Babaganoush

Babaganoush

From   Firangi Tadka

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Method: Easy

Course: Dip

Type: Lebanese

Lebanese version of the popular Indian baingan ka bharta – makes an excellent appetizer

Ingredients

  • Large brinjal 1
  • Olive oil ¼ cup + 2 tbsps + to top
  • Sea salt 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped 4
  • Tahini (sesame seed paste) ¼ cup
  • Lemon juice 2 tbsps
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Methods

  • Preheat oven to 200º C.
  • Quarter the brinjal. Rub each piece with approximately ½ tbsp olive oil, sea salt and sprinkle half the garlic equally on them, coating them completely.
  • Place the brinjal slices on a greased baking tray, put the tray in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Bring the tray out of the oven, scoop out the roasted part from the peel and put into a mixer jar.
  • Add remaining garlic, tahini, lemon juice and sea salt and blend. While grinding, pour ¼ cup olive oil gradually and blend till you get a smooth paste.
  • Transfer into a serving bowl, sprinkle red chilli powder, parsley and pour little olive oil before serving.
Beya Kya (Split Pea Fritters)

Beya Kya (Split Pea Fritters)

Prep: 8 hours

Cook: 15 minutes

Method: Easy

Course: Dip

Type: Lebanese

Key Ingredients:

  • Dried peas and gram flour

A delicious Burmese style starter – dried peas boiled, mixed with gram flour and some aromatics and deep-fried

Serving Suggestion : Serve with tomato ketchup.

Ingredients

  • Gram flour (besan) 1 cup
  • Boiled dried peas 1 cup
  • Onion, finely chopped 1 cup
  • Fresh red chillies, finely chopped 2
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Lemon, cut into wedges 1 for garnishing
  • Oil for deep-frying

Methods

  • Take the peas in a bowl and mash slightly with a masher. Add onion, red chillies, salt, turmeric powder and mix. Add gram flour and around ½ cup water or just enough to bind, taking care that the batter is too thin.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadai.
  • Put teaspoonful of this batter into hot oil and deep-fry on low flame. Do not use up all the batter in one go, fry in batches.
  • When the fritters turn brown, drain them on absorbent paper.
  • Serve hot.
Fufu

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Method: Easy

Course: Dip

Type: Lebanese

Key Ingredients:

  • Raw bananas

An African delicacy – it makes an excellent starter to serve with cocktails

Ingredients

  • Green raw bananas 4
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilli powder ½ tsp
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped 2
  • Olive oil 1 cup

Methods

  • Peel bananas and cut in small pieces approximately 2 cms thick. Put into a bowl, sprinkle salt and red chilli powder and mix well.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a deep pan, add the banana pieces and deep-fry on high heat for 1 minute. Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Cover with another absorbent paper and press lightly and to flatten them.
  • Reduce heat, add the pieces to the hot oil again and deep-fry till crisp and brown. Drain on absorbent paper again.
  • Take garlic cloves in a bowl, add olive oil and mix well.
  • Arrange the fufus on a serving platter. Drizzle a little of this garlic oil over the fufu before serving.
  • You can add mixed herbs and red chilli powder to the garlic oil, mix and store as flavoured oil.
Saganaki

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Method: Easy

Course: Dip

Type: Lebanese

Key Ingredients:

  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese (paneer)

Excellent as starters, they go very well with cocktails

Ingredients

  • Processed cheese, cut into 1 cm thick long slices 100 gms
  • Cottage cheese (paneer), cut into 1 cm thick long slices 100 gms
  • Milk 1 tbsp
  • Egg yolks 1
  • Refined flour (maida) ½ cup
  • Olive oil 3 tbsps
  • Lemon juice 1 tbsp
  • Lemon, sliced 1
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped 1 tbsp

Methods

  • Take milk and egg in a flat-bottomed bowl and beat well.
  • Spread refined flour on a plate, add salt and mix.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
  • Dip each cheese slice in the egg and milk mixture and then coat it with refined flour mixture and shallow-fry in the hot oil on high heat, turning sides till evenly cooked on all sides. Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Similarly shallow-fry the cottage cheese slices and drain on absorbent paper.
  • Arrange both cheese and cottage cheese saganaki on a serving platter and drizzle lemon juice over them.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and parsley and serve hot.
Tibetan Mutton Mince Momos

Tibetan Mutton Mince Momos

Prep: 45 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Method: Moderate

Course: Dip

Type: Lebanese

Key Ingredients:

  • Mutton mince
  • Refined flour

Momos are now garnering a lot of appreciated the world over

Ingredients

  • Mutton mince (keema), cooked with salt in a pressure cooker for 5-6 whistles 500 gms
  • Oil 2 tsps
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped 2
  • Ginger, finely chopped 1 tbsp
  • Medium onion, finely chopped 1
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 ½ tsp
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Soy sauce 2 tbsps + 2 tsps
  • Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped 2 tbsps
  • Refined flour (maida) 3 cups + to dust
  • Fresh red chillies, sliced 2

Methods

  • To make the stuffing, heat oil in a non-stick pan, add garlic, ginger and onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add mutton mince and a pinch of salt (as the mince has already been cooked with salt) and mix well. Cook for 5-10 minutes or till the mixture turns brown.
  • Add chilli powder, black pepper, 2 tsps soy sauce and coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer onto a plate to cool.
  • Mix red chillies in 2 tbsps soy sauce in a small bowl to make the dip.
  • For the dough, take refined flour in a bowl, add around ¾ cup water, a little at a time, and knead into a dough.
  • Dust the worktop with some flour, keep the dough on it and knead for 5-10 minutes or till it becomes smooth. Divide into small equal portions and roll out into thin puris.
  • Place 1 tbsp mutton stuffing in the centre of each puri, rub the edges with water and then fold one end over the other and press to seal. Further pinch the edges to make a design and make them look like karanjis.
  • Heat sufficient water in an idli steamer. Place the momos on a greased perforated plate, keep it in the steamer, cover the steamer and steam for 10 minutes or till momos become almost transparent.
  • Transfer onto a serving platter and serve the momos hot with red chilli dip.
Chilli Prawns

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Method: Easy

Course: Dip

Type: Lebanese

Key Ingredients:

  • Large prawns
  • Red chilli sauce
  • Red chilli powder

Delicious starter cooked in Chinese style

Ingredients

  • Large prawns, shelled and deveined 6
  • Red chilli sauce 2 tsps
  • Red chilli powder ½ tsp
  • Egg white 1
  • Cornflour 4 tbsps
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 2 tsps + to deep fry
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped 4
  • Ginger, finely chopped 1 inch
  • Spring onions, finely chopped 4
  • Dry ginger powder (optional) ½ tsp
  • Tomato sauce 5 tbsps
  • Soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • Vinegar 2 tsps

Methods

  • To make the batter take egg white, 2 tbsps cornflour and 1 tbsp water in a bowl and whisk till smooth.
  • Take the prawns on a plate and sprinkle salt on them.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a deep pan. Dip the prawns in batter, slide into hot oil and deep-fry till golden brown.
  • Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Heat 2 tsps oil in a non-stick wok, add garlic and ginger and saute on high heat for 1 minute.
  • Add half the spring onions and ginger powder, mix and reduce heat.
  • Add tomato sauce, chilli sauce, chilli powder, soy sauce and vinegar and mix well.
  • Add prawns and mix gently till they are well coated with the sauce.
  • Transfer into a serving plate, garnish with remaining spring onions and serve immediately.