Rock the Casbah.

I love love love Middle Eastern food. Drew loves loves loves The Casbah Cafe (he stole it from me, but that is beside the point.) I decided to be nice and make him some Fatoosh to go with my Imjadarra (more commonly called Mujadarra, it seems).

First, I prepared the pita chips for the fatoosh by slicing some whole wheat pita, then separating the halves.


I tossed them with olive oil and baked at 325 for about 12 minutes.


For the imjadarra, I put lentils in water with cumin and garlic powder, and cooked for about 20 minutes at a simmer.


Then I made the very labor-intensive dressing for the fatoosh. Fresh chopped parsley and mint, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and sumac. I went to a European grocery store to find sumac, and they didn't carry any spices whatsoever. So I tried the Indian store that was right across the street (and conveniently located next to my favorite drink place, Aroma Corner. The mountain oolong tea with tea jelly is to die for). The Indian store (Raja Indian Spices, I think) had sumac. I was a bit afraid because it was labeled "summac" and was dark red. I didn't remember fatoosh having red spice in it, but I figured it had to be the right thing. It was. The only problem was that the store required a $10 credit card minimum. the sumac was $3.99, and I only had $3, and not enough change to cover tax. I had to buy more stuff - I chose turmeric, dried cilantro and mint, and something else I can't recall.

Anyway - I combined all the dressing ingredients in my dressing shaker, shook it up, and put in the fridge to allow the flavors to combine.


Then more labor for the fatoosh - chopped tomato, cucumber, and green onion.


Back to the imjadarra - after the lentils begin to soften, I added in more water, basmati rice, and a bit of salt. This I covered and cooked for about 40 more minutes. Keep an eye on it - mine got a little too soft and caked to the bottom a bit.

To top the imjadarra -
3 onions, cut into rings, sauteed in vegetable oil until caramelized.


For the fatoosh, I tossed the cut produce with romaine lettuce and the dressing. I left the pita chips to the side so they didn't get soggy.


Voila! The imjadarra isn't quite like the Casbah's, but Drew assured me that the fatoosh was quite close.


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