For the love of Kubbah!!! and you will love it


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I was looking to make this dish for a while and i decided that I would do mine a little different sand throw some stuffed veggies in with it. Why not right? So I made bulgar wheat kubbah and stuffed zucchini simmered in a garlic yogurt sauce and baked in the oven…..my husband then called it “Delicious” which is hugeeeeeeee only because he rarely if ever uses that word for anything, at all. I was cheesy all night and floating. I love to surprise him. I think some times I try to hard, but it’s ok. I will get over it, maybe. lol. Anyways, so back to this dish…it has flavor and lots of it. We grow our vegetables ourselves so it makes things taste that much better. I highly recommend any serious cooker to do so…of course, non serious cookers too…heck, anyone!! LOL…ok so here are the ingredients and the way to do it.

FILLING:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 tbsp oil

2 medium onions finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp dried lemon

1/4 c fresh parsley

1/2 c pine nuts

I start this first by sauteing the onions until lightly golden and then adding everything else into the pot as well and turning it on low to let it cook all together. I know, some people are like “NOOOO” but yes, this is my way. I am a multitasker  so if I can do it, I will. While this is slow cooking on medium low, make sure you stir and bread up the meat really good.

Core out your zucchini and lightly oil the insides and outsides and set aside because you will lightly fry them before baking

BULGAR DOUGH:

2 cups of bulgar to about 1 cup of flour or farinah or even rice flour can be used….the bulgar should have been pre-soaked because it needs to be puffed up…so just soak it before hand. It needs about 45 mins to be done soaking.

After the bulgar is soaked, if there is a lot of water left in the bulgar, dump some of it out, you want to keep enough to make the dough…you can always add more water. I also add a couple tsps of allspice and a teaspoon of salt for the dough. Mix it all together and it should be kind of sticky but not too sticky. test it by rolling some into a ball and flattening it, if it starts to break apart, you need to add more flour.

Start stuffing!!!! Make a ball with your perfect dough and flatten it in your hands, scoop a desired amount of filling into the middle of the flattened ball and then pulls the sides up and over to reform a ball and enclose that delicious filling mixture.  Make sure it is sealed well and flatten a little to make somewhat of a disk. Lightly fry them as well.

You can now lightly fry the zucchini and stuff away!!!

Let all of that cool a bit before handling again, and make your yogurt sauce.

SAUCE:

2 c. yogurt

2 tbsps corn starch

1 c water

2 tsp crushed minced garlic

you can double this or whatever you feel is necessary for your dish

mix together very well

PUT IT TOGETHER!!

line your baking dish and start adding kubbah and veggies ….when finished, pour yogurt sauce over all of it and baked for about 40 mins at 350F…..

I served ours with saffron rice, but you do not need to

ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Znoud al-Sit (lady’s upper arm) which are cream filled pastry rolls


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Well, let me just say that his was my first time ever making or even eating these, but it will not be my last, insha Allah. Making them took time, of course…but these are amazing. They are a pastry type dough with a custard type, rose water flavored cream filling drenched in a sweet syrup…topped with coconut or ground nuts, even chocolate I suppose. They are perfect for anything. You can change the flavor of the custard too I am sure….but being my first time trying the recipe I decided to do as the recipe said. I am happy with my results. Highly recommend trying it.

the dough:

2 c flour

1tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs beaten

2/3 c water

2 tbsp hot oil

flour for work surface and oil for frying as well

 

to make this dough, combine the flour and salt then stir in the eggs and water to make a medium soft dough…knead lightly

then drizzle the hot oil over the dough and knead lightly again and set aside for 10 mins

divide the dough into 22 walnut sized pieces, depends on preference also

sprinkle the surface with flour and begin rolling out each piece as thin as possible, you want them rectangular to make them into little cigar shapes.

when you fill them, you will roll them a little, tuck in the sides, and finish rolling. similar to grape leaves.

 

the filling

4 heaping tbsps of cornstarch

3 tbsps sugar

2 c whole milk

1 tbsp rosewater….orrrr if you want to change the flavor, use another of your choice

in a small heavy bottom pot, mix cornstarch and flour with sugar slowly stirring in milk until it is completely dissolved

on medium heat, bring to a boil until it becomes thicker but make sure to stir so as not to burn…7-10 mins total cooking time for this.

It should be similar to custard, thicker then pudding. Take it away from the heat and add your choice of flavor and mix it in.

 

syrup

2 cups sugar

1  and 3/4 c water

1/4 c honey

1 tbsp lemon juice

either 2 cardamom pods or 1 tsp rose or orange blossom water

combine all the ingredients in a small pot and let it boil, stirring with a wooden spoon.  set aside when finished

 

so, to put all of this together is easy….take the dough you have rolled and place custard in the middle. Roll them like cigars, tucking on each edge so there will be no leakage, and then finish rolling it until closed.

when you fry them, make sure the seam is facing down.

You can arrange them on a plate and then poor syrup on them or you can dunk them into the syrup like I did….works better for me.

I also garnished them with coconut…although you can garnish them as you like…I know if I put coconut on anything, my husband will eat it. Looool

I loveeeeeeeee this recipe, yes it is time consuming and work…but it is worth it.

For the Love of Spices!!!


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Spices and presentation are what give each and every single dish in any cooking, it’s personality. This is my opinion. There are indeed many dishes around the world that are similar to one another, from each country, and this is for sure. One of the biggest differences, to me, are the spices. I love them. I hoard them ahahahaha….some women have a love of shoes and clothes, not this one…Mine is spices. I have the messiest spice cabinet ever but I think I have every single spice from here to Iraq and back. I just can not get enough. If a spice becomes missing from over use, I can tell it is not there and it does not feel right. So, these are some of the spices used in Iraqi cooking.