Pastrami Shakshouka

Shakshouka is a middle eastern famous one-dish recipe. Shakshouka has 2 main ingredients; eggs and tomatoes. However we enjoy adding whatever available in the fridge like sausage, veggies or cooked ground beef. Today I am making it with pastrami, a favourite cold cut in Egypt ,usually served with poached eggs for breakfast.
Try Shakshouka for breakfast, brunch or even meatless dinner. It’s worth a try 😉

Pastrami Shakshouka
To make Shashouka:
Melt 1 – 2 tablespoon(s) butter with one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, add about 6 – 8 pastrami pieces and fry on both sides.
Add 3/4 cup passata, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, let simmer for few minutes till sauce thickens.
Crack 4 organic free run eggs over the sauce, cover and let cook for few minutes till cooked .
Season eggs with freshly ground pepper if desired
Serve with rustic bread


Fried brain


Have you tried brain? Brain is very popular in Egypt, sold fried as fast food in local restaurants. Brain needs to be well soaked in water and lemon or vinegar before cleaned then immersed in boiled water for few minutes as it is very fragile and cooks quickly. Usually sold in Middle Eastern butchers, or in Meat section of Middle Eastern grocery stores.

To Make Fried brain you’ll need

To soak the brain: Water , vinegar (2 table spoons) ,juice of one large lemon

2 whole lamb brains
Bread crumbs – about 2 cups
(2 – 3) large eggs
Cumin (about 2 teaspoons)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying ( I use sun flower oil)



– Soak the brains in water so that the water cover the brain

– Add vinegar , juice of one lemon, leave   lemon halves in water

– Keep in fridge for couple of hours

– Drain the brain, gently pull the covering membrane . Make sure not to press hard.

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– In a large pot boil enough water to cover the brain. Once boiled, add to pot. Add one teaspoon cumin

– Boil for 5 minutes , remove with large slotted spoon. Place in a colander to drain.

– Let rest till cool enough to handle

– Using a large chef knife,cut up brain into large cubes

– In a shallow dish, whisk egg with 2 tbsp (lemon juice) water. Add half teaspoon cumin, season with salt and pepper to taste.

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– In a separate shallow dish, combine bread crumbs with half a teaspoon cumin, add salt and pepper to taste.

– Dip brain cubes into egg mixture to coat all over. Dip into bread crumbs to coat evenly.

– In large non-stick skillet, heat 1 cup oil over medium heat; fry brain until crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove to platter lined with kitchen paper to soak up excess oil and keep warm.


Serve with lemon wedges. Dip in salsa if desired.




(Mhalabiya ) Caramel Vanilla Pudding

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This is a famous, easy to prepare middle eastern pudding, usually it is flavoured with orange blossom water . I skipped the blossom water and used regular vanilla extract as it does not go well with the caramel flavour.

Kushta Cream is used in preparing Mhalabiya, you can substitute same amount of regular thick cream if not available. You Can find kushta cream in middle eastern markets.

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To Make (Mhalabiya ) Caramel Vanilla Pudding you’ll need

4 C milk (3% fat)
3 heaped Tbsp tapioca starch
12 Tbsp raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 (6 oz) can Kushta Cream – or regular thick cream.
Caramel spread ; commercial or home made (I used Bonne Maman Caramel Spread)
Chopped pistachio for garnish

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– Put milk in a large sauce pan, add tapioca starch and whisk till starch dissolves completely in milk. Add sugar and vanilla extract.
– Cook mixture on low heat, while whisking continuously until mixture starts to thicken.
– Add Kushta Cream (or regular thick cream), Stir till bubbly.
– Pour pudding  in ramekins or glass containers, let rest until set.
– Heat caramel sauce in microwave until slightly runny (about 30 sec) , gently pour onto pudding.
– Garnish with chopped pistachios.
– Let pudding set completely, chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve cold.

Ta’meya ( Egyptian Fava Bean Falafel)


Ta’meya is the Egyptian version of Lebanese falafel, it is simply a mixture of fava beans, onions and lots of fresh herbs. It is usually served with tahini sauce and pita beside ful , another delicious fava bean dish.  I’ll share the recipe with you soon.  So yes, Egyptians love fava beans , they can have it for breakfast ,lunch and dinner !

To make Ta’meya you’ll need:

1 C dried fava beans
1 bunch each parsley,coriander, fresh dill
2 large onions , coarsley chopped
2 tsp salt
1 1/2  tsp gound cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp baking soda

sesame seeds

Vegetable oil for frying


– In a medium bowl, cover fava beans with cold water. Soak overnight, change water at least twice.
– Drain fava beans. Put beans , herbs, and onions into the bowl of food processor, pulse until puréed.
– Put the fava bean mixture in a large bowl, add spices and baking soda. Stir to mix.
– Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for one hour.
– Form falafel into medium size patties. Sprinkle with sesame seeds from both sides.
– Heat oil in a large frying pan, slide falafel into hot oil using a fork. Fry on each side until brownish.

– Remove from oil, drain on paper towel-lined platter.


– You can freeze extra falafel mixture in zip lock bags , defrost in fridge before using.

– Serve with pita and Tahini Yoghurt Dip.

– Enjoy!

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You may also like Bissara (Fava Bean Dip with fried onions)

Guava Smoothie

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Guava is very popular,inexpensive fruit in Egypt. I always buy guava here in Montreal  from Marché Adonis, usually it is  quite expensive. I was lucky to find it this week on sale for 99 cents/Lb in MAXI. They smelled just like home when I was a little kid. I want to share my mother’s recipe with you today, hope you’ll try it and like it.

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You can find guava in middle eastern and Mexican stores.

To make Guava Smoothie you’ll need:
3 Guavas,de-seeded and quartered
1 sliced banana
1 C whole milk
1 C orange juice
1/4 C plain yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
– Place all ingredients into a blender, purèe until smooth.
– Serve cold. Keep leftovers in fridge.

Buttermilk Date Shake With Orange & Bananas

Buttermilk Dates Shake

Enjoy this quick, nourishing shake with all the goodness of buttermilk, dates and fresh fruits.

Soaking the dates sweetens the buttermilk, and makes it easier to purée. This energy booster drink is great for breakfast.

To make Buttermilk Dates Shake With Orange & Bananas you’ll need:

20 dates, pitted

4 C buttermilk

3 bananas , peeled and sliced

1 C fresh orange juice


Soak dates in buttermilk for few hours (or overnight) in the fridge.

Just before serving, place buttermilk and dates into a blender, add bananas and orange juice,  purée until smooth.

Serve cold. Keep leftovers in fridge.

Tahini Yoghurt Dip

Regular tahini dip is made with water, I use yoghurt to give it  creamy texture, and add some sourness that goes well with the vinegar. This crowd-pleasing dip is great with veggies or with pita chips.

Tahini Dip

To make Tahini Yoghurt Dip you’ll need:

1/2 C tahini paste
2 Tbsp plain yoghurt
1/4 C water
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt,paprika
1 Tbsp olive oil.


– Combine tahini paste and yoghurt in a medium bowl, add vinegar and mix.
– Add water little by little while whisking . (you may add more water for thinner consistency)
– Season tahini with spices.
– Drizzle olive oil on top.
– Garnish with fresh parsley.
– Enjoy.