Showing posts with label middle eastern. Show all posts
Showing posts with label middle eastern. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saha Thai marinades and sauces

It is nice to have delicious tasting marinades and sauces on hand for quick meals. I think, it allows us to impress our loved ones and make tasty meals with very less effort. Saha has a variety of sauces and marinades we can use to make Middle Eastern and Thai food. All the ingredients used by Saha are natural so we can use these preservative free sauces guilt free :)

I used the Saha Thai sauces; red curry, green curry and massaman curry to make a variety of curries, which all had a unique delicious taste.  The curries also had authentic flavour, as I used coconut milk to get the intended flavours.
Thai red curry paste is a staple in many classic Thai dishes.  The spices and exotic flavours from lemongrass and galangal is in the sauce, so there is no need to look for these exotic ingredients or prepare the base at home. I used this container of Thai red curry in a variety of dishes such as in this shrimp curry and also to make a mixed vegetable dish.

For the shrimp curry
2 cups cleaned shrimp without peel
1 tbsp oil
2 shallots or green onion chopped keep the green and white part separate
1 green chillie
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup Saha Thai red curry sauce
1/2 tsp salt to taste
1 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red pepper
2 tbsp coriander leaves

Heat oil and sauté the white part of the shallots then add the garlic, green chillie and shrimp.  When the shrimp is changing colour add the sauce, salt, water, coconut milk and cook covered in low heat till the shrimp is cooked. Add red pepper and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat add the green parts of the shallot and coriander leaves.  Serve as a side dish with rice, flatbread or bread.  
All Saha products are flavourful and have a unique taste.  These sauces and marinades help us make traditional Thai or Middle Eastern food within a few minutes.  I wish these sauces are available everywhere as I am addicted to it :)  It is sold in these places and online.
Massaman meat curry
I made this meat curry in the pressure cooker within minutes by mixing this massaman curry sauce.  The delicious aroma of the sauce, blended with coconut milk tasted fabulous.  My family and I enjoyed the flavours. The sauce had the secret ingredients that reminded me of my grandma's meat curry.  The sauce had oil and salt in it so I didn't add either. 
For this Massaman meat curry I added 1/2 tbsp oil to sauté onions, curry leaves, ginger, garlic and then the meat. I let the meat brown a little, before adding about 4 tbsp of sauces and 1 tbsp coconut milk powder with 1 cup of water. Then I cooked the meat in pressure cooker for about 10 minutes in medium heat and served it hot as a side dish.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mejadra rice from the fabulous Jerusalem cookbook

Jerusalem cookbook is a fabulously written book filled with  beautiful pictures and delicious recipes.  I enjoyed travelling to Jerusalem through this book.  The authors Sami Tamimi is from the muslim east and Yotam Ottolenghi is from the Jewish west. They both have lived in Jerusalem in the 70s and 80s as children and left in 1990 to Tel Aviv, then to London. They both met each other in London and became good friends and business partners. Both the authors feel that Jerusalem is "home" because it defines them. I think many of us call "home" a place that defines us and not necessarily where we live, it is where our hearts find comfort, excitement and joy.  

Jerusalem has a diverse group of people living there from a variety of background, which influences its cuisines.  The authors say when we look at the greater pictures there are lots of similarities in the food that is made and enjoyed in Jerusalem i.e. cucumber and tomato salad, stuffed vegetables, pickles etc...

Throughout Jerusalem they have a common middle eastern hospitality that goes back to the days of prophet Abraham or Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him).

The food is what break down the boundaries of conflict that people in Jerusalem have set.  The authors say, "It takes a giant leap of faith... to imagine that hummus will eventually bring Jerusalemites together, if nothing else will."

We have been forewarned by the authors that the recipes are modified to suit the western modern lifestyle as the ingredients are adjusted to availability, less oil and ease of making.  Therefore the recipes may not represent the realities of how the food is really made in Jerusalem.

I liked reading the religious history of Jerusalem that was in the beginning of the book.  The authors say that if people acknowledge the city as part of the "world heritage" and share, accept and coexist then it would be peaceful.  I found the dishes in the book full of flavour and comfort and would really encourage and recommend this book, which is available at bookstores and online.

Here is a comforting rice and lentil meal, known as Mejadra that we enjoyed.  This recipe is adapted from the book as I changed it a little bit because I can easily find ready-made fried onions at the Indian/Middle Eastern section of the grocery store.


1 1/4 cups green or brown lentil

1 1/2 cup crispy fried onions*
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 cup basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp allspice ground
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp or more to taste pepper freshly ground


*In the book they thinly slice 4 medium onions.  Then coat the onions with 3 tbsp flour and a tsp of salt before frying it in a cup of hot oil over medium high heat, for about 5 to 7 minutes until the onions are golden brown and crispy.


Next time, I will reduce the lentil by 1/4 cup and lightly crush the cumin and coriander seeds before toasting.

Place the cleaned, washed lentils in a small pan and cover with plenty of water then bring to a boil and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the lentil are soft but still have a little bite.

In a saucepan over medium heat toast the cumin and coriander seeds for about a minute or two.  Then add the rice, olive oil, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir to coat the rice with the oil then add the cooked lentil with the water.  I made sure there was a 1" of water after putting the rice into the pan.  When it comes to a boil, cover with a lid then simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, lift off the lid and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel and seal tightly with the lid and set aside for 10 minutes.  Add half the fried onions to the rice and stir gently with a fork.  Pile the mixture of rice and lentil on to the serving platter and top with the rest of the fried onion.  Serve warm with yogurt or raita.


All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lahmajoun Middle Eastern pizza

Saha is a Canadian food company that creates authentic marinades using only natural ingredients free of additives and preservatives.  I got to try Saha's unique marinades from Middle Eastern cuisine. The shawarma, shish taouk and lahmajoon marinades have delicious aromatic authentic flavours.  I didn't have to add anything except for the meat. I used the sauces to create unique meals within a few minutes and impressed my family :)  The marinades made my job easy and we enjoyed the meals.  

People following a healthy balanced diet will like these sauce/ marinates as its cholesterol and trans fat free.  The in-house chefs and experienced food development staff ensure the quality of all their products.  The ingredients in all Saha products are vegetarian. The Saha site and bottle suggests vegetarian and non-veg recipes for us to use.  The products are sold online and are shipped across USA and Canada.  It is also available in some specialty food stores.  I hope Saha products will soon become available in all stores.

I used this Lahmajoun (lah.mah.joon) sauce for a few dishes; middle eastern style pizza, stuffed cabbages and stuffed grape leaves.  The origin of this sauce is from Turkey and Armenia. It is made with red peppers, tomatoes, onion and spices.  The containers hold 250ml about 1 cup of sauce.
Lahmajoun middle eastern pizza
1 to 3/4 cup minced meat
1/4 to 1/2 cup sauce
4 store bought flat bread

Cook the minced meat with the sauce until the meat is cooked. Spread the cooked meat with extra sauce if needed over store bought flat bread and bake at 375F for 10 to 15 minutes.
The meat can be substituted for soy.  
For the stuffed cabbages and grape leaves I used
1/2 cup minced meat
1/4 cup lahmajoun sauce
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 tbsp mint leaves
2 tbsp coriander leaves
1 green chillie chopped

Cook the minced meat and garlic with the sauce in low medium heat covered until the meat is cooked.  Remove from heat.  Then add the cooked rice, chopped green chillie, mint leaves and coriander leaves.
To prepare the cabbage and/ or grape leaves
Boil the grape leaves for about 3 to 4 minutes in hot water, then remove it and place in cold water.  With the shiny side down, place some filling and roll the leaves tightly as you would roll spring rolls.
Place it in a pot lined with grape leaves by packing the leaves close to each other. Put about 1 cup of water and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Place a plate or saucer over the leaves and keep something that has weight. Let the leaves cook for about 20 to 25 minutes on low medium heat until the water evaporates.  

For the cabbages follow the same instructions.  To make it easy to remove the leaves, place the whole cabbage into boiling water and then remove.  Or carefully remove cabbage leaves and then place into boiling hot water for about 5 minutes.  

I will be posting about what I made with other sauces soon :)
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First