Manaqeesh Laham

 

I made these for a casual dinner most recently as Christopher was working away and Otis, mama and I wanted something we could eat while watching a film.  As soon as Otis saw them he started squealing ‘pitzy! pitzy!’, and I suppose they are a bit like Pizzas; Palestinian pizzas.  Christopher even took some left-overs to work for lunch a few days later, so they are very versatile.

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Warak Dawali

Its October.  That means just one thing in Palestine:  the olive harvest!  This is a critical time of year for the Palestinian economy, where the harvesting of olives and pruning of trees will provide, oil, olives, pulp and wood for many businesses- food producers, soap makers and wood carvers.  It’s also when the Palestinian solidarity movement really comes alive with hundreds of people from across the world going to Palestine support rural communities and farmers harvest their olives and plant new trees.  The people support with their labour and their protective presence to protect Palestinians form settlers and the Israeli army.  It’s also the last harvest of grapes and grape-leaves which are absolutely critical in any Palestinian Kitchen.

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Mid-week Musakhan

When we moved to the UK in the late 1990s, finding our ‘own food’ was so hard.  You couldn’t find staples like halloumi, hummus, zataar, sumac, fresh herbs, vine leaves etc, certainly not in central Hertfordshire where we were living.  We used to stockpile when we were back in the middle east, go without or make/grow our own.  These days it’s much easier to find what we need and like in the regular supermarkets, however we still have to make and grow some things that we need.

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Kubbe Sunniya

Like most Palestinian dishes, kubbe can be made to be a simpler week night supper by making it in a tray instead of individual pieces.  This is great as it means that we can get that delicious taste all year round instead of just Christmas and Easter which is when we normally make Kubbe.

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Malfouf

‘What are we having for dinner my love?’ said my father as he came home.  ‘What is left of the malfouf I made’ replied my mother.  At which point I, age 4, run into the room and declare ‘I have already eaten 30, baba’.  Or so the story my mother has been telling everyone my whole life goes.  Anyone who knows what malfouf is will find this hard to believe, and so did I until I had my son.  Otis loves malfouf and can eat seven or ten in just one sitting.  He is just a year old.

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Kofta Sunniya

This dish reminds me of my eldest brother, Rory.  This seemed to be one of his very favourite meals when we were growing up.  My mother used to make these delicious little towers of meat, tomato and potato for us to dig into for our supper.  Sometimes she would add green peppers too.  I used to be committed to the ‘tower’ format, but most recently I just make layers in a pan.

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