Monday, October 19, 2009

Walima Challenge - Representing the Jordanian Cuisine

Jordan (Arabic: الأردنّ‎ al-'Urdunn), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern part of the Syrian Desert down to the Gulf of Aqaba. It shares borders with Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, the West Bank and Israel to the west, and Saudi Arabia to the east and south. It shares control of the Dead Sea with Israel, and the coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Much of Jordan is covered by desert, particularly the Arabian Desert; however the north-western area, with the Jordan River, is regarded as part of the Fertile Crescent. The capital city of Amman is in the north-west. During its history, Jordan has seen numerous civilizations, including such ancient eastern ones as the Canaanite and later other Semitic peoples such as the Edomites, and the Moabites. Other civilizations possessing political sovereignty and influence in Jordan were: Akkadian, Assyrian, Judean, Babylonian, and Persian empires. Jordan was for a time part of Pharaonic Egypt, the Hasmonean Dynasty of the Maccabees, and also spawned the native Nabatean civilization which left rich archaeological remains at Petra. Cultures from the west also left their mark, such as the Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Turkish empires. Since the seventh century the area has been under Muslim and Arab cultures, with the exception of a brief period when the west of the area formed part of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and a short time under British rule.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with representative government. The reigning monarch is the head of state, the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The king exercises his executive authority through the prime ministers and the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. The cabinet, meanwhile, is responsible before the democratically elected House of Deputies which, along with the House of Notables (Senate), constitutes the legislative branch of the government. The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government.

Our Savoury Dish is the Mansaf the national dish of Jordan : lamb seasoned with aromatic herbs, sometimes lightly spiced, cooked in yoghurt, and served with huge quantities of rice. Feasting on Mansaf is taken seriously, and hours are spent in its preparations. Mansaf is cooked in jameed (the Arabic word for dried yoghurt), which is then mixed with water in a tray to produce a creamy sauce. This is poured into a large stewing pot with chunks of lamb meat. The pot is put over an open fire. As the stew begins to warm, it is stirred to prevent the yoghurt from separating. Large trays are covered with the doughy flat Arabic bread and dampened with yogurt. On top of this, a layer of rice is heaped. The meat is then piled on top. Almonds, pine-kernels and other nuts may be sprinkled over the dish, which is then ready for serving.
if you checked she has a posting about the Mansaf and also a step by step video of a Jordanian Lady preparing the Mansafe. According to Summer this Lady is a great cook.


2 Large containers of plain Greek Yogurt
1 kg of lamb meat preferable with bones for more flavour or lamb shanks
Water to boil meat
1 small onion
Salt Cumin, turmeric and any other spices to flavour the lamb
Arabic flat bread (optional)
3 cups jasmine rice
Silvered almond & Pine nuts
1 1/2 Cups butter

In a large pot before turning on the heat mix the yogurt.
2: Bring it to boil on high heat , make sure while you cooking the yogurt you are constantly stirring yogurt with a wooden spoon (VERY IMPORTANT) in one direction only. If you started stirring to the left you must keep stirring that way until yogurt starts to boil..
3: Once yogurt boil turn heat off..
4: in another pot cover pieces of lamb with water
5: add small onion.
6: Boil until lamb is tender, skimming the top
7. Remove the lamb meat and strain the broth to remove any small particles.
8: add about 2-3 cups of the broth to the cooked yogurt.
9: add salt to taste and if not tart enough you may add juice from about 1/2 a lemon.
10: add lamb meat to the yogurt and broth mixture (make sure to remove the onion) and let boil one more time.
11: cook rice with 1 cup of butter
12: brown almonds and pine nuts in remaining butter.

When serving put Arabic bread and wet it with some yogurt, then add rice and meat in individual plates
and spread cooked yogurt and slivered nuts over it.

Our Dessert Recipe is the Kunafa with sweet cheese..

if you cannot find the Naboulsi or Akawi Cheese in your local store, for sure feel free to use Mozzarella Cheese mixed with Ricotta, also you can use fresh Mozzarella which I find it the best for dessert Another name for fresh Mozzarella I find in Canada is the Boccoccini Cheese they are small Mozzarella Balls soaked in water comes in plastic containers. The recipe is taken from Summer‘s Sweet Blog, it includes a video which shows you step by step instruction

1- Prepare the Kashta (clotted cream) 2- carefully fluff the Katayfeh by hand to loosen the knot 3- drain the water from two containers of Boccoccini Cheese (fresh Mozzarella) 4- grease a springform pan with butter

5- spread a layer of Katayef in the bottom of the pan press by hand to level the thickness and quote all corners
6- bake the dough for 10 minutes, then spread a layer of Kashta over it, and slice the fresh cheese and cover the kashta
7- spread another layer of Kashta , this will premit the fresh cheese from drying out after the Kenafeh cool off, it will melt but stays creamy
8- add the second layer of katayfeh over the kashta and press gently by hand to cover all surface in one thickness and covering all area
9- take a spoon of butter and slice it into small piece and dot it over the dough. bake till golden brown

You can cover the top with chopped pistachios and dollops of kashta

Clotted Cream - Kashta ( this is what I used - and its optional)
1 cup of milk
1 cup of half & half (18%)
1 cup 35% heavy cream (u can use 18% + 35% without adding milk)
3 heaping tablespoons of corn flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
In a pot away from heat, stir all the ingredients with a wisk until the corn flour is dissolved
completely. Return the pot to the heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon till
it start to thickens , cook couple of minutes more, then take it off the heat, add one pound container of smooth Ricotta cheese, stir well to combine. then add one tablespoon of rose water and one table spoon of orange blossom. Empty the Ashta in a glass bowl and cover the surface with a plastic wrap and leave it to cool before you put it in the fridge.

As you see the stuffing is thick and creamy and delicious any time...
I prefer the Kenafeh warm drizzled with cold syrup

P.S. The Lebanese Kenafeh is prepared almost similar, but we ground the katayfeh in a food processor adding melted butter. the texture should resemble course semolina.
For the stuffing we use only Fresh unsalted cheese. Usually served for breakfast or brunch parties.
if you are serving your Kenafeh as part of a dessert table. you can bake the kenafeh , until its golden brown, then place the tray over a pot full of hot water to keep it warm . Bring it to the table the minute you are serving it , this will insure creamy melting cheese . Drizzle cold syrup.


Taste of Beirut said...

It looks fabulous and I can't wait to try your ashtah recipe!

Lazy_Ducky said...

is it something similar to Shakrie?

Alépine said...

Thank you for this achta recipe, I will try it !

Trish said...

Oh my goodness...I am so enjoying your posts. Most of what your are sharing with us...ingredients...I don't know but I am 'dying' to find out....looks so good. I will ask my good friend...whom you can supplying me with recipes these days...check out my recent posts. Love love the foods!

Sylvia said...

What a wonderful recipe-I learn a lot reading your post. When I was in College (in Sao Paulo- Brazil) I had many Lebanese friends, including one of my best friend at this moment, and I love to visit the Lebanese neighborhood in Sao Paulo and bought some of the most delicious desserts and sweets.

Mamatkamal,Nassim,Anwar said...

Marhaba Arlette,
Thanks for your nice comment on my blog. I really really like your blog. Your dish looks delicious! I'll come often to visit you.
Have a great day.

sabah said...

It looks delicious.
Thanks Arlette for your visit, try to find a little bit of time to visit us because we miss you.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, that is one of my favorite Middle Eastern desserts! Your kunafa looks so tempting!

To participate to my "Pastries for Peace" event you just have to bake any kind of pastry that you imagine could bring peace in the world and blog about it (add my banner). Then you have to give me the link to your post...



Summer said...

So sorry for being so late in checking out your nice recipes...but your kunafeh looks so so so good.
thanks for sharing.
hope all is well with you.

elra said...

Found it! This kunafeh sound delicious Arlette. Love that home made clotted cream. I hope I can get around to make this.