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ABC of Arabic Cuisine

Posted by on Jan. 28, 2008 at 9:31 PM
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Sorta like a dictionary....
 
Arabic cuisine has its roots in tent cookery. Nomadic tribes could use only transportable foods such as rice and dates, or ambulatory stock like sheep and camels in their recipes - which tended to be rough sketches rather than strict formulae.

As the caravans journeyed throughout the Middle East, new seasonings and vegetables were discovered and added to the existing repertoire. Each new discovery was incorporated into the diet in quantities palatable to a particular tribe - a fact that many cooks believe is responsible for the anomalies found in some Arabic dishes today.

The nomadic Bedouin influence is broadened by other cuisines from the Arab world, notably from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt, resulting in a highly diverse food and drink culture.

Lebanese contributions have been the greatest influence on modern Middle Eastern cuisine, in no small part due to the entrepreneurship of the Lebanese that has helped to spread Arabic cuisine throughout the world from its centre in the Levant in such areas as Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut and Nablus. Lebanese culinary influence and business skills provide the framework for the exotic cuisine recognised internationally as Arabic.

Hospitality in the Arab world is second to none, and nowhere is it better expressed than in the age-old custom of serving freshly-brewed coffee or mint tea to every guest, whether the gathering be business or social.

The foreigner who takes time to learn and experiment with this excellent cuisine will be immediately won over and rewarded with many wonderful surprises. Arabic food can rival any international gastronomy for originality and good taste, and, because it basically comprises simple, natural and easily digested foodstuffs, it ranks high in nutritional value with today's fitness-conscious society.


Glossary of Arabic Cuisine

Arabic Bread (Khubz Arabi, pita)
Flat, round bread, which can be easily split to make a sandwich, or broken apart and used as a utensil for scooping food
Arayess
Deep-fried lamb sandwich
Ataif (gatayef, kataif)
Small pancakes stuffed with nuts or cheese and doused with syrup
Baba Ghanoush
Char-grilled eggplant, tahina, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic purée - served as a dip
Baharat (bjar)
Arabic mixed spices
Bamia
Baby okra and lamb in tomato stew
Baklawa (baklava)
Dessert of layered pastry filled with nuts and steeped in honey-lemon syrup - usually cut into triangular or diamond shapes
Basboosa
Semolina tart soaked with syrup
Bukhari Rice
Lamb and rice stir-fried with onion, lemon, carrot and tomato paste
Burghul (bulghur wheat, bulgar)
Parboiled and dried wheat kernels processed into grain, used in tabbouleh and mixed with lamb in kibbeh
Cardamom
Aromatic spice, member of the ginger family, used to flavour Arabic coffee, yoghurt and stews
Coriander (cilantro)
Lacy, green-leaf relative of the parsley family with an extremely pungent flavour akin to a combination of lemon, sage and caraway.
Ejje
Arabic omelette
Falafel
Small deep-fried patties made of highly-spiced ground chick-peas
Fatayer
Pastry pockets filled with spinach, meat or cheese
Fattoush
Salad of toasted croutons, cucumbers, tomatoes and mint
Foul (ful)
Slow-cooked mash of brown beans and red lentils, dressed with lemon, olive oil and cumin
Gahwa (kahwa)
Coffee
Haleeb
Milk
Halwa (halva)
Sesame paste sweet, usually made in a slab and studded with fruit and nuts
Hamour
Red Sea fish of the grouper family
Hommus
Purée of chickpeas, tahina, lemon and garlic - served as a dip with Arabic bread
Jarish
Crushed wheat and yoghurt casserole
Jebne
White cheese
Kabsa
Classic Arabian dish of meat mixed with rice
Kebab
Skewered chunks of meat or fish cooked over charcoal
Kamareddine
Apricot nectar used to break fast during Ramadan
Khubz Marcook
Thin, dome-shaped Arabic bread
Kunafi (kunafah)
Shoelace pastry dessert stuffed with sweet white cheese, nuts and syrup
Kibbeh (kibbe)
Oval-shaped nuggets of ground lamb and burghul
Kibbeh Naye
Raw kibbeh, eaten like steak tartar
Koshary
Cooked dish of pasta, rice and lentils to which, onions, chillis and tomato paste are added
Kouzi
Whole lamb baked over rice so that rice absorbs the juice of the meat
Kufta (kofta)
Fingers, balls or a flat cake of minced meat and spices that can be baked or charcoal-grilled on skewers
Laban
Tangy-tasting sour milk drink widely used in cooking as a substitute for milk
Labenah
Thick creamy cheese, often spiced and used as a dip
Lahma Bi Ajeen
Arabic pizza
Loubia (fassulya)
Green beans cooked in tomato sauce
Ma'amul
Date cookies shaped in a wooden mould called a tabi
Makloubeh
Meat or fish with rice, broad beans and cauliflower
Mai
Water
Mantou
Dumplings stuffed with minced lamb
Markok
Lamb and pumpkin stew
Mehshi
Means stuffed - aubergines, courgettes, vine leaves or cabbage may be stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, rice and onions
Melokhiyyah
Green, spinach-like vegetable
Mezze (mezza, meze, mezzah)
The Arabic word for appetiser
Mish mish
Apricots
Mouhammara
Mixture of ground nuts, olive oil, cumin and chillis, eaten with Arabic bread
Moutabel
Eggplant dip made with tahina, olive oil and lemon juice
Mubassal
Onion pancakes
Muhalabiyyah
Silky textured semolina pudding served cold
Musakhan
Chicken casserole with sumac
Mutabak
Sweet or savoury pastry turnovers usually stuffed with cheese, banana or meat
Najil
Saddle-back grouper
Rocca
Aromatic salad green with a peppery mustard flavour, used in salads or mixed with hot yoghurt
Sambusek
Triangular pies filled with meat, cheese or spinach
Sayyadiya
Delicately-spiced fish dish served on a bed of rice
Seleek
Lamb and rice dish where the rice is cooked in milk rather than the juice of the meat
Shai (chai)
Tea
Shaour
Red Sea fish from the emperor family
Shawerma
A cone of pressed lamb, chicken or beef roasted on a vertical spit where the meat is shaved off from the outside as the spit keeps turning. Saudi Arabia's most popular sandwich is Arabic bread filled with shawerma meat, salad, hot sauce and tahina
Sheesha (hubbly bubbly)
Pipe for smoking tobacco leaves or dried fruit through a water filter
Shish Taouk
Skewered chicken pieces cooked over charcoal
Shourba
Soup
Snober
Pine nuts
Sukkar
Sugar
Sumac
Ground powder from the cashew family, used as a seasoning
Tabbouleh
Salad of burghul, tomato, mint and parsley
Taklia
Spice consisting of ground coriander and garlic
Tahina
An oily paste made from ground sesame seeds, used in hommus, moutabel and baba ghanoush
Tamr
Dates
Taratour
A thick mayonnaise of puréed pine nuts, garlic and lemon, used as a sauce or dip
Um Ali
'Ali's mother' is a pastry pudding with raisins and coconut steeped in milk
Warak Enab (warak dawali)
Stuffed vine leaves
Yansoon
Hot spiced tea, used for medicinal purposes
Zatoon
Olives
Zattar
Blend of spices including thyme, marjoram, sumac and salt

 Don't go through life, Grow through life...

Maisah

Group owner: Treat Him Like the King He Is

                       Arab Cuisine

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by on Jan. 28, 2008 at 9:31 PM
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Replies (1-9):
livewell
by New Member on Feb. 14, 2008 at 2:17 AM
Thanks for this post - I didn't know that foul has no chickpeas! I only had it once, and I loved it...I hope i can find a recipe :-)
maisah
by Group Owner on Feb. 14, 2008 at 8:33 PM

Quoting livewell:

Thanks for this post - I didn't know that foul has no chickpeas! I only had it once, and I loved it...I hope i can find a recipe :-)

The recipe for foul is in the fourm... please look through them to find it... you may also find something else you like to try..... But foul is listesd here already, in the fourm

 Don't go through life, Grow through life...

Maisah

Group owner: Treat Him Like the King He Is

                       Arab Cuisine

Group Admin: Black Mommies Married To Arab Men

                     Revert Muslim Moms

                      Islamic Book Club

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

 

 

angelleyes1024
by New Member on Feb. 25, 2008 at 1:32 PM
Maisah,
Thank you for this!  So informative and helpful to me who is new to Arabic cooking.  I have to say, I'm gonna try again at the Kabsa because when I made it the first time, the girls doused it in ketchup (yes ketchup...lol) and the dog wouldnt' even eat it...hahahaha  I laugh now but I was pretty distressed when my youngest daughter (who will usually eat anything I put before her) declared that it tasted "like potpourri"  :-P
So thank you again for your post...I plan to print it out and use it as a reference.  :-)
Blessings,
Tammy THINK SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!
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QueenAdeela
by on Aug. 23, 2008 at 1:29 AM

Thank you so much for this and other cuisine posts!  So very helpful!

mroschmann
by Member on Aug. 23, 2008 at 8:54 AM

Asalam Aleikum Maisah... I have one question  is :

Warak Enab (warak dawali) Stuffed vine leaves  - the same as "DOLMA" ??
 
thanks beauty queen....

 

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maisah
by Group Owner on Aug. 27, 2008 at 1:20 PM


Quoting livewell:

Thanks for this post - I didn't know that foul has no chickpeas! I only had it once, and I loved it...I hope i can find a recipe :-)


Peace...

once you smach the brown beans you may add chick peas to it but you do not have to.... it is very good.



 Don't go through life, Grow through life...


http://r.yuwie.com/maisah


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Group owner: Treat Him Like the King He Is Arab Cuisine Muslim Moms & Islamic Parenting SADAQA ~ Sisters Helping Sisters Boutique~   AND  Group Admin: Black Mommies Married To Arab Men Revert Muslim Moms    Islamic Book Club Sunni Muslim Moms Quoting Together Arabic Letters and Numbers


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maisah
by Group Owner on Aug. 27, 2008 at 1:23 PM


Quoting mroschmann:

Asalam Aleikum Maisah... I have one question  is :

Warak Enab (warak dawali) Stuffed vine leaves  - the same as "DOLMA" ??
 
thanks beauty queen....

 


As salaamu 3laykum,

That is a good Q... I don know! My mind is saying yes.... I am not sure.



 Don't go through life, Grow through life...


http://r.yuwie.com/maisah


Jewnita Payne #818620 with Young Living Essential Oils (Start Living Today) Ask me how to start your oun business today!


www.youngliving.us www.youngliving.com www.younglivinglatino.com  #818620


Group owner: Treat Him Like the King He Is Arab Cuisine Muslim Moms & Islamic Parenting SADAQA ~ Sisters Helping Sisters Boutique~   AND  Group Admin: Black Mommies Married To Arab Men Revert Muslim Moms    Islamic Book Club Sunni Muslim Moms Quoting Together Arabic Letters and Numbers


CHECK OUT THE CAFEMOM CONVENTION (MOM MEET) GROUP



 

heatkab
by on Sep. 19, 2008 at 9:18 PM


Quoting maisah:

 

Quoting mroschmann:

Asalam Aleikum Maisah... I have one question  is :

Warak Enab (warak dawali) Stuffed vine leaves  - the same as "DOLMA" ??
 
thanks beauty queen....

 


As salaamu 3laykum,

That is a good Q... I don know! My mind is saying yes.... I am not sure.

Yes, you are both right. Dolma is the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves.

elanmobrien
by on Sep. 21, 2008 at 11:30 PM

The ABC post is excellent.  My significant other introduced me to arabic food.  He is originally from Kuwait.  I love Kabob and basmati rice with onion and tomato.  We eat a lot of arabic bread and cheese for breakfast with tea...or for a snack. 

This post at least lets me know some of the foods that I am not familiar with.  I will have to share it with him.

Thanks,

Elan O'Brien

http://www.shaklee.net/myhealth

http://www.cinchplan.com/myhealth

http://www.joinmyshaklee.com

elanmobrien@aol.com

 

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