Sweet & Savoury Bread – Ka’ik

Sweet & Savoury Bread – Ka’ik

If there’s one thing that my mother always has on hand when we go to visit, it would have to be these sweet breads. When I first started making these my daughter immediately said, ‘these remind me of Tata (Grandma).’ They love them and I love them, especially when they’re soft and fresh. In Arabic these breads are known as ka’ik كعك or baa’at (as they’re sometimes called in the part of Lebanon where my parents originate from). The word ka’ik literally translates to cake, which is why in different parts of Lebanon you will find different types of things that people call ka’ik. Now let me point out, they aren’t traditionally made as bread rolls. They are made as round flat breads (as in the image above, probably thinner), usually with a pattern pressed into it using a wooden mould. In my recipe video you will see me make it the traditional way using my sister Nadia’s recipe, but the rolls are my own little twist because…well, just because zataar adds oomph to everything! I hope you really enjoy these as much as we do. They are just perfect warm with a cup of tea and some labneh on the side! Print Sweet & Savoury Bread Yield: Makes 14 Ingredients 4 cups plain flour 1 cup warm milk 1/2 cup warm water 7g of dry yeast (one sachet) 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon daka spices* 2 tablespoon zataar 1 200g tub of cherry bocconcini balls Olive oil Sesame seeds for top (optional) Instructions In a bowl, combine the warm water and yeast and set aside until it activates and becomes frothy. In a...
Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal

Suhoor – the pre-dawn meal

Suhoor (سحور‎‎ suḥūr), which literally translates to ‘of the dawn’ or ‘pre-dawn meal’ is the meal that is eaten in the very early morning, yep, you guessed it, just before dawn or sunrise. During the month of Ramadan this meal replaces breakfast and even though there are some who give it a miss (like me, sometimes!), it is in fact highly recommended to wake up and at least have something small with a cup of water. Considering that suhoor is the only meal you can have until iftar (breaking of the fast time at sunset) it becomes especially important to avoid skipping. As part of this Ramadan blog series, I’ve asked Hiba Jebeile (Nutrition & Dietetics) to share with us her opinion on the benefits of suhoor, some meal tips to keep you well nourished throughout the day as well as handy recipe links. __________________________________________________________________________________________ In Ramadan, Suhoor really needs to be the breakfast of champions. While it does take a bit of extra effort to prepare meals and wake up that little bit earlier in the morning, there are many benefits to waking up for suhoor including: Providing you with the energy and nutrients for the day Keeping your metabolism going and helping to prevent Ramadan weight gain Removing the need for a second meal or late snack in the evening Modern diets tend to include processed breakfast foods such as cereals, breads or liquid drinks. Breakfast and in the case of Ramadan, suhoor, should always include a slow release carbohydrate, source of protein or dairy, plus fruits or vegetables. Here are our top picks for your suhoor this Ramadan: Something to...
All things Papaya

All things Papaya

I was never really the kind of person that experimented with food or new ingredients. I never really had the time, to be honest. My teacher/principal days left me very little opportunity to think about anything else, hence part of the reason for needing to move on. Since making that move, though, I’ve been increasingly inspired to give everything a go…ok, well not EVERYTHING per se but a lot more things! I have especially been eager to work with fruit and veg that I don’t regularly cook or eat. So every so often, I’ll eagerly go on a ‘hunt’ for something new or different. This time round it’s PAPAYA! I have spent the last few days experimenting with the tropical Papaya, one fruit that, I reckon, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Well, not sure about you, but not so much in my world. I do love tropical fruits and so does the rest of the family, so not sure why I haven’t been including it in my regular fruit n veg haul! Although Papaya (and it’s close relative Pawpaw) are native to Mexico and Central America, Australian grown papaya is available all year round. It’s mainly grown in the warmer tropical climates of Far North Queensland and (I bet you didn’t know) is at it’s peak this time of the year!* There are two varieties that you can look out for, the Red Papaya & the Yellow Pawpaw. The Red Papaya is pear shaped with green/yellow coloured skin. The flesh is bright orange with a sweet flavour and soft, buttery consistency. On the other hand, the Yellow Pawpaw is rounder and larger with pale orange skin, a noticeable yellow...
Ful Medamas – Fava Bean & Chickpea Porridge

Ful Medamas – Fava Bean & Chickpea Porridge

Over the years I would ask my mother for a recipe and her response would always be, “just put a little bit of this, a handful of that & spoonful this.” I would find this very frustrating because I couldn’t cook that way & whenever I tried I (almost always) got it wrong. Over time and with a bit of experimentation it started to work for me and I could taste my Mum’s cooking coming through. After all no Lebanese dish tasted right if it didn’t taste the your mother made it! Ironically, though, I now cook all my Lebanese dishes this way with mostly no recipes throwing in a little bit of this and a little bit of that! And for that reason I have been reluctant to post a recipe for this Fava Bean & Chickpea Porridge until I had it right. Now those who already make this dish may very well make it slightly differently. Many may also use fresh beans and chickpeas, soak them overnight and all that jazz. I do do this on the odd occasion but more often than not I use cans because four hungry kids on any morning are not going to wait 1 – 2 hours for breakfast. So here’s my recipe which is enough for about 5-6 people and leftovers keep really well for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Just reheat & drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil. Fava Bean & Chickpea Porridge Ingredients 4 x 400g cans fava beans 2 x 400g cans chickpeas 1 teaspoon cumin 2 cloves crushed garlic 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup extra...
Zataar Zataar Zataar

Zataar Zataar Zataar

Since 2016 came rolling in, I’ve been saying “I need to update my blog!” And now it’s April and (I know, 3 months later) I’m finally getting around to it! It’s a good week to get back into it I guess because this week I’m celebrating The Lebanese Plate‘s first Instagram birthday! On a whim, this time last year, I decided to start up an Instagram page that was all food food food! I really had no idea where it would take me nor did I have any expectations for it to take off the way it did. But it did, all thanks to my followers & now here I am … blogging, not really something I planned to do. I was kind of thrown into it after being selected as Top 3 in Kidspot’s Voices of 2015 (Food & Travel category) and knowing many of my followers were interested in recipes I’ve tried to keep it going since. My first recipe of the year I thought I’d use one of my favourite Lebanese ingredients…Zataar. Zataar is the Arabic name for the herb oregano, but the term is better known for the very popular Lebanese condiment and spice mixture made from dried herbs (the vital one being oregano), sesame seeds, sumac, and other spices. This condiment is so popular that I can assure you that no Lebanese home can be without it. It’s a pantry staple, right near the salt, sugar and in arm’s reach of the olive oil. If you’ve been a regular follower of my Instagram feed you would see that I use it often, especially for breakfast on what we call...
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