Wednesday, June 19, 2013

On the Menu: Arabic treats

Arabic/Indian Fusion

Traditional Emirati food is pretty much traditional Arabic/Middle Eastern food, but I did notice that a few of the dishes were very similar to Indian dishes that I have had before.  Maybe that is due to the fact that over 50% of the population is from the Indian subcontinent, maybe it's a coincidence? Doesn't really matter, good food is good food.  So, I picked a recipe that sounded like a fun way to sneak some veggies into dinner in a delicious way.  And it was yummy.

recipe adapted from Emeratican Kitchen
For the recipe you will need:

The batter-
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour (I found this at both an Indian market and a Mexican food market)
  • 1/4 cup Corn Meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 clove garlic- crushed or 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Oil for frying
Combine all the above ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Then find some veggies in the fridge.  The link has some tasty ideas.  I used:
  • 1/2 onion- shredded
  • 5 sprigs of lemon thyme (stems removed)
  • 1 small carrot- shredded (forgot it in the pic)
  • 1 small potato- shredded
  • 2 small zucchini- shredded
1.  Add the shredded vegetables to the batter.  It should be pretty thick.  Add more flour/corn meal if necessary.

2. Heat up about an inch and a half of oil in a frying pan on medium heat.

3.  Drop spoonfuls of batter in oil and fry until golden brown- about 2-3 minutes each side.  Drain and sprinkle with a little salt.

These were pretty tasty.  I don't make deep-fried food very often because it's not supposed to be very healthy, but these didn't actually absorb much grease at all.  After I was done frying I had almost the same amount of grease left in the pan.  The batter was very good- no one noticed that they were made with chickpea flour.  Now, I'd have to imagine that regular flour would work just fine, but I love finding unique ingredients.  These would be a great way to get rid of excess or leftover veggies, maybe even with some meat in the batter too.  The combinations are endless- Go crazy! 

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