Cooking and more cooking


These days have been spent; washing dishes, mixing meatballs, stirring sauce, whipping cream, adding spices, mixing dough, more dishes and quickly jotting more directions and fine tuning ingredients. My son purchased some items to make photography easier and so snapping pictures repeatedly has also been part of my daily routine. I am practicing and my kids are helping me out so for now more cooking, testing recipes and more snapping photos. I hope you are all well and I will be catching up this week.

I know my way around the kitchen but not so much around taking pictures of food! So I will take stacks of photos and in the end we will sort through them and start over if need be! Thanks for your patience while I work on this project!


Roz bi Hummus–Rice and hummus

This rice dish is full of flavor and spices. It also has garbanzo beans cooked in with the rice which makes for a lovely texture and flavor. Garbanzo beans or chick peas are literally translated into Arabic as Hummus. So hummus is the name in Arabic for these beans.


1 can Garbanzo beans

1 onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. allspice

salt to taste

4 Cups Basmati rice

9 cups water


Use a large pan and saute onion and garlic in olive oil.


Open garbanzo beans, drain, put beans in with onions and garlic, continue to saute, add spices. Add water and bring to a boil. Rinse Basmati rice according to package directions. Put rice into water and stir. Let this boil for 5 minutes, then cover and turn heat to medium, cook for 10 minutes, turn to low and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff rice so it doesn’t stick.


Rice is usually eaten with a spoon of plain yogurt on top and then mixed in.

Rice Sharia– Rice with fried noodles

This is a common rice served in the Middle East that is usually served with a saucy dish. I watched my mother in law as well as many friends make it and this is how I make it.


2 cups Basmati rice

1 cup sharia noodles, small pieces of vermicelli noodles broken up. In Saudi they have little packages of these type of noodles. I found them at an Arabic food store.  My mother in law just broke the noodles up herself.


some olive oil

4 1/2 cups of water

1 tsp. salt or salt to taste


Using a large pan, put olive oil in pan, add noodles. Fry the noodles being careful not to burn. Stir noodles around to brown them.


When they are done, add water and salt. Bring to a boil, follow package instructions for preparing rice for cooking. Also, if you are using a rice other than Basmati, follow package instructions for cooking and amount of water. Add rice to boiling water, cook 5 minutes on high, then cover rice and turn to medium, cook 10 minutes, turn to low, cook 10 more minutes until done. Stir rice gently so it does not stick.


Roz Bizilla– Rice with peas

Rice is a huge part of the Middle Eastern diet. This particular dish is very tasty with cinnamon and allspice. It is usually eaten with plain yogurt or a yogurt salad which I have listed under salads. I am using basmati rice here but the traditional choice would be short grain rice. I am using basmati because I have a huge bag and it is easy to work with. Make sure you measure and have the right amount of water when cooking the rice. If you use a different rice use the amounts listed on the package directions! Also season it according to your taste, the salt is an estimate!


1/2 pound ground beef

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups basmati rice

6 cups water

olive oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 to 2 tsp. salt or to taste


In a large pan, fry beef until well done. Add spices and water. Bring water to a boil and add peas.


Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add a spoon of Olive oil. Measure rice and rinse according to package directions if needed. This is the only potentially tricky part to this rice–At this point we need to have 4 1/2 cups of broth to cook the rice. We also need to have the beef and peas with that but not counted in with the broth measurement!  After cooking this mixture as listed above, the broth might have decreased, this is why I added more water initially. So make sure we have around  4 1/2  cups of the broth and the beef and peas as well before adding the rice. Bring measured broth to a boil and add the rice. Boil for 5 minutes, cover and turn heat to medium, cook for 10 minutes, turn to low and cook 10 more minutes. When rice is done stir gently so it does not stick to pan.



Lentil soup- Adas

Since we are saying goodbye to Summer I thought I would offer this authentic recipe for Adas Lentil soup. This is a very popular soup that can be seen every where in the middle east. This recipe was inspired by my mother in law’s recipe. She adds a touch of rice which I like. This is also eaten many nights during the holy month or Ramadan (fasting)


1 cup of red lentils rinse and drain


1 small onion chopped

1 garlic clove chopped

5 1/2 cups water

1 cube chicken bouillon

1 tsp. salt (estimate)

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup short grain rice


In a large sauce pan saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add lentils, water and all ingredients except rice. Bring to boil, cover and turn down heat so that it is still lightly boiling. Let cook for 1 hour stirring several times during process. Add rice at this time and stir well, let the soup continue simmering for another hour or until done. Soup should be a nice consistency and will be thick but not lumpy.


This soup is eaten with a splash of fresh lemon juice and some Arabic bread.

Turmeric garlic rice

This is our standard rice that we have twice a month or more. I would say it is like our macaroni and cheese! When we are unsure about dinner we decide to throw this together.


1 chicken breast cut into bit size chunks

7 cups water

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. salt or to taste

3 cloves garlic chopped

Olive oil

2 cups basmati rice



Get a large pot, saute the garlic in Olive oil.

Add the chicken to the pot and saute.

Add the water, salt and Turmeric.

Let this boil, turn down heat and cover. Let this low boil until the chicken is well cooked approximately 30 minutes.

I usually let is simmer longer and let the chicken soak up the flavors.

When chicken is well cooked turn off heat, using slotted spoon remove chicken from broth and set aside.

Measure out 4 1/2 cups of broth and pour into second pan.

Cover and let broth simmer while you measure and rinse the rice if needed. Season broth for taste.At this time carefully add the cooked chicken to the broth.

Let broth come to a boil, carefully add rice, let boil for 7 minutes,  cover, turn heat to medium, cook another 10 minutes, turn to low for another 10 minutes. Fluff rice and stir a bit so it doesn’t stick to pan.


Cambodian Corn Beef Rice

Many years ago when we lived in Seattle we attended dinners, potlucks and picnics. On one special occasion we were invited to a young Cambodian couple’s wedding. We attended the dinner prior to the wedding. I ate the best rice I have ever had and it remains my all time favorite rice. A nice lady who made the rice told me it was of Malaysian of Cambodian origin, so I pass this on not knowing but telling you it is amazing!


1/2 pound stir fry or stew beef cut into tiny pieces

5 cloves garlic chopped

1 can corn

3 cups medium grain rice

2 tsp. salt 4 Tbs.sugar

6 cups water

olive oil


Cut beef into small pieces and chop garlic. In a pan, put olive oil and garlic, saute for a couple minutes and add beef, continue stirring and saute.


Cover pan and let beef cook. After beef has cooked add corn (drained) and water.


Add salt and sugar. Let this boil, turn down heat and cover. Let this mixture simmer for around 30 minutes, make sure to cover it so water doesn’t get low. Turn off heat. Add salt and sugar to taste. The water needs to be a nice mix of sweet and salty. I usually do not measure but tried my best to so hopefully this will work well. Bring to a boil and add the rice. Stir rice and turn to low, cover and let cook until rice is cooked. Again, I did my best to give measurements but have never measured before! This is amazing rice!



Msa ‘a–Eggplant casserole

This dish is not to be confused with the Greek dish, Musaka, it has some similarities but is quite different. An Egyptian friend first introduced this to me and I loved it. She then taught me how to make it and it has been a favorite for our family ever since. I have changed some things in order to make it easier for us to eat but it is basically the same. I deep fry the eggplant or saute it, so you can do either.


2 Eggplants

1 Green bell pepper sliced

1 Red bell pepper sliced

1 onion chopped

5 garlic chopped

1 pound ground beef

1 tsp. salt- for ground beef, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. allspice

Vegetable oil for frying


1 can tomato paste

4 garlic cloves

4 cups water

salt and pepper to taste


In a large pan fry ground beef and onions.


Add spices and continue cooking until ground beef is well cooked. Wash and slice peppers.


Add peppers to the meat and keep cooking. Cover and cook until everything is soft.


Peel and slice eggplant into rounds. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and fry eggplant slices until golden, drain.


Pour water (more or less 4 cups) into sauce pan and add tomato paste, add salt and pepper to taste. whisk and simmer for a few minutes.


Fry garlic cloves in Olive Oil.


Add garlic to tomato mixture, simmer for a few minutes and turn off heat.

Using a 9X13 pan, pour some tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, now you will layer these ingredients, eggplant, beef mixture, sauce, keep layering until the ingredients are done. Cover and place in oven for 1 hour on 350 degrees. Serve with pita bread or rice.


Maclube- Upside down

This special rice, chicken and eggplant dish is popular in many middle eastern countries, but most people agree it is originally Palestinian. When I was newly married I tried making it many times and it was ok but not authentic or delicious. One day while grocery shopping in Seattle, where we lived for a few years, a young Palestinian lady came to me and asked me for help finding something in the store. We got to talking and the next thing you know I was at her house learning how to really cook Maclube. Upside down is the direct translation for this dish and this is because it is a layer of rice, meat and vegetables turned upside down. Everyone makes it a bit differently using lamb, chicken, eggplant and even cauliflower. Spices are also used according to your family recipe so this is mine. I have fooled many people with this dish and they have assumed it was a Palestinian lady who made it! So, I guess this is as authentic as it can be for me, an American lady. Arab cooks traditionally cook this all on the stove in a pot but I found that did not work for me so I assemble it differently and that has worked well.




One whole chicken cut into pieces or chicken legs or thighs whatever you like

1-3 cups rice or however much you want to make depending on your family size. For my large family I make 4-5 cups and use a couple of big baking pans to assemble.

big pot of water

1 chopped onion

3 Tbs. olive oil

salt to taste

1 tsp. cinnamon to taste

1 tsp. allspice to taste

1/2 tsp. cumin to taste

pinch of pepper

a couple bouillon cubes

eggplant or cauliflower or both

vegetable oil for frying

* optional- almonds or pine nuts

I like my Maclube very full of flavor and spices so it is really up to each cook. Above are the basic spices but more can be added for your taste.


Fill a large pan with water for cooking chicken. Add the chicken and boil, cover and turn to low boil. Add spices and onion.


Let simmer for around 45 minutes or until chicken is well done but not falling apart. Remove chicken to a baking pan. Use the pan size that is needed for your amount of rice. So, if you are making 1 cup of rice this small pan would probably be fine. I make large amounts and use a couple baking pans!


Strain liquid to make sure no chicken bones have fallen in to liquid. Put broth back into pot and simmer.

Peel the eggplant and slice it, deep fry until golden brown.


If using cauliflower or both vegetables, cut cauliflower and deep fry.


Using a round cake pan or whatever pan you like, put veggies on bottom then chicken layer.


Measure the amount of broth needed to cook the rice.  Cook rice in broth.


When it’s done, scoop out rice and pack on top of chicken and vegetables.. I use the back of a spoon to pack down.


Cover pan well and place in oven on 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. It will be very hot so be very careful!!

Remove cover and let it cool so that you can turn it over onto a serving tray. Saute pine nuts and you can put on top. This is optional.