Egyptian Food and a Hookah Party

This weekend we went to a graduation party for a friend's son. The party was made up mostly of Egyptians and fabulous food, both of which reminded me of what makes a great hookah party. If you've never had Egyptian food, you don't know what you're missing! So, to help you have an authentic hookah party this summer, I'm going to share some authentic Egyptian recipes with you.

Egyptian Pita Bread – 6 pieces

Bread is a mainstay of every Egyptian meal. It is seldom eaten on its own and more often torn into small, bite-sized pieces and used as a scoop to hold a tasty morsel of something else.

**Note: You may use wheat flour instead of white for this recipe if you prefer.**

Ingredients

2 tsp dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 tsp salt
3 c flour (not the self-rising kind!)

Method

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water and set aside.
2. Sift together flour and salt.
3. Add yeast and water to the flour and salt mixture until it forms a soft dough.
4. Knead the dough until it has a slightly elastic texture.
5. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for 3 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
7. Divide the dough into six equal parts and roll into balls.
8. Flatten each ball into a 5-inch circle that is about ½-inch thick. You can do this with your hand or a rolling pin, whichever way you are most comfortable with. I use my hands because I prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.
9. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until a light golden brown.



Babaghanouj

This has to be my very favorite Egyptian dish of all time and one that is very popular with people who are unaccustomed to eating Egytian food. Babaghanouj is a dip eaten with the pita bread. This recipe makes enough to serve 10-15 people as an appetizer.

Ingredients

3 medium sized eggplants
1 medium sized onion
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp white vinegar
½ c tahina (tahini)
1 tsp ground cumin
3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Roast the eggplants and onion, in their skins, over an open flame. This can be done on your stovetop. Be sure to cover the area with aluminum foil first, because the eggplant will ooze and make a bit of a mess. When one side begins to ooze, turn the eggplant over. The entire process will take approximately 15-20 minutes.
2. Place hot, roasted eggplants and onion in a plastic bag that you can seal. I use a plastic grocery bag, but a Ziploc baggie will work equally well. Let them sit in the bag for about 30 minutes until they are warm yet cool enough to handle.
3. Remove the eggplants and onion from the plastic bag and peel. Keeping them in the plastic bag does something magical to them that makes peeling really easy!
4. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.
5. Taste. The roasted flavor of the eggplant should be the dominant taste, but it should also have a bit of a zing from the lemon. Add lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time, to desired level of zing.

Pour onto a platter and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle chopped parsley around the edges and drizzle olive oil very lightly over the top. Serve with pita bread.

This bread and dip recipe will get you started, but I have several more to come. Heck, if you wanted to, you could serve an entire meal of nothing but Egyptian food to go with your Egyptian hookah!

Bon apetit, as Julia Child used to say!

Comment (1)

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5:19 AM

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