is nothing beats cooking at home, sipping chai together and chatting while we created these. So, gather up your friends, siblings or Aunties and make these at home too!

The making of potato chop. Thank you Auntie Layla!

Potato chop, ready to be fried!

Potato Chop

5 from 2 votes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 50 pieces

Ingredients
  

Meat Mixture

  • 2 lbs ground meat (80% meat, 20% fat)
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp bahar (all spice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Potato Mixture

  • 5 lbs Idaho potatoes
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp salt

For Frying

  • 2 cups vegetable oil

Instructions
 

Potato Mixture

  • Wash potatoes. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Boil potatoes until al dente. You should be able to puncture the middle of the potato with only slight resistance. Peal skin of potatoes.
  • Place boiled potatoes through a meat grinder or potato masher to mash. 
  • Add cornstarch, bread crumbs, salt, and eggs to potato mixture. Mix until it appears like dough.

Meat Mixture

  • 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 bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then mix in the fresh chopped parsley.  

Assembley

  • Coat hand with a little oil to prevent potato from sticking to hands. Take about a golf ball size of the potato mixture and roll into a ball.
  • Flatten ball to a disk about the size of your palm. 
  • Make a well shape in the middle of the disk and place about 2 tsp of the meat mixture in the center. *
  • Bring edges of potato mixture over the meat mixture to enclose. Flatten to create the shape of a plump disc. 

Frying

  • Fill a 3-3.5 quart pot with vegetable oil. Heat oil until thermometer reads about 325-350F or until sizzling hot. Place 2 potato chops in the oil and fry for about 2.5 minuets until golden brown.**
  • For best taste, enjoy shortly after frying!***

Notes

*For video tutorial on how to shape check out our Instagram stories at @ThreeTeasKitchen.
** Try to fry just one potato chop at first to ensure proper temperature of oil.
*** We recommend storing the fried potato chop 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 400F oven for about 5 minuets, flipping midway.
Keyword meat, parsley, potato