Eid… A time to celebrate. This season we’re presenting a relaxing and casual Eid Brunch, bringing together the flavours of Arabia with a twist and in style. We step in Morocco, and grab an authentic chicken pie, Bastilla. From Istanbul, Turkish Eggs with a Greek yogurt accompaniment. Eid is incomplete in the Middle East without Kebabs, here we seek a specialty from Beirut, Kafta Kebab. Persia in this situation is unforgettable. We grasp their concept of Bastani Irani, (Rose water & Saffron Ice cream), and a lightly brewed Persian Chai. Lastly, Balaleet from the UAE, a unique combination of sweet & savoury.
Moroccan Chicken Bastilla
Chicken Bastilla is Morocco's famous chicken pie. A light, crispy pastry shell conceals savory saffron chicken, spicy omelet stuffing, and a crunchy topping of roasted almonds/pistachios/and raisins . Bastilla can be made a day or more in advance, and refrigerate or freeze until baking time. The ultimate for breakfast or brunch...for friends and family alike!!!
|For Chicken Stuffing|
|Chicken (Skin & fat removed)||1 Large cut into pieces|
|White pepper||1 ½ tsp|
|Saffron threads||1 tsp|
|Unsalted butter||¼ cup|
|Olive oil||¼ cup (plus more for frying and the pan)|
|For the egg stuffing|
|Fresh cilantro||¼ cup|
|Cheddar cheese (grated)||200 gm|
|Thickened cream||100 gm|
|For Nut topping|
|Almonds & Pistachio (Roasted & Chopped)||4 tbsp|
|Unsalted butter (melted)||¼ cup|
|For the dough|
|Phyllo dough||6 sheets|
|Unsalted butter (melted)||½ cup|
|Olive oil||For brushing|
|Zaatar & Sumac||For Garnish|
For the chicken stuffing
- Mix chicken with onion, spices, butter, and oil in a oven proof dish and cook in the oven covered, for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender and falls off the bone. Do not add water, and be careful not to burn the chicken or the sauce as this will ruin the dish.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate, and reduce the sauce in the pot until most of the liquids have evaporated and the onions form a mass in the oil. Stir occasionally, and adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Remove the cinnamon sticks.
- While the sauce is reducing and the chicken is still warm, pick the meat off the bones, breaking it into 2-inch pieces. Place in a bowl and stir in several spoonfuls of the onion mixture; cover the meat and set aside.
For the Egg Stuffing
- Transfer the remaining reduced onions and oil to a large non-stick skillet. Add the cilantro, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the beaten eggs, and cook to creamy scrambled eggs. Set the egg stuffing aside.
For the nut topping
- Mix the melted butter with the nuts and set aside.
Assemble the Bastilla
- Generously oil a 10 inch round tart pan and shape a circular pie.
- Brush melted butter on each sheet of phyllo dough.
- Using the pan as a guide, place double layers of phyllo dough—in a circular fashion, so that the inner halves of the pastry dough overlap in the center, and the excess dough drapes over the edges of the pan. Butter each layer of dough.
- This forms the bottom of the pie.
- Cover the 8 - inch circle with the chicken filling, top with the cream and the cheese and distribute the egg stuffing over the chicken.
- Spread the nut topping over this layer. Fold the excess dough up and over the nuts to enclose the pie. Flatten and smooth any bulky areas.
- Brush butter on the folded edges of dough, and top with 3 more overlapping layers of phyllo, brushing butter on each layer. Fold down the edges of dough and carefully tuck them underneath the pie, molding and shaping the bastilla.
- Spread the egg yolk over the top and sides of the pie. Lightly oil the bastilla in the same manner.
- The bastilla is now ready for baking, or it can be covered in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Bake the Bastilla
- Preheat the oven to (180 C). Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Note that a bastilla placed in the oven directly from the freezer will take up to 1 hour to bake.
Garnish and Serve
- Generously coat the bastilla with Zaatar, sumac, grated cheese and the nut topping. Serve immediately.
Balaleet is a sweet and savory dish which is the traditional breakfast in the United Arab Emirates, and it is eaten either hot or cold. It's a combination of sweet vermicelli topped with savoury eggs. It also translates into a beautiful Eid Delicacy with the locals.
|For the noodles|
|Rose syrup||2 tbsp|
|For the milk sauce|
|Evaporated Milk||100 ml|
|Unsalted butter||25 gm|
|Sweetened condensed milk||4 tbsp|
|Cardamom powder||1 pinch|
|For the egg crepes|
|Oil||For making the crepes|
|Cream Chunks||2 tbsp|
|Ricotta cheese||2 tbsp|
|Chopped mixed nuts||A/R|
- In a pan, boil the vermicelli noodles for 3-4 minutes or till done. Remove in a bowl and add in the rose syrup and mix and reserve.
- In a saucepan, heat the evaporated milk and butter, add in the cardamom and saffron, and mix in the condensed milk.
- Pour this sauce on top of the vermicelli and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a separate pan. Add the beaten eggs with Saffron. Tip the pan in order to spread the uncooked egg into a thin crepe. When dry on top, flip the omelet over and cook for an additional minute.
- Serve the vermicelli with Omelet, cream chunks, cottage cheese, crisp vermicelli, and chopped nuts.
A Turkish delicacy with elegant poached eggs on a creamy Greek yogurt, dressed with beurre noisette. A combination irresistible and incomparable.
|Greek yogurt plain||200 gm|
|Garlic cream||2 tbsp|
|Garlic (minced and sautéed in butter)||2-3 cloves|
|Dried mint||½ tsp|
|Sea salt||1 tsp|
|Unsalted butter||200 gm|
|Aleppo pepper||1 tsp|
|Smoked paprika||¼ tsp|
|Eggs (Fridge cold)||2|
|Lemon juice||2 tsp|
|Fresh dill (chopped)||For garnish|
- Add the yogurt, labneh, garlic cream into a bowl large enough to sit over the pan and stir in the garlic, dried mint and salt. Place the bowl over the pan, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Stir until it reaches body temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped double cream. Turn off the heat, leaving the bowl over the pan.
- Melt the butter gently in a separate small saucepan until it is just beginning to turn hazelnut-brown. Turn the heat off, add in the Aleppo pepper, smoked paprika and set aside.
- Fill a wide, lidded saucepan with 4cm/1½inch water and place over a medium heat. Line a large plate with kitchen paper.
- Crack the first egg; gently tip the egg into a small cup or ramekin.
- When the poaching water is just starting to simmer, create a whirlpool in the water, gently slide in the egg. Turn the heat right down so there is no movement in the water, and poach the egg for 3–4 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks still runny. Transfer the eggs to the lined plate using a slotted spoon. Repeat the same with the second.
- Divide the warm, creamy yoghurt between two shallow bowls, top each with a poached egg, pour over the peppery butter, scatter the chopped dill on top and serve with Manakish or Zaatar Croissant or Cheese Pide.
Kebab is the staple food of the Middle East. The characteristic of kebabs is such that no occasion is compete without it. A must try Lebanese authentic... Kafta kebab. Ground beef mixed with fresh herbs and spices, grilled to perfection.
|Onion (deep fried & ground)||3|
|Ginger garlic paste||2 tbsp|
|Parsley (chopped)||2 tbsp|
|Ground beef with fat||500 gm|
|Clarified butter||50 gm|
|Salt & Pepper||A/R|
|Ground all spice||1 ½ tsp|
|Cayenne pepper||½ tsp|
|Ground green cardamom||½ tsp|
- Marinate the beef, with all the above ingredients overnight or for 4-5 hours. Temper with charcoal (optional).
- Take a fistful portion of the meat mixture and mold it on a wooden / steel skewer.
- Repeat the process until you have run out of meat. For best results, make sure each kafta kebab is about 1 inch in thickness.
- Lay the skewered kafta kebabs on a tray lined with parchment paper.
- Place the kebabs on the lightly oiled, heated gas grill. Grill on medium-high heat for 4 minutes on one side, turn over and grill for another 3-4 minutes. Alternatively they can be grilled in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 6-8 minutes.
- Serve the kafta kebabs immediately with saffron rice, tahini and the other condiments.
For the saffron rice; Wash and soak 150 gms of rice for 20 minand drain. Bring water to a Boil. Season with salt, cardamom (2-3), cinnamon stick(1 inch pc), few saffron strands and saffron colour. Add rice and cook till done, drain and mix in 3-4 tbsp of clarified butter and 1 tbsp of zereshk (dried barberry). Serve hot.
Bastani Irani (Persian Ice Cream)
Bastani Irani (Rose water & Saffron Ice cream), is a rich, creamy and fragrant ice cream that is redolent with flavor. It’s traditionally served between two thin wafers to make ice cream sandwiches, but it’s equally delicious on its own or with some traditional faloodeh.
|Condensed milk||1 cup|
|Cardamom Powder||1 tsp|
|Saffron yellow colour||A pinch|
|Saffron threads||A pinch|
|Cornflour||1 – 1 ½ tbsp|
|Thick cream||250 gm|
|Solidified milk||1 cup|
|Rose water||1 tsp|
|Slivered pistachio||25 gm|
|Slivered almonds||25 gm|
|Walnuts (finely chopped)||25 gm|
|Desiccated coconut||For garnish|
- In saucepan heat milk, add sugar, cardamom powder, saffron strands, and color and bring to a boil.
- When it comes to a boil, add cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup of water. Let the mixture thicken. Note the mixture does not need to be very thick. Only slight thickening is required.
- Once thickened switch off flame. Add in the cream, condensed milk, solidified milk, Rose water and nuts and mix well.
- Pour in moulds of choice, and freeze overnight or till set.
- Demould and garnish with desiccated coconut and serve alongside faloodeh.
In Iran tea is popularly referred to as Chai. Flavourful and comforting, a must pair with their foods. The way Persian Chai is served is simple, yet very unique.
|English breakfast loose tea leaves||1 ½ tsp|
|Rose water||1 tsp|
|Slivered Pistachio||1 tbsp|
|Slivered Almonds||1 tbsp|
|Saffron threads||A pinch|
- Bring 2 cups of fresh cold water to a boil, add in the tea leaves and let brew for 7-10 minutes, or until the desired color.
- Add Rose water, Saffron strands, slivered pistachios and almonds in your teapot.
- Use a strainer and pour the brewed tea into the teapot.
- Serve Persian biscuits, sugar cubes alongside.