Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Greek Feast

I like experimenting with different cuisine and Greek food is probably one of my favorite. With their fluffy pita, light and comforting dips, colorful salads and various casseroles it is probably one of the most healthiest too. In spite of my love for Greek cuisine I have never tried cooking them at home. They sounded a little bit intimidating to me util I happen to stumble upon Dede's Mediterranean blog. She has some awesome videos that demonstrates the food in a step by step manner. My inspiration for this blog comes from those video's. I modified it a bunch to suit my taste.

Baba Ghanoush :

- 1 big eggplant
- 2 tsp Tahini sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt to taste

1. Roast the eggplant in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for one hour. Lay the eggplant on top of a cooling rack and place a cookie sheet to catch any drips. By doing this your eggplant does not become soggy
2. Once it comes out of the oven seal the eggplant in a plastic bag. Let it cool there for about 20 minutes. Separate the skin and discard it.eggplant.
3. Place the skin in a food processor. Add the tahini sauce, chili powder and salt. Pulse it until all the ingredients are well blended. The consistency is up to you.

Note: We do not eat garlic but if you want then you can roast garlic with you eggplant and grind them together. Make sure you remove the garlic midway as they tend to burn.

- 2 cups of boiled chick peas
- 2 tbsp of yougurt
- juice from 1/2 a lemon - adjust this to your taste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp tahini sauce
- salt to taste

Add all the ingredients in a food processor and grind it to the consistency you desire. We are not big fans of garlic but if you like them you can add them while grinding it.

- 1 cup cooked basmathi rice. Make sure your rice is fluffy and does not stick to each other
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 onion sliced thinly
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- few pats of butter
- 1 tsp oil
- salt to taste.

1. Boil the lentils till they become soft. Make sure they are cooked but still hold the shape. Do not make them too mushy.
2. In a pan at medium heat pour the oil and caramelize the onions. This is a slow process. It takes about 20 minutes to caramelize one medium size onion. You need to stir it once in a while and wait until the onion reduces to one third its original quantity. Keep this aside.
3. In the same pan (reduce the heat to low) add the cooked lentils. rice, salt and cumin powder. Toss them together and mix in one half of the onions.
4. Once everything is mixed well transfer to your serving vessel and garnish with the rest of the onions.

Pita bread:
- 2 cups all purpose flour plus 1 more cup for dusting and rolling
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5 cups of water
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast or 1 packet
- olive oil

1. Mix in all the ingredients except the oil together. The dough will be a little bit wet but that is alright.
2. Now coat a bigger vessel (you need space for the dough to rise) with olive oil. Coat the dough with oil too and place it in the vessel
3. Cover it and let it rest for 3 hours in a dry, warm place. In about 2-3 hours the dough should have doubled in size
4. Flour the area where you will knead your dough generously with flour. Now knead the dough for 10 minutes. Your dough will be wet so keep adding flour so that it will not stick to your hands.
5. Preheat your over to 500 degree Fahrenheit. Keep your cookie sheet that you will use to bake inside the oven so it gets hot too.
6. Make small balls from the dough cover it and let it rest for another 10- 15 minutes.
7. Now roll these balls to form small circles. Place these pita in the oven and cook them for 3-4 minutes and flip them. Cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Increase or decrease your cooking time depending on how hot your oven gets.

Enjoy the fluffy pita with the dips.

Submitting these recipes to AWED: Greek event announced by DK



EXCELLENT LIPSMACKING FEAST this is .THANKS for all the hearty entries. :P

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