Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sayaddeya rice w/shrimps

Sayaddeya rice w:shrimps-finished product
Sayaddeya rice w/shrimps-finished product

 

Sayaddeyya” is Arabic for fishermen, so … Fishermen’s rice. Traditionally served with guess what? fish ofcourse.

Until today, that’s what fishermen prepare on their boat, to eat alongside their catch of fish while they’re out at sea.

It got fancy over the years, and now you can add all sorts of spices to the dish, even pine nuts if you wish. But at its very base its mainly 2 major ingredients: lots of onions and cumin.

You can have it plain, or have bits and pieces of “fishy” stuff added to it while cooking.

For this recipe I used shrimps.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups rice (rinsed well)

500 grs frozen shrimps (ofcourse you can use fresh, but the weight here refers to the frozen weight. So probably around 400 grs after defrosting)

2 large onions grated (in the picture you see 3, since they were small-ish)

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsps cumin powder

water as per cooking instructions of your rice + 1 extra cup to allow for the cooking of the shrimps

1 soup cube

Method:

Place a little olive oil in the pot, add the grated onions, and fry while stirring frequently, until the onion is very dark, looking as if almost burned. (Don’t put your attention elsewhere while this is happening, you need to stay on top of it and keep stirring, or else the onion will burn and acquire a bitter taste.)

add the spices

add the tomato paste

add the water

add the soup cube

add the rice

cover and simmer until you can still see “some” water

add the shrimps

mix well

cover again and keep simmering until the rice is done.

Enjoy!

Stir Fried Fish Kababs

Stir fried fish kababs-close up
Stir fried fish kababs

I love this recipe! It is delicious, easy, and quick. The only trouble is that you can not do the stir frying until you’re ready to eat, i.e. its got to be done while your guests are already there!

It doesn’t present a problem for me, as I have an open kitchen, and I can work while still chatting with my guests. Asking for the occasional help from your guests won’t hurt either, just keep the wine flowing and the conversation going, and you’ll be done before you know it!

I usually serve this dish with Sayaddeya Rice w/shrimps. You will find the recipe in the Rice section.

Ingredients:

1 kg fish fillet (I find Perch fillets readily available in the frozen section of our supermatket, and I like the fact that Perch doesn’t smell very “fishy”. But you can use any of your favourite kinds as long as its meaty, firm, and doesn’t tend to fall apart easily).

a small piece of ginger grated

grated rind from 1 lemon

pepper flakes (I didn’t measure, I just sprinkled! Same for the paprika and the salt.)

sweet Paprika

salt

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsps fish sauce

1 medium onion cut in wedges

1 red pepper cut in medium size pieces

Method:

Cut the fish in fairly decent size cubes

sprinkle all the spices including the lemon juice & the fish sauce

add some olive oil

mix well with your hands and everything is nicely combined

add the cut onions & peppers

mix, cover, and place in the refrigerator

(You can do all this ahead of time, as the fish tastes better when its been left to marinate for a few hours. You will need to get it out of the fridge about an hour or so before you anticipate using it).

when ready, heat your frying pan, add a tiny bit of olive oil, and place the fish kebabs & vegetables in smallish batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Shake to stir as its cooking, try not to use the spatula too much so as not to brake the fish

when you’re satisfied with the colour, add a tiny bit of white wine in the corner of the pan (not directly on the fish), and “shake” the pan to de-glaze and coat the fish

remove to your serving dish, and continue with your batches until all the fish is done

tare some parsley pieces on top and serve.

Enjoy!

Rice w/vermicelli & pine nuts

Rice w:vermicelli & pine nuts-close up
Rice w/vermicelli & pine nuts:

For all the rice dishes in this category I will use Basmati rice. If you can get your hands on Egyptian rice, then by all means do, you will absolutely love the difference! Unfortunately I can not find it where I live, so I use my next favourite which is Basmati.

I also always rinse my rice well before using, it helps get rid of some of the starch.

Ingredients:

2 cups rice (rinsed)

2 vermicelli balls (crushed, as in picture)

¼ cup pine nuts

3 small grains mastic (it adds a lovely aroma)

water as per cooking instructions of your rice

1 soup cube

Method:

Brown the pine nuts in a tiny bit of olive oil, keep your eye on it as it tends to burn very fast.

Place on kitchen paper to drain off excess oil and set aside, you won’t need it until the very end

put the crushed vermicelli in a frying pan, add some olive oil, and toast till dark golden. Make sure you keep stirring to colour evenly

in the pot where you’re going to cook the rice, add a bit of olive oil, add the 3 grains of mastike, and heat till you see the mastike melting

add the water, the soup cube

add the rice

add the vermicelli

some crushed pepper corn

adjust salt if needed

cover & simmer till cooked

transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the pine nuts on top.

Enjoy!

Dada’s Zucchini w/chickpeas in tomato sauce

Dada's Zucchini w:chickpeas in tomatoe sauce-close up
Dada’s Zucchini w/chickpeas in tomato sauce

Best Served with rice.

Actually rice is pretty much a given on a daily basis, for the majority -if not all- Egyptian families. The Egyptian rice is highly aromatic and has got a distinctive flavour not to be found in any other rice of any kind. As an Egyptian, very much “into” the foods & aromas of my childhood, I can assure you that I know my rice.

Unfortunately I can not get a hold of Egyptian rice where we live, so I use Basmati instead, and prepare it the Egyptian way.

Because of it being a daily staple, rice dishes present themselves in a variety of ways in the Egyptian cuisine. All depending of course on the dish that it is showing up to compliment.

For Dada’s Zucchini, I will use the rice w/vermicelli & pine nuts. No other reason than “just because” that’s how she served it!

You will find the recipe for the rice listed under what else?! “rice” of course. Anticipating that I shall be posting a variety of rice dishes as we proceed, I decided to give it a category of its own!

Now lets get on with Dada’s Zucchini dish.

A favourite way of cooking vegetables in Egypt is in tomato sauce. Sometimes meat is added in it to give extra flavour, but often without.

Ingredients:

4 large zucchinis (or 6 medium ones) sliced. If too big, cut zucchini in half then slice.

1 onion chopped

1 garlic chopped

140 grs tomato paste (or 4 large tbsps)

2 cups cooked chick peas

2 cups water

1 soup cube

Method:

saute onions in a bit of olive oil

add garlic

add tomato paste

add chick peas

add water

add soup cube

bring to a boil

adjust salt if needed

add sliced zucchini

simmer on medium heat until zucchini is done to your liking.

(you may need to add more water as its cooking, to ensure there is enough sauce in the end.)

Serve in a separate bowl, alongside the vermicelli rice.

Enjoy!