February was Saudi Arabian Cuisine for the Walima Cooking club.The sumptuous Saudi recipes were introduced to us ,by host of the month,Noor of Middle Eastern Cook.
Snippet - Saudi Arabia History and Cuisine
The birthplace of Prophet Muhammad,Arabia had stability and unity after the advent of Islam.The boom in economy opened the trade routes ,the spices imported enriched the aroma of the traditional cuisine.The growth of immigrants in modern times mainly from Asia and Africa adapted many more exotic dishes from the foreign lands.
Matazeez,the Saudi style pasta is commonly cooked with lamb in the spiced pasta sauce ,although one can use any kind of meat.The following recipe with fish is much faster to cook,ideal for quick weekday meals and also picking a fish rich in omega 3s like wild salmon is great for a change.If you choose to use lamb or goat ,cook the meat in the tomato sauce and add all the vegetables when the meat is almost cooked.
Recipe : Matazeez(Pasta) with Vegetables and Wild Salmon
For Pasta Dough
2 cups fine ground wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
For Vegetable sauce
1 medium or 3 baby Eggplant ,sliced lengthwise
1 small zucchinis,sliced lengthwise
1-1/2 cups pumpkin or squash, cubed
1 big carrot,julienne
1/2 cup green beans,cut in 2 inches pieces
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 hot peppers or green chillies,chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon black pepper,freshly ground
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 dried lemons, cracked
2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
For Fish on Side
4 Wild salmon fillets(about 3 inch long)
2 teaspoon spice rub(I used mixture of ground cumin,coriander,pepper,cinnamon,hot chili powder and cloves)
2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the pasta dough
In a large bowl add flour, salt and oil. Add water small amounts at time enough to make a workable dough.Cover and place in bowl and allow to sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Cook the sauce with vegetables
Heat a large pan,add oil and onions, cook until tender about 3-4 minutes.Add the Vegetables ,tomato sauce,chillies and other dry spices. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are almost tender.
Roll the pasta and cook with the sauce
Sprinkle some all purpose flour on the work surface.Roll the dough thin and cut into small circles using a cutter about 2 inches wide. Drop the pasta in the cooking vegetable tomato sauce when the vegetables are almost cook.Cover and cook another 10 minutes until pasta is cooked through.
Cook the fish
Rub the spices on the fish and marinate for few minutes.Heat oil in pan on medium and sear the fish ,3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.Serve on side with the prepared Matazeez(pasta) and vegetables mixture .
The Matazeez and Lamb Kabouli(posted last Walima Challenge) are my entries for Regional recipes : Middle East,hosted this month by Joanne of Eat well with others.
Saudi Date Dessert and Arabic Coffee
Saudis love to serve black Coffee at the end of the meal.Flavored with cardamoms or ginger ,the coffee is best served with the dessert,sweetened with the most abundant fruit of Arabia ,dates.
Makes dozen date balls
For Date Dessert (Al-Harrisah or Al-haysah)
1 cups durum wheat flour
1 1/2 cups dates, finely chopped(I used soft dates)
2 tablespoon Puree Ghee(next best substitute is Virgin pressed coconut oil for coconut lovers)
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1.In a small heavy bottom pan or skillet ,melt the ghee on medium heat.Add flour, stirring until lightly brown and aromatic.Remove from heat, add dates and cardamom, blend together in a processor to prevent lumps.
Shape as desired,the round is traditional.Serve with Arabic coffee.
For Arabic Coffee(Qahwa Arabeya)
Makes 4 Arabic coffee cups or glass(2 ounces each)
3 tablespoon roasted ground coffee or Arabic Coffee
2 cups of water
3-4 cardamom pods
Brew the coffee for 5 minutes along with the cardamoms.Strain and serve warm with the date dessert.