The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

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Notes about this book

  • Ganga108 on March 14, 2022

    The Recipe Purslane or Lamb's Lettuce and Yoghurt Salad on P70 of the recent version of this book is missing from the index. That dish is easy and wonderful. I made it with Purslane from the garden - purslane is at its peak atm ,and this healthy green veg is so suited to Middle Eastern food - crispy and lemony.

  • FeastsandFestivals on June 22, 2012

    Claudia Roden reminds us that what we eat tells us more about who we are and where we come from than anything else we might do or say...

  • clare_b74 on July 27, 2010

    American / more recent, and most importantly indexed, imprint of the one I actually have :)

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Fried minced chicken balls (Koftit ferakh)

    • aniawl on May 29, 2010

      chicken balls

  • Bread with zucchini omelet (Eggah bi eish wa kousa)

    • aniawl on May 31, 2010

      eggs should feature on the ingredients list as it is a mainly egg dish

  • Leek omelet (Eggah bi korrat)

    • wester on April 17, 2010

      Nice "omelette". I did not manage to turn it out into a serving dish, it was a bit messy. But it tasted good.

    • schambers on September 25, 2010

      Use the lesser amount of sugar. Excellent use of leeks and eggs.

  • A rice and chickpea filling - classic vegetable fillings

    • wester on April 15, 2010

      Nice but not very brilliant. Could use a bit more spice.

  • Chickpeas with turmeric

    • smtucker on May 16, 2013

      Love this recipe. Made a version without turmeric. cumin, cayenne pepper. finish with cilantro and garden mint, lemon juice. Used Goya chickpeas, well rinsed. Absolutely delicious.

  • Plain bulgur pilaf

    • smtucker on May 16, 2013

      Be careful of how much liquid you add. Needs salt especially when using stock that is salt-less. Have added cubed vegetables with great success.

  • Brown lentils and rice with caramelized onions (Megadarra)

    • britt on April 21, 2011

      I both love this recipe and am frustrated by it because my rice is always either undercooked or gummy. I may give up and cook the rice separately.

    • mama_c on April 20, 2013

      Try the 'boil' technique for rice... add raw rice to boiling liquid, boil down to the point where the water level is even with the top of the rice and 'holes' start to form, then turn down the heat to barely simmer for about 5 minutes (longer for brown rice), then turn very low or off and cover for at least another 5 minutes.

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Delicious, but make sure the onions are caramelised

  • Eggplant puree with yogurt (Borani-e bademjan)

    • milgwimper on May 08, 2014

      This recipe was very good. I processed the eggplant so my child would eat it. We served it with home made flat bread, another salad of beans and tomatoes and a bowl of mint and parsley, and it was delicious.

    • Ganga108 on March 10, 2022

      Another delicious yoghurt recipe, this time with eggplant. Smoky, garlicky and yummy. I used the 3rd variation of the recipe (in my version of the book) for the saffron yoghurt topping.

  • Spiced creamy lentil soup (Shorbet adds)

    • okcook on March 27, 2012

      Very nice. Used my hand blender to smooth out the soup before serving and added extra fresh chilies. Placing a slice of lemon at the bottom of each soup would also be good.

  • Noodles with lentils (Rishta bi adds)

    • mcvl on March 30, 2022

      Sunday's NYTimes had a more elaborate rishta recipe (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/23/magazine/lentil-stew.html),from which I took some elements (pomegranate, tamarind) and then added a fine-chopped Middle Eastern herb mix (parsley, mint, dill, cilantro, fennel fronds, tarragon). I strongly feel the simpler version would have been better.

    • mcvl on March 31, 2022

      I need to correct my earlier note. Anticipating the reaction to my second booster, I made enough to last several days. As time passed, the additions from the NYTimes recipe and my herb mix mellowed and blended and became quite marvelous. So in future I'll make the elaborate version, but a day or two in advance.

    • Ganga108 on March 29, 2022

      Noodles with Lentils, P387. It may not be particularly well known that pasta (usually mixed with grains or lentils) is a large part of Middle Eastern cuisines. My local ME grocery has a shelf of Italian pastas and also "mixes" like burghul with very short pieces of vermicelli noodles. Even though intrigued by this new-to-me part of the cuisines, I hadn't cooked any such dishes until tonight. I selected this recipe as an easy one to cook with a salad and feta for a quick dinner, but did not have high expectations of the dish. It was a total surprise to see how it punches above its weight - so good I ate a second serving. I used Puy lentils. It does not have a huge flavour profile, but a lovely gentle one with the lentils, pasta, caramelised onions, garlic and butter. Roden has a couple of variations as well. Love this dish.

  • Tbikha of turnips with spinach and chickpeas

    • MollyB on July 05, 2018

      Lovely early summer dish. I had some very pretty small white turnips from the farmers' market, and this was the perfect recipe to use them. I did use the optional harissa and I cooked my own chickpeas, and used them with a bit of the cooking liquid in the dish.

  • Rice filling - classic vegetable fillings

    • chriscooks on November 01, 2015

      This filling works well with mixed summer veg. Arborio rice is too gummy for it.

  • Lamb tagine with peas, preserved lemon, and olives

    • chriscooks on November 01, 2015

      Easy and very good. Also works with chicken thighs, cut up. I have used salted Meyer lemons instead of regular ones, which changes the flavor a bit but not much. The amount of water is way too much unless you want soup. Can use canned tomatoes out of season.

  • Moroccan bean soup (Harira)

    • chriscooks on March 23, 2019

      This is pretty much the same recipe as the one for "Chickpea and Lentil Soup" in Roden's Arabesque. It is tasty and filling, and allows a lot of variation, if you're willing to consider it as the inspiration for a flavorful lentil soup (e.g., use lamb stock cubes instead of bones, add greens, etc.; I skipped the flour-water thickener). The Arabesque version uses no onions, so the soup is not as sweet as some.

  • Zucchini salad with raisins and pine nuts

    • eve_kloepper on February 01, 2021

      A deliciously unusual salad. I did not cook the zucchini. Sliced on mandoline and let marinate, as suggested.

  • Almond rissoles (Sambousek bel loz)

  • Pan-cooked fish fillet with chermoula sauce

    • minerva on July 11, 2017

      Why is there no salt in this recipe? Definitely add salt, and double the sauce.

  • Zucchini stuffed with meat and rice (Mahshi kousa)

    • minerva on May 03, 2014

      Way too bland. Needs serious adjustment before I make this again.

  • Pilaf with currants and pine nuts

    • minerva on May 03, 2014

      Pretty good. Almonds were a fine and cheap sub for pine nuts.

    • Ganga108 on April 21, 2022

      Delicious! There weren't any currants in the pantry so I used the remainder of the green raisins from the Afghan shop. Currants have a deeper flavour than green raisins but we loved the dish with the raisins. Topped with pistachios to add a little colour. Another simple but amazing dish from Claudia.

  • Rice with spinach (Ispanakli pilav)

    • minerva on July 11, 2017

      Nothing special, but a perfectly reasonable and tasty way to combine your carb and your vegetables into one side dish.

  • Rice with hamud sauce (Roz ou hamud)

    • minerva on September 04, 2014

      Bland, and I even used smoked lamb broth. Needs less liquid and more herbs, perhaps.

  • Roasted red peppers with preserved lemon and capers

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Good, although I leave out the capers. This recipe also found in Spain

  • Orange and olive salad

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Good; works with olive oil

  • Carrot and orange salad

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Good; I like the combination of carrots and oranges

    • Nichill on March 30, 2015

      Very versatile: children enjoyed it, and could be served to guests.

    • Nichill on March 30, 2015

      Very successful. After about half an hour, the flavours melded really well. Used parsely, due to lack of coriander, and added a couple of spring onions, with slightly reduced orange blossom water.

  • Parlsey and bulgur salad (Tabbouleh)

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Good; make sure it is very green, i.e. lots of chopped herbs, and very lemony

  • Grated carrot salad

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Very good taste for a change; good with plain food

    • Ganga108 on March 08, 2022

      If you've ever made anything Moroccan you are sure to have made a carrot salad. There are so many variations! This one is wonderful - a little sweet (carrots, honey and raisins), a little sour (lemon), a little hot spicy (ginger), a little sweet spicy (cinnamon). All brought together with copious olive oil. The fresh ginger with the sweet carrots was what I loved most. I used the last of our light green sultanas from the local Afghan grocery - they are perfect for this dish.

  • Eggplant caviar

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Delicious!

    • Ganga108 on March 18, 2022

      There are lots of stories about why it this dish is called "Caviar" - Roden just refers to it as P0or Man's Caviar. Someone else says it is the texture of it as a spread. Then there is a lovely Russian story about the wildly unpopular dish becoming a huge hit because of a film that derided it. So now it is called Overseas Caviar in Russia. Whatever the reason this beautiful play on babaganoush without the tahini is easy to make and delicious. I make the option with harissa and cumin. P64 in the version of the book that I have.

  • Taramosalata

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Very good recipe; tastes delicious

  • Puree of dried white beans (Fassoulia beida)

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Delicious, but loaded with calories!

    • Ganga108 on April 17, 2022

      Delicious - white beans with lemon and evo. We also made fried zucchini slices (P288) and fried eggplant slices (P290) to go with the dip. Served with olives, radish, spring onions, fennel jam, cumquat pickles and taftoon flatbread. There is nothing that feels as relaxing, lazy and heart-warming as eating dips and chatting about the day.

  • Tahina with walnuts (Teradot)

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Delicious with fish

  • Chickpea puree with tahina (Hummus bi tahina)

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      The addition of tahina makes the hummus just a little more subtle - very good

  • Yogurt and cucumber salad (Cacik)

    • CandyB on August 15, 2013

      Yes, good recipe; delicious

    • Ganga108 on March 06, 2022

      How fabulous that cucumber and yoghurt is incredibly popular everywhere! I so love it. I made her recipe with thick drained yoghurt mixed with sour cream, as she suggests. I made the first of her four variations which adds evo and vinegar to the yoghurt (YUM). Love that she uses white pepper - it is so out of fashion these days. The dish is quite simple compared to the over-the-top with rose petals and walnuts, Syrian version I made recently from The Food of Life. But very delicious nevertheless. I can eat it out of the bowl ??, but it also makes a great accompaniment, dip and spread.

  • Eggplant and tahina dip (Baba ghanouj or moutabal)

    • peaceoutdesign on April 02, 2022

      I think that this was too lemony and I would cut it in half. Make sure to roast the eggplant cut side down to get a good carmelization. And make sure to drain as the recipe says to get rid of any bitter juices.

    • Ganga108 on March 24, 2022

      Babaghanouj always hits the spot. I made this by chopping, not blending, the eggplant as she suggests.

    • KatieK1 on April 25, 2022

      I added some smoked paprika to kick it up a notch, otherwise it would have been too bland. Also, toasted the cumin and ground it before adding.

  • Pasta and meatballs with yogurt (Madzounov champra porag)

    • mharriman on August 03, 2018

      This was good but not great. That could be because I used leftover Moroccan meatballs instead of making the smaller, multiple ones as described in the recipe. The yogurt sauce was interesting but a bit bland. I used large pasta shells which worked well with the larger sized meatballs. My husband’s verdict: it was okay but needed some additional flavors to jazz it up. I think smaller shells and more and smaller meatballs would have worked out better for the sauce and garnish (butter sauce with mint and garlic).

  • Sweet-and-sour eggplant salad

    • mharriman on January 31, 2018

      Tasty. My husband and I enjoyed this healthy salad as an alternative to a green lettuce salad. I added feta cheese crumbles on top which enhanced the other flavors. Served as a side with a winter squash soup. This would be even better in summer with grilled chicken, lamb, or beef kebabs.

  • Pan-cooked fish with preserved lemon, green olives, and capers

    • mharriman on August 18, 2019

      Very good even though it was too salty for us. The effect of the (even though rinsed) preserved lemon, olives, and capers was comment-worthy. I will try this again and reduce the olives and take away the capers.

    • Foodycat on November 08, 2021

      I am not sure what the point of the saffron and ginger was - I didn't get any flavour from it and not a lot of colour. The lemon, olives and capers were good but I thought there was a flavour missing - maybe needed a bit more acidity.

  • Chicken with almonds and honey (Djaj bel loz)

    • mharriman on March 13, 2022

      Making this dish went smoothly until the oven baking. Directions to pour the sauce from the stove pot over the chicken in the baking dish would have completely covered the chicken, causing the pressed on honey, rose water, almond mixture to float away from the chicken it was adhered to. There was also too much liquid to fit inside the shallow casserole dish I was using for baking. Instead, I poured about half the sauce over the chicken so the tops with the honey-almond mixture were undisturbed. With a total cooking time of 65 minutes, my chicken pieces, even the large chicken breasts, were dry on the top half of the meat. Despite the overcooking, the honey almond mixture came through and was delicious. I’d make this again with some tweaks: after sautéing the onions, I’d cook the chicken on the stove top for 20 minutes and then in the oven completely submerged in the liquid/sauce for another 20. I’d take the hot chicken from the oven and then apply the almond/rose water/ honey mixture.

  • Moussaka

    • mharriman on October 24, 2018

      Wonderful! Instructions make this multi step dish easy. For two of us, I cut all of the ingredients in half except for eggplant slices which I reduced by 1/3 and baked in a smaller casserole dish than called for. Other Changes made: used leftover homemade (Marcella Hazen) tomato sauce instead of tomatoes and baked for 35 minutes instead of 45. At 35, white sauce was turning dark brown and beginning to burn. Will tent with foil last 10 minutes next time. Looking forward to the leftovers tonight. Cannot remember a better moussaka!

  • Spinach with raisins and pine nuts

    • mharriman on August 18, 2019

      Delicious. I added broccolini to the pan to add more texture. Easy, healthy, and tasty.

    • ashallen on December 13, 2019

      Very nice dish - rich flavors from the onion and pine nuts and really nice sweetness from the raisins. I like to chop up the raisins or substitute dried currants so their sweetness disperses more evenly throughout the dish. I like the texture of fresh, mature (versus baby) spinach best in this dish - it's harder to overcook (=slimy texture!). Very nice with some fresh lemon juice added just before serving.

    • Ganga108 on April 05, 2022

      A beautiful dish that I make with mixed greens from the garden. It has crunch and sweetness from the pinenuts and raisins mixed with the greens and onions. Full disclosure - I don't discard the stems if they aren't too tough. I like the flavour of them, plus I like #nowaste when possible. I added quartered cumquats at the end for a citrus hit - next time I will add some dried barberries. Lovely, easy dish.

  • Chicken stuffed with dried fruits (Morg tu por)

    • mharriman on March 17, 2022

      This was an interesting take on a fruit stuffing for poultry. I didn’t think it would only take 90 minutes to bake a stuffed 3.86 pound whole chicken at 325 degrees, so I upped the temperature to 350. That may have been why the fruit was on the dry side. The chicken was fine, but not as juicy as ones I’ve cooked at 450 degrees for 1 hour. Next time I will cook at the prescribed 325 temperature and check for doneness at the 90 minute mark. At 350 degrees in my fairly new oven, my chicken was only 150 degrees internal temp at 90 minutes. I cooked it 10 more minutes and it came up to 160 degrees. So, I’ll need to increase the time at 325 by at least 30 minutes- making it a two hour oven bake. I’m also thinking the baked fruit in a bit of chutney or apple juice, after it comes out of the oven, would help bring moisture to the finished product. Worth a second try.

  • Couscous salad

    • jjankows on November 16, 2015

      Great and versatile recipe that you can make ahead of time. You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand.

  • Bean rissoles (Ta'amia or falafel)

    • Foodycat on March 27, 2019

      Absolutely gorgeous. My first time making falafel from scratch and they were as good as any I have had.

    • Ganga108 on March 14, 2022

      P63. Falafel can so easily taste like cardboard. Not these though! They are herby and spicy. Pita, salad and hummus are traditional accompaniments, but tonight I switched out the hummus for the Purslane and Yoghurt Salad (P70). Delish!

  • Date preserve in syrup

    • Foodycat on October 24, 2019

      This is for fresh dates in syrup. It's absolutely lovely, and subtly clove-y. Really nice with cheese.

  • Chicken sofrito

    • FoodieOne on July 04, 2018

      This a hot weather fave. No grill needed. Good for a cold buffet and really easy, no knife skills needed.

  • Melokheya

    • deboChicago on July 16, 2020

      I have made this a few times. It is a reliable recipe but you can certainly sub your own chicken broth for Roden’s. It is a simple soup and delicious when fresh. Leftovers are not great.

  • Cream of white bean soup

    • ashallen on December 06, 2019

      As you can see from the ingredient list, this is a very simple soup. Given that, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it - not the best soup I've ever had, but very nice. Because it's so simple, the flavor of the stock you use makes a difference - I used a rich homemade chicken stock. I also added the optional lemon juice and parsley.

  • Yellow split pea soup (Shorbet becellah)

    • ashallen on November 29, 2019

      This soup was OK, but I've had better versions of split pea soup from this region. The acidity from the lemon juice and the toasted pita "croutons" were good. Texture was thick. The flavor from the ground cardamom didn't seem to work well with the other flavors - I'd replace it with ground cumin and/or ground coriander next time.

  • Saffron chicken with chickpeas and almonds (Djaj qdra touimiya)

    • ashallen on October 24, 2019

      Hmmm, I didn't have a good experience with this one - I made it a while ago when I had less cooking experience, which didn't help! The recipe doesn't specify what size pot to use or whether or not to cover while it simmers. I tried to cook a 3 lb chicken in an uncovered 6-qt dutch oven but it wasn't big enough to fully submerge the chicken and I ended up turning it repeatedly to get it to cook evenly. Chicken was done after the specified 1.5 hours, but the chickpeas weren't tender like the recipe said they would be (despite having pre-soaked for 24 hours). There was also tons of liquid (there would have been even more had I used a bigger pot!). I continued simmering slowly until chickpeas were soft, removed them, then reduced the liquids a looong time until they were thick and sauce-like. Sauce flavor was just so-so. I've since found another recipe for a similar dish in Saveur (Moroccan Chicken Stew - January 2010) that has better cooking instructions and a flavor I prefer to this one.

  • Spinach with tomatoes and almonds (Sabanekh bel tamatem wal loz)

    • ashallen on December 13, 2019

      Very good! I really liked the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes with the earthiness of the spinach. Great flavor from the onions, too.

  • Almond ice cream (Booza al loz)

    • ashallen on July 03, 2020

      This is an almond ice cream (egg custard style) flavored with orange blossom water. It's thick and creamy with a hauntingly aromatic flavor from the orange blossom water. When I tasted the ice cream mix before freezing, the orange blossom flavor seemed too strong (even though I used the minimum amount recommended in the recipe), but it settled down after freezing (though still too strong for my husband!!). The recipe says to leave the finely ground almonds in the custard and freeze it in a bowl overnight. I froze a small amount this way as a test and decided I didn't like the texture - both gritty from the almond bits and kind of icy. I strained the remaining mix through a fine mesh strainer and froze it in an ice cream machine - much better! I'd ground my almonds to "almond meal" size, so the strainer didn't catch all of the particles - a second straining through a yogurt strainer would probably produce a perfectly smooth ice cream. Yields 1 quart.

  • Date or nut filled pastries (Ma'amoul)

    • ashallen on September 14, 2019

      These are delicious cookies - slightly flaky flour+butter pastry wrapped around a delicious date paste filling. The dough isn't sticky and handles pretty easily for molding around the filling. This recipe doesn't call for salt in the pastry shell - I thought it tasted a bit flat without it and now add ~1/2-1 tsp. And while the date paste filling in the recipe is good, my favorite filling is a mixture of dates and ground walnuts - I substitute 3 c walnuts for half the dates and flavor the mixture with orange zest, cinnamon, and sugar. One of my all time favorite cookies!! I don't have one of the special molds often used for making these cookies and instead form them by hand - so they're not a quick, last-minute kind of cookie - I've read that using a mold makes them go faster. Fortunately, once you've made a pile, they store really well for a couple of weeks (assuming you don't eat them all first!).

  • Rice with carrots (Havij polow)

    • ashallen on October 05, 2019

      I love the excellent flavors in this dish from the large amount of carrots and butter (and a bit of cinnamon) it contains - absolutely delicious!!

  • Rice with herbs (Sabzi polow)

    • ashallen on October 04, 2019

      I like the basic concept for this recipe, but I tried making a half batch on my first try without adjusting the cooking technique in any way and ended up with overcooked, mushy rice. I'll hold off on giving a rating until I make a full batch and get a better sense of how it's intended to come out.

  • Sardines in the Algerian manner

    • Pimlicocook on June 01, 2021

      Used garlic granules instead of fresh garlic and breadcrumbs. Crispy and tasty.

  • Fried, broiled, grilled, or roasted eggplant slices

    • Ganga108 on March 03, 2022

      Who can say No to fried eggplant?? We made the 2 styles mentioned - battered and without battered. I couldn't pick a favourite as they are both really good. But the battered is more crunchy and more filling. We don't use eggs in our kitchen, so the batter was a mix of flour, chickpea flour, eno fruit salts (for lightness) and a little oil.

  • Roasted eggplants with pomegranate syrup (Betingan meshwi bel dibs al rumman)

    • Ganga108 on March 10, 2022

      Roasted Eggplant with Pomegranate Syrup. I made these with the long thin Japanese eggplants from the garden, so the cooking time was shorter. I forgot to prick them before going into the oven, and one semi-exploded hahaha. No worries it still tasted the same. I used a home-made pomegranate molasses on one plate of the eggplant, and some home-made quince molasses on the other. Both were very very good.

  • Roasted tomatoes

    • Ganga108 on March 10, 2022

      Roden calls these the ME confit. Confit is a word that confuses me. On one hand it means "cooked slowly over a long period of time to preserve food." But as a cooking term it means "food cooked in grease, oil or sugar syrup at a low temperature without necessarily having an element of preservation." (Wikip) I grew up with the latter meaning, but mostly these days I see it used with the former definition. Definitely this dish is cooked longer than normal, with only a smidgen of oil. HOWEVER, the tomatoes are intense in flavour and utterly delicious. I added a sprinkle of sumac over the top - and used cherry tomatoes from the garden, with various ripeness from green through to red. They are being snacked on as I speak and they may not make it to the table.

  • Fried zucchini slices (Kousa makli)

    • Ganga108 on April 17, 2022

      Anything deep- or shallow-fried is comfort food. We fried both zucchini and eggplant slices (P288) to accompany the White Bean Puree (P70). Excellent weekend snacking.

  • Fava beans with yogurt (Ful ahdar bel laban)

    • Ganga108 on April 04, 2022

      This recipe of fresh fava beans/broad beans is perfect for the last of the spring harvest, frozen for use at a time just like this. It is a simple recipe - fava beans with garlic, and a yoghurt-mint sauce. I added golpar, a Middle Eastern spice that goes particularly well with fava beans. The garlic, also picked earlier from the garden, was left in tiny cloves - all the better to taste the garlic. I love to do this when the cloves are very tiny. Delicious, a simple and perfect dish for any lover of ME cuisines.

  • Spinach with chickpeas (Sabanekh bel hummus)

    • Ganga108 on March 08, 2022

      Its the first month of Autumn here and the garden is overflowing with greens. I made this dish with an armful of mixed greens - including rainbow chard, red amaranth, warrigal greens, and leafy spinach. Roden doesn't specify, but I shredded them before they went in the pot. I made the first variation that she lists, with onions and tomatoes - a chance to use up the cherry tomatoes picked earlier in the day. It is very easy to make, and with some yoghurt and a carrot salad, makes a hearty addition to a meal.

  • Pie dough for lahma bi ajeen, sfiha, and fatayer

    • Ganga108 on March 20, 2022

      P137. This is the second leavened dough that I have made from this book and both are super superb doughs. I made it to use when making Fatayer bi Sabanikh (Spinach Pies, P139) - which turned out very well. There is such a pleasure in making a yeasted dough, even including the 10 min kneading. Or maybe because of the kneading. It takes about 2-1/4 - 2-1/2 hours, including kneading time and letting the dough rise, from the first mixing of yeast to taking the pies out of the oven.

  • Spinach pies (Fatayer bi sabanikh)

    • Ganga108 on March 20, 2022

      The Spinach Pies (P139 in the edition of the book that I have) are made with the yeasted Pie Dough on P137. The dough is super easy to work with, and while it was rising, I cooked the spinach and other greens from the garden, drained it well, made the filling and let it cool. The filling is a lovely spinach-sumac-lemon mix which is strong enough to stand up to the yeasted pie dough. I love this little pies, and plan to make the other fillings as well. A great Sunday afternoon slow-cooking project to make these - around 2.5 hours to make the dough, let it rise and make and cook the pies. Recommended.

    • Ganga108 on March 21, 2022

      In the latest edition of this book, there are recipes for other pies as well - Fatayer bi Jibn (with feta filling); Fatayer bi Labneh (with Drained Yoghurt filling) and Fatayer bi Humus (with a filling of cooked chickpeas). These are not indexed here. {UPDATE - they are now listed.} With the left-over dough from the Spinach Pies (kept in the fridge overnight and brought up to room temp again), I made the pies with the feta filling (mashed feta, olive oil and black pepper). For some of the pies I mixed feta and left-over spinach mixture. This Greek combo is such a darling of the Western world. Also, good news - my pie-making technique improved a little too :). There was more consistency in the size and shape. The folding of the dough improved. Practice makes perfect. The pies were, of course, delish.

  • Yogurt cheese (Labneh)

    • Ganga108 on April 05, 2022

      The yoghurt is draining for labneh, something we have been making for longer than I can remember. In those days we didn't know that it was called labneh so I just referred to it as "thick thick yoghurt". There are so many uses, sweet and savoury. Roden mentions some at the end of the recipe. We made a simple salad with radish, dill, cucumber, onion and spring onion tops - it is surprising how delicious this is. Some of the labneh we are making today will go into Fatayer bi Labneh - Labneh pies - planned for later in the week.

  • Cheese pies (Fatayer bi jibn)

    • Ganga108 on April 05, 2022

      With the left-over dough from the Spinach Pies (kept in the fridge overnight and brought up to room temp again), I made the pies with the feta filling (mashed feta, olive oil and black pepper). For some of the pies I mixed feta and left-over spinach mixture. This Greek combo is such a darling of the Western world. Also, good news - my pie-making technique improved a little too :). There was more consistency in the size and shape. The folding of the dough improved. Practice makes perfect. The pies were, of course, delish.

  • Drained-yogurt pies (Fatayer bi labneh)

    • Ganga108 on April 11, 2022

      I came back to the Fatyar (cos I love them) and made 2 of the filling variations - the Chickpea filling and the labneh (dried-yoghurt) filling - both delicious. I shaped the chickpea ones more like pasties, so I could tell which was which, so kept the labneh ones 3-pointed. To add more flavour I sprinkled the dough after rolling with sumac and za'atar before adding the filling. Served with a home made Eggplant Kasundi pickle. Utterly delicious.

  • Moroccan pumpkin soup

    • Ganga108 on March 18, 2022

      P 145 in the version of the book that I have. This soup is surprisingly good. I thought it would be too thin, but there is a lovely silky texture to it. I used butternut pumpkin, did not add the optional rice (but think it would be a great textural contrast) and did sprinkle with cinnamon. The colour of the soup is gorgeous, so Autumnal.

  • Spinach soup (Ispanak corbasi)

    • Ganga108 on March 27, 2022

      This Spinach Soup is a health-bomb in every mouthful. I used a base of thin toor dal to give the texture that the egg might bring (we don't cook with egg). I pureed the spinach when oops, it should have been chopped in the food processor. But loved it. It was very thick even without thickening with the roux - no doubt from the lentils and the amount of greens that I used. The flavour is intense. I could have added yoghurt but we really enjoyed the in-your-face flavours.

  • Tahina cream sauce (Tarator bi tahina)

    • Ganga108 on April 10, 2022

      This is such a classic and wonderful sauce, dip and dressing. I made it today to spread on top of a plate of Ful (Fava Beans) when making Ful Medames (P328).

  • Spinach and yogurt salad (Borani-e esfenaj)

    • Ganga108 on March 01, 2022

      Diving into Middle Eastern Food tonight with a dish to make the best use of my overflowing beds of greens in the garden. Roden's recipe is very simple - I am used to adding herbs with the spinach so I included coriander and mint. It looks like the amount of greens will never wilt down enough to fit into 1 cup drained yoghurt, but they do. To avoid waste, I kept the stems with the greens and it turned out fine, taste-wise. Perhaps better visually to remove them.

  • Feta cheese dip

    • Ganga108 on April 05, 2022

      Mmmmm - whip up a dip in moments. Fabulous with pita and vegetable sticks. Great as a spread with the best tomatoes.

  • Feta cheese and cucumber salad (Michoteta)

    • Ganga108 on April 06, 2022

      Feta and cucumber - such a good mix, and used often by Roden. This is another very simple salad - feta, lemon, olive oil, cucumber. Comes together in minutes - I sprinkle it with dried mint. We had it with the Rishta bi Betingan, Pasta with Eggplants in Tomato Sauce.

  • Leaf salad

    • Ganga108 on March 20, 2022

      We made this salad with a plate full of greens and herbs from the garden. I love the simplicity of this style of eating - I was introduced to the "bowl of herbs" style by the wonderful Arto der Haroutunian who also serves them with a slab of feta. We eat this way a lot in Summer - and just minutes to get on the plate. Roden presents a range of dressings for the salad as well.

  • Broiled or fried cheese (Gebna mashwi aw makli)

    • Ganga108 on April 15, 2022

      Halloumi is always delicious, and we have it often. A chance to tick off another recipe from this wonderful book. Served with lemon wedges, baby turnips, sliced, turnip greens dressed with one of Roden's salad dressings, and pickles.

  • Raw and vinegared vegetables (Khodrawat bel khal)

    • Ganga108 on July 19, 2021

      Perhaps better suited to other seasons, even in Winter it is gorgeous.

    • Ganga108 on March 24, 2022

      Made this lovely vinegared salad once again. It is colourful, fresh and delightful.

  • Onions with vinegar (Bassal bel khal)

    • Ganga108 on July 21, 2021

      This recipe has a nice addendum - onions with salt and sumac. Next time I'd like to pickle them a little first, as they are still v oniony and bitey without that. But nice accompaniment to a meal or pre-meal nibble.

    • Ganga108 on March 24, 2022

      This time I made these vinegared onions without the sumac. Really delicious, and a lovely topping to falafel wraps with babaghanouj.

  • Greek country salad (Salata horiatiki)

    • Ganga108 on March 24, 2022

      Fresh, healthy and delicious!

  • Tomato salad with onions (Tamatem bel bassal)

    • Ganga108 on March 18, 2022

      aka Tomato Salad with Onions, P75 in the version of this book that I have. A simple salad, with a cumin dressing twist, delightful, fresh, easy to bring together, beautiful on the plate. I used spring onions from the garden instead of onions/shallots, and halved small tomatoes from the garden instead of sliced tomatoes, and dill instead of parsley. I have such an affection for dill in Middle Eastern food that my friends always say "Where there is dill, there is a way."

  • Radish salad

    • Ganga108 on March 19, 2022

      What an awesome dressing - evo, lemon, orange blossom water. I hunted around and found the last baby radishes in the garden. Rather than slice or grate them, as Roden suggests, I left them whole and dipped them in the dressing. The radish leaves are tasty and healthy too and lovely with the same dressing. They went into wraps with other leaves and leftovers of Roden's Eggplant Caviar.

  • Eggplant slices with pomegranate syrup (Betingan bel rumman)

    • Ganga108 on April 23, 2022

      Still an eggplant glut in the garden so tonight we grilled a heap of eggplant slices for various dishes during the week. We also taste tested three of the eggplant appetisers - topped with quick fried eggplant and wine vinegar (SO good), topped with pomegranate molasses and olive oil (definite favourite), and topped with garlic yoghurt (excellent). All P80-81.

  • Bulgur with cheese and eggplants (Burghul bi jibn wal batinjan)

    • Ganga108 on May 01, 2022

      A very easy dish to make on a Sunday evening, combining two of my favourite ingredients - haloumi and eggplants. I cooked the eggplants ahead of time - this made it even easier. The soft paneer against the chewy coarse burghul is delightful. Roden's instructions for cooking are spot-on - for these types of dishes I place a simmer pad (heat diffuser) under my wide pot to keep the heat as low as possible.

  • Thyme breads (Mana'eesh or fatayer bi zaatar)

    • Ganga108 on March 11, 2022

      Zaatar bread - P397 in my version of the book. The dough is beautiful, lovely to make and it was perfect. But a couple of things about cooking the bread. The recipe states 1.5 Tblspn zaatar paste per bread, but we found this waaaaaay too much, particularly too much sumac for the amount of bread. Some other recipes use as little as 1 tspn. I cut the amount down and it was much nicer (and the sumac less intense). The recipe says to roll the dough *paper thin*, but then you don't get soft bread with nice layers. Ours was quite crispy (but utterly delicious and it got wolfed down quick smart). But I'd like to try again and make them thicker. Finally, if rolling the breads paper thin, then the dough will make about double what is stated (36 instead of 18 breads). I guess if you make them thicker, it would be about right. I want to try again and not roll them so thin.

    • Ganga108 on March 13, 2022

      An update on the Za'atar Bread. I put the left-over dough in the fridge overnight (wrapped in clingfilm), and took it out first thing in the morning to come to room temp. At lunch time I rolled the dough out thicker than she states - thinish, but NOT paper thin. It is a much better result, and the za'atar mix is much better on this bread (cos thicker). The challenge is to get the bread thick enough that it doesn't go crispy and thin enough that it cooks right through. When you get it right, oh the layers! They are often served with cucumber and radish etc on top of the bread and this sounds like a perfect snack or breakfast to me. You can see in the pic how they rise considerably. This one was rolled a little thicker than I did the subsequent ones. Be prepared to play with 3 or 4 to get it right. The dough is perfect and I love the whole process of making them- will def make them again. Also the paper thin ones were so crispy and snackable, they will be perfect for left-over dough.

  • Pasta with eggplants (Rishta bi betingan)

    • Ganga108 on April 06, 2022

      This is a delicious baked pasta dish with Middle Eastern flavours. The sauce is really good. Don't skip the cheese on top, it really adds to the dish. I broke the pasta in half to make it easier to fit into the baking dish once cooked. I thought that the sauce might be too thin but it wasn't. With Michoteta - Feta and Cucumber Salad. Tomatoes, eggplant and garlic from the garden.

  • Purslane or lamb's lettuce and yogurt salad

    • Ganga108 on April 05, 2022

      P70 This dish is easy and wonderful. I made it with Purslane from the garden - purslane is at its peak atm ,and this healthy green veg is so suited to Middle Eastern food - crispy and lemony.

  • Chickpea pie (Fatayer bi hummus)

    • Ganga108 on April 11, 2022

      I made the Fatayer with 2 of the variations - some with the Chickpea filling and some with the labneh (dried-yoghurt) filling - both delicious. I shaped the chickpea ones more like pasties, and kept the labneh ones 3-pointed. To add more flavour I sprinkled the dough, after rolling, with sumac and za'atar. Served with a home made Eggplant Kasundi pickle. Utterly delicious.

  • Tomatoes stuffed with herbed rice

    • Ganga108 on March 20, 2022

      What a surprise! - well, another one from this beautiful book. The filling is so simple, and yet the finished dish is wonderful in flavour and texture. I used a good risotto rice for the filling and a mix of lemon juice and sumac for the sour component. It has been eons since I made stuffed tomatoes, and now I am wondering why. If you can find the juiciest of tomatoes, the old fashioned type with less internal flesh and a lot of juice, these are perfect. Add the juice that comes out of the tomatoes when you hollow them to the rice as it is cooking. BTW, it makes lots of stuffing! Expect to fill a couple more tomatoes than specified.

  • Egyptian brown fava beans (Ful medames)

    • Ganga108 on April 09, 2022

      Ful Medames can be pretty ordinary, and the fava beans are tricky to cook - tricky to ensure that both the skin and middle are tender without the middle falling out and leaving just skins :) This has happened to me in the past! It made a nice soup once the skins were drained off. But cooked properly, oh my! Ful Medames is the quintessential example of how something pretty mundane is turned into extraordinary with a tspn of this, a pinch of that, a drizzle of something and a topping. I began with Roden's recipe, but tarted up with suggestions from Tamimi's Falastin, Arto der Haroutunian's Vegetarian Dishes from Across the Middle East, and Wolfert's The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean. The recipes are all very similar but while Roden keeps seasonings separate, they mix them in, and they top the ful with other items that Roden has as a variation. I loved this!

    • Ganga108 on April 09, 2022

      A note on cooking the beans - I suspect the best results are with the beans cooked a long time over a very low heat, perhaps even just on the boil or a slow simmer, rather than a more rapid boil. My other suggestion is not to use too much water to cook them in, and to top it up as needed. This way the lovely beany broth is used to moisten the finished dish rather than being drained away.

  • Rice with chickpeas

    • Ganga108 on March 10, 2022

      Oh this rice! So simple but oh so good. The sweetness of the shallot against the rice and chickpeas!! I used the Turkish/Egyptian method that she describes to cook the rice. (Its the method I normally use, when not using the rice cooker.) The rice used is aged, extra-long grained basmati.

  • Rice with vermicelli (Roz bil shaghria)

    • Ganga108 on April 21, 2022

      Another rice dish cooked this week - rice with vermicelli pasta. An unusual combination in the west, but very common in the middle east. It is a filling, but gentle dish. I added chopped greens from the garden, cos they needed to be used. Also they added colour to a very monotone dish. Delish.

  • Tomato pilaf (Domatesli pilav)

    • Ganga108 on April 16, 2022

      Delicious, easy to make but takes 20 mins for the tomato base to cook + 20 mins for the rice to cook in the tomato base. These are no-fuss times and it is worth making this dish.

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Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Konafa

    • I Made That!

      ...an odd flavor at first, but after a few bites something happens to the taste. I found that it got sweeter (though not too sweet) and the rosewater started to mellow...exactly how I remembered it.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0375405062
  • ISBN 13 9780375405068
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 01 2000
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 513
  • Language English
  • Edition Revised edition
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Alfred A. Knopf
  • Imprint Alfred A. Knopf

Publishers Text

Claudia Roden's seminal book on Middle Eastern cooking, which James Beard called a landmark in the field of cookery when it was first published in 1972, is made new - with additional recipes, extensive variations and new techniques, the fruit of 30 years of travel and research. There are now more than 800 recipes (including variations) from Morocco and Tunisia, Turkey and Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Persia, and other Middle Eastern countries. They represent the best of the Middle East and they stress simple dishes, healthful ingredients and time-saving methods, with no sacrifice of extraordinary variety or delectable flavor. Richly infused with Roden's own memories of growing up in Egypt and with stories of her travels, the book is an excursion not merely into the cuisine of the region but into its culture as well. It is a book that both preserves the past and is alive with the present: a masterpiece made even more masterly - the quintessential Middle Eastern cookbook.

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