May 2009

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As I mentioned previously, Whipped Marshmallow can be used as a substitute for Natef which is traditionally served with Ma’moul Madd (Walnut or pistachio Pastry). In fact you can hardly notice the difference.

This recipe uses raw egg white. You do need a mixer to achieve a good homogenised texture. I also noticed that because the sugar syrup is thick, I find it easier to use it when it is slightly warm.




  • 200 g / 7 oz caster sugar
  • 85 ml /  3 fl oz water
  • 2 tsp each of orange blossom & rose water 
  • 1 egg white preferably organic




  1. Put the sugar and water into a small pan. Using medium to low heat, stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved then increase the heat to bring to the boil. Now, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Just before switching off, add the orange blossom and rose water, give it a good stir and leave it to cool slightly.
  2. Tip the egg white into the mixer and beat until stiff. With the beaters running at a low speed, trickle, very slowly, the sugar syrup onto the beaten egg white. After you’ve finished all of the syrup, leave the mixer running for about 3 minutes, until the mixture turns really thick but not stiff, it should be still spreadable, a shiny mousse like consistency.
  3.   You could serve it immediately, or chill until ready to use. Better consumed within 24 hrs.

Traditionally, this dish is cooked with white short grain rice, but I put a twist on it and used wild rice. The nutty flavour of the wild rice simmering with the lentils makes a delicious combination. Either way, it’s a winner because it is versatile, you could have it as a starter, light lunch, or as a healthy vegan main course accompanied with bread salad (fattoush), you could also add it to the repertoire of your mezza dishes.

 Wilde rice takes longer to cook than white rice, about 40 minutes, that is why I cook it with the lentils. If you choose to use white rice, then add it 15 minutes before the finishing cooking time of the lentils.


Serves 4




  • 150 g / 5 oz green lentils.
  • 125 g / 4¾ oz  wild rice or 75 g / 3 oz white rice.
  • 750 ml / 1¼ pints water.
  • 100 ml / 3½ fl oz extra virgin olive oil.
  • 4 medium onions thinly sliced.
  • Seasoning: Salt & freshly milled black pepper + ½ tsp allspice.





    1. Tip lentils & wild rice into a medium-large sized pan. Cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Using a high heat, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer for 40 minutes or a little over, checking occasionally to check if it needs toping up with hot water.
    2. Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a large frying pan and add the onions. Fry stirring from time to time, until the onions reach a dark brown colour but not burnt. Remove half of the onions with a slotted spoon, and spread them on a kitchen paper, so they lose the excess fat and become crispy.
    3. At that stage the lentils-rice mixture should be cooked. The grains should feel tender and the water is absorbed, it should be moist but not dry, season. Stir in the remaining onions with their oil, cook for 1 minute. Switch off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a tea towel, let it stand for 5 – 7minutes, before dishing out.
    4. Sprinkle the crispy onions on top and serve with bread salad, cabbage salad, or pickled turnips. My favourite is my mother’s sauce: Lemon & Garlic Sauce, see recipe below. 

This sauce is quite strong and it is suggested you use just a little at a time. Also, the quantity given below is meant to give you a taste. You can double the quantities if you like.




  • 2 fats cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste.
  • Juice of 1 large juicy lemon.
  • 2 tsp dried mint.




Whisk together all the ingredients. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp (or more if you like it) all over your dish and eat at once.